Tag Archives: bad books

Garden of Shadows; or, A Different but still kind-of-the-same perception of evil [Dollanganger, Book 5]

When last we left the Dollanganger family, we would have been looking at Seeds of Yesterday, which was so scintillating I completely forgot to write about it! If you absolutely MUST know, there is a Wikipedia page to fulfill your desires! This book, however, is a “prequel,” if you will. It is written from the point of view of Olivia Foxworth, nee’ Winfield – aka, the evil grandmother. Honestly, it very nearly makes one pity her – even taking into account the inconsistencies between this volume and the others in the series. According to sources, the ghostwriter finished this one from Andrews’ notes, which may account for some errors.

We begin with a prologue, where Olivia states that she is forced to tell her own story, when she would have much rather kept it to her grave. She dares her readers to judge her after you discover what she’s been through. I know someone who might be up to that task . . .

What Olivia has been through is a doozy – or de rigeur for Andrews books, depending upon your perspective.

Olivia’s mother dies when she is young, leaving her father to bring her up. He treats her like a son, teaching her about his business accounts and training her as an accountant. She is far from truly feminine and in fact, is pretty gangly and awkward-seeming. She dreams about finding twoo luv some day, and imagines life as the pretty people in her fancy dollhouse. She is not having much luck finding a husband, despite her father’s best attempts.

Until the day Malcolm Foxworth comes to dinner, and seems quite taken with her. Especially her head for business and the fact that she is mature and not flighty. After a walk, a dinner out, going to church together, and some horseback riding, he proposes. Malcolm cites the fact that they have much in common and would make a great partnership.

Olivia is over the moon, as she has fallen for his dashing good looks. It is only later that she realizes – he never once mentioned the word “love.”

The wedding is put together very quickly. Olivia waits with bated breath for her first kiss at the altar, but it’s merely perfunctory. The wedding is attended by her father, her aunt, and her cousin, John Amos (the creepy butler from the other books). And indeed, he is creepy here, too; he has barely met Olivia, as he is from the “poor” side of the family, but he begins insinuating himself right away.

There is no honeymoon; indeed, the bride and groom board the train to Virginia that afternoon. Olivia begins to see already how megalomaniacal he can be – and stingy (he won’t let her order too much food on the train, to save money).

They pull into a deserted depot late at night. The butler/driver meets them and drives them to Foxworth Hall, which Malcolm tells her is her responsibility. She is given a quick tour of the rooms they pass; one of these has a white door. Malcolm says it was his mother’s room, and no one is allowed in.

Olivia is given her own bedroom. She hopes it is just for appearances and puts on her sexiest lingerie (with a V-neck! *gasp*) to await Malcolm’s return. But he never does, and she remains an “unlit candle.” By the way, the dollhouse never comes with her to Foxworth Hall, so it’s unclear how Corinne eventually gets hold of it in Flowers to give to the children.

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Breaking Dawn, or, suspend even MORE of your disbelief!

It’s been a while, readers, I know. I avoided this book for a long time, but then I realized what an utter DISSERVICE I’ve been doing you by not telling you how this drivel ends!

Are ya strapped in? Because this shit is, as the kids say, wack.

The first part is told in Bella’s point of view, as before. She is a whiny git, like always. She’s getting married to Edward, and she doesn’t want the fuss and she doesn’t want a fancy armored car (even though, as you recall, she’s accident-prone. Edward isn’t taking any chances of her untimely death). Her parents don’t seem to throw too much of a fight at her wedding extremely young, even though Bella’s dad said that her mom would probably be pissed. Jacob shows up last-minute at the reception and dances with her in the backyard, and then he gets upset, because he knows what’s coming. And then Jacob takes off into the woods before he can throat-punch Edward . . . with his werewolf mouth.

Anyway, once they’re married, Bella was intent on Edward turning her into a vampire right away, even though he was hesitant. But then, they have sex, and she is an addict. Here’s my first flag – he’s dead, right? He is a vampire, therefore has no blood. How does he get an erection? NOT POSSIBLE. She wakes up the next morning with bruises all over her body. I think you’d have internal bleeding, too. Or at least frostbite!

Edward is concerned that he has hurt her and refuses to do her again, but she eventually wears him down. And then she’s suddenly ravenous all the time, and then exhausted enough to sleep for twelve hours at a clip . . . oh, and keeps having all these weird dreams with a demon child and dead bodies everywhere. Then she starts puking.

It’s only been five days, but she’s pregnant. Second red flag . . . he’s DEAD, right? How does he still have semen? The “workaround” from Meyer is that no one knows for sure because usually male vampires are with female vampires and since their bodies are frozen in time, they wouldn’t be able to accommodate a fetus, therefore, it’s an anomaly. Whatever. That seems TOO easy.

They pack and leave their idyllic isle hideaway to return to Forks. Edward and Carlisle want her to get rid of it, but Bella is having none of it. Even though she never really wanted kids in the first place, she ain’t abortin’ this demon baby. She calls Rosalie and begs for help.

