Some Secrets Are Best Stay Hidden (Secret Brother – A Book Review)

Secret Brother

Author: V. C. Andrews

Published: 2015

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Amazon | V. C. Andrews

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

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?

 

So…

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.

Scarlet Reader

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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.

Scarlet Reader

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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?

Scarlet Reader

Giphy

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.

 

Overall

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.

 

Quotables:

“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…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Secrets by OneRepublic.

 

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Sundown Rundown – August, 2018

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Hello, my awesome booknerds!

It is the end of August and this is the Sundown Rundown. The sun is setting a little earlier each day with Fall’s arrival. Leaves are already changing. And I’m sure you’ve hear the brake release of those big yellow buses as a sign that school has begun again.

This is also the time for everything pumpkin!

Pumpkin

So, here’s where I tell about what I’ve read and you have a chance to catch up on any reviews you might’ve missed this month. I’m a little sad that I didn’t get to everything I wanted to read this month, though there were some pretty good ones. Life hit me with a little bit of extra stress. I’m hoping to get back in gear in September.

 

House of Dark Shadows

House of Dark Shadows

Author: Robert Liparulo

The Kings move into a new house and there’s a very strong chance they aren’t getting out. Doors leading to different points in time. Creepy footprints. The house has a mind of its own. How logn will the King’s last?

 

Watcher in the Woods - Scholastic

Watcher in the Woods

Author: Robert Liparulo

Mom’s missing. An assassin tries to steal the Dreamhouse Kings’ house. The townspeople try evict them and they must hurry if they hope to solve this house and save mom.

 

Norse Mythology

Norse Mythology

Author: Neil Gaiman

The crazy and witty style with wisdom and enlightening storytelling of mythos that lead up to the end of the world. Ragnarok. From grand schemes to incredible origins, even the Norse Gods have life stories to tell.

 

Willow

Willow

Author: V. C. Andrews

Willow pretends to be a grad student as she searches for her mother and is suddenly thrown into the middle of the lifestyles of the rich and famous. And secrets, which is currency for these people. Soon enough, she is getting sucked into the glitz and glam. Can she stay on course to get close to her mother, or will she become forever enamored by wealth and gossip.

Bazaar of Bad Dreams

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

Author: Stephen King

A collection of the strange, dark, and creepy. All the beautiful and morbid things the King is. From a story about a people-eating car to a bad kid that’s responsible for the death of people to the apocalypse to a kindle that’s somehow connected to the Dark Tower. Peruse carefully.

 

CD Secrets of Foxworth

Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth

Author: V. C. Andrews

Decades after Flowers in the Attic, the diary of Christopher Dollanganger is discovered and becomes the obsession of a teenage girl. Soon, she finds herself relating to the eldest Dollanganger child more than she likes.

 

CD Echoes of Dollanganger

Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger

Author: V. C. Andrews

After divulging the diary to her boyfriend, Kristin’s dark obsession becomes their obsession. The further they read the more disturbing they becomes, breaching the same lines as the Dollanganger children did.

 

Thebes

Thebes of the Hundred GatesThebes of the Hundred Gates

Author: Robert Silverberg

Time travel back to Ancient Egypt. Edward must find two missing teammates that got lost and must do so before the allure of the grand city of Thebes—a place he’s studied and always dreamt of seeing—traps him forever.

 

Favorite Book this Month: I’d read and heard many people say that Norse Mythology wasn’t their favorite novel by Gaiman. It wasn’t his typical style, like with American Gods and The Ocean at the end of the Lane, but it was still beautiful and fantastical. The stories were all independent but led up to an explosive end where everything came to together. I really enjoyed this book.

 

Least Favorite Book This Month: This one is a double doozy. I could not get down with Christopher’s Diary. I was majorly creeped out and disturbed. More so, there were aspects of the storyline that just wasn’t believable for me.

 

Until next month!!

