Site Owner's Review of the Series
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This book came with the Rain movie and you have to buy the movie to get it which is kind of not fair. Nonetheless I did it. This was a short story of 48 pages and was a nice little summary of how Rain came to be. Sweet little story. One I think readers of VC Andrews would enjoy.
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Site Owner's Review of the Series
Despite what others have said about this novel, I personally really enjoyed Willow. This is not your typical VCA heroine. Willow comes from money (more than she realizes). She is already in college, she is not a virgin, she is pretty normal. This book takes Willow on an adventure to find her mother who just happens to live in affluent Palm Beach, Florida. (I lived in West Palm Beach for a number of years and would always be over in Palm Beach enjoying the beaches, window shopping on Worth Avenue, burgers at Hamburger Heaven (no longer there), The Chesterfield Hotel, Palm Beach Polo Bar (no longer there), Lu Lu's (where the Kennedy's hang out or used to). My ex-boyfriend once took me to the breakers and that became "our place" though we were never guests. We often went there and stood on the back loggia looking out over the ocean. Once, in prom clothing, even went inside and explored this wonderful hotel -- it's halls and secret rooms.) I'm sure because of my frequency of visiting Palm Beach and my secret dream to be rich and living there had something to do with why I liked this book so much. I'm sure you will like it too. Do read it. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This book was pretty predictable. Though I did think that Willow and Thatchers marriage would work out. (More to come....)
This is Hannah Eaton's story for the most part. She is the main character. Hannah attends school at a Palm Beach County Magnet school for the performing arts located downtown West Palm Beach where, she studies music. (this is a real school) Hannah frequently visits Uncle Linden at the residency where he lives. She insists to Willow that she allow Uncle Linden to live at Joya del Mar. Willow of course refuses citing the problems he had when he lived here before.
Willow and Miguel have been married for more than 10 years and she is a renowned psychologist with a practice in West palm Beach.
She meets a young man,Heyden Reynolds, who attends the PA school with her. His mother is a Haitian chambermaid at The Breakers Hotel (a real hotel in Palm Beach), and he is half white and half black. He sings, plays guitar and writes music. Hannah falls in love with this boy and they of course make love at his home in the bad part of town.
Willow gives birth too early to a little baby boy (named Claude) and becomes obsessed that he is going to die because of the family curse. She is abused by her twin half brothers. This leads Hannah down a bath of felling like she does not exist and no one cares about her anymore. Hannah decides to run off with Heyden to New Orleans. They devise a plan to rent a motor home and with the help of Uncle Linden they pull it off. Only one catch, Linden insists on going with them. Can he be trusted to be normal?
As it turns out, he can and off they go on their way to New Orleans. For some reason they take a detour through south Carolina. (Uncle Linden needs to see some of the country apparently) It is there on a back road in the country that the motor home breaks down in the dark! Luckily, there is a kind gentleman who helps them to a house in the country where he lives and works. It is the home of a kind old woman, Mrs Stanton and her slightly mental daughter, Bess. This daughter insists that Hannah is her long dead daughter Rosemary! Hannah plays along and comes out unscathed from the situation.
When Hannah decides she needs to go home to Willow and Miguel, Heyden runs off in the middle of the night on foot. Hannah is unhappy about this and she calls Miguel. He flys up to collect Hannah and Linden and brings them home to Palm Beach.
In the end Hannah gets a letter from Heyden with his apology for running off like he did. He's getting work in New Orleans with his father. One of the twins is killed on Hannah's birthday, too. I'm not gonna say which one, as if it really mattered one way or the other. Of course, in the tradition of the latest novels, there is a letter from Summer (from the RAIN series) to Hannah which is basically a big blatent advertisement for the Rain series.
All in all it was a decent book. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This is Grace Houston Montgomery's story. She is Willow's mother. This book covers the period between when she was moving around with her father as a Navy brat until the time she goes to Dr. De Beers clinic in South Carolina.
