Bestselling author V.C. Andrews portrays her most romantic couple since Troy and Heaven in the Casteel series… Dude, seriously? Well, that’s what it says on the American publisher’s page. Yes and no, I say.
Ain’t nobody got time for re-reads, so V. C. Andrews books will be my comfort reads, catching up on what I’ve missed. And because they’re comfort reads, they get special treatment rating-wise. Nostalgia, y’all. Don’t argue with that.
All the old tropes are here in this stand-alone: purple prose, special snowflake heroine, too good to be true hero, effed-up family, wealthy neighbourhood. It’s supposedly contemporary (there’s mention of Facebook, but Amber Taylor is too cool for everything and everyone), but the dialogue and communication just don’t fit. Example: Amber hatches a scheme to get back at the resident d-bag by spreading a rumour that he’s a dud root. And no, she doesn’t use that term, because VCA-speak differs from mine. But even as she’s claiming he’s a dud root, she still refers to their fake encounter as “lovemaking.” Texting is mentioned, but if VCA were to go really contemporary, there would be sexting and d-pics. (Ja’mie: Private School Girl, y’all.)
It’s hardly ground-breaking or cerebral, but it doesn’t try to be. It’s just for completist old fans that have trouble letting go, rather than hooking new readers. And that’s comfort enough for me.