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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The Past Echoes in the Attic (Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger – A Book Review)

Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger
Author: V. C. Andrews
Published: 2015

On Goodreads

CD Echoes of Dollanganger

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

 

The discovery of Christopher Dollanganger’s diary in the ashes of Foxworth Hall, where and his siblings were kept prisoner decades ago, now captivates one young girl’s imagination—and sparks a dangerously forbidden passion.

Kristin Masterwood is hiding a great secret. She possesses the diary of Christopher Dollanganger, the only thing to contain the truth about what really happened while the Dollanganger children were up in the attic of Foxworth Hall. Now dating Kane, she feels like she can trust him with anything. After showing him the diary, he insists on reading it along with her and experiencing the tragedy of the Dollanganger children.

As they get closer to the end of the diary they’re sucked into the past, extremely fascinated. So much so that they go to great lengths to recreate it. Even become Christopher and Cathy Dollanganger.

 

Okay. OKAY. This was mother-effing disturbing. While Flowers in the Attic created an incest relationship, this book recreated it with a scary obsessiveness.  I was fucking creeped out to the nth power.

Kane was brought in as a main character in this book, which makes sense since he’s Kristin’s main squeeze. That boy is not right in the head. He became more obsessed about Chris’s diary than Kristin did and it was terrifying. He went as far as to have them act out scenes while hiding up in her attic! There were wigs involved. He’s psychologically INSANE. I got so scared for Kristin, wondering why the hell she was with him.

Get out

 

I was feeling so sketchy about how distant the two of them came. They were becoming their own messed up Flowers. Both became so distant from their families and friends and it was unnerving. Unnerving, and sadly, unbelievable. While trying to deny anything was different about them, they were keeping up poor disguises. Even their excuses were totally lame. I just couldn’t get behind this one aspect. It’s obvious that if you are trying to keep a secret, you do whatever it takes to keep up appearances, and these two sucked at it.

The writing was rather plain as well. It made for speedy reading, and not because I was super into it. It was repetitive and not all that engaging when transitioning. The lack of chapters made this seem never-ending though I wished it would end. I was just slightly disappointed by how dragging it was in a lot of places. Even the scenery is lacking. Keeping to only a couple of places can be really engaging, but here it wasn’t. In fact, it was like watching a terrible remake of a movie. Very sad.

 

Overall

This won on a creepy level, but kind of failed on the entertainment level. I was pretty glad when I was done reading this. Kane is the type of guy I can’t stand. He literally scares the hell out of me with how possessive he is over the diary and Kristin. It’s part of the reason I didn’t like this. That and the style. Just no thank you. However, the fact that this book is utterly mental is cool.

 

Quotables:

“Nothing makes anything more desirable than declaring it forbidden.” (Kristin, p. 7)

“All parents must fool themselves for a while into believing their children would remain young and innocent longer. Perhaps out of fear of what really lay in wait for their children, parents surely cling to the belief that the children’s world was somehow safer.” (Kristin, p. 169)

“Every place and every thing has a history. You judge it by what it is, not by who owned it. That’s just good business.” (Kristin’s dad, p. 182)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Absence of Fear by Jewel.

 

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The Past Never Stays Buried (Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth – A Book Review)

Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth
Author: V.C. Andrews
Published: 2014
On Goodreads

CD Secrets of Foxworth

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

 

Christopher Dollanganger was fourteen when he and his younger siblings—Cathy and the twins, Cory and Carrie—were locked away in the attic of Foxworth Hall, prisoners of their mother’s greedy inheritance scheme.

For three years he kept hope alive for the sake of the others. But the shocking truth about how their ordeal affected him was always kept hidden—until now.

Years after Foxworth fell Kristin Masterwood’s father gets a contract to take the remnants of the great mansion down so that a new house can be built on the property, one not permeated by the wretched stories and memories left behind by the Foxworth and Dollanganger name. While going through the rubble, Kristin and her father happen across a metal box. Inside, a diary written by Christopher Dollanganger—one of the children locked up in the attic so long ago. Though told that she shouldn’t read it by her father, Kristin can’t help it. If anyone truly knew what really happened all that time ago it would be the eldest of the Dollanganger children. The more she reads the more she recedes into a life of seclusion, becoming obsessed with the children in the attic.

