The Strange And Deadly Portraits Of Bryony Gray
A Tim Burtonesque retelling of The Picture of Dorian Gray aimed at Middle Graders. The most peculiar things always happen to Bryony Gray. As if it isn’t bad enough that her uncle keeps her locked in the attic, forcing her to paint for hisrich clients, she’s becoming rather well known in the art world… since all her customers seem to go missing.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.

The Strange And Deadly Portraits Of Bryony Gray Details

TitleThe Strange And Deadly Portraits Of Bryony Gray
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 13th, 2018
PublisherPenguin Random House
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Horror, Mystery, Retellings, Fantasy, Fiction

The Strange And Deadly Portraits Of Bryony Gray Review

  • Devann
    January 1, 1970
    review to follow
  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    When I was in London, a number of years ago, I got turned around on Oxford Street. Oxford Street is a broad, straight road, in the center of London, well known for its shops. It was originally a Roman road, back when London was under Roman rule, and the Romans are well known for building straight roads, because that is the way they worked. I bring this up because, although this novel never said when it took place, exactly, it is clear that a) it is taking place in London around the early 1900, a When I was in London, a number of years ago, I got turned around on Oxford Street. Oxford Street is a broad, straight road, in the center of London, well known for its shops. It was originally a Roman road, back when London was under Roman rule, and the Romans are well known for building straight roads, because that is the way they worked. I bring this up because, although this novel never said when it took place, exactly, it is clear that a) it is taking place in London around the early 1900, after Queen Victoria has died, and b) after Oscar Wilde has died. Although it is a fantasy, it based in reality, because that is the way historical fiction is. So, knowing that, why not be a little more accurate? Seeing how Oxford Street is long and straight, why say that it is winding and narrow? If you need a winding narrow street, choose another street. In another scene, Bryony, who has only left her attic once, notices that there are Teddy bears at a child's table, as though having a tea party. The problem is, Teddy bears were invented in 1903, and while the story might be taking place in 1903, and the other character might have the latest new toy, how would Bryony have heard of them, seeing how new they were? Choose another toy to have at your tea party.And why have your character be friends with Oscar Wilde, who went to Paris, after he was released from prison, and died there. No reference is made to Paris, when the character, Constantine, mentions being, or talking to Oscar before he died.These are the things that take me out of the story. It happens every time I read a book where I know a little bit about, and it throws me off.Look, I get it is a middle-grade book. I really do. But good historical novels try to keep a bit in check, and when they don't, they explain why, at least. This novel never did.And one last problem I have, the way painting is depicted. My grandmother was a painter (she actually worked for Walt Disney studios, back in the 1930s. My daughter is an artist. I am friends with artists. I have never heard of painting with, what, watercolor, the way Bryony does. Perhaps it is oils, but even so. Perhaps it is the magic, but it sounds very odd.Is there something I liked about the novel? Yes, the brother and sister pair that help to solve the mystery. For Mira and Thomas, I give this novel three stars. But, if you like the book Portrait of Dorian Gray don't go into this book expecting anything like that. It is inspired by the book, the part of about wanting to be young and beautiful part. And it has got some exciting bits, so for that, it can keep its three stars.Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
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  • B.A. Williamson
    January 1, 1970
    What a fantastic and wonderful read. Bryony Gray is a spirited girl in Victorian England. Her Aunt and Uncle keep her locked in the attic, where she's forced to paint portraits for the London gentry. He rportaits are wonderful and lifelike... too much so. The portraits come to life and start terrorizing the city. With the help of two quirky children from next door, Bryony must get to the bottom of the that plagues the Gray family, a curse brought upon them by her father... Dorian.I loved this bo What a fantastic and wonderful read. Bryony Gray is a spirited girl in Victorian England. Her Aunt and Uncle keep her locked in the attic, where she's forced to paint portraits for the London gentry. He rportaits are wonderful and lifelike... too much so. The portraits come to life and start terrorizing the city. With the help of two quirky children from next door, Bryony must get to the bottom of the that plagues the Gray family, a curse brought upon them by her father... Dorian.I loved this book! I am a sucker for spunky girls on madcap adventures. Parts of this book played out like the best Doctor Who episodes, with creepy pictures crawling out of paintings and mirrored reflections coming to life. My favorite part is the innocent and intriguing hints at the relationship between Bryony and Mira, which was dealt with tastefully for the age group, and realistically for the time period. Well plotted, with twists I didn't see coming, and with a writing style that made me want to curl up with a blanket and a cup of tea. (Which I did.) I would highly recommend.
