It’s tough to give a rating to an anthology, but I have to give five stars for Lovecraft’s style and subject difference. My quote book is mostly fille...moreIt’s tough to give a rating to an anthology, but I have to give five stars for Lovecraft’s style and subject difference. My quote book is mostly filled with his horrifyingly beautiful words now. He’s truly a one-of-a-kind writer, although his stories share large similarities: a logical protagonist, not given to superstitions, encountering something to shake his beliefs; otherworldly entities; a certain book called The Necronomicon; the struggle against madness after learning too much...
I didn’t much like the gorier stories in this collection, such as “The Colour Out of Space”, “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward”, and “Herbert West – Re-animator” (the last of which I was not keen on reading to begin with, knowing enough about the movie it inspired). My favorites, rather, were “The Rats in the Walls”, “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”, and—most favorite—“The Outsider”. These stories are the ones that end in a more particularly sad way. Every story’s protagonist has to deal with either deaths around him, or a complete weariness and horror in spirit after his ordeals, but my favorite selections were a bit different. In the first two, the protagonists feel revulsion for that which is going on around them, but in the end they become what it is they hate. This, in its own way, is more horrifying than anything else could be, because they can’t escape their fate. There’s a lingering finality to these stories that the others don’t have. In “The Outsider”, the protagonist is actually a horror all along, without knowing it, trying to reach out to others who run from him. There’s something both horrific and beautifully sad in that.
I was able to figure out the underlying mysteries in each story before the author actually revealed them, but that didn’t take away from the stories. Lovecraft makes a point of reiterating that there’s more beyond the scope of human knowledge, poking fun at the black-and-white mind of logical man. What could be more frightening to the practical person than to discover that what he used to deem impossible, actually exists? Even the most intellectual man, priding himself on his ability to stay unshaken, couldn’t handle what Lovecraft’s characters run into. This is a message of warning to everyone out there that it’s dangerous for the logical mind to believe with a certainty that there’s not something more out there, and I love it. Lovecraft seems to have been a logical man himself, but he’s poking fun at others who are so narrow-minded to presume they know what can and can’t be real. (less)
If There Be Thorns gives us a peek into the life of Malcolm, the haunting figure who's omnipresent throughout the Dollanganger books but only seen onc...moreIf There Be Thorns gives us a peek into the life of Malcolm, the haunting figure who's omnipresent throughout the Dollanganger books but only seen once, and then from afar. Bart Jr. reads Malcolm's old diary and through that, we learn about Malcolm's womanizing ways, and a bit more of the family history.
Why the existence of this book, then, after all has been said and done already? The purpose is to experience through Olivia's eyes all that's happened from her marriage to the night she first locks the door behind which conceals those four doomed children. This book opens with a forenote from Olivia's will, bidding us to "judge her if we dare" once we learn the full story, which implies that her re-telling is supposed to engender pity for whom we've come to know as "the evil grandmother".
Yes, at the core, Olivia's circumstances were pitiable. It seems her hard looks--something she couldn't change no matter how much she tried--led her into her dark fate. She's not considered marriageable because of them, and it's assumed she'll be a spinster for the rest of her life (need I say that in those days, a woman was considered a failure unless she could secure a marriage?) until Malcolm comes along. She can't believe the miracle of a handsome, charming, and wealthy man being interested in someone like her...and she shouldn't have believed it. Malcolm basically hired her for the job of being a wife, rather than marry her because he loved her. The first time he meets her is more like a job interview, in his eyes, and Malcolm treats her like he does any servant in his house because like the servants, Olivia has duties he expects her to complete: keep the house in order and give him children. He never gives her tenderness. The only times they share a bed together are when he rapes her for hope of impregnating her, and when the doctor says it'd be dangerous for Olivia to have any more children, Malcolm takes it out on her as if it was her choice to be unable to give birth anymore.
