(Extra)ordinarily in Love (Me Before You – a Book Review)

Me Before You
Author: Jojo Moyes
Published: 2016

On Goodreads

Me Before You

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

9/25

 

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living and exceedingly ordinary life…

Everything in Louisa ‘Lou’ Clark’s life is routine and normal and nothing more than normal. That’s okay with her. More than okay. She doesn’t need an exciting life. But when she’s laid off of her job at the café, which she’s had for six years, she must quickly jump back into the job force. With little skills, she doesn’t have many choices. When a high paying temporary position opens up for taking care of wheelchair-bound Will Traynor. He’s moody and bossy and sarcastic, but Lou isn’t having it. Unexpectedly, her feelings for him change. Before she knows it, she’s fighting the clock to make him happy. She’s determined to show him that life is worth living.

What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking you heart?

 

This book marks 8 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I’ve heard that Jojo Moyes is such a subtle and tender heartbreaker with her books and I’m glad to have gotten a chance to read on. I must confess though, I watched the movie first.

 

Lou and Will came together to create a love that not only lasts forever, but is also so short-lived in this book. These two clashed and yet, the saying ‘opposites attract’ came to me when I read this. It wasn’t a major bickering fest between them where tension was already obvious. This was one that sprouted from a seed. It grew and developed into something treasurable.

Me Before You

This wasn’t only my favorite scene in the movie, but in the book as well. The excitement is so sky high. Don’t tell me that you’ve never felt this excited about something. Life is indeed too short not to feel this way and more than once.

I felt many different things as I read this book. But most prominently, I’m not entirely feeling it. It is sweet and tender and raw and awkward. It’s so many things, and everything that makes it feel real. Lou leads an incredibly ordinary life. Like seriously. Following her every move, it is just that. Since I do the basics of everything she does: house chores, go to work, hobby around, bicker with the family and then repeat the same thing over and over and over and oh my god this is my life. I don’t have a particular interest in my own life on such a small scale, so I don’t enjoy reading about it. BUT! The story has great depth and meaningfulness that I can’t begin to describe. It’s the little parts, the parts of humor and love between Lou and Will that had me staying. We humans live for those bits in real life. They’re warming and fulfilling.

And as this book also points out, they also end. On top of feeling slightly bored, I felt heartbroken. Lou is fighting, for the first time it seems, for something she desperately wanted and that was Will. Her job became the excitement she needed. She hopes that Will will decide against going to Dignitas, a place that a person can go to die legally. I blanched at hearing about that place.

There were a few characters that really rubbed me wrong. The major one was Patrick. I was gritting teeth with that man every time he opened his mouth! I felt incredibly confused as to how Lou came to date him. He’s so self-absorbed. I couldn’t stand him, and Lou’s been with him for years!

Me Before You

Slow-going and bit by bit, Lou’s life became less ordinary and more extraordinary. Patience is greatly needed. If you can break through then definitely read this. It’s not bad, but it just wasn’t for me. The pull wasn’t strong to garner my attention, which upsets me because I’d heard so many wonderful things about this book.

 

Quotables:

“You probably wouldn’t look at me twice. An ordinary girl, leading an ordinary life. It actually suited me fine.” (Lou, p. 18)

“I couldn’t tell anyone. That was almost the worst bit. I was now complicit in the Traynors’ secrets.” (Lou, p. 113)

“I just…want to be a man who has been to a concert with a girl in a red dress. Just for a few minutes more.” (Will to Lou, p. 166)

 

Side Note: I am SUPER sorry for the wait. I know I usually try to get something up every other day, but this week has been ridiculously busy. I’ve been getting swamped at work. I do have reviews coming still.

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Beautiful by Ben Rector

 

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Forever’s an Awfully Long Time…(Forever… – A Book Review)

Forever…
Author: Judy Blume
Published: 1975

On Goodreads

Forever

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

8/25

 

There’s a first time for everything…

Katherine and Michael can’t get enough of each other. They’re pretty sure it’s true love. After meeting at a small New Year’s get-together, they are inseparable. A second apart and it’s like the end of the world even though they haven’t been together for very long.

