Friday, March 20, 2009

Random Thoughts on a Friday

4 Thoughts on my VC Andrews Challenge Progress*

* contains spoilers

So the fourth book in the FITA series (Taren, is there a fifth? I couldn't tell from the inside pages and didn't dare search the web for fear of falling too far into the world of VCA) is SEEDS OF YESTERDAY, in which Cathy and her husband/brother move their entire family into the old Foxworth Hall which their youngest son Bart has inherited from the old lady/grandmother he befriended in the previous novel. Bart has so lovingly and weirdly reconstructed every detail of the old mansion which had been destroyed in the fire that killed his father (who was his grandmother's husband and his mother's lover).

The move is intended to be strictly temporary until Bart formally inherits the home and then Cathy and Chris will take their adopted hottie daughter Cindy to Hawaii to live out the rest of their unnatural, demon seed lives. Meanwhile, their older son, perfect Jory who has reached the top of the ballet world with his wife, shallow Melodie, will live in New York where they will become rich and famous because in VCA Land, that's what happens to professional dancers (unlike our world where they fall apart physically at the age of 25 and then mentally at the age of 30 when they realize they've wasted their lives on something that they will never again be able to recapture).

1. This book is filled with classic lazy writing. Example: "In the distance, faint and hazy, we could faintly see two church steeples" (p. 55). Okay, see the "faint" and "faintly" in the same sentence? Bad, bad, copyeditor who should have caught that. Bad, bad writer who should have known better.

2. More eavesdropping by characters who have previously shown the fortitude to be direct. Catherine Doll, I'm looking at you. Cathy has, in every other book in this series, proven herself to be a confrontational individual, yet here she suddenly resorts to listening in at keyholes and spying in the garden which ensures that she sees some very um, intimate moments. Eww.

3. Very, very high ick factor. Not of the incestuous variety as we've come to expect from VCA but in the descriptions of sex acts that take place between Cathy's children and their lovers. Cathy describes in excruciating detail what she sees when she walks in on Cindy and Lance (p. 172) and of course, whenever she sees anyone naked - which is a LOT.

4. When in doubt, kill/paralyze a main character in a car accident. And to make everything neat and tidy, why not have characters whose fathers have died in car accidents ALSO die in car accidents? Chris, whose father's name was also Chris, dies in a car accident at the end of the novel because...the book needed to end? I have no idea. There is never any rhyme or reason such as would be the case in a literary novel.

I wonder, is there no other way to die or become disabled? An exception: Jory loses the use of his legs by having a heavy prop fall on him during a dance - thus following in the exact footsteps of his father - who was disabled in a car accident, of course.

It all comes full circle in the end, doesn't it?