I have been a huge fan of V.C. Andrews novels since I first discovered them when I was about 9 years old – so aboOriginally published on Always, Lissa
I have been a huge fan of V.C. Andrews novels since I first discovered them when I was about 9 years old – so about 26 years ago. In fact, the first website I ever created was actually a V.C. Andrews fan and roleplay site called Midnight Whispers (and no, we will not discuss how ugly the first incarnations were) and I kept it around for years – approximately 8 years, in fact. I have loved both the original VCA books and even some of the books written by the ghostwriter, Andrew Neiderman – and chances are that if you have enjoyed a V.C. Andrews, you have read and also liked one written by Neiderman as he has written every one of the books since V.C. Andrews’ death in 1986. While My Sweet Audrina is my most favorite of all of the books, my favorite Andrew Neiderman written book is still Ruby. Interestingly enough, the Landry series is actually a tiny Easter egg in Sage’s Eyes.
I won’t lie. I miss the old magic of the older Neiderman stories. Even if they were slightly formulaic, they were at least intriguing and sucked you into the story. The newer ones … maybe it’s because they were so much shorter (instead of 5 book series they’ve been cut down to two books or even standalone novels that seem rushed) but the characters aren’t nearly as fleshed out, the storylines seem to become more and more outrageous, often feeling like things are added for simple shock value and they’re following trends – I highly doubt that V.C. Andrews would have ever written a vampire series … And sadly, Sage’s Eyes is no different.
I wanted to like Sage but quite honestly, in the attempt of trying to make her otherworldly and wise beyond her years, Sage just comes across as a bitter know-it-all who clearly needs to grow a backbone and learn how to confront her clearly unstable parents. The book was very slow, in fact it dragged. I felt like the same lines were said over and over again. “Your parents care for you, they know best.” “Don’t give up on your parents, Sage.” “Have you had any visions?” “Don’t talk about your visions.” Rinse and repeat. I was pretty sure where the story was going (for the most part) when Sage finds some interesting bones hidden in the house. I’m disappointed that the bones weren’t discussed further, which leads me to assume that there is a sequel in the works even though I haven’t found any information on a possible sequel. There were a few things that were left unanswered, besides the bones and I don’t understand why they were left that way, things that were mentioned several times, such as young appearances.
SPOILER: My biggest issue with this particular novel is that if you’re going to write a story about the Wiccan religion, which is an actual religion, at least get facts straight or don’t use the term Wiccan. If you want to write a book about magick and spirituality, that’s fine. Make up a magical religion for your character, call her a witch but don’t call it Wiccan unless it’s actually based in some sort of fact. Otherwise it’s a slap in the face to any actual Wiccans that are reading the story. I’d be just as annoyed if I read a book where the character was supposed to be Catholic and was portrayed like sacrificing newborns or stoning non-virgins was an everyday occurrence.
Sage’s Eyes isn’t the worst book I’ve read. But it’s also not very good and to have V.C. Andrews name on it, to me, is a shame. It doesn’t contain any of the old VCA or Neiderman magic. It truly feels rushed, is repetitive and seems incomplete. If you’re looking for a quick read, it certainly fits. If you’re looking for a gripping, family saga, this is not it. Personally, it wasn’t my cup of tea at all. I hate to be so blunt, but I am honest....more
Yes. It’s true. I’m a sucker for Jackie Collins’ trashy Hollywood romance novels. I’ve been reading them since I wasOriginally posted at Always, Lissa
Yes. It’s true. I’m a sucker for Jackie Collins’ trashy Hollywood romance novels. I’ve been reading them since I was about 13, sneaking them from my mom’s bookcase and hiding them under my mattress. I quickly got sucked into the deliciously sexy and sinister worlds of Gino “the Ram” Santangelo and his intelligent and smolderingly beautiful daughter, Lucky. So when I heard that there was a prequel coming out about Lucky’s teenage years … man, I was all about it! Sadly, I was extremely disappointed in every possible way.
It’s not often that I give a book a 1 star rating. I can usually find something redeeming about a book that I have bothered to finish. The only other exception has been Sweet Valley Confidential (DO NOT get me started on that pile of poop!) But this will be the second book that I honestly just couldn’t find anything I liked about it. This is NOT the Lucky Santangelo that I fell in love with. The voice is all wrong. Yes, I’m aware that it’s supposed to be a teenage Lucky, but still. This selfish little brat is not the same character that would become the woman to run the Santangelo empire. Aside from that, the time frame is all wrong. While “Confessions of a Wild Child” does not actually specify when the book takes place, it reads like a bad 1980’s novel. But Lucky was born in 1950, which means that it should be taking place in 1965. I understand changing the feel to make teenagers relate more, I suppose. But it completely changed the tone of the original story, not to mention the original feel of Lucky.
