Author: V. C. Andrews
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
“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…
P.S. Song today? Secrets by OneRepublic.
Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.