Read more reviews at What Danielle Did Next I was really excited to review "The Art of Love", I had a feeling it would be different to the typical NA I had read over the past couple of months and happily I was proved right. Anne Whitney has a very "real" authentic writing style and doesn't gloss over the minutiae of love, sex and grief so you really feel like you're getting to know the characters and can immerse yourself in their lives. I read this book over an afternoon, I simply couldn't put it down and ended up with mild sunstroke because I forgot to reapply the sunscreen and drink my water lol! The book is set around the New York Modern Art scene, one I'm not au fait with so it was really interesting to learn about all the different aspects that accompany it. I loved Marina, the MC. At times she frustrated the hell out of me with some of her actions but she was definitely the most genuine NA heroine I have come across. Marina comes to New York to escape her abusive father and with next to nothing in her wallet and no place to stay stumbles upon an Art Gallery where we are introduced to the charismatic Fitz in one of the most imaginative character introductions I have ever read! It was refreshing to meet an NA "bad boy" that isn't borderline abusive and is shoved in our face as the height of sexual attraction. Their burgeoning friendship and relationship was sweet and refreshing and unfolded into a mutually beneficial partnership. The support and love that developed before the lust and chemistry really took hold portrayed the relationship as truly genuine. I adored the supporting characters of Viridian and Derek who took on the roles as fairy godmothers to Marina and supported her with no judgements or questions asked. As Marina moves on with her life with the help of her new friends, the sinister presence of her father is always there and at times I had knots in my stomach as the story unfolded. The strength that Marina gains and the power to say no to being a victim was admirable because despite the help she received when push came to shove it was Marina who stood on her own two feet and faced her fears. I loved how she recognised the work she needed to put into working on her demons in order to truly heal. Fitz was not her white knight and nor did she ever expect him to be which was a blessed change. When reading another NA novel a couple of months ago I wailed to the heavens "Why can't women ever rescue themselves in these books?" and finally here was a woman fully capable of doing just that. The "Art of Love" is a deeply complex and emotionally charged story of the strength and promise that can come out of a seemingly hopeless situation. It takes the New Adult formula and turns it on it's head and rather than resorting to melodrama, it was a breath of fresh air and I look forward to seeing more from Anne Whitney.