In a dark, emotional, and violent setting in the world of revolutionary art, Mick gets thrust into a world she’s unprepared for and fighting for her independence and right to exist as she wants to. With a new girlfriend in Veronica, she meets Nico, a passionate artist who believes in using art to change the world and cause conversation. But when the art starts getting more and more dangerous, both girls have to decide whether to go along with him or take a stand.
This book was in equal parts interesting and frustrating. Mick has a toxic relationship with her mother and it’s really painful to see. Mick’s mother is a model and wants to force Mick into being a model as well, but Mick doesn’t want to. She doesn’t even like pictures of herself to be taken. One night while at a party, she meets Veronica and they hit it off. Veronica is a photography and wants to take a picture of Mick, but Mick refuses. So Veronica says she’ll just pretend because she has no film left, but she’s lying, she does have film left and she takes a picture of Mick and then posts it on instagram. It gets huge interaction and everyone starts getting obsessed with Mick and who she is. This overwhelms Mick, she feels tricked and hurt (RIGHTFULLY SO). It really upset me and it’s like 4 chapters into the book. The fact that they stayed together makes me just… not happy. I don’t think it was supposed to be a parallel between Mick and her mom, you know like the idea that people who come from toxic/abusive homes often find themselves in romantic relationships that mirror the ones they grew up in. I think this because Mick stays with her, she stays with her for the whole book. And that just didn’t sit well with me. I mean maybe it’s because I’m a Scorpio, but the idea of someone violating my trust and tricking me into believing one thing while the person does another thing makes me furious.
The story overall gets dark real fast. It’s a short book so that’s fine, the pacing was actually pretty good and the action was realistic in the way that these events, while fictional, reflect art installations of the past and present. Their increasing risk and shaky morality factor starts to make Veronica question whether Nico is going too far and is obsessed with the projects. Nico is single-focused and tells Veronica she’s either with him or against him. Mick, in a need to be rebellious, joins Nico on his ever increasingly dangerous missions until finally they go too far.
I’ve never read The Picture of Dorian Gray so I can’t speak to the accuracy of the retelling or whether it followed main themes instead of direct retelling, there is the photo in place of the painting, but it doesn’t work the same way as the painting. I’m not sure if there is another point of the painting in the original story. This also means I don’t know who the characters represent if they represent anyone. Well, OK, obviously Mick is Dorian, but beyond that I have no clue. I’m not sure if the ending of this story reflects the original, but I will say it felt a bit extreme. Not completely out of the realm of possibility for this story, I just wasn’t that much of a fan of it. I know that some people love this book so I would never say to not read it, I did find it interesting and I think there’s a lot of value to that. So if it seems at all interesting to you, please don’t hesitate just because of me.