13 October 2014

{Book Review} Christopher's Diary: Secrets of Foxworth by V.C. Andrews

By: Me My Shelf And I | 13 October 2014 at 10:02 AM | | | | | | |


Christopher's Diary: Secrets of Foxworth
Dollanganger #6
Author: V.C. Andrews
Release Date: October 28th,
Publisher: Pocket Books
Rating: 2.5 - 3 Birds

An ideal addition to “Dollanganger family reading”, Christopher’s Diary broadens the perspective of story in Flowers in the Attic . . . and reveals the answer to one of the major mysteries surrounding that seminal work.

The first thing you should know about CHRISTOPHER'S DIARY: SECRETS OF FOXWORTH, is that you DO NOT have to have read all 5 prior books in the series to enjoy and understand it. In fact I have read only the first two, and have seen the two Lifetime movies based off of them and kept up perfectly never feeling lost.

The second thing you need to know, as I know a lot of fans are expecting this to be from Christopher's POV almost solely, is that it is not. While Christopher's diary entries play a role big enough to call them a character in themself, it is Kristin's life we are following, and we experience Christopher's journal entries through her as she reads them.

Kristin is not a Foxworth, though she does live in the same small town in which Foxworth Hall once stood. She is a very, very, very distant cousin of the family – on her mother's side, and the way this is spoken about often leaves an air of mystery and curiosity with it. It's never spoken about freely, and really nothing much is known of it. Or so we are led to believe.  It's enough to keep you turning the pages but ultimately in this book we don't really learn anything about the obvious set up to a connection of some sort that is more than distant blood relation.

Sadly, I had several problems with the novel. Firstly, this book takes place in present day. Kristin is a 17 year old high school student with a cell phone and facebook, however her voice is inconsistent, as are the voices of all the teenagers in it. She sounds like she is being written like one of the Dollengergs back in the 1950's, only to then throw in the fact her cell phone was ringing. It was very distracting.  It was like the new and the old were bleeding together with no clear line to tell where one ended and the other began.

Kristin has a budding relationship with Charlottesville's richest and most sought after boy, and while I felt the author was attempting to push this plot point to the forefront, they often fell short as Kristin seems to not care even an ounce about it, to then only be frantic and present in it another, then right back to it not being on her radar at all moments after. It made me not care as the reader, because most of the time Kristin did not and the relationship was quite dry from their conversations to their dates.

Lastly, the tag line for this book is "FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC wasn't the whole story" – yet I learned nothing new from Christopher's journal entries, or from Kristin's life happening around it. While the book is over 300 pages long, Kristin doesn't even get the whole FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC story. The book ends about half way through the tale told in the original book, an obvious ploy for readers to have no choice but pick up the next book.

The last 3-4 chapters things started to roll together nicely, the communication felt better and the contrast between the two lives being featured seemed, for once, separate. I was upset when it ended because it was finally becoming enjoyable, that there might be something around the corner. 

I have to be honest and say that I felt this was a mediocre attempt at bringing FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC to this day and age. One might even call it a blatant attempt to profit off it's new found popularity with this generation. In my opinion the original novels were good enough and V.C. Andrews brand of writing fit because of the time they were written, and the time they were written about. A change to the present should have resulted in a more careful reevaluation of vocabulary and life of a teenager before writing as one. I'm not saying it should have leaned to a Young Adult feel, but some more believable vocabulary and conversation would have really helped it along.

Will I pick up the next? Likely. I know that what is to come in the journal will be interesting to see Kristin's take on. Is FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC still one of my favorites despite where this book led and left me? Of course. For less than $7.00 for the book, I think you should take a chance and let me know what you thought of it. I'd love to discuss it with someone!

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  1. It was weird how the eras seemed to get mixed up, that is odd!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  2. After reading your review I am so torn about picking this up. I loved FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC and even the other books in that series. I kind of got into a craze with the VC Andrews brand of books in the 90s and over indulged - reading like 27 of them in a week and everything got so repetitive and felt like it was just a mediocre rehashing of the original story. I'm not sure I want to continue with this series, having loved only two of the original five books. But boy were they addictive.

    I haven't seen the new telefilms and I'm so curious if they're as dark and twisted as the books. But hmm, maybe I'll wait to see what you think about the follow-up first. What you mentioned about the character's voice not feeling authentic to a modern day teen is one of my major pet peeves as are books that feel like money grabs.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for putting this book on my radar. I had no idea two more stories were being released.

  3. The original series is one that I read over and over when I was younger. Can't decide from your review if I want to try this or not. But I didn't even know it existed till now, so thanks for the heads up!

  4. V.C. Andrews Is a very good writer because she know how to write a book for kids and how to teach this book thanks for share it pharmacy school personal statement .


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