It's not hard to imagine a woman treated so terribly would turn coldhearted. But what she went through does NOT excuse her cruel actions...it just serves to make us understand how she became that way.
The book starts with what came to be the usual V.C. Andrews cliche talk about rose-colored hopes and dollhouse dreams. I guess Olivia had to be depicted as a hopeful girl just like any other, because that makes Malcolm's deception all the more unforgiveable, but showing Olivia to be this way at the beginning made me skeptical. The grandmother's severity in the first book was such that I assumed Olivia would have to have had some cruel tendencies earlier on in her life, but that wasn't so. Making this character, so full of dreams and wishes for love at the beginning, turn malicious by the end...I had to wonder if the author would be able to carry out that transformation believably.
There was one moment in the book where Olivia does something cruel, but it seemed inconsistent with her behavior before. Olivia was motivated by jealousy but there was nothing beforehand to insinuate that Olivia was capable of such cruelty, especially after just admitting that the person she was jealous of also happened to inspire happy feelings in Olivia at the same time. And besides that one random moment, there's no other instance of cruelty in Olivia. In fact, even right to the last page of the book, Olivia says she feels love in her heart for Corinne and even Corinne's grandchildren! This doesn't mesh well with the idea perpetuated that Olivia only loved her sons, and disliked Corinne. In the first book, Corinne even implies to the children that Olivia never was capable of loving Corinne, but in this book, Olivia is very doting on Corinne. None of it adds up, despite the author using religious fervor as the only motivator for Olivia's cruelty (John Amos having brainwashed Olivia into believing it's her religious duty to punish the grandchildren for having been born out of incest).
Garden of Shadows also has the disadvantage of being a story we already know at its foundation...mostly. For example, when Malcolm's new stepmother arrives with his father at the house, we already know what's going to happen because he talks about it in the diary from the third book. Readers might get bored at times like that. But~ there's a whole new twist added to the family history that we never knew about, and it makes the whole Foxworth saga all the more disturbing. Let's just say Christopher and Cathy had more in common with their parents than we even imagined. (Although I see from the first review on this book's page that someone delighted in spoiling that surprise so by the time anyone's gotten to THIS review, she or he may already have that ruined for them. Sigh, regardless...)
I'm not sure at this point whether V.C. Andrews herself wrote most of this, or none of this, and it doesn't really matter. Even the third book in the series already seemed exactly like those of the ghostwriter's in style, and I know V.C. Andrews would've written the whole of that book, so. Characterization isn't good and cliches abound so I was pretty bored with this one.
There's one aspect to the book that I do find interesting. Beneath the trashy surface, there's a lot to be observed in the human character. Malcolm was abandoned by his mother when he was a child, which is what lead to him having such a distorted view on women in the future. It's an example of just how deeply our parents affect us, how someone who's not ready for that responsibility can really ruin a child. His own mother left him, so Malcolm had no reason to assume other women wouldn't hurt him in the future. He develops an Oedipus complex, and uses women for sex as a form of revenge and as a way to make sure they're under his control so he can't be hurt again. Ironically, the type of women he proclaims to hate are the ones he actually cares about, but they all end up hurting him, too, as if in divine punishment for his treatment of other women. Even though he is the one who seeks to control women, in actuality the women have power over him, because he's so consumed with his love/hate for the female gender that it's taken over his entire being. It also shows a conflict over what is "right" and how religion can be distorted into something the opposite of what it stands for. Olivia and John Amos wanted to play God themselves, handing out redemption for what they saw as wrong, but it's up to God to do that as He sees fit. So while they thought they were being pious, they were true sinners.
That's what keeps me going back to the V.C. Andrews books. They don't shy away from those aspects to human character that we all try to cover up. There's thousands of books about terrible killings and monsters, but barely few that showcase the kind of secrets that V.C. Andrews books do, even though the latter are more prevalent than we can probably guess. Show all the murders you can come up with and we can handle that no problem, but we'll collectively balk at certain topics like those that come up in V.C.A. books. That shows what's more disturbing to the public at large...(less)
You know an author has amazing ability when you ABHOR the main character, yet come out of it completely in love with the book.