 

Eerie and disturbing books are interesting. They evoke discomfort in the sense that you know you should probably put the book down after your eyes have nearly fallen out of their sockets because they’re so wide, but you’re too far into it to do that. That is V.C. Andrews. Granted, Christopher’s Diary was done after her death, the discomfort of Flowers in the Attic follows through to these books.

Most of the book was told from the coziness of Kristin’s bedroom and the pages of Christopher’s diary. Both POVs were strikingly similar. (Too similar which is what drew me away from this a little bit.) With Kristin having lost her mom years ago and Christopher his father. Both seek to please the parents that still live. It was freaky.

So many memories came flying back from the first book, which was both nostalgic but also fresh. This was a tale as old as time brought to the present. Christopher’s reappearance was phenomenal. I could hear his voice so clearly, but I couldn’t get into Kristin. The way she ditched her friends for this obsession wasn’t believable. In fact, it was pushed too far in my opinion.

Shrug II

Christopher’s POV has never been divulged until now. I’ve always wondered how he reflected on the time in the attic. I found him to be the most put together during the traumatic event of staying in that attic. The connection between him and Kristin was intense; a deep crevice she fell down that grew darker and darker.

 

Overall

This was a quick read since it was just a reliving of Flowers in the Attic. Nothing more really stuck out for me. It was intriguing to see it through Christopher’s eyes. He’s a very smart character. I just couldn’t get into the rest of the story. It was nothing more than a growing obsession, but I found the paranoia of the the main character to be annoying. This wasn’t all that for me, sadly.

 

Quotables:

“Problem with the world today is everything in people’s lives is temporary.” (Kristin, p. 14)

“Was I deliberately looking for these resemblances between us, or were they simply there and too obvious to deny?” (Kristin. P. 103)

“All teenagers wanted to rush our lives, become old enough to do more and be more independent.” (Kristin, p. 284)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Time After Time by Jessica Mauboy

 

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It Runs in the Family (Willow – A Book Review)

Willow (De Beers #1)
Author: V. C. Andrews
Published: 2002

On Goodreads

Willow

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

All that glitters isn’t gold…

After the death of her father, Willow goes in search of her biological mother after reading his journal, finding her in the ritz and extravagant Palm Beach. Being rich is the name and throwing luxurious parties is everyone’s game. She assumes a name and pretends that she is conducting a study for her college graduate thesis in order to grow closer to her mother.

Willow discovers not only that her mother is in Palm Beach, but that she also has a son. Willow has a brother. Now, she’ll work to get to know her mother and uncover all of the secrets surrounding her fall from the glamorous lies of this beach town. It’s slippery down the rabbit hole and Willow must be careful not to lose herself in the life of the rich and famous.

 

This story started out pretty slow, but gave a really good overture of Willow’s upbringing with her adoptive family. Her mother, who she called A.M., is treacherous and took pleasure in destroying Willow. She wasn’t the only one either. People just thrived on the destruction of others in this book. It was unbelievable. I was disgusted!

Willow, while I love her backbone and inability to let people manipulate her, also started to make me wonder after a while. We all converse with our conscience. It helps us make decisions and confer with our feelings. Willow took it to an EXTREME! It got a little weird because of the way she didn’t seem to be conversing with herself, but other voices in her head. Like, I believe she needs some psychological help, which is funny since her biological mom spent time in the psych ward.

Crying of Lot 49

The other characters were a range of wild, too. Thatcher Eaton came swooping in as a kind of prince charming. Kind of, because he’s rather full of himself. His parents were no better. They were MUCH worse. And Linden, Willow’s newly discovered brother, is especially odd. He comes across as a loner and rather morbid with his artwork and possessive. I was ODing on the crazy with all of them and I’m pretty sure Willow was, too.