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    Copy provided by the publisherBryony Gray's mother is dead, and her father is probably as well, so she has been kept in the attic by her aunt and uncle, and forced to use her considerable artistic talent to paint portraits of the well-to-do to earn money. When the last three people who sit for her go missing, a huge scandal surrounds her work, but it also makes her more desirable as an artist. When other creepy things start happening with her paintings, Bryony is bound and determined to investig Copy provided by the publisherBryony Gray's mother is dead, and her father is probably as well, so she has been kept in the attic by her aunt and uncle, and forced to use her considerable artistic talent to paint portraits of the well-to-do to earn money. When the last three people who sit for her go missing, a huge scandal surrounds her work, but it also makes her more desirable as an artist. When other creepy things start happening with her paintings, Bryony is bound and determined to investigate information she has about her father. This takes her in search of a book binder, and puts her in contact with a brother and sister, Thompson and Mira, who want to help her. There is a connection to Oscar Wilde's new book, The Portrait of Dorian Gray, and the children must investigate this, as well as a grimoire, before even more terrible things happen. Strengths: This definitely had a very creepy Victorian London air to it, reminiscent of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, A Drowned Maiden's Hair, or Lemony Snicket. I can also see fans of V.C. Andrews Flowers in the Attic buying into the aunt and uncle's treatment of Bryony. The art angle will also attract some readers who like mysteries like those of Blue Balliet's.Weaknesses: The time period is not explicitly stated, but the historical details were wanting. Some didn't seem quite right, and the dialogue, characters and settings seemed more modern to me. What I really think: Middle grade readers will enjoy the creepy portions of this without thinking about the historical information too much, but I would have enjoyed it more if the deliciously creepy details of Victorian London were captured more accurately.
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  • Marzie
    January 1, 1970
    This book, targeted to the Middle-Grade reader, is an imaginative spin-off from Oscar Wilde's The Portrait of Dorian Gray. It's a clever enough idea but research issues and anachronisms kind of tanked my enjoyment of the book. Set around November 1901, (as discerned from a reference to Oscar Wilde's death being almost exactly a year ago, factually November 30th 1900), there are oddities that show a lack of research thoroughness on the part of the author and editor. While I get that children migh This book, targeted to the Middle-Grade reader, is an imaginative spin-off from Oscar Wilde's The Portrait of Dorian Gray. It's a clever enough idea but research issues and anachronisms kind of tanked my enjoyment of the book. Set around November 1901, (as discerned from a reference to Oscar Wilde's death being almost exactly a year ago, factually November 30th 1900), there are oddities that show a lack of research thoroughness on the part of the author and editor. While I get that children might be less affected by Queen Victoria's death in 1901, the somber tone in England (where they even used black edged stationery for the year following her death in January 1901) isn't captured. Furthermore, there are references to teddy bears, which were not even a thing until 1903, when simultaneously developed in the US and Germany (the latter by Stieff) as a reference to a cartoon image of US President Teddy Roosevelt. Anyway, it's the little things. Sadly this book arrived after my recent reading of Catherynne Valente's meticulously researched Glass Town Game about the Brontës at Haworth and it suffers in comparison. I was also bothered by the sketchiness of Bryony's painting style (excuse the awful pun there) since I paint and it is clear the author doesn't have a feel for painting and various media. Middle-Grade readers will no doubt not be troubled by a discerning adult reader's concerns about accuracy. They might even be tempted to pick up Wilde's book, which would be a good thing.I received a Digital Review Copy of this book from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Chazzi
    January 1, 1970
    Thirteen Bryony Gray has an exceptional talent for one her age - she can paint incredible portraits of people. Incredibly life-like!She is being raised by her aunt and uncle, who know of this talent and keep her locked up and living in the attic. She is allowed downstairs when a rich client comes to sit for their portrait. She has become quite well known and her aunt and uncle are raking in the money, but Bryony wants to be free. She also wants to know about her parents and what is so scandalous Thirteen Bryony Gray has an exceptional talent for one her age - she can paint incredible portraits of people. Incredibly life-like!She is being raised by her aunt and uncle, who know of this talent and keep her locked up and living in the attic. She is allowed downstairs when a rich client comes to sit for their portrait. She has become quite well known and her aunt and uncle are raking in the money, but Bryony wants to be free. She also wants to know about her parents and what is so scandalous about them that makes her aunt and uncle unwilling to tell her.When clients go missing after receiving their portraits, and the most recent portrait comes to life before Bryony's eyes, it is apparent there is something drastic about her talent and family history. Bryony sets out to find out exactly what it is.Making friends with the beautiful girl next door and her nervous brother, the trio fin themselves in the middle of an eerie, fast moving and terrifying adventure. Meeting unusual characters along the way, while trying to keep out of the clutches of paintings that have suddenly come to life, the children find themselves in a whirlwind of action and adventure in Victorian London.This book has action, imagination and excitement from the beginning and it doesn't let up. When you think you'll stop at the end of a paragraph, you find that 'maybe just one more' pulls you on through the book.The characters also grow and find more confidence in themselves than they though they had. Also that friendships can be as strong as family bonds, when at the start there was no common connection.Written for the Young Adult audience, I think even adults would thoroughly enjoy it.
