I never read a book twice. It has only one chance. And my brain’s not good at retaining information – even with my favourite books, I struggle to remember the characters’ names.
These are the books I read in January that I didn’t review because I was too hot, or just couldn’t be stuffed. Let’s see if they’re memorable.
BEYOND OUR STARS by Marie Langager: Timeline’s rather jumpy at the start, rather than chronological, so takes a little while to figure out what’s happening. Interesting idea to tell a story from the aliens’ point of view. Hope’s a little too perfect. Kind of wonder if this novel is an allegory about asylum seekers. 3 stars.
CELESTE by V. C. Andrews: Perpetuates the stereotype that spiritualists are bonkers. Are there really ghosts, or shared delusions? Probably the former. Sarah Atwell is hella manipulative. Moral of the story: Parents play favourites, and chances are you’re not it. Still don’t get why Celeste has to assume Noble’s identity – is Sarah that screwed up that she can’t function without a male figure in her household? Is it rape between Elliott and Celeste, or forced seduction? The first time’s rape; not so sure about the other times. Why does Celeste just acquiesce to Sarah? Why doesn’t she tell anyone? 3 stars.
BROKEN FLOWER by V. C. Andrews: Precocious puberty is real, according to Wikipedia. For Jordan, it starts when she’s almost seven. The treatment is extremely vague in the book, though – must be a pill or something. Ian is hella creepy. 3 stars.
CLOUDBURST by V. C. Andrews: Family Storms really didn’t need a sequel, but here it is. Sasha is perfect, but she falls in love with a guy who’s more screwed up than she is. Kiera’s the most screwed up, though – she’s actually rather fascinating, especially near the end, and quite the plot catalyst. 3 stars.
ROXY’S STORY by V. C. Andrews: Good news: Less offensive than the other books in this series. Roxy actually has somewhat of a spunky personality, unlike the doormats who usually narrate VCA books. Anyway, it seems as though being an escort doesn’t mean being a prostitute – not for Roxy, anyway, but she could be a Special Snowflake (VCA heroines usually are). 3 stars.
BLACK CAT by V. C. Andrews: Better than “meh”. Sarah may have found love, but turns out she’s just manipulative. Things get much more interesting when Betsy hits town. Sarah thinks that if promiscuous Betsy becomes pregnant, she’ll stop being promiscuous. Think again! And you’ll never guess what she names her son… Meanwhile, “Baby Celeste” (Celeste’s daughter) is a spoiled Special Snowflake who’s perfect in every way…until she does something so terrible that even Celeste has to admit her daughter is hella creepy. Wonder how many bodies have been buried on their property over the decades… 4 stars.
SUBMIT TO DESIRE by Tiffany Reisz: Tiffany Reisz has an extraordinary talent: I actually like her characters’ love interests. Well, Soren and Kingsley, anyway. Here’s King’s time to shine. 4 stars.
FIGMENT by Jeri Smith-Ready: Charmed me immediately. Fig is so awesome! 4 stars.
THINNER THAN WATER by Saundra Mitchell: Impossible wishes are requested to prevent incest-rape. Only the requests aren’t impossible, because of magic. 3 stars.
SCATTERED LEAVES by V. C. Andrews: Strictness is usually the norm in VCA-world, but this time the seven-year-old has to guardian the elderly, which is an interesting subversion. Did Frances become how she is due to precocious puberty, or something else? Also, teenagers try to get a seven-year-old laid, which is all kinds of wrong. 4 stars.
SELL OUT by Jackson Pearce: Don’t let the title fool you. Interesting set-up, but I don’t understand why Emmett suddenly changed how he felt about Elise. 3 stars.
SECRETS IN THE SHADOWS by V. C. Andrews: Alice has shit taste in men. Her first boyfriend smokes weed whilst driving. Her second boyfriend lies majorly to Alice, and his reason is lame: he thought she wouldn’t like him if she couldn’t relate to him, so he made up stuff. And she forgives him! Totally not cool. 3 stars.