The lustrous setting of Palm Beach was filled with crashing waves, speedboats, sunsets, glitz and glam…and secrets. This really got me thinking about Revenge—great for building upon secrets until you begin to tailspin. It was crazy!

The difference between the rich glam-train and the poor on the shore in this book was how they were perceived and the stories told about them. The folks who live the life of never-ending luxury carry themselves with extreme narcissism, as if they’re saviors and should be thanked for constantly, yet go on about those with less as if they’re a disease. It’s despicable. I got pretty worked up about it.

I will say: this the writing really threw me off. It’s typically what pulls me in ultimately. Now, this wasn’t written by the true V.C. Andrews, but it did come from her notes. This just didn’t have that ominous tone that she originally had. The tone actually came off bland for me.

 

Overall

I wish psychological—I wouldn’t’ call this a thriller—books were my thing, but this one was slow and dragging. I was really intrigued by the idea of delving into the dark chasm of the rich and how this side of it was explored. However, I just couldn’t get into it as much as I wanted to. A good one time read for me.

 

Quotables:

“Bad news travels with the wind. It’s as if everyone who hears it feels an obligation to pass it along, or maybe a need to get rid of it before it affects them and their lives as well.” (p. 57)

“Most people I meet here are empty, mindless. I call them Hollows.” (Linden to Willow, p. 245)

“Secrets have a way of twisting themselves around your heart like a python and choking the joy out of you.” (Thatcher to Willow, p. 325)

“Daddy taught me never to run and hide but to face my problems head on and never be intimidated by them. Good Advice, don’t you think?” (Willow to Aunt Agnes, p. 434)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Shadow of the Day by Linkin Park.

 

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Sundown Rundown – May 2018

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Hello, bookworms! It’s dusk. The fireflies are peeking out. The sky is on fire. And here we are.

I hope you all are doing well. It’s the end of May and this is the Sundown Rundown.

This month has been a busy work month. With summer finally rearing its gorgeous head, I’m getting loaded with the work others don’t want. Blah. The way of the world. The show I’ve been binging this month, well actually, I’ve binged two shows this month. STAR and West Wing. I’m excited that STAR has been renewed and jus to incur the wrath of many who watch the show, I’m glad Star got her shot at stardom. The woman has some serious talent.

STAR

Now with West Wing, I don’t like politics. They make me super cranky. There’s always an argument about who’s right when all just want a semblance of peace and safety. When I started this show-it’s on Netflix right now-I was bored out of my skull. I didn’t expect to enjoy this show, but now I’m season three. While being a serious show, humor lines it through and through. I don’t know why I haven’t taken the time to watch it before now. It touches on real issues, shows depth about them and also lightens it to show that nobody is perfect, even the crew running the country.

WW

Aside from my binges, life has mostly just been filled with writing and working. I know! I’m not super exciting! I can’t help it. BUT! I have been punched by a number of inanimate objects this month-gotten my finger smashed, hit my head, ran into things. A little sky-high compared to my usual klutz activity.

Anywho…

Relax. Catch up on some reviews. Maybe discover you want to read one of these. Or, you just love seeing me ramble on and on in excitable tones about my obsession with books. In any case, this is me wrapping up this month’s reading.

ITBT

If There Be Thorns

Author: V. C. Andrews

The Dollangangers now under the last name of Sheffield with two sons and an adopted daughter thought they’d left their dark past behind. It just followed them. The 3rd book in The Dollanganger series, delve even deeper into this twisted family from the POV of their sons. Both are having their own childhood issues that can revel The Dolls. Up for history possibly repeating itself, but on a worse scale? Even more secrets are discovered and created in this installment.

