Tag Archives: Echoes of Dollanganger

[REVIEW] Echoes of Dollanganger – V. C. Andrews

V. C. Andrews [also published as Virginia Andrews]
Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger (The Diaries, Book 2)
Simon & Schuster (US, UK, CA, & AU: 27th January 2015)
Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Hardcover) Buy (US Paperback) Buy (UK Kindle Edition) Buy (UK Hardcover) Buy (UK Paperback) Buy (CA Kindle Edition) Buy (CA Hardcover) Buy (CA Paperback) Buy (Worldwide Hardcover) Buy (Worldwide Paperback)

TRIGGER WARNING: The book contains incest and rape. This review does not.

Flowers in the Attic didn’t reveal all the secrets of Foxworth. Unless Virginia Andrews included this last secret in her personal papers before she died, we can claim Echoes of Dollanganger‘s tagline as false.

First, some background: With the FITA telemovie rights sold was the announcement of what some would call a shameless cash-grab of a book deal: two novels about Christopher Dollanganger’s diary, to be found by a contemporary teen. These books were supposedly written to invoke feelings of nostalgia in readers, of when they first read FITA. On a scale of the ghost-writer keeping it 100 or weak tea (thank you, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore), that “nostalgia” reason sounds a lot like weak tea.

But okay, EOD has one Foxworth secret never before revealed. Only it is kind of out. Bittersweet Dreams, an original novel, was pushed back a year or so to enable the author/publisher to capitalise on the renewed FITA popularity. At first, just for the two Christopher’s Diary instalments. But then a third book sprung up, to be released this May. Considering its title, and that its summary does NOT name the lead character, it only took me one try to identify whom the book will be about.

EOD’s epilogue confirms my theory. We had to wade through TWO ENTIRE BOOKS to get to the secret. Yes, I had a feeling these books would waste time; and they have. ONE book would’ve been much better. But two books…kind of insulting.

Let’s face it: there’s nothing of interest going on the contemporary storyline with Kristin Masterwood. She finds the diary, she reads it, she has feelings. That does not make a story.

I suppose you could call Kristin’s boyfriend, Kane Hill, plot-worthy. But he sucks. He becomes jealous of the diary, that Kristin would rather spend more time reading it than with Kane. Yes, he’s jealous of an inanimate object – CREEP FACTOR #1. And he manipulates Kristin into feeling guilty, so he worms his way into combining the activities (Kane and the diary) by suggesting that he and Kristin read aloud from, and re-enact, scenes from Christopher’s diary – CREEP FACTOR #2.

Then he steals strands of Kristin’s hair, and takes it to a wigmaker to show the exact shade of blond to make a wig for Kane to better role-play Christopher Dollanganger (with Kristin as Cathy, of course) – CREEP FACTOR #3.

Look, I’m not sure how much creepiness is acceptable in a relationship, but I’m pretty sure that third creep factor on its own would be enough to quit any relationship. Only Kristin doesn’t dump him, and they continue role-playing Cathy and Chris until the diary ends.

Meanwhile, Kristin’s going around thinking that because of their diary role-play, her relationship with Kane is “deeper” than other people’s relationships. I would’ve said “creepier”, but whatevs. (Oh, and if you’re looking for a reason why Kane is so into this role-play? There isn’t one – not even the VCA staple of “madness”. He’s just creepy. So there’s no epic showdown or anything – it’s just boring.)

The ghost-writer deals with the reveal of the final Foxworth secret rather well. What does it say about a book (two books, actually), when the best-written part is the epilogue? Epilogues are usually the worst (maybe “least enjoyable”), so this is actually a welcome reprieve.

Do I intend to continue with V. C. Andrews’s releases? I have Fear of Missing Out, so yes. But hopefully they’ll be less boring and time-wasting than these two Christopher’s Diary entries have been.

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27th January 2015 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

V. C. Andrews also published as Virginia Andrews]
Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger (Diaries, Book 2)
Simon & Schuster Pocket (US, UK, CA, & AU: 27th January 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

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 long 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. Seventeen-year-old Kristin Masterwood is thrilled when her father’s construction company is hired to inspect the Foxworth property for a prospective buyer. The once grand Southern mansion still sparks legends and half-truths about the four innocent Dollanganger children, even all these decades later. Foxworth holds a special fascination for Kristin, who was too young when her mother died to learn much about her distant blood tie to the notorious family. Accompanying her dad to the “forbidden territory,” they find a leather-bound book, its yellowed pages filled with the neat script of Christopher Dollanganger himself. Her father grows increasingly uneasy about her reading it, but as she devours the teen’s story page by page, his shattering account of temptation, heartache, courage, and betrayal overtakes Kristin’s every thought. And soon her obsession with the doomed boy crosses a dangerous line…

Marissa Meyer
Cress (Lunar Chronicles, Book 3)
Macmillan Square Fish (US: 27th January 2015)
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Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker; unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

Marissa Meyer
Fairest (Lunar Chronicles, Book 3.5)
Macmillan Feiwel & Friends (US: 27th January 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Queen Levana is a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told…until now.

Megan Shepherd
A Cold Legacy (Madman’s Daughter, Book 3)
HarperCollins (US, CA, & AU: 27th January 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

After killing the men who tried to steal her father’s research, Juliet – along with Montgomery, Lucy, Balthazar, and a deathly ill Edward – has escaped to a remote estate on the Scottish moors. Owned by the enigmatic Elizabeth von Stein, the mansion is full of mysteries and unexplained oddities: dead bodies in the basement, secret passages, and fortune-tellers who seem to know Juliet’s secrets. Though it appears to be a safe haven, Juliet fears new dangers may be present within the manor’s own walls. Then she uncovers the truth about the manor’s long history of scientific experimentation – and her own intended role in it – forcing her to determine where the line falls between right and wrong, life and death, magic and science, and promises and secrets. And she must decide if she’ll follow her father’s dark footsteps or her mother’s tragic ones, or whether she’ll make her own.

January 2015 Releases

Done with December 2014 Releases? Here are January 2015 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist. NOTE: If reading this in a feed-reader, please go to my WordPress (click this blog post’s title) in order for the formatting to show up correctly.

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