Tag Archives: Oscar Wilde

Book Review- The Picture of Dorian Gray

It has almost been too long since I read this book to review it… about 2 weeks! But it is burned into my mind. *shivers* This cover is pretty, but way too innocent.

I’m just going to give you a little warning here. I get scared VERY easily! I’m a wuss when it comes to scary movies (frankly, I just don’t watch them). I don’t read scary books (for the most part). If I see a bug, I can”t squash it. Ghost stories make me run in the opposite direction screaming like a 2 year old girl. Because of all this, I can’t be sure if this book really is as terrifying as I think it was, or I am just very lame. I tend to this everyone is a little creeped out by this book.

The Picture of Dorian Gray (also known as The Portrait of Dorian Gray) is about a man who sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for eternal beauty and youth. The deal is that he lives forever, but a very special portrait of himself ages and gets more grotesque, the more hideous his soul becomes.

I know a lot of people who would stop here, and give up on this book. I don’t blame you, because I almost did the same thing. I’m glad I didn’t, though, because A) this book turned out to be great B) it is a classic, and you should probably read it, even if you dislike the topic and C) I didn’t realize that Dorian actually didn’t sell his soul on purpose! It seems insignificant, but to me this makes a large difference in the morality of the book. This isn’t a spoiler, because it happens just a few pages into the book. I’m not quoting, but it goes something like this:

Dorian: “That picture is so beautiful, and I look so hot! I wish I would stay that handsome forever, and the picture would grow old and ugly, instead of me.”

That’s it. It was entirely an accident. The morality issues come later on in the book, because when he realizes that his wish came true, he goes a little crazy and does very bad things. Another thing to keep in mind while reading is that the bad things he does are awful and disgraceful for his time, but not necessarily ours.

I really enjoyed this book. It gave me the heeby-jeebies all of the way through, especially at the end, but it was in a good way! I can see why this book is a classic. The language is great, and it is remarkably fast paced for a classic.

Another little comment about the morality issues surrounding this book. I think it is a misconception that this book condones killing, savagery, and evil. To me, this was wrong. This book is showing the reader about the dangers of evil, the dangers of defiling your soul. It does it in a very… shady way. But this isn’t an evil book in itself. And keep in mind that it is fiction. This never happened, no matter how real it seemed.

It is one of my favorites, to be sure. I see myself reading it many more times in the future! I can’t wait to watch the movie… in broad daylight. 😉

Happy Saturday everyone!

Olivia

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Update

Hey guys! I am so sorry for the appalling lack of reviews lately! I’ve been so busy for the past week getting ready for exams, which start Friday for me. It has been crazy, but if you are friends with me on Goodreads you will have noticed I have been going through about a book a day! Not much different than before, except that I haven’t been keeping up with reviews and these are all books I want to review! So many good books! The point is, I’ll be very very exhausted until June 6th, the day of my last exam, and probably won’t be able to do any reviews for at least a week! I hate this, my friends. And I know by the time I get to reviewing these books I’ll have doubled the number! That is quite the mountain to climb, let me tell you. I’ve decided to narrow a few of these down. As always I would love to hear your thoughts! Some of these I refuse to sacrifice on (i.e. The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Great Gatsby) and are going to get full, thorough reviews. Others, well, I’m going to have to make concessions somewhere (either by not reviewing or making lots of mini-reviews, both of which stink) It is finally time for you to get an actual active role in what I review! Below are the books I haven’t reviewed yet. Some of which I would like you to post a comment telling me which book you would rather see reviewed. Thanks!

These are the two I am positive I am reviewing individually!

I know it will be tough, but I can’t decide! Keep in mind that each of these will be reviewed at some point, you are just choosing the book which you prefer to have a full length review of!

I hope I get a little bit of response, but if I don’t I’ll choose randomly! Once again, I’m sorry for my lack of posts lately and I’ll do as many reviews as I can during exams!