I HATED CATHY IN THIS BO...moreYou know an author has amazing ability when you ABHOR the main character, yet come out of it completely in love with the book.
I HATED CATHY IN THIS BOOK. I felt no remorse for her. She made such STUPID decisions. Seducing a MUCH older man--the man who's supposed to be her father figure, by the way, who ADOPTED her--to forget about Chris...Cathy, surely there's someone better you could have used! Marrying Julian just because she assumes something about Paul that wasn't true, which she could have found out if she just talked to Paul instead of turning to the arms of an abusive man. Then she decides to enact revenge upon her mother, but all she ends up doing is having sex with her mom's boyfriend, Bart. Cathy has hatred for her mother because her mom always used her looks to get what she wanted, used her sexuality, but GUESS WHAT, CATHY? You're a whore, just like your mom. I think Andrews intended this, though. It's just more ironic that the girl hates all that her mother is, but ends up becoming a younger version of her in every way.
She's so stupid. Every time she's with a new man, she ends up realizing before the end of the relationship that she "truly loved him all along"; the man she used to forget about her incestuous acts, the man who abused her, the man she used to exact revenge on her mother...yes, Cathy, you truly loved them all. And then in the end she has another realization! The one she loved all along was Chris, despite everything else she said. *facepalm*
Despite my hatred for Cathy, though, as I said before I love this book. Again, Andrews wrapped me up in the world so that I was emotionally invested in the characters. Poor, poor Carrie, yet another result of a stupid decision by Cathy. If Cathy and Paul hadn't been so wrapped up in each other, they might have been interested in finding out what made Carrie so withdrawn. If Cathy hadn't left Carrie alone with Julian, he wouldn't have sexually abused her (though she thought she was willing, as most girls do, and as in most cases, she ended up being traumatized by it).(less)
My Sweet Audrina is a jewel of a book. It felt magical to me reading it. In this one, readers are treated to a deep mystery...Andrews really knocked t...moreMy Sweet Audrina is a jewel of a book. It felt magical to me reading it. In this one, readers are treated to a deep mystery...Andrews really knocked this one out of the park, because there's no way I could've seen what was coming. And when everything was explained, the first time I read it I actually got confused because it was kind of complex. Once again I am struck by Andrews's ability to create a believeable family with problems; many families have dark secrets but it seems there are no books written about them, or at least none of Andrews's vein, because I have heard of no others. She can show us terror, terror that people go through every day with no monsters needed, just traumatic experiences.
Audrina is the only female protagonist in an Andrews book that I've ever liked. EVER. In fact, I relate to her.
I feel like this book came before the Casteel series so I'm going to say it's the first Andrews book to feature the evil sister cliche. I did feel like Vera didn't get enough attention as a child, though, so I didn't hate her as much as I hated the things she did. There's one character I ended up hating that I didn't expect to hate: Arden. At first he seems so great but then we see that he didn't help Audrina...simply running off to get a grown-up would've helped! And then afterwards, we see that just because Audrina's not ready to have sex, he uses Vera instead. Even when Audrina's in a coma, he's screwing with Vera, knowing her for the evil thing she is, disgracing Audrina! And he won't listen to Audrina when she tries to explain that her father is manipulative.
Love this one! This book is disturbing and will haunt you, just as the description of the house itself is haunting (and inescapable...) Too bad it's only one of three of the Andrews books that managed to really capture me. Still reading them all, though!(less)
This book was much better than the third one, yet it still read like the ghostwriter's style to me. It would be that way foreverafter.
I found it prett...moreThis book was much better than the third one, yet it still read like the ghostwriter's style to me. It would be that way foreverafter.
