Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews (Reading Challenge Book Review)

Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger, #1)Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I clearly remembered seeing this ratty paperback being passed from one teenaged girl’s hand to the next when I was in high school but that can’t be right–I’d graduated six months before the book came out. So maybe I’m thinking of Carrie? Or Go Ask Alice? Something smutty and therefore taboo and enticing, but I dunno. ~shrug~

Anyway, I selected this as #21, a book published during my birth month (November), for my 2020 Reading Challenge. I started it in October, as Halloween was approaching, the weather was getting cooler and rainier and windier, and I was rattling around alone and anxious, cleaning out and packing up an entire household by myself after my stbx decided to torpedo our marriage and left, dumping literally everything on me. So, the timing and setting should have been ideal. Dismal weather, nerve-racking personal situation, spooky holiday–enter the gothic horror novel. Perfect!

Except, not so much.

I almost stopped reading at 33%, but virtually every other book I owned was packed. The characters are by turns flat and annoying, the writing style is that of a nursery story with endless details and egregious overuse of “golly” and the ! key, overwrought dialogue, the action and suspense were drawn out and lackluster. But I just wanted every sucky thing in my life to be behind me, including this book, and I didn’t have the spoons to deal with the library and having to pick something new. So I kept going.

The verdict: Worth it, I suppose. A lot of people loved it. I don’t regret reading it, but didn’t enjoy it enough to continue with the series, especially since I know that after her death, pre-Internet and therefore not splashed literally everywhere, “V.C. Andrews” books were ghostwritten with zero attribution to the actual ghostwriter. Cashing in and keeping her hidden is thematically on-brand, at least.

Bookshelves: creepy-horror-stuff, goth-lit, bad-dialogue, horror, ya, everybody-loved-it-but-me, reading-challenge


Author: Deborah Lee

I like trees, dreaming, magic, books, paper, floating, dreaming, rhinos, rocks, stargazing, wine, dragonflies, trains, and silence to hear the world breathe.

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