Some Secrets Are Best Stay Hidden (Secret Brother – A Book Review)

Secret Brother

Author: V. C. Andrews

Published: 2015

On Goodreads

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Amazon | V. C. Andrews

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated T for teen outrage and attempted rebellion with a tad-heavy petting that goes absolutely nowhere.

 

The most unexpected Dollanganger story of them all…

Arnold loses his grandson in the same ER that a mysterious boy was dropped off and left for dead from poisoning. The poisoning left him with amnesia. Moved by the possibility of fate, Arnold, grandpa Arnold to most, brings the boy home. Not everybody is thrilled with this.

Arnold’s granddaughter, Clara Sue, feels like her little brother is being replaced by this boy and she’ll do whatever it takes to be rid of him, even try to help him remember what happened to him before he ended up in the hospital. But, when the his story is uncovered, can she really send him back to the life he before, or will she finally move on past her brother’s death and welcome the boy into a new home?

 

So…

This was unexpected.

I’ve read the previous books of Flowers in the Attic (go ahead and take a read of the reviews if you haven’t) and I didn’t know what would be happening here. Starting out with loss right from the get go is hard. Not hard to get across. Hard because it’s tragedy and that’s heavy. On the bright side, the only direction to go from tragedy is up and to better things…unless it gets worse, which is possible i.e. the saying, “It’s not like it can get any worse.”, because we all know otherwise.

Sorry, spoiler here, even though at this point you should’ve read the Flowers in the Attic books before this one, so, not really sorry. LOL. Corey Dollanganger was the brother who was thought to have died in the very first book and now this book confirms he didn’t die. He got a second chance. But, I felt really sad, too, because his twin, Carrie killed herself, in part because of the bullying, in part because of her mother’s rejection of her, and also because of the loss of Corey. This book did make me think back to her and feel even sadder for her.

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After losing her little brother, Willie, Clara Sue feel lost and angry and sad, and you know what? I was TOTALLY with her on that, even though I already know Corey’s story. She loved Willie to pieces. Then suddenly her grandpa brings home a little boy and nearly replaces him. If that happened to me I’d be just as pissed. She was right to act the way she did. You can’t replace family with strangers.

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And that boy that was chasing Clara Sue, who I won’t even give a name because he wasn’t worth remembering was a nozzle of douches. That’s all I’ll say about him. He really got me disliking him. Pfft. The definition of a F-boy. Gross.

So, all in all, each of the kids’ feelings are understandable. Clara Sue and Corey are both in their own right to be emotional. They went through a lot of tragedy.

The emotions rolling through this book were pretty realistic. So much change after such a tragic change will make a person blow a major gasket. Sometimes it came off a little too dramatic, but this is from a teenager’s POV. So, whataya going to do?

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Giphy

The world building was pretty basic and predictable for V.C. Andrews. Rich family. Big mansion with multiple wings. Family trauma with a side of effed-up dysfunction. Predictable.

The style of the writing was pretty good, though the tone came off bland. I was getting a little sleepy in places and then I’d jolt when something juicy happened.

 

Overall

I was actually surprised that I enjoyed the book as much as I did. It didn’t move me to tears, but it did stir up some emotions. It was the kind you get for family. Protective and annoyed and a love that can really toil in the heart. Definitely one of my favorite books out of the Flowers in the Attic books. Will I reread it? Honestly? No. The family feels are nice, but they don’t screech, ‘read me again!’. I enjoy an intense read that grips me tight, much like Castiel did to Dean during that season 4 premiere of Supernatural. I say give it a good read, get your family drama out, and then donate it.

 

Quotables:

“Looking messy in public says a lot about how you live your life…” (Clara’s mother, p. 72)

“…Life is like a relay. When good people die, they pass something important of themselves on to those who continue…” (Grandpa Arnold to Clara Sue, p. 89)

“Your grandmother used to tell me you can’t fight city hall. City hall is a piece of cake compared with a woman who makes up her mind about something or someone.” (Grandpa Arnold to Clara Sue, p. 279)

“Love has a way of making memories sticky.” (Dorian, p. 345)

“A good-bye is just the curtain closing for this evenings performance. It will open again.” (Bobby to Clara Sue, p. 362)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Secrets by OneRepublic.

 

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Scarlet Playlist – Feb. 4, 2019

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Booklovers! My lovers of books!

Happy Monday, and if it is not a happy Monday or a Monday to be about then I hope it will be. As a music listener and lover, I love to share what I’m listening to. Here is the playlist of the week.

 

When a Heart Breaks – Ben Rector

She Said – Collective Soul

Rain – Anjulie

Your Winter – Sister Hazel

Shine – Anna Nalick

Colorblind – Counting Crows

Call Me – Shinedown

Broken Arrow – Pixie Lott

Gone Gone Gone – Phillip Phillips

We’ll Be A Dream – We The Kings ft. Demi Lovato

Wish You Were Here – Kate Voegle

Fragile – Maria Mena

Maybe you know these songs (Awesome!) or maybe there are a few new ones. Have a song you want to share? Let me know in the comments below.