I found it pretty predictable on the whole. And the vengeful old man character having been in the background of every book is just plain annoying. The uncle seemed exactly like the old servant from the third book, who was just like Malcolm. A circle of cookie cutter men.
I was pleasantly surprised with Cathy's character in this book. Rather than the stupid decision-maker from second book and the bad mother figure in the third book, Cathy transformed into a wise woman. Applause! I especially like her description of what love is in the book. Cathy, you grew up...shame it took you this long!
Some parts to it also seemed forced. Let's make Jory happy by having his caretaker fall in love with him! No, really! Eh, I just couldn't get a real feel from that. Bart's sorrow at the end did feel real. I really did feel like he finally realized how much Chris meant to him, but when he started preaching it felt forced.
You know who really ticked me off in this book? The daughter. I can't remember her name, oops, but she made all the same dumb mistakes Cathy made at her age. Yet another thing of the sins of the mother falling upon the children...the most frustrating thing about it was that she proclaimed her innocence and everyone believed her, only to find out she was truly a liar and a slut.
The ending hit me like a ton of bricks. I was shocked to the core; this was the only shock I experienced in the book and since everything else was so predictable I did NOT see that coming. What a wonderful ending it was, though. (less)
Let me do something different with this review by talking about metaphors here. There are 112 metaphors in Ice and 124 in Rose. Those might not seem l...moreLet me do something different with this review by talking about metaphors here. There are 112 metaphors in Ice and 124 in Rose. Those might not seem like large numbers, you might think, because readers don't normally take note of how many metaphors there are in stories. But it's impossible not to become aware of them in V.C. Andrews books. The worst examples aren't from the two novellas I mentioned above, but I collected the worst from the other two.
Honey has the smallest metaphor count, at 67 metaphors total, but this awful metaphor makes up for that:
"Her lips softened and spread like two strips of butter in a frying pan."
Cinnamon, the first of these novellas, ends up with about 114 metaphors, and also the most laughable. Take, for example, this one mixed metaphor that's actually painful to read:
"...her eyes glittering like little knives, her wry lips squirming back and into the corners of her cheeks like worms in pain."
Mixed metaphors are the absolute worst. The following one takes the cake:
"You'll end up looking like my sister Lucille who popped children out like a rabbit and ended up looking like a baby elephant."
Yes, who could forget great-aunt Lucille, the rabbit/baby elephant hybrid?
There's one character who gets the honor of receiving the most metaphorical descriptions in this novella...Cinnamon's Grandmother Beverly. Reading them all put together really brings out the ridiculousness of the metaphors:
1. "Grandmother nagged and nipped at her like a yapping poodle..."
2. "...her snipping words coming at her from every direction like a pack of hyenas..."
3. "She was a spider weaving its web..."
4. "She always fixed herself on her purpose or destination as if she were a guided missile."
5. "Grandmother Beverly could spread droplets of poison frustration on everyone around her like a lawn sprinkler."
6. "She paused finally and turned to me, hoisiting those small shoulders like a cobra prepearing for a deadly strike."
7. "...I spat and left her glaring out at me like some owl in the darkness waiting for easier prey."
So from those seven sentences, we've gathered that Grandmother Beverly is a yapping poodle, a pack of hyenas, a spider, a guided missile, a lawn sprinkler, a cobra, AND an owl. What an interesting woman!
I really think Neiderman, the V.C. Andrews ghostwriter, has a ready list of awful metaphors next to him for when he's writing.
The awfulness of the metaphors aside, this omnibus of novellas is one of the best books released under the ghostwriter (V.C. Andrews's original-done books blow the posthumous ones out of the water), which is probably saying something not-so-good. It still retains some of the formulaic V.C. Andrews characteristics...beautiful protagonists, all of them gifted, who have to go through some family tragedy. And there's the usual love interest for each of them. This book's a bit different, though, in that the conflicts are resolved with everyone being happy...other V.C. Andrews books wouldn't end without something awful happening which can't be overcome or undone.
