The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is a well known classic. Which makes it even more odd that I somehow didn’t know the concept of this book before going in! Odd or not, I knew nothing about this before I opened it up (thanks blurb for not actually telling me anything about the book) so it was an experience.
If, like me, you know nothing about this book, it follows a young man who has his portrait painted by a (slightly obsessed) artist. This painting then takes on any physical changes to Dorian, both ages, and changes as his personality worsens, whilst Dorian’s face stays exactly the same.
Once I had gathered the concept, the rest of the book was then pretty predictable. I actually wrote a rough draft of what I thought was going to happen when I was about 3 chapters into the book and I wasn’t wrong!
Highlight here if you want to see my prediction: He’ll do some evil shit, see his painting again after years and then have a breakdown at how his life has been awful and this is the true him. Or at least that’s my prediction.
This is quite a short little book, and I of course don’t want to spoil it for you. So I don’t think I’ll say much more, past that the characters were interesting to read from and to see how they changed over the years.
On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 5, Atmosphere: 5, Writing: 6, Plot: 7, Intrigue: 6, Logic: 7, and Enjoyment: 6, which gives an average of 6 for the score and a 3.5* rating.
Highlight here for trigger warnings: murder, death, misogyny, suicide, blood, antisemitism, violence, toxic friendship, sexism, racism, addiction, gaslighting, drug abuse, toxic relationship, drug use, gore, racial slurs, suicidal thoughts, injury, body horror, body shaming, emotional abuse, grief, alcohol, gun violence, homophobia, mental illness, suicide attempt, outing, colonisation.
Overall, this is an interesting classic, and I adored the concept. But for some reason the execution just didn’t vibe with me. I might have to reread this one in the future, now that I know the concept, and see if my opinions change at all.
Have you read Dorian Gray or anything else from Wilde? What did you think? Tell me down below!
May was, as always, a busy month! And yet somehow I managed to read 13 books. Let’s take a look at the books and then I’ll look at balancing out my tbr with the new books I brought in. If you’d rather see this in video format that’s linked below!
My first read was Rebel Heart by Moira Young, the second book in the Blood Red Road trilogy. This suffered a little from middle book syndrome, with the characters clearly just being moved into place for the final book. But it was still interesting to be back in this world and I’m looking forward to capping off the series, hopefully sometime soon.
My non-fiction for the month was Living Planet by David Attenborough which is a republication of a book from the 80s. In this repub they’ve updated the scientific information, as well as switching out examples of species to those which are more obscure. This was a fantastic book and I’m so glad I can add it to my shelves!
This month I discovered that Spotify has some audiobooks you can listen to for free, so I listened to The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien because it was way past time for me to read this one. It’s such a fun audiobook and I’m definitely more hyped to read the main LotR trilogy now!
Freak Like Me by Hannah O’Donnell is a teeny book, at only 10 pages, but it packs a punch. Talking about familiars and acceptance in society, I would adore to see a full sized book within this world (and am tempted to hound Hannah until she does it!)
My last audiobook for the month was Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, which is a novel written in verse. This is a really tough novel, discussing gang violence and deaths in Black communities in the US. It’s tackled beautifully and I want to read more from Reynolds!
A partial reread, Binti: The Complete Collection by Nnedi Okorafor includes the titular novel Binti, as well as two more novellas in the series and a final short story between books 1 and 2. I read Binti previously via audio, but when I was picking up this collection I thought that I should reread the first book before diving in. This is a gorgeous sci-fi series that tackles racism, leaving home, being from multiple cultures and not feeling like you fit it, and it does all of it beautifully. I was genuinely disappointed when I realised I didn’t have anything else in this world to read!
Graceling by Kristin Cashore is one that I should’ve read years ago! It’s one of those “classic” YAs from the 00s and is such a fun read. The naming conventions are ridiculous, but I really enjoyed the book and I’m super excited to delve into the rest of the series, and then read the brand new release that’s due to come out later this year! I need to get my butt in gear clearly.
By now, I think I’ve solidified that the Goldsboro GSFF box sends me books that I adore, because Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May was fantastic. A magical, witchy, dark book set on a small island in the 1920s with murder, lesbians, and non-binary rep. What else could you ask for?