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

Find Me:

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Speedy Quote Sunday

Speedy Quote Sunday

My booklovers!

Some book quotes move you like an earthquake, tsunami, tornado—you pick. They can move us with force and strike our hearts like lightning, stunning us. Here are a few of my favorites.

 

“…grownups acting like the worst kind of kids, kids acting like they knew what was going on.” (Vineland, Thomas Pynchon)

This is a book that blew my mind up. It was wild and definitely one I need to come back to. It’s also a book that struck me with wisdom I didn’t expect to find.

 

“You should know the difference between secrets and lies.” (Red Queen, Victoria Aveyard)

Discovering the difference between the can (many times) be difficult. This quote moved me because it was so dark. Secrets and lies are what we use to protect ourselves, but they also hurt others.

 

“Laughing doesn’t make bad things worse any more than crying makes them better. It doesn’t mean you don’t care, or that you’ve forgotten. It just means you’re human.” (Hollow City, Ransom Riggs)

I love this! It’s rings so trues, but I know it’s not always easy to come to terms with this. We are only human and you shouldn’t bottle up your emotions. You have to feel what you must and guilt, relief, happiness, sadness is all natural. Feel no shame for it.

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

Midnight Tease

Midnight Tease - Giphy

My lovers and obssessers of books!

February is here. The month many people declare is the month for love. I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, but I do celebrate that it’s the last full month of winter. For me it is anyway. The cold weather and snow gets its last bites in and spring starts to trickle in. I am really craving some warm weather and green leaves and the death of snow.

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The midnight hour is upon us and this is what I’ll be reading and reviewing this month. It’s my goal to get started on my New Year’s Eve Bookish Resolution as well as finally complete reading some series I’ve started over the last few years.

 

Coming Soon…

Ghost_atniquity - LiveJournal

 

The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters Vol. 1 &2
Author: L.J. Smith

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A long time ago, I read the first and second installments of The Vampire Diaries. Anybody who’s read the books knows that the TV show is nothing like them. They’re SO different, but I still enjoyed the drama of the books and can’t wait to get back at them.

 

Sever
Author: Lauren DeStefano

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I’m excited to finally get to the conclusion of the Chemical Garden trilogy. I’ve really enjoyed it and am itching to see how it ends.

 

Zom-B & Zom-B: Underground
Author: Darren Shan

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ZOMBIES!!! It’s always good to toss some zombies into the mix.

 

Half Bad
Author: Sally Green

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This is one I spotted in the store that interesting. I’d heard of it before and I’ve met people who really enjoyed it, so I’m taking my chances here.

 

Undertow
Author: Michael Buckley

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The cover drew me in, but then so did the blerb. Mysterious and curious. Invasion from the ocean. Getting some Aquaman feels.

 

Currently…

Currently

 

Red Queen & Glass Sword
Author: Victoria Aveyard

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Dark Tower
Author: Stephen King

Scarlet Reader

 

Evercrossed
Author: Elizabeth Chandler

 

Up for Review…

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Secret Brother
Author: V. C. Andrews

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All the Little Lights
Author: Jamie McGuire

Scarlet Reader - Book List

 

Game of Thrones
Author: George R. R. Martin

Game of Thrones - Scarlet Reader

 

Hoping to be busier than a bumble bee this week with my TBR. Have a happy February!

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

Sundown Rundown – January 2019

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Hello, my epic book nerds.

I hope January has given you a great start to 2019! If not, then I hope it gets good soon.

Get snuggled in real nice because it is REALLY cold outside. In the negatives. Or at least it is for me. However, the sunset is fiery orange and is making the snow sparkle. With that pretty visual, here’s what I reviewed this month. If you missed out on any, now is a great time to catch up.

 

 

Scarlet Reader - Shadow of the Moon

Shadow of the Moon

Author: Rebecca Moon

A werewolf investigating a secret club runs into a photographer doing the same? Their reason tie together as do their burning desires.

 

Scarlet Reader - The Sacrifice Box

The Sacrifice Box

Author: Martin Stewart

It’s the eighties. A group of kids make a sacrifice to a mysterious box and years later it comes back to haunt them after somebody breaks its rules. Who broke into the box? Can it be fixed before it’s too late?

 

Scarlet Reader - that's NOT what happened

That’s Not What Happened

Author: Kody Keplinger

The day of the shooting is still fresh in Lee’s mind three years later. She’s ready to try and move on and tell the true story of what happened that day. She also discovers the stories of the others who survived and even those who didn’t. But, what will she do when she has all of the stories?