Of all the novellas inside, my favorite is Ice's story. She's more different than the usual V.C. Andrews protagonists because she's very introverted (no matter whether other protagonists, including the one in Honey, maintain that they're shy...they aren't), and her love interest is a chubby guy, unlike the other generic love interests that the other protag's have.
The story I dislike most is probably Cinnamon's. The way she seduces that boy is so unrealistic. I know guys would love an excuse to get it on with a girl, but even if she's acting like a total kook by saying all of a sudden that they're both reincarnations of people who've lived in the past, and insisting they pretend they ARE those same people while they're having sex? What? That's really out there and random; I know she liked the idea of the house having ghosts, but her character didn't seem so obsessed with the spiritual world to do something like that...and I think most guys in that situation would step back with their hands up saying, "haha, okaaay crazy girl...I'm out of here."(less)
What do other people's opinions matter compared to your own? We're all different, thus, I feel fine with saying this book was beautiful.
This book is i...moreWhat do other people's opinions matter compared to your own? We're all different, thus, I feel fine with saying this book was beautiful.
This book is infamous for its incest. In fact, the reason I picked it up was because I heard, and I quote, that it was "about a brother and sister who get locked in the attic and start having sex". Yet, if you actually peruse the book, you'll find there's several moments of sexual tension but only one actual sex scene. People are overdramatic.
Some people are just disgusted after reading the book. They can't get over the incestuous taboo because it's so ingrained in them. For an open mind like mine, however, it was easy to overcome that and really get myself thinking. What Cathy and Chris had together wasn't disgusting, it was tragic. If an adolescent girl or boy are locked up in an attic together, growing up with no outlet for their sexuality unlike other kids their age, something is going to happen. But it wasn't just lust that drove Cathy and Chris to do what they did. They spent years actually BEING the mother and father to their younger siblings, Cory and Carrie. In their roles, they came to actually love each other, because they weren't living as a brother and sister...they were living as husband and wife. I could feel that. Thus, Flowers in the Attic got me past the social stigma with the way it was written, just as Lolita's beauteous prose had me feeling far from disgust for the pedophilic relationship described.
Also, can I speak about Chris for a moment? I love Christopher. He's the only character from a book I've ever fallen for. Imaginative, yet intelligent and pratical...caring, fatherly, husbandly...After reading the Andrews books, I told myself I would name one of my sons Christopher when that time came.
You know you're reading something amazing when an author can get you to think differently, to change your mind over something so great. V.C. Andrews did that in this book. She also managed to get me emotionally invested. I felt horror at what the children had to go through, the tarring, the whipping, what happened to poor, poor Cory...
I wish the incestuous aspect to this book hadn't leaked out so people wouldn't read it just for shock value or make criticisms on it without even reading it (I have a friend who insists it's a disgusting book, yet she's never even read it to make that judgment rightfully!) But then, if it hadn't, the books still wouldn't be around today.
I've read the whole Dollanganger series, three of the Casteel series, and several other V.C. Andrews books. Only Flowers in the Attic, Petals on the Wind, and My Sweet Audrina have captured me. The stories are so different from anything I've ever read that it's refreshing. I thank Andrews for this, too.(less)
I'm so confused. I started reading this book and found the writing style to be different. Even though it was written by Andrews, I felt like I was rea...moreI'm so confused. I started reading this book and found the writing style to be different. Even though it was written by Andrews, I felt like I was reading something by her ghostwriter. I hated this one.
This is the only V.C. Andrews book written from a boy's point of view. As in Petals on the Wind, I was not fond of Cathy. She seems completely ignorant of Bart's life...she doesn't try hard enough to reach out to him. Also mad because she impregnated herself with two different men's children without trying to be more protective. A good mother should always think ahead, and if Cathy had thought ahead she'd see that it'd create a lot of drama when the boys found out they had two different fathers, etc.
