Title: Orphans (Books 1-4)
Author: V.C Andrews
What's it about?
Orphans is collection of four books about four girls who are each searching to define what family is, but is family even something they can have? Butterfly, Crystal, Brooke and Raven are each young girls with no one to call their own family. As each of them embrace what may be their last chance to be a daughter; to be somebody other then "the orphan girl". But things are not always as they seem. Sometimes dreams become nightmares but, maybe, these nightmares are exactly what they need to find themselves in their own family, though it may not be at all what they imagined.
Favorite Story: I think my favorite of these four stories was Janet's (otherwise known as Butterfly's) story. As I sit here thinking about my experience reading this book and trying to pin point why I enjoyed what I enjoyed, I find that there isn't a specific moment or thing that made me like one more then the others. I think, honestly, it was Janet. There was something about her vulnerability and her pureness that I think really pulled on me. After everything she had been through in her life, being a part of the system, Janet was this sweet girl who still believed in all of the goodness and love that we start to forget about, even those of us who didn't have the childhood she did, who didn't grow up in the system, lost and forgotten by everyone. I think, too, that I liked her adopted parents the most. While I don't agree with Celine's need to live through her "perfect daughter", but I understand that pain of loss and wanting so badly to not be forced to give up on a dream that meant so much to you.
Least Favorite Story: I'm going to be honest, the answer to this question started off as one thing and ended in another. Initially, I was sure that my least favorite was Raven's story. It felt like the darkest and the most sinister of the stories. While I still believe that it is the darkest and most sinister of the stories, I realized that I couldn't really name it my least favorite because I appreciate it, maybe more then the others. I liked that Raven wasn't an orphan with no parents. She has a mother, but her mother is far from ideal, leaving Raven helpless and alone with her uncle, a man who admits to mistreating her mother. While I hate that Raven's mother leaves her with a hateful, violent jerk like her uncle, but I like that Raven wasn't an orphan from birth. I liked that she had a very different birth into the system. And, there was something almost poetic about the reminder that, even though so many of the other orphans thought that family was about being surrounding with people who happen to have the right titles like Mom, Dad, sister, Aunt, but Raven's story reminds us that it's who you're surrounded by, not the title they hold.
So, then, which was my least favorite story? Brooke's story. My dislike for her story has very little to do with Brooke. In fact, I liked her and her strength but I hated her adopted mother, Pamela. Her sexist ideas and obsession with appearances just made me sick! Her dependence on men as if they are meant to be slaves to women with no other worth was just a little too much for me.
Favorite Quotes: If found three quotes that I really liked.
"When do we find out?" I asked him, my tears now bubbling at the lids.
"Find out what?"
"Who we are."
"We're always making discoveries about that," he said. (260)
This just made me smile. There was something about the naked truth that just stuck with me.
"You must understand. We're beautiful first for ourselves, to make ourselves feel special, and then, when we feel special, others will see it and think of us as special, too." (pg. 384) Oddly enough, this was said by Pamela. I think it was about the only smart thing she said! It almost knocked me over.
"It's a long story." I said dryly, "with a bad ending."
"Not yet." Brooke said.
"The ending. It's not written yet." (pg. 656)
I just loved the reminder that we get a say in our stories. We get to write at least part of them and that reminder that our story doesn't end until...well...it ends.
While I like V.C Andrews, I'm not a huge fan. I usually find her stories a little heavy and dark for me to reread. This is one of the least heavy and dark V.C Andrews I've read. It almost didn't feel like a V.C Andrews book for me.
What did I rate this?
I give this a
10 suit cases
But, that's just what I thought. What I want to know is what did you think? Who did you liked the most? Let us know in the comments!