Top critical review
One person found this helpful
on March 23, 2004
I gave this book 3 stars because it did, in the end, achieve what it set out to do: it got me to buy the other books in the series. And it was an interesting read and a fast one. That being said, however, I think that this series more than any other (by V.C. Andrews) made me angry. I know that Andrews' characters are known for their...passivity, but Ruby really took it too far. She let everyone from her drunken, redneck grandpere to her to her whorish, jealous twin sister walk all over her. To tell you the truth, by the end of this first book, I was almost rooting for Giselle! At least she had a reason to act the way she did! She had been spoiled by her father, neglected by her adopted mother...she had to face the fact that her history wasn't what she had been told. She had to accept that she not only had a twin sister, but that the very same twin sister was moving into her house and usurping her place in her daddy's heart. And then? Then her sister stole her boyfriend! So...basically anything she wanted to do to Ruby was pretty much okay with me.
And speaking of the boyfriend...
Beau Andres was the most shallow, boorish, unlikable male lead I have ever come across. He dumped Giselle for Ruby, claiming to be oh so appreciative of her sweet virginity. Then at the first chance he gets he rapes her in her art studio! I don't care if she ended up enjoying the climax or not! She pleaded with him to stop about 50 times and he wouldn't! RAPE! And the fact that Ruby views this act not for the assault it is but for an indication of "love" is sickening. Their whole relationship was sickening...throughout this first book I kept hoping she'd run back to the swamps. I'd much rather have seen [having sex] with her brother than this lout. At least her brother treated her with some respect.
Still, in the end, the author did do a good enough job on the characters for me to get so angry with them...which I guess connotes good writing. Of a sort. My advice? Read it but take it with a grain of salt.