While it’s their senior year in high school, their relationship is tested in many ways. While there are many firsts for both of them, life-changing firsts, they will find out if this love is forever or just fleeting.

 

This book marks 8 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. Even though this is the first time I’ve read Judy Blume, I can see why she’s such an icon. She’s got a way of approaching topics head on.

 

Though the story came as pretty straight forward, somehow managing to both wear and not wear those rose-colored glasses, this story held something quite special. I really wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it when I started, but by the end I really liked it. While realistic in its actions, it was also romantic for its characters’ feelings.

The story was raw and intense. I imagine all first loves are like that. You only see the person in front of you and it doesn’t matter who tells you to be careful because you are pretty sure it’s forever. That’s how it is for Katherine. From her POV, she’s more than head-over-heels for Michael. She dead sure he’s the one. They understand and have a deep hunger for each other. It’s something I’ve seen happen before and it’s like seeing and alien take over a person. While sweet and interesting, also gross and weird. Don’t tell my friends I said that…

When you build up something in your mind-really imagine is, wish for it, sometimes, when it actually happens, it doesn’t live up to your expectations.

I really like how real this story came across. The situations and results weren’t fluffed up or exaggerated at all. From understanding the importance of protected sex to understanding one’s feelings, it’s all relatable for people who have experienced their time of firsts. It’s clumsy, and half the time, awkward. It’s not like in the movies, and I really like that Blume addressed that. That’s really what kept me attached to the story. Otherwise, I might not have stuck with it. The tone had been a bit bland at some parts and I had to push through because I wasn’t getting a full grasp on it. There was a lack in emotional understanding, but I guess that’s teenagers. They’re like bipolar jumping beans. Uncontrollable.

I honestly think everyone should read this as a part of a health class curriculum. Before you start on me,

  • No, I’m not a teacher.
  • No, I’m not a parent.
  • Yes, I am curious about experience and find this to be extremely beneficial.
  • There are many subjects addressed in a way that I think teens will understand without feeling berated.

It’s not some sugarcoated book made for a fantasy that young humans will get a rise out of and then toss away. While the story is enjoyable, it gives you life lessons that you can carry with you and keep in mind as your own sexuality begins to bloom. From understanding your limits to understanding your feelings and more, I found this book to be enlightening, yet not pushy. The relationship between Katherine and Michael was realistic in that way. A true high school romance.

 

While this book didn’t reach out to me on a level of enjoyment, it did reach out to my need for knowledge on humans. You can easily sit down and read this in a few hours. I did. I’m glad, too. It may not have been the most exciting book, but it was sweet, and tender, and certainly a must-read.

 

Quotables:

“Oh wow…your generation is so hung up on sex.” (Jamie to Katherine, p. 39)

“You probably never took a chance in your life.” (Michael to Katherine, p. 87)

“So they’ll find out that separating us won’t change anything…and then maybe they’ll leave us alone.” (Michael to Katherine, p. 146)

“I think forever’s one hell of a long time for a kid like you.” (Theo to Katherine, p. 172)

“Have you thought about how the relationship will end?” (p. 189)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? That’s What You Get by Paramore.

 

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Mom’s May Day – A Book List

Happy Mother’s Day to moms everywhere.

Mothers Day

It’s going to be a bit of a short post. Here, I have a list of books that make me think of moms and how special they truly are. Well, sort of. LOL.

Moms help us grow and become who we’re meant to be. Never should they be taken for granted.

I know I love my mom to pieces. She’s sacrificed so much for me. Time. Sanity. And so much more. I’m eternally grateful. I wouldn’t be the loud, obnoxious, overly exciteable, neurotic, crazy, loving, geeky, booknerd if not for her. Our lives have never been easy and with her I learned to tackle hurdles I never thought I could. She’s made me stronger, though sometimes I don’t feel strong at all. I love my mom.

 

Probabilities of Miracles
Author: Wendy Wunder

Probability of Miracles

A last chance for a mother to save her daughter from illness. This mother/daughter is sweet, tender, and yet, bittersweet.

