Review: My Sweet Audrina by V.C. Andrews

Here I am with another 2 1/2 star review 😬 I do still like books. Truly I do.


My Sweet Audrina by V.C Andrews

Released 1983

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  Bookshop

V.C. Andrews, author of the phenomenally successful Dollanganger series, has created a fascinating new cast of characters in this haunting story of love and deceit, innocence and betrayal, and the suffocating power of parental love.

Audrina Adare wanted so to be as good as her sister. She knew her father could not love her as he loved her sister. Her sister was so special, so perfect -- and dead.

Now she will come face to face with the dangerous, terrifying secret that everyone knows. Everyone except...  My Sweet Audrina. 

My 2 Cents For Free!

“Just trust whatever Papa tells you.” 😩

Sometimes you reread a book and think “wow that really held up. I’ve always had impeccable taste” and you pat yourself on the back for being such a smarty-pants even as a kid and then there are the days you reread something like My Sweet Audrina and you are filled with a sense of anguish for that messed up kid you once were and you despair because you’ve just ruined a perfectly lovely childhood memory by doing a revisit.

Where to start? Ethereally beautiful Audrina is living a half-life, held prisoner in her enormous home by a creepy overbearing father who doesn’t allow her to go to school like a regular kid. Instead, he makes her rock in her dead sister's rocking chair promising her “magical powers” will be her reward (this plotline, in the end, makes absolutely zero sense but you just have to go with it, I guess). Her dead sister was also named Audrina and Audrina #2 feels inadequate and does as the adults say to win their favor. She has no friends and can’t even wander out into the woods. She especially can’t do that! Good golly, she might meet a boy, a terrible boy who will ruin her! She is told by her loathsome cousin Vera (the most villainous villain ever to villain and that’s saying something for early VC Andrews) that she’s stupid and simple and worthless because she has some sort of weird amnesia that no one seems concerned about. Time is all askew for dear, sweet Audrina and she doesn’t even know her true age. Wild, right?

OF COURSE, there is a reason for all of this and it’s pretty easy to figure out as an adult because the clues are littered everywhere but I remember being shocked at the revelations as a kid. As an adult, it is still shocking! It doesn’t make any kind of sense but it sure is shocking nonetheless. They just don’t write them like this anymore and I guess that’s why these books were so coveted by me as a kid. These people are messed up in every single way and it’s hard to stop reading even when you think you probably should.

But ugh, it is actually hard to read at times even though it's hard to DNF because I needed to know. It drags on endlessly and is extremely repetitive. I do realize this book was written way back when things were different than the way they are now but the characterization of some of these people was off the charts evil sonofabitch or nearly perfect angelic angel visiting from heaven so sweet and forgiving and accommodating that she nearly puts you in a sugar coma. There isn’t a lot of room in the middle for most of these people.

I can’t truly tell you all the ways this book made me so grumbly without spoiling so many things but if you want a sample you can take a peek under the spoiler tag but trust me they are spoilers. Most of my feelings come from the treatment and description of Sylvia and Arden’s mother, WTF was all that shittery? I don’t even know. I don’t even want to know. People are just awful. And the ending will enrage me FOREVER but I suppose it’s what they all deserved if they’re going to act so ridiculously and that’s all I’ll say about that.

So in the end I am very sorry I reread this one and tainted my beautiful if warped memories of jumping a neighbor's fence and hiding out at the park under a willow tree to read this one for hours on end so my mother wouldn’t see me and force me to throw it in the trash. Oh well. Lesson probably not learned. I'm giving a 2.5 and that's me feeling generous. My preteen self would've given it all the stars in the sky and I'll have to be okay with that.

