Whitefern

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The curse of Audrina’s Swiss cheese memory seems to have plagued the author during the creation of this sequel.
Carefully crafted characters from the original My Sweet Audrina have been rehashed and history rewritten in order to produce a plot line for a sequel that was never really necessary.

Sylvia has miraculously developed into a fully speaking , eyes focused , albeit slow woman of twenty who adores her father Damien and is permanently attached  to him until his death leaves her so distraught she has to attempt to dig up his grave ……
Damien himself , rather than avoiding sylvia and looking at her in disgust , idolise her in return and dotes on her – a complete contrast to the Damien Adare readers of the original Audrina will recognise.
As for Audrina herself , gone is the childlike innocence and naivety she still managed to posses even as an adult …even after the revelations. In her place is a rather frustrated housewife , unable to conceive and remembering too well aunt Ellsbeths advice when it came to men ( some which aunt Ellsbeth never would have said) ….
Which brings me to the villian of the piece …Arden … a terrible charicature of the original Damien Adare,with the original Arden although he failed audrina time and time again , he still held for me at least the redeeming quality that he really did love Audrina , he was just extremely weak. Arden 2.0 is not and neither does he love Audrina much, if at all. He also seems to believe that his mother married Damien therefore he was his son and entitled to inherit upon his death.

No, just, no – if you are to write a sequel of a beloved book then please have the respect to actually know the original source material and more importantly your characters.
Original V C Andrews fans will not be happy with these obvious changes in order to make a plot work.
OK, there will not be the venomous reaction to Whitefern that the Christopher Diaries trilogy had as at least history hasn’t been rewritten too much (apart from Sylvia) , just rather lazy fact checking and editing. These beloved characters are only recognisable by their names and this will come as a big dissapointment.

As usual with current V C Andrews books there are unnecessary sexual references either designed to excite readers or the author I’m not quite sure.
Audrina and Sylvia bathing together and then sharing a bed “entwined like lovers” just comes across as cheap and nasty. There is no need for it and rather than exciting had me rolling my eyes.

Now , I’ve got my die hard Virginia Andrews fan opinion out of the way I will concentrate on the book itself , but have to note that in order to enjoy the book I have to separate it from its predecessor.

The plot itself is very good,  although you can see what’s going to happen a mile off , you have to keep reading as the story really does grip you. It pulls you in because as a reader you can see whats happing whilst the narrator has no idea.

Sylvia is a compelling character and your heart breaks for her vulnerability and the prison she is in inside herself… her fragility and childlike qualities working against her. And how easy it is for her to be manipulated.

Of course , Arden is very easy to hate and plays the villian part to the extreme, even if it is rather blatant. Reading it , you hate him more every time he speaks and just, well,any time he’s on the page you feel the need to vomit.

Audrina, as the narrator, is a hard character to like , you literally want to slap some sense into her , she’s so blind to what’s happening.

Truthfully , I d have to say this is ghostwritten VCA at its best , fans of the Cutler, Landry and Logan will love it. Full of Secrets and lies , this would have been a good novel in itself , it didn’t need to tie itself to an already established book and leave itself open to criticism in doing so I’m afraid that there will be a backlash just like Secret Brother which also , if it hadn’t been tied to the Dollangangers , was an intriguing story in itself.

It feels like vintage vca from the early ’90s – a sign I hope that the brand is returning to that format rather than keeping in the young adult category.
Its much more appealing , story wise for the more mature VC Andrews fans who have grown up and would rather read a narrator who is in her 30 s rather than a teenage girl. If this is the future of VCA then I’m definitely buying.

Thankfully there are no unnecessary diversions from the main plot which the Christopher Diaries had with unlikeable and unnecessary characters.

It has a timeless quality to it , provides real food for thought in its subject matter ….

Whitefern in my opinion is the best VCA book that’s come out since the ending of the Logan series, this is the kind of story fans want. Compelling, gripping, heartbreaking, family drama…..no attempts to keep up and struggling to in a young adult section. No, annoying teenagers , no over dramatics .

However, it should never ever have been billed as a My Sweet Audrina sequel … to do so it discredits both the original but also this story itself

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