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If There Be Thorns – full of pricks

In the third installment of this . . . this . . . thing, the story is told by Cathy’s two sons, Jory and Bart, in alternating chapters. The boys have believed that Chris is their stepfather, Paul’s younger brother.

The family lives in California, going back East to visit Corinne in the institution. They live next door to an abandoned mansion that the boys sneak into and play in. Eventually, a woman moves in with an old, ugly butler and servants. The woman wears only black and has a veil covering her face. She invites Bart over and spoils him, giving him expensive gifts. She tells him that she’s his grandmother, although he doesn’t believe it at first. The woman, of course, is Corinne, and the butler is John Amos from the Foxworth Hall days. He begins to instill the virtues of Bart’s great-grandfather, Malcolm, and gives him his journal to read.

John tells Bart who he really is, and the truth about his parents and why they should be punished. Bart begins to believe he’s really Malcolm and starts doing crazy things. Jory finds out the truth about his parents from Cathy’s book; she starts writing when she has to give up dancing. He forgives her, although Bart does not. Eventually, his mother goes to confront the woman next door and realizes who she is. They tussle and then John Amos cracks them over the head with a shovel and hides them in the cellar. The place catches fire and Corinne helps Cathy out of the house, but not before her clothes catch fire and she dies. John dies in the fire, too. He married Corinne for her money, but apparently he wasn’t in the will.

I have no memory of this book at all, even though I know I read it. Just didn’t stick as much as the first, I guess.

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Petals on the Wind – Blow me away!

Welcome to the next installment of our V.C. Andrews nostalgia trip. Petals on the Wind is the second book chronicling the Dollanganger family, and if you thought the first one was bad . . . this one is a clusterfuck and a half.

The remaining three children – Chris, Cathy, and Carrie – have just escaped the house where they were held prisoner for more than three years. They’re riding on a bus, and Carrie has fallen ill with the arsenic poisoning that took her twin brother, Cory, towards the end of Flowers in the Attic. She throws up and starts going into shock; a mute woman comes to their rescue and offers to take them to the doctor she works for. Paul is entranced by Cathy’s emerging womanhood, or something, so he agrees to help them, even though it’s Sunday, and the Hippocratic oath admonishes doctors against actually, you know, healing the sick when they would rather sit on the veranda and read the newspaper. On the subject of budding boobs, however, that old Greek remains silent.

Chris doesn’t want to tell the whole truth at first, but Cathy unburdens everything, and, even though it’s a fantastic story, Paul believes her. Behold, the power of sexual allure. He helps Carrie and offers them all a place to stay, and eventually adopts them as his wards.
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Flowers in the Attic – Beloved Trash!

[Note: I’m still trawling through Life magazines, so if you want to see more of that, never fear, it is on its way!]

V.C. Andrews – a name you can still see today on covers of new novels, even though she’s been dead since the 1980s. She’s worth more since her decease then while she lived, which is why the estate continually puts out new stories and series.

It’s the first trashy fiction I ever read, so it holds a special, albeit slightly skewed, place in my heart.

My parents used to own a greeting card store, and like anywhere else, we had our regulars. Terri was one of them. She used to buy her Benson and Hedges cigarettes from us, and over time, she lent my mom and grandma books, namely Andrews and Danielle Steel (who I never read). I remember my mom reading Flowers during lulls in customers, and I was intrigued by the die-cut cover with the scared face of the girl in the garret window.

No one ever told me I couldn’t read these books, so I started in, and eventually read the whole Dollenganger series (which, by the way, is the only one penned entirely by Andrews before her demise). The last few required a library trip, leading a prune-faced librarian to stare at me over her spectacles and say, in an intonation to rival William Shatner, “This . . . is not . . . a  . . . children’s book.” My mom defended me, which is surprising, because I remember these books being so SMUTTY.

This was the long way ’round to say, curiosity has gotten the better of me, and I have to know, are they still as bad as I remember?

Join me!

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Fifty Shades Fucking Ridiculous, Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Two. Jack has supposedly kidnapped Mia. He wants five million dollars in two hours or Mia gets it. If Ana tells anyone, he will kill Mia also. So, Ana dodges security and goes to the bank. Grey thinks she’s leaving him, and to keep him off the trail, she lies. You are fucking dumb. I’m out! Seriously, I can’t do it anymore.

On the Kindle, I’m only at 78%. No more. My brain is threatening to commit hara-kiri.


You wanna know how it ends? Let’s see if I can remember because I finished this idiotic book in JANUARY. She goes to meet Jack, and he beats her up and puts her in a coma. Of course. So she is only vaguely aware of anything for a while, but we discover that Grey feels guilty or some shit. She wakes up, and then it’s later, and they have two kids, and Taylor married Mrs. Jones, the housekeeper, and they all live happily ever after. And here’s where I puke.

Bonus features! Yes, there were bonus features. One was Grey’s first Christmas with his adopted family from his perspective. The other was a chapter of the first <i>Fifty Shades</i> from Grey’s perspective, when he goes to the hardware store and makes his sordid purchases.

