V.C. Andrews has got nothing on young fiction writers these days

October 11, 2011 at 8:42 pm 6 comments

“The Prince of the Mist” by  Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Published in 2010 (in English)

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs, Published in 2011


In 6th grade, I remember sneaking “Flowers in the Attic” up to my room, carefully walking up the stairs, hoping not to get caught. I knew if my parents found out what I was reading I would be in trouble (incest and severe child abuse are not necessarily what you hope your 13-year-old daughter is reading about). But I also knew that I wouldn’t be able to sleep until I had finished it.  I kind of felt the same way about “The Prince of Mist” and “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.”

Both books are written for young adults, so I have been slinking around kind of reading them on the sly – ready to say something ridiculous like “I just got done reading the collective works of Tolstoy” if anyone asks what I am reading.  Reading young adult fiction can be really fun but like any guilty pleasure I am, for some weird reason, always ready to defend myself. I also knew, once I started both of these books, that I wouldn’t be able to sleep until I finished them.  So while I didn’t have to read these books under my covers with a flashlight, in a way that was what I was doing.

“The Prince of Mist” is set during WWII (which seems to be the case with a lot of books I have been reading lately). A family moves from the city to a small seaside town.  The oldest son, Max, knows something is wrong with this town when they get off the train and he notices that the train station clock is running backwards.  The family quickly finds out the previous owners of their house abandoned it when their son drowned.  They also find out that something is terribly wrong with the house and their surroundings.  There is just enough to make this story work – an evil cat, a spooky clown statue and a brave kid who saves the day. I think my 6th grade self would have loved this book.  My adult self  thinks this would have been better as a short story because towards the end my attention began to wander.

I think everyone has read “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” but for those who haven’t it is really a good book.  It is not what I expected but it has that storyline that we all connect with. The ordinary kid who has no friends and who thinks he is a loser only to find out that indeed he is special and then amazing things happen to him.  There have been a thousand reviews written about this book so I will leave it at that (see below for links to other reviews of this book).  It is by no means the best book you will ever read but it is a great escape and a quick read.  Don’t let the fact that the author’s name is Ransom get in your way either.

I have no idea how V.C. Andrews holds up compared to these books. But from what I remember, I think I would rather read these books several times over before ever again having to wonder if Christopher will marry his sister and get out of the attic –  and wow was that a bad movie.

Now what did I do with that Tolstoy collection I was just reading…


Entry filed under: October 2011 reads. Tags: , , , .

An Irish story is rarely a happy story – “Country Girls” by Edna O’Brien Sadly every book has to end *sigh* – “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. livelaughloveliquor  |  October 12, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    VC Andrews always reminded me of the teenage version of Joan Collins. Cheesy, soap opera type books for the teen set.

    One of the things I loved when raising my teens, was reading the books with them, and discussing. I look forward to doing that again with my little ones, when they get older.

    • 2. Emily C  |  October 12, 2011 at 7:51 pm

      She is like the teen Joan Collins. My daughter is almost three and I really look forward to reading book with her as well. Books besides “Good Night Moon” of course. Thanks for the comment.

  • 3. levjoh  |  October 31, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    I haven’t read the other books you mention in this post, but I was recently thinking about V.C. Andrews because the (terrible) movie was on cable one day. These books were so darn creepy. I read all of them, but like you said, felt like I was doing something “wrong.” What kind of twisted imagination would write books about incest for children? I don’t know . . . And the whole double incest revealed in the “prequel” makes it even worse. But yet, as a child, I couldn’t help myself . . . I had to know what was going to happen.

    • 4. Emily C  |  November 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm

      Yeah, I agree – they just make you feel “dirty” but you just couldn’t stop reading. Thanks for your comment!!!

  • 5. John Adcox  |  November 11, 2011 at 10:02 am

    I just purchased both of those! And haven’t (yet!) cracked the cover of either one. I can’t wait. I am a huge fan of Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

    • 6. Emily C  |  November 11, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      I am also a huge Zafon fan and I am always trying to get friends and family to read him. I just wish he would write faster – I am ready for his next book whatever it may be…
      Thanks for reading my blog!


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There is some great literature out there, but there is a lot of bad literature as well. We shouldn't all have to read it. These are my recommendations and thoughts about the books I read.


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