Still, though, the book made me feel strongly. I was angered and nervous the whole time as Bart was being set up for all the horrible things that occurred. Andrews's books are always horrifying and tragic, but this one goes a step farther by shoving a pitchfork through a poor puppy's belly. I can't stand animal cruelty and this made me sick. Also, I was a little grossed out by this book, especially when Bart reaches for a handful of the dog's poop and smushes it in his hands because it makes him feel close to his dog. Ew.
In this book, people might feel compelled to have sympathy for Corrinne. She has a change of heart and tries to be a motherly figure finally, but a little too late. I do feel sorry for her, but that doesn't excuse how weak and awful she was in the first book. Nothing can excuse trying to kill your own children, NOTHING. This always made me frustrated with Chris because he always forgave her, but guys are always predisposed to be that way with their mothers.
Anyway, I won't be reading this book again.
There is one thing that will always haunt me from it, though. At the beginning of the book, Cathy puts beds in the attic...what do you need beds for, Cathy? And when she realizes she was doing it "just in case", it sends a shiver down the reader's spine. It makes you wonder if Cathy will be like her mother in yet another way...(less)
A short summary is basically needless for this book. One who's read its predecessor Shooting Stars--the compilation of the four girls' separate storie...moreA short summary is basically needless for this book. One who's read its predecessor Shooting Stars--the compilation of the four girls' separate stories--knows that each protagonist ended up with a place of enrollment in the Senetsky academy for a study of performance art. It's obvious this next novel is about their time of residence in the academy.
It's also just about as obvious that the book contains some of the infamous V.C. Andrews plot points: outrageous family scandal, dark secrets, tension, and breasts (Neiderman's personal favorite). A newer reader might not have such expectations, especially considering the last book was very tame (this is a big reason why I enjoyed that book more than the ghostwriter's other literary progeny...each girl's life seemed more believeable than his usual "let's just throw together some wacky shit"). Well, okay, Rose's and Cinnamon's are more unusual than what could occur in a normal girl's life, but believe me, they're much better than the usual rides he takes us on.
Unfortunately, this book falls way, way behind the one that came before it...in all points.
1.) The author decided to pick one girl and stick with her viewpoint throughout the entire novel. After reading each girl's separate point of view just before, it's an uncomfortable change...it doesn't seem to work somehow. We go from being inside each girl's head, first person, to having to read about the other three only from Honey's point of view. It's frustrating, especially if the reader feels more connected to one of the other girls, rather than the protagonist chosen to relate the story.
That being said, I don't think it would be possible for the author to assign a different girl's viewpoint to each different chapter. If it were a novel in which the characters do separate things at separate times, in different places, that method would work, but here the girls are all in the same place at the same time. They're not separated except when they have separate lessons or when they go to sleep. There isn't enough difference in their day-to-day life to make the separate viewpoint work. I acknowledge that. Yet, it still feels like sabotaging the original stories to just fall back on one girl here. We spent time in each girl's mind before, getting to know her, only to now be able to see them there, but only through the veil of Honey's interactions with them, not able to get closer. Which leads to...
2.) ...character personality deterioration (ooh, that's a nice term, should I capitalize to make it "a thing"? ;D). We can have a sense of our former protagonists' selves; they're all basically the same girl since they all seemingly have the same train of thought. One girl will say something and then another will finish the sentence, and I get the impression that Neiderman was just keeping track of how many times each person got to say something so that he could be like, "Hmm, well, Rose has five sentences so far and the other girls have eight; I should let her say this instead of letting Honey say it."
And since they otherwise seem to be the same girl, Neiderman decided he'd just give each girl one defining characteristic and exaggerate it to give some semblance of difference to each. Cinnamon becomes the Fearless Leader, the one who acts as spokesperson for all the girls and doesn't afraid of anything. Ice becomes the Sassy Black Girl, which I have a problem with not just because of the racial stereotype but also because...she's not the Ice we were introduced to. The author still makes a point of saying how silent she is, and that her words are all the more intimidating just because she's silent, but Ice didn't originally ever make sarcastic jabs at anyone. Even if she was angry--which she seemed incapable of being, almost--she kept her thoughts to herself. So what is this now?