Then I delved into some British ridiculousness with The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde which is a murder mystery, with Humpty Dumpty as the victim! I loved Fforde’s work in the Thursday Next series and this didn’t disappoint. Utterly stupid whilst also being brilliantly clever. I need to pick up more from Fforde.
Time for a little classic with The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, the synopsis on the back of my copy just talks about Wilde, and so I went into this knowing literally nothing. Colour me surprised when there was a fantastical element inside! There was one chapter that I really didn’t enjoy in here, but apart from that it was a fun classic with a really interesting concept I would love to see played with more.
Sticking with pictures, but this time it’s a contemporary read from Illumicrate. Portrait of a Thief by Grace D Li could’ve been so much more. It really needed better work on the character development, and the heist plots to steal back Chinese artefacts from Western museums needed a shade more believability. It was clearly a debut but I’m interested in anything else Li publishes in the future.
This Vicious Cure by Emily Suvada finished off the This Mortal Coil trilogy with a bang. The character development was fascinating, I adore the genetics and general science throughout all of this, and I actually really liked the ending! Looking forward to rereading this trilogy in the future.
Last but not least, I finished up my month with some Discworld in the form of Pyramids by Terry Pratchett, the seventh book in the series. This is a fun romp following the Pharaoh of not-quite-Egypt, who also happens to be a God and an assassin. In the ridiculous world on the back of the Great A’Tuin it’s a great standalone in the series.
And those are the thirteen books I managed to read this past month! I’m pretty happy with that if I do say so myself.
And then there comes the balancing. So I didn’t balance out my books for April (because it was a rough month) but I started May with 119 books on my tbr (honestly I really need to get this to a more reasonable number). I read 13 books, with 9 of them being from my tbr. I brought in 5 new books, and read 1 of those. All in all meaning that my new physical tbr count is 114. It’s went down!! I’m so damn pleased that I’m actually making some headway through this tbr!!
Let me know your favourite read of May. I’m spoilt for choice but I think Wild and Wicked Things might just have hit the top spot for me!
The fact we’re already so far into the year is panicking me a little, but let’s focus on all the books I’m hoping on reading this month!
I’m back on my BookTube Bullshit (TM) this month so if you’d like to see my tbr in video form instead then click below!
To the books!!
First up we have This Vicious Cure by Emily Suvada which is the third book in the This Mortal Coil series. This is all about a disease which causes people to explode, and is set in a world where people can manipulate their DNA. A Sci-Fi YA and I have *adored* the first two books so I’m super excited to delve into this final one!
Rebel Heart by Moira Young means I’m continuing in another series, but this time with the second book in the trilogy of Blood Red Road. Set in a Dystopian future in the continental US and following a young woman who, in the first book, sets out to find her brother after he was kidnapped by the Tonton.
Then I want to read Illumicrate’s book for last month, Portrait of a Thief by Grace D Li which is set around five Chinese American teens/young adults “stealing” back artefacts from Western museums which were originally stolen from China. The concept is amazing and I’m really looking forward to delving in.
For a fun book I’ve went with The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde which is a companion series to Thursday Next and follows nursery rhyme characters inside their book world. British humour at its most ridiculous is what I’m expecting!
Graceling by Kristin Cashore is a “classic” YA fantasy that Kar-ing for Books and Veronica’s Shelf are super excited for me to read, and given that I bought the four books currently out in Feb? Well I felt like I should get going!
My non-fiction pick for the month is Living Planet by David Attenborough which is a republishing (with significant edits apparently) from the original in the 80s. I adore all things Earth Science and Ecology so I am 100% here for this.
I’d love to get to The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde this month. It’s only a short classic and I’ve heard amazing things about Wilde’s writing!
Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May came in my Goldsboro box and I like to try and read those and keep on top of them so I’m definitely diving into this one. All I know about it is that it’s a Historical Fantasy set during the 1920s!
And last but never least, my audiobook for the month is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein, and yes it’s shameful I’ve not read it yet. There’s a free audiobook available on Spotify and I’m really excited to delve into this beloved fantasy world!
And that’s it! Just a short tbr this month as I get back into the swing of things. Have you read any of these? Tell me what you thought of them! And have you picked out your May TBR? Let me know what you’re excited to read this month!!