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Review: Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger by V.C. Andrews

Christopher's Diary - Echoes of DollangangerPicking up where Christophers Diary: Secrets of Foxworth leaves off, Kristin Masterwood and her boyfriend up the ante by going into her attic to re-enact scenes described in Christopher Dollangangers journal. Jealousy, tragedy, survival, and revenge& the discovery of Christopher’s diary in the ruins of Foxworth Hall brings new secrets of the Dollanganger family to light and obsesses a new generation. With Flowers in the Attic and Petals on the Wind both now major Lifetime TV events, the first new Dollanganger stories in nearly thirty years is a timely look at the events in the attic from teenage Christophers point of view. Christopher Dollanganger was fourteen when he and his younger siblings Cathy and the twins, Cory and Carrie were locked away in the attic of Foxworth Hall, prisoners of their mother’s greedy inheritance scheme. For three long years he kept hope alive for the sake of the others. But the shocking truth about how their ordeal affected him was always kept hidden until now.

Seventeen-year-old Kristin Masterwood is thrilled when her father’s construction company is hired to inspect the Foxworth property for a prospective buyer. The once grand Southern mansion still sparks legends and half-truths about the four innocent Dollanganger children, even all these decades later. Foxworth holds a special fascination for Kristin, who was too young when her mother died to learn much about her distant blood tie to the notorious family. Accompanying her dad to the forbidden territory, they find a leather-bound book, its yellowed pages filled with the neat script of Christopher Dollanganger himself. Her father grows increasingly uneasy about her reading it, but as she devours the teen’s story page by page, his shattering account of temptation, heartache, courage, and betrayal overtakes Kristin’s every thought. And soon her obsession with the doomed boy crosses a dangerous line.

So continues the saga of Kristin Masterwood’s pursuit to over analyze every entry in Christopher Dollanganger’s diary. But in this edition, we have a new player joining in: her boyfriend, Kane Hill. Perhaps all of this sounds a bit harsh, but trust me, I am just getting started.

Kane and Kristin begin their adventures into idiocy and crazy town with a journey up to Kristin’s attic. Apparently, in this book, Kristin is responsible for keeping the attic pristine, despite having said it was her father in the previous book. Though they swear to stay away from making the reading of the diary into a play or book report, they spend an awful lot of time playing dress up. If you think I’m kidding, I’m not. Kane even goes as far as to purchase a wig that matches Kristin’s hair (and even stole hair from her brush to do it. Creepy!) and forces Kristin to pull her hair back with a scarf.

As they delve deeper and deeper into the diary, Kane changes from the cocky, but overall good guy, into some shell of himself. Not only does he pretend to be Christopher in the attic, but he sometimes acts as if he’s possessed (or haunted) by the spirit of him. But in truth, he’s just some crazy asshat that Kristin has falling in love with. Despite the warning bells going off in her head every time he’s in her house, she not only proceeds to date him, but even gives up her virginity.

Speaking of Kristin’s virginity, I had wanted to make a snarky comment about her constantly referring to it as “Crossing the Rio Grande.” However, I was far too stunned about when she lost it that I now have a bigger cross to bear. While I understand she’s attracted to Kane and oddly not put off by his fantasizing about his hot sister, who the hell thinks because you read about someone losing their virginity, it’s a sexy moment to throw down your V card and burn it?

Yes, you read that correctly. As Kane and Kristin discover how Christopher forcibly took his sister, Cathy’s virginity (i.e. rape), they decide this is the time to get down and dirty. Of course, I’m not surprised it happened. After all, he practically tries to talk her into it every time they are alone. Although he swears he’s a virgin and he can wait (if he’s a virgin, I’m the President of the United States), she ironically winds up partially or fully naked a lot. But come the freak on. Why would you want to coordinate your first time with the knowledge of finding out your incestuous distant whatever (they still haven’t revealed her exact relationship to the family) raped his little sister when they were being imprisoned in an attic and slowly poisoned to death? Oh yeah, I guess I missed that chapter in the Joys of Sex.

And on to the last thing I feel the need to rant about. I decided to look ahead to see how far into the diary they get by the end of the book (in regards to the original story from Flowers in the Attic) and after scouring several of the last chapters and seeing no signs of the diary, my eyes fell upon a spoiler. Apparently the Dollanganger children didn’t suffer enough. In fact, according to this book, their suffering was completely in vain. Because even though their mother locked them away and threw away the key. Even though she poisoned them. The villain is made out to be Olivia Foxworth because she fooled Corrine into believing Corey had died. Basically this ghost writer wants everyone to feel sorry for Corrine (Sorry, it didn’t work) and even more sympathy for the fact the children had been tricked far worst than their imprisonment. Yes, that’s right. Poor little Corey is alive and kicking and moving back to the Foxworth estate.

You know, I have so many other comments to make about this revelation, but honestly, I can’t be bothered. The original series wasn’t all that, but Kristin’s story and the truth about Corey ruined any possible way a reader could enjoy this book. Do not read this unless you can deal with countless hours of teenagers psychoanalyzing a diary that is clearly only a few dozen pages long and yet, they are incapable of reading more than one entry at a time. If it takes a literary character over two weeks to read that little, then you probably should save yourself the headache and avoid this book.

Rating

Gold StarGold Star

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About Kristine

As an aspiring author, avid bookworm, fitness fanatic and dedicated mother, there just aren't enough hours in the day. I write or post about things I'm passionate about and spend my time trying to make the most of every day. Life may be a tough journey, but I have my ruby red slippers and am content on skipping along this yellow brick road until the end of the line.

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