 

Princess Diarist - goodreads

Princess Diarist

Author: Carrie Fisher

The story every Star Wars fan has been waiting for. The story from the princess and, rebel leader, herself. Every page is filled with Fisher’s own personal brand of wit, humor, and style.

 

Scarlet Reader - Traveling Vampire Show

The Traveling Vampire Show

Author: Richard Laymon

A hot summer day and three teenagers are determined to go see the traveling vampire show that just arrived in town. But after weird and frightening things keep happening to them, they’re not entirely sure they want to go. When they do, they wish they hadn’t.

 

Echoes

Echoes

Author: Alice Reeds

With no memory of how they crash-landed onto a mysterious island, Miles and Fiona work together to try to survive, but they’re not as alone as they think they are on the island. More so, it doesn’t want them to leave.

 

Favorite Book: Princess Diarist really skyrocketed to the top for me this month. I’m such a fan of Carrie Fisher and love her bluntness and honesty. Also, being a Star Wars fan, I couldn’t wait to finally read this! With actual blerbs and poetry from her journal from her times on the set of the great space adventure that the fans love.

 

Least Favorite Book: Shadow of the Moon made me really uncomfortable because it felt forced with no real flow. I didn’t like the characters either. I couldn’t feel any chemistry. Details were too lacking to pull me into the story. All in all, this book was just not for me. Everything rubbed me wrong about it.

 

I didn’t get to as many books as I was hoping, but I’m hoping to With January wrapped up, we now move on to February.

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

Scarlet Playlist – Jan. 28, 2019

Scarlet Reader

Hello, bookworms!!

I hope you’re having a happy Monday and if not then I hope this does something for you. Here is the reading playlist of the week. Whether you’ve heard all of these before or are discovering new songs to listen to, (which I love doing) I hope you enjoy them.

 

Navigator – MOONZ ft + Restless Modern

The Next Life – Suede

Octahate – Ryn Weaver

Tomorrow – Avril Lavigne

Almost Perfect – Ingram Hill

One Call Away – Charlie Puth

The Real You – Alex Goot

You’r the Only One – Maria Mena

King – Years & Years

It’s Over – Clooney

Break My Heart – Hey Violet

Beautiful Ones – Suede

Have a great week!

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? A favorite song? Let me know int he comments below.

Are There Polar Bears On This Island? (Echoes – A Book Review)

Echoes
Author: Alice Reeds
Published: 2018

On Goodreads

Echoes

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

Rated: T for teen with mild themes that barely approach a teenager’s actual hormone level.

 

Trust no one.

Fear everything.

Fiona and Miles wake up on a deserted island with no memory of how they got there. These two high school enemies will have to work together to survive. As they move forward toward finding a way to escape the island, they discover that they’re not alone. There’s something out there and it doesn’t want them to leave.

 

Both intrigued by the blerb on the back of book and enticed by the cover, I plucked this book up, excited to read. Sadly, this book didn’t fully live up to my hopes.

It started out pretty good. I was dying to discover why Fiona and Miles were missing their memories and what the important reason for them being put on the island was. Miles was the rich kid with the credit card and no real survival skills while Fiona is graced with epic kickboxer skills that she’s extremely proud of, but also feels like it’s a burden. For those of you who have read this, I can’t be the only one who got some MAJOR Lost vibes.

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So I kept reading. But as I read I started to lose interest. After the reason for Fiona and Miles becoming enemies, but not really, was revealed I was left deadpanned. He’d called her pathetic. It wasn’t some shaming kind of name calling or even a physical altercation. He just called her pathetic. It seemed so much less than what she made it out to be. More so, I was getting major whiplash from her. It was like flipping a light switch really fast to create that strobe light effect. One second she was scared the next she was fiercely declaring how fearless she was. It really drew me away from the characters. Their chemistry felt forced and otherwise non-existent.

But I kept reading! I wanted to freaking know what was up because I was beginning to get a little lost! Their memories of everything that came right before their mysterious crash was bit by bit revealed. I give the book kudos for keeping me intrigued. However, the big Ta Da wasn’t so Ta Da.

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After the build-up and all, I felt let down a bit.

The world-building was very nice with the little sprinkles here and there, divulging the main plot. This was also a fast read, but I can’t say that it was because I was so engulfed in this book that I couldn’t get enough. It was just a fast read because the attention to detail was lagging. So, it was quick because there wasn’t much.

 

Overall

While I lost interest in the characters, I still wanted to know what happened. The characters made me cringe on and off as they spun me around in the chair of confusion. Now, this is my own personal review. This book just didn’t really garner my attention the way I hoped. For those of you who did enjoy it, I’m glad. Truly. I wish good books on every reader.

 

Quotables:

“We are going to die.” (Fiona, p. 1)

“Own your fear; don’t let them own you.” (Fiona, p. 73)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Blurry by Puddle of Mud.

 

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Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.