Nora Novak is a Southern California-based mixed-media artist specializing in collage-type photo-reference art of female models. Her first book, Art Damaged is about a Southern California-based mixed-media artist and her highly glamorous and enviable lifestyle, which could be a recipe for a poorly written wish-fulfillment novel. Instead, Art Damaged is a fun escapist novel exploring the modern art world. Novak’s protagonist, Nina Valliere, pulls the curtain back on the personalities, people, and places, all while letting the reader vicariously enjoy Nina’s chaotic work, love life, and art career. And as one can see the car wreck coming, Nina’s lifestyle can’t be sustained without something having to change, and eventually Nina also comes to that realization. The dialog sparkles with realism and humor, the story is peppered with pop-culture references that don’t feel like paid product placements as some chick-lit books seem to do.
With Novak and Nina’s obvious similarities, one must wonder how much of Art Damaged is fact or fiction. But, regardless of life imitating art (or art imitating life), Novak has produced a good first novel in the vein of early Jackie Collins or Danielle Steele (or even a Sydney Sheldon). A worthwhile debut novel, and one would hope to see if Novak can deliver the same quality and enjoyment in a plot and setting outside her comfort zone.
|Page Count||221 pages|
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