Graces father dies and her and her mother movie to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Various small occurences happen, people die, and Grace is tomented by the school snob who just happens to be the daughter of Jackie Lee's oldest friend, Dallas Tremont. Jackie Lee works in Dallas' in The Tremont Inn . It is here that she meets Winston Montgomery, a Palm Beach Millionaire and owner of Joya Del Mar. Jackie Lee is courted by Winston and eventually they marry and Grace and Jackie Lee move to Joya Del Mar.
Grace gels very well with Winston and she is sent to a prestigious private school strictly for residents of Palm Beach. Jackie Lee becomes a Palm Beach socialite, pretty much ignoring Grace in the process.
After about 5 years Winston dies of a massive heart attack. Jackie Lee hooks up with the notorious Kirby Scott. They marry and he moves into Joya Del Mar. Grace is wary of him from the begining. One night Grace's life is changed forever -- The end result is her being sent to Dr. DeBeers clinic.
Things I hated about this book:
1. The letter from Ruby to Grace. I hate these. They are blantant advertisement teasers to other book series. I suppose you can draw parallels between the two series but really, must they do that?
2. The time frame of this book seems off to me. They talk about Grace maybe going to a magnet school and a Shania Twain song playing on the radio in one scene. They also make reference to Top Gun the movie in a "do you remember" type context. (Top Gun came out in the mid 80's) Seems like there's a possible time warp going on here because those facts would place Grace (who was like 22 when she went into the clinic) in the early to mid 90's when she was just 15. This is assuming that Willow took place modern day.
Things I liked about this book:
1. The fact that is set in Palm Beach. I spent alot of time there in my last year of High school and it's like going home.
2. I thought that Graces decent into a dark depression was very well written. Kind of made me feel what it was like for her.
3. Her mother, Jackie Lee, becomes deliciously shallow and selfish. Like a good VC Andrews mom should!
I think it's a good book in the VC Andrews universe.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Site Owner's Review of Broken Wings
Unlike all the other VC Andrews heroines the girls in this book start off basically bad. They are problematic to their respective parents.
Some of the parents of problematic to the girls. Take for instance Robin. She and her mother live with her grandparents who (at least grandpa) is your classic VCA a bible thumbing character. Robin's mother ("mother darling") dreams of being a country western singer and takes herself and Robin to Nashville Tennesee to see if she can make it big as a singer. She (with her mother) ends up having to stay at this nasty apartment with one of her mothers boyfriends who is in this band she has joined.
As Robin's mother starts to find success in the music scene, Robin gets herself in a heap of trouble. She get's herself arrested several times. In the end Robin is being taken by police car to some unknown school for troubled girls. That is where her story ends.
Teal is a little rich girl who lives with her parents in the lap of luxury. Her father pays for her to go to a private school because she gets in trouble at her public school. But she also gets into trouble at her private school.
Teal meets a guy (who works at a pizza parlor) with a troubled homelife and sets out to help him run away from his abusive mother with his siblings. In doing this she also thinks she is helping herself get away from her parents. She goes as far as stealing a load of cash from her dad's safe and steals her mothers SUV to help him. Upon arriving at his home she discovers that he has decided to stay because his mother has died. Teal is picked up by the police when her father has discovered what she has done.
In the end Teal is carted off via airplane to an unknown school for troubled girls. We end her story with her on the plane.
Phoebe is a young african american girl who lives in inner city Atlanta. Her mother is a drug addict and an alcoholoic and runs away for good. Her father is forced to go farther and farther away in his sales job to make ends meet. He decides that Phoebe should go stay with her aunt and uncle in Stone Mountain, a suburb of Atlanta. Her aunt however, is another religious zealot and forces Phoebe to conform to their way of life and she is also enrolled in a school unlike she has ever gone to before.
Phoebe rebels alot. But this gets her into trouble. Some girls pretending to want to get someone else in trouble hatch a plan which is bad news for Pheobe.
After her father dies, Phoebe runs off to find her mother in a rehab clinic drying out. Her mother wants nothing to do with her and she ends up being found by her uncle who sets it up so she is taken away to this school for troubled girls.
This book was okay. It is definatly not the calibre of the Dollanganger series or even the DeBeers series.
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