On Goodreads

 

Love + Gelato
Author: Jenna Evans Welch

Love and Gelato

After losing her mother, a daughter is moved to Italy to get to know her father of whom she’s never met. Her mother’s journal falls into her hands and she gets a chance to see how she met her father. For the summer, she follows in her mother’s footsteps and unexpectedly falls in love

On Goodreads

 

Practical Magic
Author: Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic

Owens sisters confront challenge in love, life and magic. Together they break a curse that’s hung over their family destroying the love of their lives. Sally and Gillian have experienced this just as every woman of their family has. Can they break this curse?

On Goodreads

 

Everything Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon

Everything Everything

With a rare disease, a young girl has lived in doors all her life, always cared for by her mother. After meeting the boy next door and spending time with him, she begins to question whether she’s truly sick or not.

On Goodreads

 

Turtles All the Way Down
Author: John Green

Turtles

Aza is trying to be a good daughter, friend, and student, and with a fugitive billionaire missing suddenly and $100,000 reward at stake, she tries to be a good detective. With her best friend also intrigued enough to join the investigation, they go on the hunt.

On Goodreads

 

White Oleander
Author: Janet Fitch

white oleander

Ingrid is in prison for murder. Her daughter Astrid moves from foster home to foster, each more different than the last, with rules and dangers and lessons all of their own. This difficult journey becomes a journey of self-discovery for both mother and daughter.

On Goodreads

 

Flowers in the Attic
Author: V.C. Andrews

FITA

Corrine Dollanganger and her four children move in with her mother so that she can get back into her father’s good graces and inherit his money. Empty promises are made and soon the children are locked up like prisoners in the attic where only a fake garden comforts them.

On Goodreads

 

Shower your mom with love and smiles and hugs. Know that Mother’s Day is more than just gifts. It’s a feeling and a time that we get to remind moms that they did, and are stilling doing, a great job. That we love them deeply and we would be nowhere without their effect on our lives. They are superheroes.

Side Note: My mum, my mimsy-whimsy, my momo, the woman who shoved me out of the birth canal-actually is was a C-section-is really bummed about Lucifer getting suddenly cancelled as am I. I’ve been taking to Twitter and you should too!  It’s a fantastic show with phenomenal actors and crew and a splendid storyline. It’s TOO SOON TO SAY GOODBYE! So, I say #SaveLucifer and you should too.

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.

New Dolls to Play With (Seeds of Yesterday – A Book Review)

Seeds of Yesterday
Author: V.C. Andrews
Published: 1984

On Goodreads

SOY

 

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

 

They escaped their mother’s hellish trap years ago, but a cruel history of lies and deceit has come full circle…

The secrets of the attic are brought forth to the next generation of Dollangangers. Bart invites his parents, Cathy and Chris, to stay at his home to which he’s had renovated to look nearly identical to the original Foxworth Hall the kept them captive for years, to celebrate his twenty-fifth birthday. Even though all of the children are fully grown and Cathy and Chris have taken on brand new last names, the beautiful and spacious place plays with Cathy’s nightmarish memories. With Bart turning viler towards his family, the dark secrets of Foxworth come full circle as the Dollangangers try to get past them and the tragedies that keep them imprisoned.

 

Real quick, I’m so sorry with how late this review is. I usually always try to get one up every one to two days, but work has been an energy sucker. Love you, booknerds. You’re truly awesome. I’m happy you’re here. Now on with the review!

 

This is the fourth book to The Dollangangers and V.C. Andrews is still keeping me twisted up. This series has really flung me around. I’ve never been more disturbed, though I must say, this one was much less twisted compared to the previous books. The focus during this book is for The Dolls to heal and the journey to finally achieve that after everything they’ve been through: getting locked up in an attic for their childhood and get abused by their grandmother, seeking revenge for that loss of innocence, The Dolls nearly losing their children to their mother and a psychotic butler. And that’s just the shortened bits. Trust me, if you haven’t read the books, I haven’t really given any spoilers away.

Reviews of the other Dollanganger books:

Flowers in the Attic

Petals on the Wind

If There Be Thorns

 The next generation of the Dolls are grown up. Jory is a famous ballet dancer, just like his mother once was. Cindy is in private school and well on her way to being an actress. Bart is just waiting impatiently to inherit what is rightfully his, the fortune left to him by his grandmother.