Even our voice of the story--who, being such, should have more opportunity for a fleshed out personality--is given the same treatment. Honey's mostly bland in personality save for being the Innocent One; although we don't read anything about her that makes her seem more naive in thought, every character who comes across Honey mentions how ~she's so different from everyone else, so innocent~ so hey, if they say it, it must be true.
And Rose...Rose is the Pretty One Who Says "Ya'll" All The Time.
3.) continuity error. Some others might say this is minor, but Balwin Noble was my favorite boyfran out of all the protagonists' boy-toys in the previous novel. Before Ice gets accepted to the Senetsky Academy, she and Balwin have a falling out, but it gets mended. I assumed they'd still be together here, yet when asked if she has a boyfriend, Ice says no and doesn't even mention Balwin at any point. He had such an important role in helping her get where she was that I find that a peeve point.
4.) the cheesiness of the sex scene. "And when he touched me, I felt like we were ascending to a cloud, high above all creation in our love; I could feel our minds becoming one, coloring our very worlds with rainbow joy~" etc. etc. and the like (not a direct quote, but seriously, the real thing is JUST LIKE THIS). HAHA, gurl no, he's just a random who'll be out of your life in a few months since you guys have nothing to talk about and don't even see each other but once every 15 weeks. He's a college guy, come on, he's not thinking that you two are having some spiritual transcendental journey; he's just excited to dip his wick. Let's be real nao.
5.) the unrealistic closeness of the girls. Neiderman describes them being "like sisters". They all get along right off the bat. Honey and Rose seem easy to get along with, but Cinnamon's extreme gothic look would, in real life, likely be off-putting to the majority of people, and I feel that girls like Honey and Rose would be more likely to at least be uncomfortable about her for a long while. Furthermore, Cinnamon always seemed to be pleased at the idea of turning people away purposely, so I'm surprised she was treating them as friends immediately. Same goes for Ice, except in her standoffish ways. She and Cinnamon NEVER had any girl friends, and Cinnamon at least was always outgoing...Ice barely spoke to people before!
Their "sisterhood" is just built up way too quickly to be believeable. Especially because right away, they all seemed willing to share the details of their lives that were most mortifying. They'd just be sitting around when Rose, for instance, would be like, "Yeah, my dad got another woman pregnant while he was married to my mom and then killed himself..."...that is not something anyone would tell people after knowing them for so short a time! Even people who have been extremely close to others for a long time would not come forward with something like that so easily!
I find it hard to buy the concept of their closeness when there isn't even any dynamic of their friendship really featured in the novel...more like the author's attempts to force them together and claim they're like foster sisters just so plot can unfold. I'm not getting it.
6.) bad ending. Not only is it rushed, but there's no real tying up of conflict. Someone who's been isolated in one room for years has also just been raped several times, and we don't get to see what's done for the poor girl! Everyone's just like, "welp, now that we've explained things, time to get back to the party! Rape victim? What rape victim?" and then cut to Honey talking about being on stage years in the future, which means we also don't find out what becomes of each girl (though I guess we're just to assume they all go on to be super successful and maintain their bond for the rest of their lives, w/e). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
trashy trash. Though I don't think it's as bad as Runaways (...maybe), the sequel to Orphans, another story about four girls. Like this one, it starts out with four separate novellas and then the sequel is in first person P.O.V. from one of the girls. And like this sequel, that one is absolutely terrible, so this sequel formula doesn't have a history of going well. I know Wildflowers, another series, starts out with four separate protagonist P.O.V.'s and although I haven't read the sequel, I'm pretttttyyy sure it'll be the same thing there, and maybe also in the Broken Wings series. Just fair warning.(less)