If There Be Thorns/Seeds of Yesterday, (Dollanganger #3,4) by V.C. Andrews
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Mystery/Murder/Thriller, Romance
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Publication: June 22, 2010, by Simon Pulse
Format: Paperback Edition
Goodreads Summary: Two books in one: If There Be Thorns and Seeds of Yesterday, from V.C. Andrews's classic series that begins with Flowers in the Attic.
These two books kept slapping me the whole way through. (gif from the new movie, by the way.)
I felt like V.C. Andrews was trying to create the luxury and amazingness that she did with the first two books in the Dollanganger series, but these two didn't really cut it. I was trying to remind myself of the feelings and love I had for the first two fantastic books, but I didn't feel a craze and adoration for these books. I feel like it has been dragged on for too long.
V.C. Andrews is an amazing author. Although she confuses us like hell (which all of us can understand once we read one of her books), her writing is like munching into your most favourite food. She can make things rough, sad and everything else in between with just the snap of her fingers. It's just the perfect effect she creates. So don't think I hated this book or anything, although I can't deny that it's my favourite novel, either.
After the craziness in the first two books and after we were left off with a pretty big cliffhanger in the end of the sequel, we jump straight into the future of Cathy and Chris's lives, where they are all grown up and are pure adults, and they are married. Yes, Andrews has absolutely gone CRAZY with this, but it's okay, I support it. This is written in the perspectives of their children, Jory and Bart. Well of course, Andrews mixes everything around and messes our minds up with many POVs. More drama, more messed up romance, but the same family is behind it all.
So I guess you could say that these two books weren't really needed at all, but since the rave for this series, V.C. Andrews came up with more ideas and cliffhangers and decided to write two more large books that deal with this family. But behind it all, these weren't really needed. It's all extra. The first two books are perfect for a duelogy. Just letting you know, there's one final book after this that takes place in the past in Olivia's POV. (And probably 5 more people's too.)
Andrews is an author who doesn't care about time and length. She just skips, skips and skips through everyone's lives, and leaves out the miniature details and just gives us the big plot twists and reveals a lot of shocking secrets that the characters are hiding. If There Be Thorns was when Jory was 14 and Bart was 10, and Seeds of Yesterday occurred when they were in their twenties and thirties and Cathy and Chris were in their fifties. So there must've been a decade where nothing big happened. Between the two books, the characters, including Cindy, all grew up and came to be someone. Ta da... But of course,
'Cause you all know, Mrs. Andrews adores to make us upset and cranky. But hey, she's a master at it. WARNING: You will get frustrated with this book, but it somewhat ends up all okay in the end. This is kind of the end of the series, anyway.
These two books didn't bore me at all. It was all fast-paced and moving. You're addicted because there's plot twists every page. The major problem was the confusion.
I just wish that Andrews just gave us a little more background information. I didn't know who was who, who's dad was who, what was the secret behind something, et cetera et cetera. It was just unbelievably confusing, and the most confused I was with a book for a long time. Okay, I'm not saying I want everything to be crystal clear, but I just wish we could've been told some things, instead of having to guess and find out that we were wrong the whole time.
Reading is part of understanding, and that affects a lot of the rating in a book and has to do with the plot as well. And I deducted a 1.5 out of 5 because of that, and of course a little because of the characters and imperfection as well.
This book wasn't perfect and neither were the characters. Bart just got on my nerves for stupidity and the way he believed that the whole world revolved around him and would do anything to have his mommy on his side 24/7. Jory was an absolute pleasure in the first book, but of course after the incident in Seeds of Yesterday, he was a wreck. Chris was "meh," and Cathy and Cindy were okay. It was a love-hate relationship with basically everyone.
"Sin is what women use to make a man weak. You've got to face up to certain facts. Inside of every man there is a weak, spineless streak, and woman know how to find it by taking off their clothes and using earthly pleasures to sap a man's strength by desire."
Oh, and did I mention that this WHOLE SERIES is utterly strange and completely weird? That was just the beginning of some weird quotes and statements that a grown man tells to a little boy (Bart) who actually ends up crazy in the end.
All in all, this is a spectacular, moving series that every master of YA should pick up to read. It's truly a classic and these two books are just adding to the greatness. Recommended but beware of the confusion.