One of my favorite things about this is that I’m a big fan of going into a new generation. It’s so fun to watch characters grow up and see where they go. It’s one of my favorite ways to see a story pushed forward. In this case, it was more nerve-wracking because this isn’t your typical book. Happiness is always short-lived and the secrets creep and slither like vines or snakes, leaving me really uneasy because I’m never sure when more nastiness is about to happen. The whole point, making this another great entry to the series.

Thumbs Up

The suffering of each Doll child is greatly expressed and really broke my heart. Granted, after reading If There Be Thorns, I expected the damage to be more apparent. The development of the psychological damage within Jory, Bart, and Cindy, and how it shaped them later on was spectacular. What a way to reach out to some real human issues like manipulation and self-esteem and bullying. Long term consequences, people.

The imagery is still wonderful, always capturing my brain. Seeing Foxworth Hall all over again was chilling! I was half expecting the ghost of the grandmother (Freaking evil Olivia.) to be floating around. Cathy once again takes the story by the wheel, steering me with her trembling fears. Seeing her more in touch with her emotions than ever before was gutting me. At this point, she’s barely hanging on. She’s not bent on revenge anymore, but desperate to help her family. And with all of that I’m just like,

SOY

But then there’s, her beyond disturbed son, Bart and he is just…well…the guy is a jerk! WORSE THAN THAT! And well, grrrr. A devil in human skin. Some of the things he said were just downright evil and disgusting, especially about women, leaving me like this after every single time he opened his mouth.

BS

I will say this. Bart is not the antagonist. Not really. Like the rest of the Dolls, he too is tied up in the dark secrets of Foxworth, and possibly is the worst effected. I still don’t like him.

I’m still drawn in and hypnotized by the language. It’s beautiful and makes the characters truly stand out as individuals. The story is vivid and strong. I can’t say often that language stands out to me the most in a book, but it really did for me this time. Very beautiful in a haunting story.

 

Do I recommend this book? Of course! The whole series is a great read. It’s filled with toil and darkness and some seriously effed up shit. It’s nothing you’d expect. Having known a lot about the series before reading it, I was still shocked. I can’t wait to read more of Andrews’s works, though not so much the stuff after her passing. I read The Mirror Sisters trilogy and while it wasn’t terrible, it didn’t really compare to this.

 

Quotables:

“I no longer believed in fairytales.” (Cathy, p.3)

“If I am so unlucky as to lose you first, I’ll sit day by day before a window staring out and remembering how it used to be with you.” (Cathy to Chris, p. 84)

“Foxworth Hall had trapped us again.” (Cathy, p. 135)

“Don’t you feel it? Can’t you hear it? Do you sense this house is breathing, like it has a life of its own?” (Melodie to Cathy, p. 158)

“Hope…in this house of dark misery we were always clinging to hope we colored yellow—like the sun we seldom seen.” (Cathy, p. 203)

“To have blind faith in anyone but God is idiotic.” (Bart to Cathy, p. 334)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers.

 

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Come to the Dark Side…I Have Cake (If There Be Thorns – A Book Review)

If There Be Thorns
Author: V.C. Andrews
Published: 1981

On Goodreads

ITBT

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

They hide the shocking truth to protect their children. But someone who knows their dark secret is watching.

Jory is fourteen and on his way to being an amazing ballet dancer, just like his mom. Bart has a wild imagination for a nine year old, always going off and having amazing adventures. Then came Cindy, a gift that Cathy has been wishing for for years.

Years have passed, Cathy and Christopher have finally found love in one another and married. They have a lovely home with their children and it’s what they have always dreamed of, but then an elderly woman completely veiled in black and her strange butler move into the large house next door that’s been empty for a long time. Soon, Bart is lured over and starts to spend most of his time with her. He changes with each visit, growing angry and violent with his family. Jory watches on, trying to figure out how he can help his little brother, but then he overhears Mom and Dad talking about an attic and how they can’t relive those days, leaving Jory with even more questions.