Content Warning: 

⭐⭐ 1/2


I had a better experience with this one πŸ ‹




About V.C. Andrews


Books published under the following names - Virginia Andrews, V. Andrews, Virginia C. Andrews & V.C. Endrius. Books since her death ghost written by Andrew Neiderman, but still attributed to the V.C. Andrews name

Virginia Cleo Andrews (born Cleo Virginia Andrews) was born June 6, 1923 in Portsmouth, Virginia. The youngest child and the only daughter of William Henry Andrews, a career navy man who opened a tool-and-die business after retirement, and Lillian Lilnora Parker Andrews, a telephone operator. She spent her happy childhood years in Portsmouth, Virginia, living briefly in Rochester, New York. The Andrews family returned to Portsmouth while Virginia was in high school.

While a teenager, Virginia suffered a tragic accident, falling down the stairs at her school and incurred severe back injuries. Arthritis and a failed spinal surgical procedure forced her to spend most of her life on crutches or in a wheelchair.

Virginia excelled in school and, at fifteen, won a scholarship for writing a parody of Tennyson's Idylls of the King. She proudly earned her diploma from Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth. After graduation, she nurtured her artistic talent by completing a four-year correspondence art course while living at home with her family.

After William Andrews died in the late 1960s, Virginia helped to support herself and her mother through her extremely successful career as a commercial artist, portrait painter, and fashion illustrator.

Frustrated with the lack of creative satisfaction that her work provided, Virginia sought creative release through writing, which she did in secret. In 1972, she completed her first novel, The Gods of the Green Mountain [sic], a science-fantasy story. It was never published. Between 1972 and 1979, she wrote nine novels and twenty short stories, of which only one was published. "I Slept with My Uncle on My Wedding Night", a short fiction piece, was published in a pulp confession magazine.

Promise gleamed over the horizon for Virginia when she submitted a 290,000-word novel, The Obsessed, to a publishing company. She was told that the story had potential, but needed to be trimmed and spiced up a bit. She drafted a new outline in a single night and added "unspeakable things my mother didn't want me to write about." The ninety-eight-page revision was re-titled Flowers in the Attic and she was paid a $7,500 advance. Her new-generation Gothic novel reached the bestseller lists a mere two weeks after its 1979 paperback publication by Pocket Books.

Petals on the Wind, her sequel to Flowers, was published the next year, earning Virginia a $35,000 advance. The second book remained on the New York Times bestseller list for an unbelievable nineteen weeks (Flowers also returned to the list). These first two novels alone sold over seven million copies in only two years. The third novel of the Dollanganger series, If There Be Thorns, was released in 1981, bringing Virginia a $75,000 advance. It reached No. 2 on many bestseller lists within its first two weeks.

Taking a break from the chronicles of Chris and Cathy Dollanganger, Virginia published her one, and only, stand-alone novel, My Sweet Audrina, in 1982. The book welcomed an immediate success, topping the sales figures of her previous novels. Two years later, a fourth Dollanganger novel was released, Seeds of Yesterday. According to the New York Times, Seeds was the best-selling fiction paperback novel of 1984. Also in 1984, V.C. Andrews was named "Professional Woman of the Year" by the city of Norfolk, Virginia.

Upon Andrews's death in 1986, two final novels—Garden of Shadows and Fallen Hearts—were published. These two novels are considered the last to bear the "V.C. Andrews" name and to be almost completely written by Andrews.




Comments

  1. I remember this book being furtively passed around by all my friends when I was in Junior High because none of them wanted their parents to find out they were reading it.

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    Replies
    1. It was so taboo which is why we were all reading it!

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  2. I remember being a teenager and reading this series. it is a hard series to read for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I forgot about so many of the terrible things!

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  3. I remember these (that seems to be a common thing)! And yeah that sucks when a book we loved turns out to be... not so good as an adult. I peeked at the spoilers too and... dang! lol :)

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    Replies
    1. Phew those spoilers. There was a lot of ugh in this book!

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  4. I'm afraid to re-read a lot of what I loved back in the day lol

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    Replies
    1. Yep, my tastes apparently were very questionable.

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  5. Hooooly, Thanks for those trigger warnings! Phew!

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  6. I remember LOVING this book as a kid. I haven't read it in years, but I'm not surprised to see the responses it's received these days. Ah, what a screwy kid I was!

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