I appreciate your input 🙂

Olivia

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Book Review- Illuminate

This has to be one of my favorite book covers that I’ve seen! I devoured this book, although it took me a few days or so, because of its size. I have already added this to the my favorites page, and this is a book I can see myself reading more than once for sure!

This book is about a girl named Haven Terra who scores an awesome internship to work at a hotel in Chicago. I can’t even tell you how hard it is to simplify this, but basically Haven and her friends (the other interns) Lance and Dante find out that the people they work for are in the business of souls. Yeah… weird. Their bosses have ‘minions’ called the Oufit, who are people that have sold their souls to the Prince (i.e.- Satan) in exchange for everlasting beauty and youth. Until, at least, they have to go back ‘down’ to *cough* Hell/ the underworld. The bosses Aurelia and Lucian want to turn Haven, Dante, and Lance into members of the outfit, because they have been marked as sort of angels-in-training which makes them more powerful demons. They must fight, or half of their school will unwittingly join the Outfit on prom night.

I can’t tell you how hard that was to do! This book is gloriously complicated- I say glorious because I love a plot that keeps me on my feet. By the end, everything you think at the beginning has changed, people aren’t who you realize they are. I also enjoyed realizing little things that hinted about who the characters were and how they fit into the devils vs. angels theme. For example:

-The name Haven Terra. Haven is one letter away from Heaven, angels, wings and such. Terra means earth in Latin (but I’m no expert), like Heaven/ angel on Earth.

-Her friends name, Dante. As in Dante Alighieri, author of the poem Divine Comedy about Dante’s journey through Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell.

-Lastly, her boss’ name Lucian. That sounds a lot like Lucifer, which was the name of a fallen angel in the bible. Which is funny, because we find out *SPOILER* that Lucian actually used to be an angel.

I have no idea why these little things were included. Up to the author, I suppose.

It says on the cover that this book is part The Picture of Dorian Grey , part The Devil Wears Prada. I haven’t read The Picture of Dorian Grey (but I will in the near future), but from the Goodreads summary it seems like this book ripped off a true classic. That is my only issue. I guess I will have more of an opinion when I read them both. If you have read these two, I would love some thoughts on the similarities.

I actually read 3 books this weekend, and they were all great! It might take me a while to get to them all, but I will! Hope your weekend was fantastic!

Olivia

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Library Awesomeness Haul- No. 5

I know it is pretty soon after my last library haul, but let’s face it. I read fast! I have a small-ish batch of piping hot books for you guys today! Dig in. 😉

I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book! The end of the blurb in the front cover reads:

…”In this epic new series, Anna Carey imagines a perfect future that is both beautiful and terrifying. Readers will revel in Eve’s timeless story of forbidden love and extraordinary adventure.”

I read a little bit of non-fiction come summertime. I like to learn, and my way of doing that without school is reading some non-fiction! The weird thing is, my mom had been planning to buy this book on her Kindle, and I ordered it because I wanted to read it as well! Crazy, right? Well, I’m letting her read it first. I have plenty of others to read!

Goodreads recommended this one for me. We’ll see!

The concept of this book is good! And I have been looking for fictional books about dealing with grief, so this was right! If you have any suggestions for fictional grief-related books, please comment! I would love some more ideas!

I have read a lot of classics, but not this one! And since I finished Illuminate a few days ago (Illuminate is extremely similar to this book, it seems) I decided I would check it out! I wasn’t intending to check it out, actually, but I had it in the back of my mind while at the library. While I was helping my little brother find books, I spotted my library’s classic section (which I had not known about until now). It took all of my self-restraint not to go crazy and get them all! So many that I want to read were there, but I settled for just this one!

I’ll try to review Illuminate before the weekend is over, I have a very busy week coming up! I’m a few pages into The Peach Keeper right now, and a little unimpressed. But with Sarah Addison Allen’s previous books in mind, that will probably change! 🙂

Olivia

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Filed under Classic, Fiction, Modern Fiction, Nonfiction, Romance