 

This was a good turn in The Dollanganger series. I really enjoyed this! It was a new take in it and really changed things up. There’s a brand new story, but still, the dreadful past remains at The Dolls’ heels, haunting them and now their children.

First things first, I loved that this was from a new set of POVs. Jory and Bart are the next generation of The Dolls and they have their own story. They’re not the same as Cathy and Chris, but they also have their own tribulations because of what they did in the past. It was refreshing and just absolutely fantastic. I felt as if the story was beginning to feel stale, but this helped revive it for me.

The setting was new, there were new characters and I was just as invested as I was with Flowers in the Attic. You really believe that The Dolls are going to have the happy life they deserve after everything they’ve been through. Of course, it’s short lived. Though I won’t give away spoilers, I will say that there were a lot of twists and turns I didn’t expect. Redemption was found and what was once burned and buried came back to get The Dolls in the worst way, through their children. It was heartbreaking and actually scary because tiny humans are easily manipulated.

ITBT

The remnants of Foxworth Hall still follows The Dolls and you feel that heavily as Bart grows close the old woman in black. As it turns out, she knows The Dolls really well and can tell Bart the truth about them. While this made my eyes bulge out of my head in horror, the true enemy is John Amos, the butler who secretly sways him down a dark path. The old man was seriously creepy and kept the dark Foxworth name alive by whispering in Bart’s ear, turning him against his family. Doing that to a child who’s already feeling like an outsider is a really nasty thing! As if The Dolls didn’t have enough problems! Leave the babies alone!

ITBT

The book was pretty good. I started to lose interest after the last book, but this pulled me right back in. The story moved forward and I love a story that can move forward, but keep it in the family. This still kept with the uneasiness and dark twists that is very central to this series, but showed that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Quotables:

“Blind means black as pitch. No colors. No music. No nothin. Dead is silence.” (Bart to Jory, p. 33)

“Nobody could like me, for I didn’t belong here, and I didn’t belong there. I didn’t belong anywhere.” (Bart, p. 94)

“Crooked days make crooked ways.” (Bart to Jory, p. 155)

“Jory, take lesson number one in my philosophy course: Nobody ever does anything for anyone else unless it gives them even more.” (Marisha to Jory, p. 263)

“Life is always like that—twenty minutes of misery for every two seconds of joy.” (Marisha to Jory, p. 318)

 

more to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Unwell by Matchbox Twenty.

 

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Sundown Rundown – April 2018

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Good twilight, book nerds! Hope you had a great April!

It’s been a surprisingly long month. Anybody else feel like that?

It’s evening time. The sun has set on the month and I’m here to wrap it all up for you with the Sundown Rundown.

This month has been pretty busy. TV show binge this month was One Tree Hill. It’s my third time watching it. I still get sappy about Jake Jagieski and if you don’t know who that is then you’ll just have to go watch the show.  Him and Julian Baker are serious prince charmings. Now, it’s time to catch up on all the other shows I’ve been behind on, like Riverdale and Lucifer.

I also have to say-I’M SUPER EXCITED TO SEE AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR!!! One of the biggest movies of the year. Lots of squeeeing here.

Anywho,,,

Grab a glass of wine (or a can of soda if you’re not 21 lol) and kick back. Enjoy the sunshine. Summer is finally creeping around in my neck of the woods. I can’t wait until the fireflies and crickets start coming out. Here’s a list of everything I’ve been reading during April, so if you’ve missed a review you can find it here.

 

Tidal

Tidal – here

Author: Amanda Hocking

Sirens, not mermaids. Both may have fishy tails, but one is basically a sociopath and the other just wants to be a part of your world. Okay, bad joke. Funny, but terrible. I know. But hey, if you love dangerous sirens that want nothing more than to suck you dry, this is for you. One siren never wished to be like that and will do anything to protect her friends and family.

 

JTCE

Journey to the Center of the Earth – here

Author: Jules Verne

A great and adventurous classic, filled with so much probability and things one can only dream of. Certainly better than the movie. Sorry, Brendan Fraiser and Josh Hutchinson.