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  • Jill Jemmett
    January 1, 1970
    The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of my favourite Victorian novels. This is a great sequel to the story.This story had great pacing. Bryony’s paintings began to come to life right at the beginning. It was so creepy! It kept me hooked through the whole story. I really couldn’t predict what was going to happen next, so I was always surprised.I think this story is actually creepier than The Picture of Dorian Gray. Though it is a sequel, it follows Gray’s daughter, so it is for a younger audience. I The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of my favourite Victorian novels. This is a great sequel to the story.This story had great pacing. Bryony’s paintings began to come to life right at the beginning. It was so creepy! It kept me hooked through the whole story. I really couldn’t predict what was going to happen next, so I was always surprised.I think this story is actually creepier than The Picture of Dorian Gray. Though it is a sequel, it follows Gray’s daughter, so it is for a younger audience. I loved this story and I got a lot out of it, even though it is aimed toward middle grade readers. It is a great choice for both young readers and older fans of Dorian Gray and Oscar Wilde.After reading this book, I’ll never look at paintings the same way again!I received a copy of this book from the publisher on NetGalley.
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  • Amelinda Bérubé
    January 1, 1970
    Stylish, gothic, and occasionally terrifying, with a prickly, vulnerable heroine and some delightfully scary monsters. A great book to read under the covers with a flashlight. And - confession time - I haven't actually read THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY, but this book makes me want to!
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  • Kyra Nelson
    January 1, 1970
    I've loved this book since it was just a few pages my critique partner sent me ;)
  • Engel Dreizehn
    January 1, 1970
    ARC...copy deliciously dark (darker then most middle grade horrors I read actually) retelling/take on Dorian Grey (especially the themes of vanity-beauty), and imaginative in the artistic-world building of the "painted" Grey family curse. It felt especially creepy when the portraits do come to murderous life in creepy imagery right to their painted faces and killer smirks.
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  • Erica
    January 1, 1970
    I received this ARC from penguin random houseWoohoo my first book of 2018! I greatly enjoyed this book. I loved Bryony. She was a wonderful lead character. I especially liked her friendship with Thomas and Myra. This was a very well written book with a very interesting storyline. 4 stars all day long!
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  • Wensday
    January 1, 1970
    What a delightful and exciting read. I had not known what to expect when I started reading, but I certainly had not anticipated how much I would enjoy this book.It’s an engaging, interesting, story line, with compelling characters. I'll want to keep an eye out for more books by this author.I received this ebook from netgalley for my honest opinion.