SOY

Seeds of Yesterday

Author: V.C. Andrews

Bart Sheffield, son of Chris and Cathy Dollanganger, invites his family to helpm him celebrate his twenty-fifth birthday. Of course it doesn’t go as planned. A whole new set of troubles from The Dolls, with more secrets and tragedy…and an ending that will forever change the family? Up for gut twisting and the feeling of outrage? Read this series.

Ink and Bone

Ink and Bone

Author: Rachel Caine

Smart and clever. I was hooked from page one and couldn’t put this down. Librarians are more than just the people who find your books. They are the ones who help guide to knowledge. That’s the case here and MORE. In training for The Great Library of Alexandria, Jess Brightwell gets more than he bargained for. There’s danger, secrets. and twisty twists! Caine has outdone herself again. *queue my geeky fangirl*

Paper and Fire

Paper and Fire

Author: Rachel Caine

More dangerous before, there’s a friend in need of rescuing and this band of scholars will do whatever it takes, even take on The Great Library of Alexandria and its automata that will hunt down anyone who goes against the institution. *GASP* Sounds like a rebellion! I love rebellions, do you? If so, READ THIS. So much detail that you’ll feel like you ‘re in the book.

Ash and Quill - Goodreads

Ash and Quill

Author: Rachel Caine

This one is on fire! Green, greek fire, actually. But seriously, more dangerous before if that possible! I’m totally addicted. Jess and his friends are in the burner capital of the world, yet another place that wants them dead. They must bargain with their secrets and information in hopes of surviving. The secrets they’re guarding can’t stay hidden forever anyway, and these people may just help start the revolution that’s been hanging in the air.

Smoke and Iron

Smoke and IronSmoke and Iron

Author: Rachel Caine

I know this isn’t out yet-and I will be reposting the review closer to release-but holy crap! What do I say that won’t give away the epicness of this installation to the The Great Library series. Certainly unforgettable for me. Smart people doing dangerous things! Playing with fire, playing with criminals and all for the greater good of books!

Forever

Forever…

Author: Judy Blume

That first love and all of the first that come with it. Truly a true romance. The kind that leaves you unsure and realizing that not everything is what you thought it would be.

Me Before You

Me Before You

Author: Jojo Moyes

A romantic story that will certainly break your heart and mend it and break it again. The relationship between Lou and Will is subtle and humorous and will make you fill a lake with tears.

GOS

Garden of Shadows

Author: V. C. Andrews

Unimaginably dark. Couldn’t forget it if I wanted to. Yet, I couldn’t put it down. This will take you back to the very beginning before Flowers in the Attic was born. This is the story of Olivia Winfield and Malcom Foxworth. Where the secrets started and love wilted to nothing but death.

All in all, I accomplished some series this month. I just finished Lemony Snicket’s All The Wrong Questions series and can’t wait to get the reviews up. They were so much fun.

Favorite book this month:Smoke and Iron

I realize that my choice book is an ARC, which means you haven’t yet read it nor can you until July, but so what? It was so good! Heart pounding and heartbreaking. My emotions were all over the place and I was just amazed from start to finished. This book—this series—was a double whammy. Both action packed and incredibly smart. I’ve never seen the two so spectacularly balanced.

Least favorite book this month:Me Before You

Maybe this makes me appear heartless. This was such a hit and so many people loved this book. I was just one of the few who didn’t. It wasn’t terrible, but enough of it didn’t capture my attention. I’m selfish, I need more than just moments every couple of chapters. The love between the main characters was so subtle, but it was too slow for me.

So that’s May! Done! Finite! But here comes June and I’m quite excited for that. I have one of my closest friends coming up for our yearly get-together and I am in desperate need for it.

My summer reads so far have only The Great Library series and Forever… but there are more on the way.

More to comes soon…

-K.

 

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Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.