 

Alchemy of Forever

The Alchemy of Forever – here

Author: Avery Williams

Girl is dying. Girl is given elixir. Girl lives. Forever. Every couple decades Sera get a new body and after doing it for hundreds of years, under the control of her boyfriend, she’s done. This next body is her last. After saving a girl from a fatal crash, she works to fit into the girl’s life, but didn’t count on falling in love with the boy next door. Love paranormal drama? This is for you.

 

Thanks for the Trouble

Thanks for the Trouble – here

Author: Tommy Wallach

Parker can’t talk. Zelda has been alive for over 200 years. Both are searching for ways to feel alive and didn’t expect to find in each other. Touching, wonderful and eye-opening. Also, funny. Make your gut hurt funny and sweet.

 

Possession

Possession – here

Author: Elana Johnson

A dystopian world where baddies get sent to the Badlands. The smallest infraction will turn you into a baddie. Funny and strange. Definitely unique. I’ve never read anything like it.

 

1984 - flavorwire

1984 – here

Author: George Orwell

This book actually scared me. Slow build so it took me a little while to get into it, but when I did I couldn’t pull my eyes away. It’s one of those books where you don’t realize what’s happening until it’s too far too late.

 

Paranormalcy

Paranormalcy – here

Author: Kiersten White

A girl that can see the true face of paranormals which makes her good at her job: bagging and tagging. But with a fae ex-boyfriend and strange dreams and then sudden deaths of paranormals, life takes a turn down a dark road. Witty and legally blonde fun with a side of sarcasm and trouble.

 

20,000 Leagues

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – here

Author: Jules Verne

Held hostage in a submarine that sinks ships, three men are taken on adventures that they can hardly believe. Dark and cold and dangerous. The world int eh water is one to behold. Completely fascinating.

 

We All Looked Up

we all looked up – here

Author: Tommy Wallach

An asteroid named Ardor is coming in two months. What would you do? This book made me laugh and cry. It was life expanding. It’s a book that makes you realize you never know what you’re capable until the world is ending. Heavy hearts. Beautiful art. A book that says everything you need to say when there’s not enough time. Truly moving.

 

FITA

Flowers in the Attic – here

Author: V.C. Andrews

The Dollangangers are trapped up in the attic of Foxworth Hall until their mother can get her father’s fortune. Dark, twisted and seriously effed the eff up. This book will make you really uncomfortable. I really enjoyed it though. It was unlike anything that I’ve ever read.

 

POTW

Petals on the Wind – here

Author: V.C. Andrews

Following Flowers in the Attic, the Dollangangers have escaped the attic and are grown-up and revenge is on their mind after everything that happened to them at Foxworth. The lasting effects of tragedy echo and stain the Dollangangers. Thrilling and twisted, this book was chilling.

 

So there’s been a bit of reading there.

 

Favorite book this month: we all looked up.

This book hit me really hard. I didn’t expect it to be THIS good, but it was. I was thinking about the world in a completely different light and from a whole different angle. I guess that’s likely when the world is ending. My heart ached and yearned and broke and melted and there’s was just so much. I need to reread it sometime. It was so beautiful. I actually cried about it just the other day when I thought about the book.

 

Least favorite book this month: The Alchemy of Forever.

I could get into this book to save my life. The idea seemed pretty good, but when I started reading it I was immediately put off. There was just not enough depth to pull me in and I the flow wasn’t strong enough to pull me in.

 

That’s for April and on to May! I know that there’ll be some Rachel Caine and Judy Blume coming up. I’ll also be starting my summer read books!

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.

 

Grown Up Dolls (Petals on the Winds – A Book Review)

Petals on the Wind
Author: V.C. Andrews
Published: 1980

On Goodreads

POTW

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Would the past never set me free?

Finally out and free of the attic of Foxworth Hall they’d been locked in for three years, the Dollanganger kids are now faced with grief and memories that will haunt them forever. With the loss of one of their siblings and in the midst of blossoming desires and revenge, the kids are given a chance to escape and start a new life with money they scraped during the attic days.

