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Jul 1, 2014

Petals On The Wind by V.C. Andrews (and the next two in the series)

Pocket Books May 2014 reissue
Petals On the Wind was sent to me free for a review, thank you. While I hesitate to call this a review as it stands, I wanted to give you that disclosure. If you are sensing deja-vu, I did a quick spotlight post here.

On the heels of the successful Lifetime TV version of Flowers in the Attic comes the TV movie tie-in edition of Petals On the Wind, the second book in the captivating Dollanganger saga.
Forbidden love comes into full bloom. For three years they were kept hidden in the eaves of Foxworth Hall, their existence all but denied by a mother who schemed to inherit a fortune. For three years their fate was in the hands of their righteous, merciless grandmother. They had to stay strong…but in their hopeless world, Cathy and her brother Christopher discovered blossoming desires that tumbled into a powerful obsession. Now, with their frail sister, Carrie, they have broken free and scraped enough together for three bus tickets and a chance at a new life. The horrors of the attic are behind them…but they will carry its legacy of dark secrets forever.

Yeah I know you are like "I caught you!" since here I am reading V.C. Andrews - again - twenty something years later. Am I twisted, or what?

Yes, I DID read this new edition of Petals On The Wind, the second installment of the super freaky and creepy Dollanganger series. And YES I did love the guilty pleasure SO MUCH that I sprinted for the first time in about five years to get through the library doors a minute before they closed so that I could borrow the next two books in the series.

Lifetime Movie Network had shown a Flowers In The Attic made for TV movie, and that was a hit so they also aired Petals On The Wind in late May. I watched them both on live TV, no DVR'ing for this girl. This is great stuff. My husband attempted to watch Petals with me and he was like "He's her brother!!!" and thus I was ashamed ;) and he promptly left the room.

Yes, it's crazy material that no one can really describe.. but for some reason I still loved the whole sick thing decades later. Spine tingling tension, characters that creep you out but you're totally sorry for their predicament. One thing I was concerned with was after watching the TV movie, would that make the book crappy or redundant for me a few weeks later? Nope. The movie was a tad different, and the book, you guessed it: WAS BETTER!

Cathy Cathy Cathy Cathy... Damn her vindictive little mind. Carrie Carrie Carrie.. take some vitamins! Chris Chris Chris.. Keep your raging hormones to yourself! UGH! And then Cathy meets Dr. Paul Sheffield and things should be peachy keen, but nope Dr. Paul adds a whole new layer of something creepy/ominous. And then boom! Cathy decides to be a sex kitten/ballerina. I would never be able to explain the plot without giving away spoilers and sounding like a bit of a nut job myself so suffice it to say the Dollangangers make excellent summer reading. Even the second time around. Even if I wanted to knock some sense into Cathy.

So there I went and careened into the library to pick up this hot chunk of a book:
"Out of the ashes of evil Chris and Cathy made such a loving home for their splendid children..."
This snazzy edition published in 2010 has both book three and book four. Book three being If There Be Thorns (first published 1981) and book four being Seeds of Yesterday.

I would have preferred reading the original editions with the cool cut-out covers, but this is all my library had, and it was water damaged at that. I can imagine many a teen-aged girl poring over these 816 pages for quite some time, so this book has gotten a thorough workout. I will say that there were several typos in this edition, which is totally uncool. Had they really fired all the editors at Simon Schuster?

In book three, we are introduced to the next generation as we watch the sins of the parents affect the young ones. As secrets start to come out, the family is facing many a psychological and crucially disgusting fact about Cathy and Chris. This is how the kids deal with revelations and scandal while they create a bit of their own. I read this book in about five days, and it did actually drag a bit in the Seeds of Yesterday. But then it picked up the pace and I couldn't put it down.

So as you can see, life is a like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. One day I'll be reading the bible, and then crazy stuff like V.C. Andrews. Or of course, my standard historical piece.
If you need a bit of a pick-yourself-up-away-from-the-hell-that-is-your-life, well, check out this series. It all began with Flowers In The Attic....

Dollanganger #5 is Garden of Shadows. I will keep my eyes open for that one as it is really a prequel. I hate prequels. But I'll still keep me eyes open for it just in case I need that pick-me-up. Not everything requires a tense literary thought provoking masterpiece, sometimes you just gotta let your hair down and read some entertaining stuff. So this is like the second or third time I've read Young Adult in five years, and I can't say it's that bad.