But my biggest issue with this so-called book? If you have ever read Chances, then you already know the whole damn story. There are maybe two new details that we “learn” by reading this novel. #1 Lucky had a friend in boarding school who died (soon after she was no longer needed in the story) and #2 Olympia and Lucky actually see each other one more time after their excursion to the South of France (which actually interferes with what both Olympia and Lucky have stated in previous books).
What really bothers me most is that it feels like a giant slap in the face to all the loyal fans. It feels as though Jackie Collins couldn’t bother to actually come up with an original story so she tore apart the flashbacks from Chances, through them all in one book and extended the length by including Gino’s point of view and dragging out some of the details, adding maybe three new scenes and calling it finished. I hate to say this about any author, especially one that I have loved for a long time. But it actually comes across as a cheap and fast way to jack up the price on a crappy book and tease all us fans with the temptation of an actual new story of Lucky’s early years. So much more could have been done with it. Why not show us her early married life? Or some new details about discussions she and Olympia had. Or her childhood memories of Dario and Gino? Anything would have been welcome.
Want my advice? Skip the book, check out Chances and read that. Not only is it a better written novel, it includes every important part of Lucky’s childhood and teen years that you would learn from this sub-oar book. If you have to read it? Check it out of the library. It’s honestly not worth the money to purchase. Disappointing all around....more
Let me begin this review by saying that I am an 80′s child. I started reading The Babysitter’s Club, Fear Street and Sweet Valley High when I was about 7. I grew up on Sweet Valley books. From SVH to Sweet Valley Twins to Sweet Valley University (released when I was about 14). So yes, when I saw that Sweet Valley Confidential was coming out, I had to have it. Even though I had to read SVC, my expectations were not high and that was definitely a good thing.
There is absolutely no sub-plot. Everything that happens in the book has to do with the “Liz hates Jessica” storyline. Everything else is simply flashbacks to explain the horrible tragedy that is Jess pissing off her older (by 4 minutes) sister. Which is funny in and of itself because if you have been any sort of a fan of Sweet Valley books, then you know that:
A) Jess and Liz fight in pretty much every book B) Jess is always the one screwing up and feeling horrendously sorry afterwards C) Liz always claims that she will never forgive her selfish twin for hurting her yet again D) Liz and Jess always make up.
The only real difference for this book is that Liz is now in New York and has become this extremely bitter, emo Liz who hates everyone and everything and decides that revenge is the best idea ever in order to get over her pain. And you were the smart twin? Such a pity.
In the spirit of not spoiling anything for any future readers, I’m not actually going to rehash the plot (such as it is). Instead, I’m going to discuss a few things that truly bothered me about Sweet Valley Confidential. Ready? I promise that I’ll keep the spoilers to a minimum.
My Top 10 Things That I Truly Hated About Sweet Valley Confidential:
01) To start of this list, did you know that this is actually the FIRST Sweet Valley novel that Francine Pascal has ever written? Let’s let that sink in for just a moment. Sweet Valley High was created 28 years ago, with 8 spin-off series, a grand total of 606 books that spanned those series and not ONE of them was written by Francine Pascal until now. Can I have that job please? Seriously. I have tons of ideas! Anyway, in my opinion it is a benefit that FP never wrote one of the previous books, or the series never would have taken off the way it did. It is painfully obvious that FP also never read the previous books. I do think that Googling the characters that she included in the book, probably would have been a great idea. Example: Redhead A.J. Morgan was introduced in book #48 of SVH after his family moved to Sweet Valley. So it is not plausible that a dirty blonde A.J. Morgan felt up a 7th grade Jessica Wakefield.
02) Jessica Wakefield has never, in all 606 books, ever said “like” or “so” as many times as she did in this one lone book. I don’t know how Francine Pascal view Californians, but saying like or so after every word is not a California thing. It is a Valley Girl stereotype that is used in movies for humor, sure. I will even concede that there are some so-called Valley Girls that do say like. But definitely not as often as suggested by this book. Jessica was always one of my favorite characters. Yes, she was selfish, shallow and inconsiderate. But she was also a ton of fun, adventurous and fiercely loyal to her family. She was never the miserable doormat that has was portrayed as in SVC.
03) Elizabeth Wakefield has been prone to several emo fits throughout the run of the series. But for the so-called level-headed, intelligent and studious twin to resort to a cheap revenge scheme to try and shame her twin? That is not the Elizabeth that I grew up with. Not even in the slightest. This Elizabeth actually had me cringing anytime I had to read her side. Not from the pain she was caused, but from the loathing that I had for what she had become. Also, the twins are now 27. I always expected big things from Liz. You know. More of the stuff she was doing in SVU. Discovering atheltics scandals and secret hate societies on campus. Writing for a throw-away newspaper about Off Broadway shows, was not exactly what I had pictured. Talk about a let down.