Together, Chris and Cathy take care of their sister, Carrie, as she faces getting bullied in school from being malnourished and is positive their grandmother was right to lock them away. Cathy’s dreams come at a great price and she is desperate for love that she’ll find it in anyone. The hatred for their mother is ever growing and consuming, driving her to great lengths for justice. Chris is positive that there is nobody for him except for Cathy and he won’t accept anybody else. Foxworth is behind them, but they carry its dark secrets, are one of its dark secrets.

The Dolls made it out of Foxworth, but they’re still haunted by their grandmother, mother, and that place. During the next chapter in the Dollanganger series the Dolls grow up and face more challenges, both with themselves and people who enter their lives as they strive to reach their dreams—Cathy wants to be the prima ballerina, Chris wants to be a doctor, and Carrie just wants to fit in. Their past follows them, twisting them as love blooms in the most unexpected places and then wilts.

Side Note: This series is not one I’d recommend for anyone under the age of 17.

Moving forward. The Dolls have grown up in this new chapter! The book starts off right where Flowers in the Attic left off, but time moves pretty quickly and soon enough Carrie is in high school and Chris in college. Cathy however, is obsessed with revenge and determined to get mother’s attention. She gets dark and twisted and it really puts her in league with her mother and grandmother. I was really thrown into a tailspin at seeing just how messed up they all are from the lasting effects of being locked away. I’m pretty sure there’s no amount of therapy that could help them.

POTW

The plot thickens! Even though the Dolls have escaped and their mother and grandmother aren’t physically present, they’re still there, ruining the Dolls. The exploration of psychological damage that people can inflict is so disturbing in this book! But it was so awesome, like a creepy awesome! The deep unsettling feeling increases immensely as new relationships form and old relationships try to die. The Foxworth family ties don’t break as easily as the Dolls wish they did. In fact, Cathy just can’t let go, not after losing Corrie and as it turns out there’s still so much to lose. I was disturbed more than once and really cringed with disgust at some parts. This story pushes the level of discomfort even further than before.

New characters enter the Dolls’ lives. Dr. Paul Sheffield and Julian Marquet are just two. Both are men that Cathy fell in love with, though I must say both relationships were abnormal. It’s seriously debatable about which relationship that Cathy’s had is worse. Each one really gave me some serious heebie-jeebies. Cathy challenged her desperation for love and need for some sort of self-punishment for herself into them. Paul is 20 years older than Cathy and Julian turns out to be obsessive to abusive lengths. We see Bart again and get to know him more as Cathy ensnares him as well with her beguiling nature too. Between the Dolls and the new characters introduced, I got to see the darker faces of humanity that nobody wants to envision because deep down they’re real and that fucks with us. Alcohol is a pleasant way to help with that.

POTW

This book was a great sequel. A bit repetitive in reminding me about what happened at Foxworth. I’m very positive that everyone that’s read that book doesn’t need to be excessively reminded of what happened at that hellish place. It’s unnerving to have to be reminded. Nobody wants to remember horrifying events like that. It’s a nightmare! This book really captures that feeling and the realism of being in someone’s head who’s been through so much pain and how it affected their future. Very trippy. A great read is also what I’m trying to say. There’s just so much to say and I’m totally unsure if you understood any of it. But, hey, the main thing to know is this was good.

Quotables:

“When next we see each other, we’ll still feel the same. I love you. Always will—right or wrong, I can’t help it…” (Chris to Cathy, p. 65)

“A dancer without fire is no dancer at all.” (Madame Zolta to Cathy, p. 171)

“Never, never was his love going to set me free to love anyone without reservations as long as he kept loving me.” (Cathy, p. 228)

“Angel, saint, Devil’s spawn, good or evil, you’ve got me pinned to the wall and labeled as yours until the day I die. And if you die first, then it won’t be long before I follow.” (Chris to Cathy, p. 250)

“It was our doctor Paul who set me straight, Carrie. He told me long ago, if a sin is committed when our parents married and conceived children, it was their sin and not our. He said God didn’t intend to make us pay the price for what our parents did.” (Cathy to Carrie, p. 317)

more to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Lies by Marina and the Diamonds.

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