FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC by Virginia Andrews | Review

Title: Flowers in the Attic

Author: Virginia Andrews

Book #: 1 in the “Dollanganger” series

Genres: Young Adult, Horror, Mystery

Publication: September 2011, by Harper

Pages: 423

Author’s Website

Rating: combinhe_images

The haunting young adult gothic romance classic that launched Virginia Andrews’ incredible best-selling career.

Up in the attic, four secrets are hidden. Four blonde, beautiful, innocent little secrets, struggling to stay alive…

Chris, Cathy, Cory and Carrie have perfect lives – until a tragic accident changes everything. Now they must wait, hidden from view in their grandparents’ attic, as their mother tries to figure out what to do next. But as days turn into weeks and weeks into months, the siblings endure unspeakable horrors and face the terrifying realisation that they might not be let out of the attic after all.

Virginia Andrews is a publishing phenomenon, with over 100 million books in print. Still as terrifying now as it was when it first appeared, Flowers in the Attic is a gripping story of a family’s greed, betrayal and heartbreak.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“There is no hate such as that born out of love betrayed- and my brain screamed out for revenge.”

Review

While reading this book I was constantly thinking: “This is different from what I expected”. When I finished it I thought: “This is turning into some kind of a soap opera”. That being said I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book!

By reading the synopsis of this book I was expecting to read a horrific story of children locked up in a small, dark attic, being constantly molested and/or abused, getting little or no food and just trying to escape. Well this was not exactly what this book was about. I mean, yeah, there were some of these things going on, but to a much smaller degree than what I had thought.

Maybe even because what I thought was going to happen never happened, I was constantly on edge reading this book. I kept thinking to myself “something terrible is going to happen now” or “something big will happen and change the whole thing”. But nothing really “big” happened. At least in my opinion. I have heard people saying that they were really shocked by the things that were happening in this book, so I guess it’s just a matter of perception. But I was in no way shocked. As a matter of fact I was kind of  laughing at the things that were happening, because after a point they started resembling more and more things that would happen in a soap opera!

So, as you’ve probably understood by now, I found the storyline a bit ridiculous, but also monotonous and slow-paced. There were a lot of things that were revealed in the end of the book. And by “the end” I literally mean “the end”. Like the last 20 pages or so. But also in the last 70 pages there were some major things happening and a kind of twist to the story.

Moving on to the characters, I found Cathy, the main character and narrator, quite ok. I had no problems with her and I found that she reacted in a normal way most of the times. I enjoyed her impulsiveness, but other than that it was a kind of “plain Jane” character. The one that bugged me a little was the oldest brother, Chris. He was the perfect optimist and those kind of characters often get on my nerves. Also he kept believing things would happen, even when all evidence clearly showed that they were never going to happen. Yes… he was pretty annoying!

So you might be wondering why I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars since there were so many things I found problematic. The answer is that I didn’t mind those things. I still found the book absolutely amusing and couldn’t put it down. I think its biggest asset was the writing style. Everything was described in such a great way that made me believe that everything was really happening and kept me on edge all the time.

My dilemma now is, whether I will continue reading this series or not. There is a total of 5 books in this series, but to be honest I think they will only get worse and worse. I threw a look on the synopses (synopsises?) and they definitely get more and more like a soap opera (soap-opera-y?). So what is your opinion? Should I continue with this series?

First Line

Truly, when I was very young, way back in the ‘fifties, I believed all of life would be like one long and perfect summer day.

Mini Review

Completely different from what I expected.
I found the story a bit laughable.
Some characters were overdone.
I still LOVED the book.
That’s how weird I am at times…

Recommend it for…

  • people who don’t feel like they would enjoy a real classic, but might want to try something semi-classic
  • a light read that will still keep you on edge
  • fans of soap operas

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HEIST SOCIETY by Ally Carter | Review

Title: Heist Society

Author: Ally Carter

Book #: 1 in the “Heist Society” series

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary

Publication: February 2010, by Hyperion Book CH

Pages: 287

Author’s Website and Twitter

Rating: jcombine_images

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s history–and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“I’m the guy who happened to be home the night Kat came to steal a Monet.”

Review

To begin with, I would like to say that I wasn’t too excited to read this book. The reason I picked it up is that I was searching in the library and nothing else seemed to click at that moment, so I thought I might as well take this one. I’ve heard quite a few good things about it after all, so it should be worth something.

After having read the book I am really not sure what I think about it (!) There were moments when I really liked reading it and was very absorbed in it and other moments when I was contemplating giving up on it. The first moments were certainly more, though, so I would say that in general I did like this book!

The story started off interesting, but I had a couple of problems with it along the way. Not that it became boring, but it kind of lost me at some points. We had to do with thieves and they were constantly talking about great thefts and using a specific “thief-slang” or code words, that had me feeling a little bit lost. I also felt sometimes, that I couldn’t keep up with the story. They would all figure something out, but it often took me more time to understand it. I mean, I don’t like always being faster than the main characters, but being left behind is also not very nice. I kept reading though, because the story was quite interesting and original, even though I was apparently missing some points.

I found the characters of the book very well created and described. I had a clear picture in my heads of who was who, and knew all of their characters and how they would possibly react in certain situations. I also loved the interaction between them all! Because they were all different from each other, they made up the perfect team. We have realistic, witty, sarcastic, funny and bitchy characters, and to have them all interacting together was really lots of fun!

As far as main characters (Kat and the love interest, Hale) I also think they were quite interesting, but nothing extremely special. Kat’s point of view was comfortable to read from, but I did liked Hale’s character more. He kind of had more spunk, while Kat was more quiet and forgettable. Something that I found weird about all characters was that the were around 15 years old, but I kept forgetting that. The way they were all described seemed to fit more for 20-somethings than for 15-year-olds. I don’t really think Kat’s thoughts or the actions of all of them were that of teenagers, so I basically think their age should have simply been switched to a few years older.

So, in general, I cannot say I was blown away by this book in any aspect. It was mostly fun and comfortable to read, but not something I will remember about in a couple of years.

First Line

No one knew for certain when the trouble started at the Colgan School.

Mini Review

Somewhat confusing at times – I felt sort of lost.
Characters were quite good, but still nothing that will blow you away!
All in all good, but forgettable.

Recommend it for…

  • Fans of mystery
  • People looking for something easy to read

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