Okay, this week I’m back in school. Back to the grind. The thing is (I can’t remember if I already mentioned this), even when I’m on vacation, I’ve still got all of my online classes to worry about- my workload doesn’t actually diminish… at all. Not even a little. But if feels like much less because I don’t have to go to school. And at school, just so we’re clear, I sit in a small room all alone and do my work for the six hours I’m not actually attending a class. I’ve got music, and I can access tumblr and MSN, so I chat with friends who aren’t in school, but rest assured, this routine got old fast.
And so, I really don’t have anything interesting to say. I mean…. back to school. Exciting! Yeah. I’ve been butting heads with my family for the past few days, which is always awesome in every way. I don’t know what it is that makes us clash so badly sometimes. I think my brother and mom would have a very quiet, peaceful existence without me.
This is a book I read for my sister. She’s a very nice sister and I quite enjoy having her, but she has bizarre taste in books. She claims that V.C. Andrews is her favorite author, and I believe her. To date, I’ve read two Andrews books; the first was Flowers in the Attic, which I tend to think is her most well-known because it was actually made into a fairly decent movie that I saw before I read the book. That one is about an evil grandmother (and rather malicious mother) who locks her four grandchildren in the attic for a number of years, never letting them down. It was dark and interesting and contained rather well-played incest, but altogether not the sort of book I want to be reading all the time.
My Sweet Audrina is about a young girl (Audrina) who, with no memory of her life before age seven, has been hidden away in her family’s elegant, rustic mansion home for her entire life. She thinks. She’s being manipulated, twisted like clay, by her cunning father, cruel cousin, disinterested mother, and abusive aunt. The story follows her until she’s twenty-two as she tries to figure out why there are so many secrets in her life and why her memory has so many holes.
That’s not all. Audrina has been told her entire life that she had an older sister, also named Audrina, who died before she was born- she was killed by some boys who did terrible things to her in the woods, and that’s why Audrina II is never allowed to leave Whitefern (the name of their home). She was raised to be a semblance of the First and Best Audrina, and her Papa would often force her to rock in Audrina I’s chair to “become an empty pitcher” and “absorb her precious gift” of selfless love.
Here is one of my biggest problems with V.C. Andrews: most of her books are about damaged children being taken advantage of by evil adults, and that’s your entire cast of characters. The main character, the good ones, the children, are painted like angels- they’re perfect, perhaps a little too trusting or gullible or weak, but their moral compass points steadily north. Everyone else is purely evil and out to get them. Even when she adds a character whom you think is going to be good, they’ve always got something up their sleeves. In this book, Audrina always knows what’s what, morally speaking, even though she never knows what’s actually going on. She grows up mistrusting her Papa (surprise surprise), but later on other character trust and even like him. The man is charismatic and generous, kind and, in his own way, very loving. So how do we know he’s truly evil? Well, Audrina says so. As soon as she begins to grow up, when she’s no longer a child, then Audrina starts hating her Papa for what he’s done to her.
There is so much worth discussing about this book, but it would all spoil the last fifty pages.
One thing that constantly bothered me was Andrews’ writing. I won’t say there’s anything wrong with her writing style, but it’s very classical and proper. The dialogue didn’t feel real to me- one character would spout out their entire story, then another character would spout theirs, and everyone sounded so righteous and it was really annoying. I’m not explaining it well, and this could easily just be me- Andrews is actually a very popular writer, or has been in the past, so it’s most likely a matter of taste.
My Sweet Audrina is a good book to read if you need to satisfy that little piece of yourself that has a fascination with the morbid, the bizarre, the dark. It definitely satisfies that. I won’t say that I’ll never read another Andrews book, but if I do it won’t be soon. She is definitely not for everyone.
I have a giant pile of books right now, and none of them are from the library (Audrina was)- I actually paid for most of them. And one I borrowed from Emma. I’m not entirely sure which one I’m going to start first, but these will take me a good few weeks. Until next time!