Mother of Dolls (Garden of Shadows – A Book Review)

Garden of Shadows (The Dollangangers #5)
Author: V. C. Andrews
Published: 1986

On Goodreads

GOS

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Olivia dreamed of a sun-filled love, a happy life. Then she entered Foxworth Hall…

Before The Dollangangers came to the doorstep of Foxworth Hall, Olivia Winfield, a spinsterish woman, hoped to find love one day. She seeks a love filled with passion and dreams. When all seems lost, she meets Malcolm Foxworth and believes she has finally found joy. He is smart, intense, and handsome, but the moment they marry and she comes to Foxworth Hall, it all changes.

Malcolm is disturbed by the ghost of his mother. Jealousy and obsession spread through the house and Olivia’s hopes dwindle until there is nothing left but the love for her two boys and very beautiful girl, but even that is threatened by Malcolm’s dark wishes for them. In this prequel to Flowers in the Attic, the dark, haunting secrets began.

 

Reviews to The Dolls here:

Flowers in the Attic

Petals on the Wind

If There Be Thorns

Seeds of Yesterday

 

This book really changed up my feelings about the Foxworths and the Dolls. This book changed everything about its predecessors. I. WAS. SHOOK. I know that while reading the last two books of this series, I felt like it had begun to decline, but this one definitely amped it all back up. I couldn’t put this down. I know people say that a lot, but seriously, this book had me hooked on every dark twist and disturbing reveal.

Olivia Winfield, the evil grandmother of Foxworth Hall that is partly responsible for imprisoning the four Dolls in the attic for years is our main character. This is her story and let me tell you, I was stunned. Discovering how she came to marry Malcolm Foxworth and became a mother was nothing like I imagined. I assumed she was naturally cold and cruel, but she wasn’t. Olivia wasn’t actually the devil at all in the beginning. Like most women, she wanted love and to raise a wonderful family. Inch by painful inch, Malcolm stripped that away from her. From cheating to assault, Olivia’s hopes withered. Everything you ever wanted to know about the Foxworths is here.

This view of Foxworth Hall was terrifying. This beautiful house is not just a house. It’s historical. Everything I ever had questions about was answered within its walls. How did Olivia become afraid of the attic? How did Corrine come into the world and why did Olivia feel such disdain for her? When did John Amos arrive at Foxworth Hall? One of the most important and vital bits that rocked me to the core was that The Dolls were not the first to be locked up in the attic.

shocked

There were a few characters that made an appearance that have only been mentioned before. Malcolm’s father, Garland and his beautiful wife Alicia came to Foxworth Hall. Both of them were nothing as I imagined. So in love, but quickly contaminated by Malcom. The kids: Malcolm, Joel, and Corrine. Their dreams were painfully taken away. Each of these characters’ stories were eye-opening and I mean that in the sense that it was eye-opening with fear. From everything that’s told in the previous books about them it’s all different. Olivia sheds so much light and shadow on everything about this family and how it became so dark, most importantly she gives the truth. And it was DARK. I don’t think I can emphasize that enough.

horrified

 

This was such a great novel and it really brought the Dolls’ story full circle. The questions that idled in my mind about The Dolls and Foxworths were answered. I still wish I knew a little bit more about certain parts because I did feel unfulfilled here and there. Overall, this really completes the series and is a must-read.

 

Quotables:

“Life is very much like a garden, Olivia. And people are like tiny seeds, nurtured by love and friendships and caring. And if enough time and care are spent, they bloom into gorgeous flowers. And sometimes, even an old neglected plant left in a yard gone to seed will unexpectedly burst into blossom. These are the most precious, the most cherished blossoms of all. You will be that sort of flower, Olivia. It may take time, but your flowering will come.” (Mr. Winfield to Olivia, p. 6)

“When you search the shadows to find that truth, often you find things more horrible, more painful than you would have imagined.” (Mr. Winfield to Olivia, p. 52)

“You can’t command nature, Malcolm. Nature is neither your servant, nor mine.” (Olivia to Malcolm, p. 85)

“Life makes you strong. If you don’t let it make you strong, it will kill you…” (Olivia to Alicia, p. 166)

“There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.” (John Amos, p. 347)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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