**spoiler alert** For me, the ending was both expected and unexpected. Expected in that I expected the series (or at least that arc) couldn't have end**spoiler alert** For me, the ending was both expected and unexpected. Expected in that I expected the series (or at least that arc) couldn't have ended any other way. I say unexpected as I felt the main conflict (Joel) was too quickly (and in some ways unsatisfactorily) resolved. He seemed to serve little purpose beyond being the next Grandmother/Malcolm/John Amos figure--and really, does every book need to have the same villain constantly repeated? Joel seemed planted there to fan the flames on Bart's insecurities and questionable sanity but beyond that we weren't really given any answers as to his true intentions--only hints given to us through Cathy's very prejudiced eyes. Also, the general ending of the book felt a little rushed to me, as though the author found she was writing herself into a corner and needed to make a hurried ditch exit. Or maybe that was her idea of a surprise ending?
So why 3.5 (which I rounded to 4 ) stars? I enjoyed Jory's section of the book (as Cathy notes, he is so much like Chris, whom I favor as a character, though I liked this incarnation of him least of all) and I felt he had an interesting journey to undertake. I wondered, while reading, if a lot of Jory's experiences or feelings were felt by the author after her own accident. I also have to applaud Cathy for forever trying to stand by her son Bart, despite his appalling and shocking behavior. Though Cindy, your claims that all your friends were "doing it" at 11, 12 and 13 once again makes me think of the Mayfair Witches (and harkens me back to Cathy's encounters with Paul) and in general just makes me sad and uncomfortable. Maybe it's because I'm older now but wow, no matter how "grown-up" one may feel at the lofty age of 11, you are still a child! ...more
This book is a trainwreck that one can't look away from. Having seen the recent TV movie that came out first I had expectations for certain events...This book is a trainwreck that one can't look away from. Having seen the recent TV movie that came out first I had expectations for certain events... and was warned by a friend that the book was vastly different.
She wasn't kidding.
So I spent my time reading wishing Cathy would and could make different choices than the ones she made. I felt sorry for Chris because he is such a good person and therefore I want him to get what he wants... Even though I really shouldn't. I was equally repulsed by the way in which all Julian, Bart and Paul (especially you Paul--between you and Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches novels I'm starting to wonder about the gentlemen of the South) went about wooing (or being wooed by) Cathy. Where I want to almost say I feel the books gave the gents a few more "redeemable" qualities, I still don't think any of them were very good people. (Well, Paul, you do still get points for taking them in off the streets and supporting them I guess...) But I still can't help feeling I just read a book on the extreme repercussions of child abuse. (Thanks Mo Hayder, your books have made me hypersensitive to any spot of pedophilia)
The book itself is an easy, quick read. VC Andrews writes very fluidly and while some "I-Novels" can bother me, this one (like the last) did not. I think of this like a modern gothic tale and I'll probably finish reading the series, if only to have something else to discuss with my friend who read these books when she was growing up....more
Vaguely disappointing when one considers that the brunt of these letters were already published in the House of Leaves. There are 11 new letters and aVaguely disappointing when one considers that the brunt of these letters were already published in the House of Leaves. There are 11 new letters and a foreward in which the author (through the Information Specialist) essentially praises the cleverness of his own writing. I've also come to the conclusion that Poe probably pulled the material for her House of Leaves songs from Pelafina's letters. ...more
**spoiler alert** This book hovered between a two star and three star based on the ending of this book. Was definitely a two-star for chapters 1 throu**spoiler alert** This book hovered between a two star and three star based on the ending of this book. Was definitely a two-star for chapters 1 through 11 but I enjoyed the last couple of chapters. I'm not entirely sure I like where the children are headed (ugh, not with Olaf and I'm not sure I like the idea of him being a lonely orphan himself), but the author has repeatedly warned me that this is a set of tales regaling extremely unfortunate events so I guess he did warn me. One more book to go (if I don't count the Letters book, which I've had my eye on and which, truth be told, is the entire reason I embarked on reading this series in the first place). ...more