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  • Alice
    January 1, 1970
    The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray is a fresh take on Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait of Dorian Gray aimed at a middle grade audience. When I first heard of this novel, I was ecstatic and eager to read it. In London, in the late eighteen hundreds, there have been strange disappearances of prominent noblemen and ladies who have had their portraits painted by the mysterious prodigy, Bryony Gray. Bryony’s art takes London by storm, meanwhile, Bryony is held captive by her aunt and uncle an The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray is a fresh take on Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait of Dorian Gray aimed at a middle grade audience. When I first heard of this novel, I was ecstatic and eager to read it. In London, in the late eighteen hundreds, there have been strange disappearances of prominent noblemen and ladies who have had their portraits painted by the mysterious prodigy, Bryony Gray. Bryony’s art takes London by storm, meanwhile, Bryony is held captive by her aunt and uncle and dreams of a day when she can escape. One day, one of Bryony’s newest portrait comes to life and claws its way out of the canvas. Then suddenly, all of Bryony’s portraits begin to come to life, terrorizing London. Little did she know… Bryony has triggered her family’s curse. With the help of a few unlikely friends, Bryony tries to find a way to stop the portraits before they destroy London. The question is… could she be too late? This novel is an imaginative take on The Portrait of Dorian Gray along the lines of a Neil Gaiman novel or Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. I really enjoyed the adventure and all of the artist facts scattered throughout the novel. Unfortunately, I found the characters to be a little bland and underdeveloped. While each of the main characters have their distinctive quirks, I found them to be too contrived and cartoonish to enjoy this novel to the fullest. However, overall, the plotline is very imaginative and original, full of quirky and creepy surprises. The descriptions leap off the page and the language has a distinctive Victorian quality without being overly dense for its intended audience. I would recommend this book to those who are a fan of A Series of Unfortunate Events and Coraline . * I received an advanced copy of this book via the Goodreads giveaway *
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  • Alana H
    January 1, 1970
    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 youn 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.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Very charming middle-school novel with an immediately fun writing style. It's set in the early 1900's featuring Bryony Gray who is a lot like "the boy under the stairs"(Harry Potter). Her power comes from her painting and things begin to come to life that shouldn't be alive. It's very Night at The Museum in that way, but more so with monsters and badness. I thought it would be very enjoyable for the youth reader, and most adults would find it a very safe excursion. There are the lessons about ho Very charming middle-school novel with an immediately fun writing style. It's set in the early 1900's featuring Bryony Gray who is a lot like "the boy under the stairs"(Harry Potter). Her power comes from her painting and things begin to come to life that shouldn't be alive. It's very Night at The Museum in that way, but more so with monsters and badness. I thought it would be very enjoyable for the youth reader, and most adults would find it a very safe excursion. There are the lessons about how hate/anger/greed is destructive and only makes things worse for you and everyone. There are consequences to bad behaviour, and it's good to make friends. (Goodreads Giveaway Win).
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  • Rebecca Schaeffer
    January 1, 1970
    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 g 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.
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  • Heather Brown
    January 1, 1970
    The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray is a super creepy but super fun story. Bryony Gray stays locked up in the attic, painting portraits under the close watch of her aunt and uncle. Bryony's fame has reached far and wide, for although she's only 11, she is an amazing painter. But when her paintings come to life and attack people, Bryony must escape and discover the truth behind her paintings, her family, and especially her father - Dorian Gray.
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  • Scott
    January 1, 1970
    A delightfully creepy mix of horror and mystery, this book is wonderful from start to finish. Latimer does a great job of placing her characters in peril and ratcheting it up, making us wonder how they'll get out of it. I don't know how many of the target readers will be familiar with The Picture of Dorian Gray, but I don't think it will detract from their enjoyment. And it will bring a new depth to that story for those who do know it.
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  • Gena DeBardelaben
    January 1, 1970
    eARC: NetgalleyA strange and bizarre tale that draws from an old favorite, The Portrait of Dorian Gray. Strange and bizarre in a delightful way! It's unique enough to hold the attention of middle schoolers and, hopefully, to make them curious enough to reach for Dorian Gray.
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  • Lucas
    January 1, 1970
    Bryony Gray's portraits are becoming very popular in late 19th century London, but they come with a terrible price.The rest of my review can be seen here: http://bit.ly/2ExQbpj
  • Jessica Harrison
    January 1, 1970
    After multiple attempts, I just couldn't get into this book. More than 50 pages in, and I still didn't care for any of the characters. The writing style was a little stilted for me as well. I give myself a certain percentage with every book that I have to read. After I reach that point, and I'm still struggling, I move on. That's what I did here.
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  • Erika
    January 1, 1970
    ** Full disclosure: I received this book in exchange for an honest review**
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