Author(s): E. LatimerDownload
Lemony Snicket meets Oscar Wilde meets Edgar Allan Poe in this exciting and scary middle-grade novel inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray — a family curse is unleased!Bryony Gray is becoming famous as a painter in London art circles. But life isn’t so grand. Her uncle keeps her locked in the attic, forcing her to paint for his rich clients . . . and now her paintings are taking on a life of their own, and customers are going missing under mysterious circumstances. When her newest painting escapes the canvas and rampages through the streets of London, Bryony digs into her family history, discovering some rather scandalous secrets her uncle has been keeping, including a deadly curse she’s inherited from her missing father. It turns out, Bryony has accidentally unleashed the Gray family curse, and it’s spreading fast. With a little help from the strange-but-beautiful girl next door and her paranoid brother, Bryony sets out to break the curse, dodging bloodthirsty paintings, angry mobs and her wicked uncle along the way.
Some Reviews: 72 in Goodreads.com
My professions include, a) crying over the IMMACULATE vibes of books set in 20th century London and b) wishing there were a beautiful and eccentric girl who lived next door to me that I could go on a thrilling adventure with. These are both things I did whilst reading this book.
Allow me to elaborate. A gifted painter locked in an attic, enamored with the girl next door, and planning her escape to live with her mysterious patron whom she believes to be her father. I won’t lie, I wasn’t expecting much from this book, just a silly little adventure with aesthetics I adore. Much to my delight, I had thoroughly underestimated this book. It’s a rollicking story filled with haunted portraits, funeral hearses, and (my favorite) a subtle wlw romance that lived and thrived on its own outside of the main plot.
I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway, and I am quite glad that I did! For a middle-grade novel (for a younger crowd) I found it still very enjoyable. I acquired an advanced reader’s copy, so I will not comment on specifics of the plot, but give a general overview of the book in general. I found the story of Bryony Gray to be full of hope, intrigue and wit. This was an interesting spin on the tale of Dorian Gray, picking up with his daughter. A little creepy at times, but I remember being young and reading Goosebumps all the time! Would definitely recommend picking up this book for a fun read.
This was a great book 🙂 it had Harry Potter vibes in the early stages. Orphaned youth locked away in the home and away from society by a harsh aunt and uncle who treat them poorly. The story quickly takes on a life of its own.
Her paintings come to life and attack those they depict. I enjoyed her descriptive writing style. She soon finds some sidekicks to help her save the day. Mira is a free spirited adventurer and Thomas is more logical and grounded.
The only thing I did not like:
I found the mirror curse a bit confusing, as I felt the paintings curse was sufficient. But it obviously adds a interesting element to the story.
Overall a 4.
Will likely re read this.
The Picture of Dorian Gray is my all time favorite classic, hands down, so I was extremely excited for this novel, and it doesn’t disappoint. Strange and Deadly Portraits is both a wonderful ode to the darkness, atmosphere, and themes of the original, while still being something wholly and uniquely its own. I loved the monsters crawling out of paintings and sucking out people’s life, and I found Bryony and her friends all unique and well rounded characters. If you like dark, atmospheric middle grade, I wholly recommend this book.
I think I got bored. I liked Constantine because he was just too fABULOUS. I didn’t really like much else. I liked the mystery of the book. It seemed well enough thought out but I feel like the important part was solved too early and there were a lot of loose ends by the end of the book. I’m still not entirely sure what Lottie thought she was doing. Did she actually want to be queen Victoria? Or did she actually think she actually succeeded in crowning herself the new queen? And why did she want the paintings? Did she want to be the Crazy Queen forever?