We are DONE. FOREVER!! YAY!!!!!!!

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Fifty Shades Fucking Ridiculous, Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-One. Ana feels betrayed, so she cries. Will he come around? Should she give him the benefit of the doubt? Does anyone care anymore?

Ana decides to read Christian’s emails. She sees one about Jack from the IT guy, talking about what was found on the computer. Ana leaves Grey to sleep it off alone, and spends the night in the playroom. What?? And doesn’t tell Grey where she is. She emerges to everyone clustered in the kitchen, and refuses any food. She locks Christian out of the bathroom, you know, all the things a petulant fourteen-year-old would do.

She ignores him and then tells him to call Mrs. Robinson. He doesn’t like her snooping. She dresses in a provocative fashion while they argue. Grey didn’t sleep with Elena, but Ana thinks it’s still cheating to “spill [his] spineless guts” to her. She continues to bitch, saying that she does choose the embryo over him, for that’s what parents do. Grey tries to approach her, but for now, she is immune to the power of his peen.

Grey claims he is finally done with Elena, but Ana doesn’t believe him. They’re both mad at each other. Ana claims she’s moving to the upstairs bedroom. Nothing is resolved. She asks the embryo why it’s coming so early. The Embryo sez, “Woman, not my choice. You can’t remember shit except fucking your husband, so don’t pin this on me, ya dig?”

Ana again refuses food. Idiot, you’re not just nourishing yourself now! Kate calls her, but Ana doesn’t really tell her anything. She finally eats lunch. And then dinner. Mrs. Jones tells Ana that Grey was really worried when he couldn’t find her. And then she goes to her old room and cries. Grey apparently spent the night, but leaves before she awakes. And he’s away for the day. Ana pukes. Then Mia, Grey’s sister, calls her, but it’s not Mia, it’s just Jack.

No, not that one. The skeezy ex-boss. Oh, please. Can this book get any worse?

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Fifty Shades Fucking Ridiculous, Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty. Ana is pregnant, because she’s a vapid, empty-headed bimbo who couldn’t remember to get her birth control. And where is Christian to nag and remind her? I’m surprised he doesn’t have it all scheduled in his phone, considering how controlling he is. Really, though, she has a Blackberry AND a human personal assistant. I hate this much contrivance.

Ana’s demon baby is four or five weeks along. Ana is shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you. She obviously wasn’t paying attention when the doctor explained about all of the particulars about Depo-Provera. She’s worried that Grey will freak out. And then she tries to pin the blame on her PA; bitch, don’t even go there. It’s your own fault.

Grey keeps asking her what’s wrong, but she won’t tell him. And she also hasn’t eaten; that does wonders for the embryo. Grey finally pushes her enough at dinner, and she drops the bomb. He roars at her about how she is being so stupid, and wonders if she did it on purpose. His eyes have changed to flint, so he’s blind, but then they blaze; he’s just a wonder of nature, isn’t he? “Anger emanates off him like a force field” because he wandered onto the set of <i>Star Trek</i>. He shouts at her about control; he likes it because then things like this don’t happen. He’s not ready for this, so he leaves. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s for good.

Mrs. Jones, the housekeeper, offers to get her tea, but she wants wine.

It’s pretty common knowledge you shouldn’t be drinking. Twenty-two, my ass; this girl is fourteen if she’s a day. Ana doesn’t know what to do, and thinks Grey is overreacting. Um, NO, I don’t think so. You had ONE JOB, little bobblehead . . .

Grey returns much later, and very drunk. He passes out in bed after leering at Ana and whining that she’s choose the baby over him. Ana picks up his phone and sees a text from Elena/Mrs. Robinson; apparently, he paid her a visit. Oh, her again? I thought we were done with this shit.

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Fifty Shades Fucking Ridiculous, Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Nineteen. The Greys celebrate Ray’s improvement with a long, drawn-out sex scene. Of course. And then Ana tries to make him see that she wuvs him so much. And then they fuck again.

The detective comes to ask Ana about Jack, who claims that she made sexual advances towards him. This pisses Grey off. And then Ana’s gyno informs us that Ana has missed four appointments for her birth control shot. Dr. Greene gives her a pregnancy test, which turns blue, of course. Foreshadowing waves from the corner and disappears in a puff of smoke.

So, Ana is pregnant with a vampire baby – wait, wrong book. Sorry.

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Fifty Shades Fucking Ridiculous, Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Eighteen. It’s Ana’s birthday; she gets an expensive charm bracelet from Grey. Oh, and

Of course, because she mentioned it before, you see. Ugh. Her mother forgot her birthday, though. So, the Greys banter, as you do when you’re two fucking annoying paper people in the third book of something that has no place being a trilogy.

Christian takes her downstairs at the hotel for a surprise party. Ana cries, and wishes for her dad to get better. The sex is only implied, so we’re spared . . . this time. And Ray awakes from his coma. Whoopdeedoo. Can we go now

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