Thursday, April 8, 2010

Because I was a snoop...

Writers Workshop presents:
The first book I luuuuuuuved:

It was 1990 and I was in my big sisters room snooping. The only thing interesting on this day was a collection of books on a shelf. I usually ignored the books in favor of juicy notes she’d passed in class or a letter she’d write to her boyfriend, but there wasn’t much along those lines. I looked over the books until I saw one that sounded good, If There be Thorns by V.C. Andrews. At eleven I was constantly trying to be grown-up like my 16 year old sister, so I “borrowed” it. But before I left her room, I made sure to spray myself with my sisters perfume “Escape”

I got around to reading maybe the first chapter of the book, and I was bored out of my mind! I didn’t care enough to return the book to her, and the book got lost in my mess of a room, until one day my sister happened to notice it in my room.

“What are you doing with this?” she asked
“Reading it, duuuh.” I answered

"Did you read any of the others?” she asked
“No…it’s boring” I responded, “and I didn’t even read all of that one”
“Well if you’re going to read it, then you need to read the series, and in a particular order”
She explained.

And thus began my pre-teen, and into my teens, obsession with V.C. Andrews. I liken it to the Stephenie Meyers “Twi-hards” of today. Only back then there wasn’t quite the cult following as there is for Twilight. I mean we didn’t have the internet to follow up with Taylor Lautner(Go Team Jacob), or Robert Pattinson. All we had was Kristy Swanson(before she killed vampires-and before Sarah Michelle Gellar did) and an obscure movie made in 1987. That day in 1990, my sister taught me how to read a V.C. Andrews series…you start with the first book, which is actually the second book, and when you read the fifth and final book, it is actually the first book. Make sense? Yea, it did to me too. So I started reading Flowers in the Attic that afternoon, and I was hooked…no longer was I bored, all the sudden everything made sense to me! I followed the Dollanganger family through their fathers death, and into what they thought would be a life of wealth, that turned into a life of imprisonment in their grandmothers attic. I followed them through heartbreak and disappointment to death and incest…pretty heavy stuff for 11, especially the latter. Waaaay heavy, in fact looking back, I don’t think these books were much like the Twilight series at all! I read the Twilight books, and I don’t have a problem with my 13 year old niece reading them, but I would mind her or my own daughter reading Flowers in the Attic at that age. Nope, not happening…I mean I turned out okay, but what was okay for me isn’t necessarily for my own kids right?

What did I love about these books? It’s the world that V.C. Andrews created, that just drew me in. It was a dark world of drama and turmoil, the happiness in her books was minimal…and the romance drew me in…I used to imagine myself as an actress in the movie version. I just knew I would be perfect to play Cathy, my only downfall is that I wasn’t blonde...or a ballerina. I’ll still pick the books up from time to time, they’re good for a quick read, when and if I have the time. I imagine if these books were popular today they’d all be movies by now with a huge cult following and Zac Efron as Christopher…then again maybe not, because Flowers in the Attic is no High School Musical.


Shelley said...

I've totally woken my husband up to help me with spiders too! It's their job :-)

Lourie said...

You know I never read those books. I did see the movie. I am guessing the books are way better.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Erin said...

Why do you have to read the series in a funky order??

The Red-Headed Step-Child said...

I think I've read everything my VCAndrews as a tween. But, wach book is the same. Young girl finds out she's not who she thinks she is because mom was rich and raped and ran off to have her then mom dies and girl finds out who she really is. Don't get me wrong, they are very good but they are just like you said, good for a quick read!

Maggie S said...

I started to read Flowers in the Attic when I was about the same age, and quickly put it down. It was too dark, gave me a sense of fearing what you cannot see. I never read any Andrews even when all my peers dragged them around all the time. Never been a "Everybody is doing it; so must I" gal. My kids seem to be, but jury is still out.

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