Featured Review: Doreen by Ilana Manaster

Featured Review: Doreen by Ilana Manaster


About this book:

A modern makeover of The Picture of Dorian Gray When Doreen Gray walks in the vaulted doorway of elite Chandler Academy, she is a sad, disastrous mess of acne, frizzy hair, and low self-esteem. Heidi Whelan, social-climber turned queen bee, takes one look and knows she has found her new protégé. Heidi gets her bookworm roommate Biz Gibbons-Brown to take a picture of Doreen and work her Photoshop magic. The result? A stunning profile pic that looks nothing like the real Doreen. To the shock of all three, Doreen wakes up the next morning the embodiment of the glossy, digital makeover. Now, in order to maintain her sleek façade, Doreen has to hide her real self and the only hardcopy of the original photo. What will the secret do to her soul? All the while, Heidi is keeping secrets of her own. Out with the men of nineteenth century London and in with the girls of twenty-first century New England, Doreen is a sharp and scandal-filled YA retelling of Oscar Wilde’s classic The Picture of Dorian Gray.



*Review contributed by Kim Baccellia, Staff Reviewer*


Chilling retelling of Oscar Wild’s THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY. In this case a trio of girls from an exclusive boarding school are involved in transforming a new arrival with Photoshop magic. Queen Bee Heidi Whelan sees the possibility of getting revenge against the man who used her. Biz Gibbons-Brown uses her Photoshop magic to create a shunning beauty. The next day, Doreen, wakes up to look exactly like the photo.

Readers see how someone’s inner desire to be popular and beautiful can be twisted. In this case Doreen, enjoys her new found popularity and wants more. Then she finds that the picture is also changing in a not too pretty way. 

Heidi at first is very self-absorbed and uses Doreen’s craving to be popular to her advantage. But her power over others is tested and she finds that with her protege's new found beauty? That she has an almost magical hold over guys. We see Heidi’s vulnerabilities such as how her rich veneer cracks the more she confides to Doreen. This makes her not too unlikable and by the end of the novel she does arc. 

Biz is the misunderstood cousin and room-mate of Heidi. Her talent of Photoshopping has a wicked twist. Somehow she’s able to show what others hide like a photo of Heidi that shows loneliness. 

Doreen starts off as shy and uncomfortable. She’s also craves any time of contact with others. When she wakes up as beautiful as the photo? At first she stumbles with her new found popularity but her appetite for having everything-any boy she wants to fancy clothes becomes insatiable. The photo shows her true self-a self-centered monster without empathy or compassion.

Dark retelling of THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY only this time set in an elite New England boarding school. Photoshop magic transforms an ugly duckling into a beautiful monster. The price of popularity and beauty comes with a terrible cost.



*You can find this review HERE!*


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