04) Bruce Patman is Elizabeth’s best friend. Yes, you read that correctly. Bruce Patman. The rich, arrogant snob that everyone loved to hate. He is Elizabeth’s best friend. The one she turns to whenever her life throws her a curve ball. They are close in fact, that it is described as how he had received several 3am phone calls from her when she first moved to New York. The same Bruce Patman that took advantage of a whacked out of her mind Elizabeth, soon after her coma-induced personality change, and attempted to rape her. But you know, they’re best friends. I understand that people change and that often people forgive a lot of character flaws. But that seems like a HUGE character flaw to just forget about.
05) Todd Wilkins is one of the main protagonists. I should have known that he would be, but I was really hoping he wouldn’t be. And of course, Liz has to rehash her love for Todd throughout the majority of the book. The same Todd Wilkins who dumped her in SVU after she wouldn’t sleep with him, and then who turned around and slept with the first jock jumper he saw. God, Liz. You sure know how to pick them.
06) Flashback. I enjoy an occasional flashback as much as the next person. But each chapter had at least 2 flashbacks up until Chapter 15. No, I’m not kidding.
07) What is with FP’s idea of a relationship? It’s like none of these people have ever left high school. They sleep with someone once and all of a sudden they are in a relationship. It’s 2011. Guess what. People have sex all the time. Sex is simply that. Sex. Confusing sex by calling it a relationship is just not okay. That would explain why the majority of Sweet Valley is miserable. Which brings us to:
08) Why is everyone is Sweet Valley so effing miserable? I don’t think that there was one happy character and certainly not a happy couple. With the possible exception of Alice and Ned. (Although there is an absolutely hilarious moment when Alice gets pissed at all the screaming going on and drops an f-bomb. That was classic.) Everyone is sleeping with everyone else and no one is happy at all. At least in SVH there were still friendships. Oh wait, I forgot. Liz is friends with her attempted rapist. All is right in the world.
09) Did you know that the Wakefield’s joined the country club back when the twins were 12? Yeah, I didn’t either. Especially since throughout most of the SVH series Jessica is always bitching at the fact that Lila and Bruce are members of the club but her family was not.
10) Everyone is a blonde it appears. A.J. Morgan now has dirty blonde hair and Lila Fowler now has blonde streaks. Not everyone in California is a blonde, Francine Pascal.
It’s obvious that I was disappointed in Sweet Valley Confidential. Was I expecting a Pulitzer prize winning novel? No. But I was expecting a book that would be like reuniting with a group of old friends. This is more like reuniting with a group of people you hated and hoped to never see again. And I’m sorry. I have to mention it yet again. I am far from being a grammar nazi (although yes, I try my best to make sure my writing is proper) but this book had me wishing I could swallow a huge bottle of aspirin from all the grammatical mistakes and the over usage of “like” and “so”....more
I won't lie. I was suckered in by the eye-catching cover and by the plot. I've loved the song Scarborough Fair since I was a kid. Especially the SimonI won't lie. I was suckered in by the eye-catching cover and by the plot. I've loved the song Scarborough Fair since I was a kid. Especially the Simon & Garfunkel version. It's a haunting melody, quite catchy and one of those eerie tunes you can never get out of your head. But enough about the song.
The thought of a book written about a possible curse on such a beautiful song was intriguing and I bought it straight away. I'm sorry that I did.
It was poorly-written, jumped around constantly and just ... dull. This book was reminiscent of the Twilight series and too me, that's an instant turn off. Terrible metaphors, incorrect grammar and characters that I just couldn't care about in the slightest, made it difficult to keep reading. I continued to do so anyway in hopes that it would actually pan out to be of some worth in the end.
And my dismay at this book has nothing to do with the rape scene. The rape scene really isn't that bad. It's not graphic in any sort of way. Even the Elf-rape didn't bother me. I've read many books with disturbing imagery and was still able to enjoy them. There just, sadly, wasn't anything about this book that I was able to like, aside from the cover and the idea for the plot....more
Very random. Jumped around a lot. The characters were flat and apparently all shared the same personality, mannerisms and even words. I liked the psycVery random. Jumped around a lot. The characters were flat and apparently all shared the same personality, mannerisms and even words. I liked the psychic aspect of the book but that was all. One of those books that makes me glad that I only spent a quarter on it....more
First off, I have to say that I was annoyed to discover that it was actually a Christian Vampire book. While I have no problems at all with ChristianFirst off, I have to say that I was annoyed to discover that it was actually a Christian Vampire book. While I have no problems at all with Christian Fiction, it's not my cup of tea. The copy of the book I had, made no mention of religion at all. It was not marked Inspirational or Christian instead it was marked Fiction and Suspense and was located in the Horror section of the bookstore. I am not familiar with Christian authors so I had no idea that it was by one. Again, I have no problems with that, but had I known that I would not have purchased the books, simply because it's not what I normally read.
Onto the actual review. Characters were poorly developed or were never developed at all. The plot was fair but jumped around a lot. Narration was horrible. Took me several moments to figure out who was narrating sometimes. It wasn't a horrible book to read, however it was very slow....more