Review: Shattered Memories by "V.C. Andrews"

3:30 PM

Shattered Memories by V.C. Andrews | Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

I'll be honest, I fell into the trap with The Mirror Sisters. The first book was relatively rubbish but the second one was thrilling enough that I had high hopes for the series conclusion in Shattered Memories. Undoubtedly, we all know that V.C. Andrews' name needs to be retired as she passed away decades ago and the ghost-writer has more misses than hits.

While Shattered Memories had the potential to conclude the stories of Haylee and Kaylee, the finale was beyond underwhelming and left me feeling like there was no real end, no closure, and it fell as flat as it felt messy. I'm not sure how it even got published--or if it really is the series end--but damn, it was a let down. Especially when you consider how thrilling (and darkly twisted) the ending of The Mirror Sisters was leading straight up to Broken Glass. It had the potential to build onto that and show both sides of Haylee and Kaylee--but it just didn't.

And, as per usual, it shows how lackluster the ghost-writer has become in the years since he took control of the books published under the V.C. Andrews name. Something about it was all to familiar when it comes to the modern "V.C. Andrews" and that's not even the worst part.

The worst part is the wasted potential, the tendency to repeat the same parts in narrations multiple times in one chapter, and the general sloppiness we witness in plots and developments. I cannot fathom how the publisher approved this or why we haven't left V.C. Andrews' legacy the heck alone.

I'm getting off track--let's talk about plots. Good and bad.

I was also not keen on the fact that we only got one of the twins' side to the story. What made Broken Glass so compelling was that it had both girls front and center--a narration that was coherent and made the plot go quickly, making you question everything. It may not have been the makings of classic literature or anywhere near the twisted decadence that comes with Andrews' name, it still felt like the most V.C. Andrews title in recent memory.

Kaylee is a compelling enough narrator and visibly scarred from what she had to endure in her life of captivity for the time she was taken. The betrayal cut deep knowing that her twin sister, Haylee, was the reason that all of this happened. The family--as a whole--is on edge or completely destroyed. She doesn't... her narration falls flat, like most of the novel. I felt like so much could have been done with her story and she could have been developed further. She's still sympathetic--but there's just all sorts of wasted potential in how she is moving forward with her life.

Haylee is paying for her crimes. Maybe not in the way she deserves, but she is pretty far away from Kaylee. Thankfully. Again, the novel was lacking desperately her point of view. I feel like there was so much in her side of the story--the aftermath--that could have made the story balance out in the general creepy factor. I'm disappointed. I'm not disappointed in her endgame by the end of Shattered Memories (in fact, I saw it coming a mile away) but I just felt like everything about her was wasted. 

After being back home for a short period of time--her mother is being cared for, given the fragility of her mental health and the absence of her sister is heavy--her father decides she may be better off changing schools. This, of course, is logical--the news of her abduction and all its gritty twists has certainly made her life more than complicated. I am going to be honest... I don't remember the name of her school. Like, at all. Because despite it being the main setting for majority of the novel, it just was background noise and there was no effort put into it.

That being said--I didn't mind the friendships that she made at school or her romance. I thought there was so much more (again, a theme) that could have been developed but the novels only saving grace was the scenes she shared with her two new friends and her love interest. I would normally be against love interests so soon into her recovery but the pacing was pretty organic and well developed (though still not great) and I enjoyed their scenes. A lot of common ground without being similar in back-story.

I really hated the lack of closure we got in Shattered Memories and overall my experience with this book was not warm. I wanted so much more. I walked away with nothing to show for it and I've already forgotten like... everything. Almost everything. 

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