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Monday, January 28

Winter Reads: The Silhouette Girl by V.C. Andrews


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Being released tomorrow from Gallery Books (a division of Simon & Schuster) is the thriller The Silhouette Girl by V.C. Andrews ($14.99; 362 pages).

Wait a minute, please let me correct that. The novel is written by the ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman, the author who took over the task of writing under V.C. Andrews's name after her death in 1986.

The Silhouette Girl is told from two different point-of-views. One is told through the eyes of Pru Dunning and the other is told from the POV of Scarletta Barnaby. Pru is a twenty-something nurse who has a normal adult life, well, except for the little fact that she's possibly being stalked by a former patient, Douglas Thomas, and she keeps receiving weird phone messages from a woman named Scarletta.

Scarletta is a teenager who's mother had recently packed her bags and disappeared with an unknown boyfriend; leaving Scarletta's father devastated. While the girl tries to live like a normal teenager, a family dark secret attempts to destroy her life.

Like almost every other V.C. Andrews' title (well, the ghostwriter's), there's a wicked twist that intertwines the two character's lives.

Final Thoughts

For the last few V.C. Andrews' titles, I have been a little critical about Mr. Neiderman's writing style, which has become less and less like the original V.C. Andrews' Gothic tone and more like a badly written generic YA novel. Nevertheless, I told myself not to compare The Silhouette Girl to the "real" V.C. Andrews' novels. From now on, I will only compare the ghostwriter's writings to the past ghostwriter's titles.

The Silhouette Girl marks the first time a V.C. Andrews' title has been published by Gallery Books instead of Pocket Books, which are both divisions of Simon & Schuster. With a sharp art cover and an intriguing blurb, I was hoping this book would be decent, even though my expectations were pretty low.

To any readers who wants to read this book, don't skip to the very back to read the "Author's Note," as it gives away the ending twist. Honestly, it's pretty bad when an author has to explain an ending to his book.

Every other chapter is told from either the point-of-view of Pru (the adult) or Scarletta (the teenager), which I found confusing at times as both are written with the same narration. If it wasn't for each chapter being titled with the character's name, I would have believed the entire book was about one character. If you want me to believe these are two entirely different individuals, the two characters need separate unique voices!

The Scarletta chapters are more in par with the last few YA-style stories and the Pru chapters is written more in style of Mr. Neiderman's novels that are published under his own name. This causes the entire novel to feel uneven, as if two different stories were altered at the last minute to form one novel.

Overall, The Silhouette Girl is a complete mess from start to finish. When I found continuity issues within the first chapter, I knew this wasn't going to be a very good read. The characters are bland with cheesy dialogue. The big twist is really confusing. I liked the idea Mr. Neiderman was going with, but it was poorly executed or just lazily written. The story could have been better if it had detailed descriptions, realistic dialogue, and three dimensional characters.

Mr. Neiderman, you can write better this!

The Silhouette Girl is right there beside Capturing Angels as ones of the worst V.C. Andrews' titles!
*Note: With the original Flowers in the Attic novel is turning 40-year-old this year, there will be a new prequel, Beneath the Attic, released sometime in the fall. I'm hoping Mr. Neiderman didn't rush the writing this time. If he did, then maybe it's time for the V.C. Andrews' estate and the publishers to hire a new ghostwriter who's capable of writing a decent novel.

*Note: I received a review copy from the publisher.
All opinions are my own!



2 comments:

  1. Whoa, Flowers in the Attic is turning 40? Time flies!
    Too bad this book wasn't to your liking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, Flowers in the Attic was first published in February 1979, which was nearly two-years before I was born. I wanted to like The Silhouette Girl, but it was horribly written.

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