Newest Review: ... of the Virginia Andrews collection of books within 'The Orphans Mini Series'. Brooke is number three in the series. The book consists o... more
Member Name: Ovetta2001
Brooke - Virginia Andrews
Date: 06/02/08, updated on 06/02/08 (108 review reads)
Advantages: Great plot, gripping
Disadvantages: Ghost writer, Short
From the day I could read, Virginia Andrews has been one of my favourite authors. Her ability to draw you into her books and really will the characters forward is a skill not all have and I have read many a book by others where I find myself not finishing it. However Virginia Andrews has always created a great story which means I find it difficult to put my book down and leave it till later. In turn this means that because her books are mostly considered a light read I have found my way though most of her collection.
The life of Virginia Andrews was unfortunately far from perfect. Born in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1923 Virginia was only daughter of the family. As a teenager she feel down a stairwell at her school which would eventually cause her to spend her life in a wheelchair. She then spent four years succesfully completeing a course which would map out the rest of her life as an author.
Before her passing in 1986 caused by breast cancer she wrote eight books including the imfamous 'Flowers in the attic'. With hundreds of more ideas penned, the family members left behind sort and found Andrew Neiderman who was to become her ghost writer. He now uses her short stories and makes them into a novel which is then published under her name.
In 1998 the five books of the Orphan series was published. Like most others made the idea is four separate storys which somehow come together to create the fifth, In this instance the books in order were to be named Crystal, Butterfly, Brooke, Raven and finally Runaways.
At the tender age of two Brooke Okun is abandoned by her mother and is left with only a faded pink ribbon to remember her. This allows Brooke's mind to wander about who her mother could be and if she will ever come back for her. Brookes pride and joy at the Orphanage is that she is amazing at athletics. From running to bat and ball she is in her element. However when she is finally adopted by Peter and Pamela Thompson her sporting skills are far from the families mind.
Thrown into a life of luxury Brooke is soon to learn that her new father Peter is a well known wealthy lawyer and Pamela is best described as a trophy wife. Pamela is a reining beauty queen whose life consists of nothing but a strict timetable of moisturizing, washing and constant etiquette. Being the perfect host whenever she is awake even if only to the workers around the house. Of course Peter doesn't help her by pandering to her every whim whether that be things she desires or just getting her way.
Enrolled into an expensive private school full of girls with similar mothers, Brooke soon learns that what you wear and how you look means everything and her passion for sport is seen as a disease to all but her coach. Home life is far from different with Pamela trying to force her way of life onto Brooke with lessons of how to eat, act and even draw a bubble bath so the balance of oils is perfect. With days full of piano lessons which take up her free time instead of sport, photo shoots and Pamela breathing down her neck every step of the way Brooke is soon to question if a life of luxury equals a life of happiness and if not where does that leave her.
A gripping insight into the world where theoretically all your dreams are laid out for you Brooke must decide what she wants from life and how to do it.
Brooke is the person who tells the story and so it is as if you are hearing what is in her head. This is a nessasary element of the book as it is her story and you need to understand what she is going though and the justifications for her actions. However this does mean that you only hear one side of the story. How I longed to hear what was going though the obsessive Pamela's mind, to understand how she can be a constant living manaquin and if she is truly content with her way of life or if it is all now just routine. On the flip side it would have also been interesting to hear what Peter had to say as even though he has a beauiful wife and amazing job there is always a hint from him that he desires more from life.
One of the big faults I always find with these books is that I always find it too short. Bringing spaces together and empty pages the book consists of a measly 160 pages at font 10. Now I am fully aware that minus the Dollanganger series V.A is meant to be seen as a light read but there is so much more room for growth into these book that there is a lot to be desired.
Despite the abrupt end to the book it is still a good read which flows very well. There are no plot holes within the story and there isn't a moment where something just seems too far fetched. Don't expect to come out of the book feeling like you have gained something though. The books originally written by V.A have a lot more depth and sometimes a lot of darkness then that of her ghost writer Andrew.
This book would be best recommended for teenagers and/or women as the style of the story may be a stretch for guys. A definite for all V.A fans especially if you have ever read the Dollanganger series as you know what to expect. However, I would seriously advise that you read the series in order (with this being book three) so that the stories flow together better and then if you want you can read the final book.
In all the series can offer you several hours of enjoyment as well as the possibility of branching out to the rest of the V.A series.
Other books in the Virginia Andrews Series:
The Dollanganger series
The Casteel series
The Cutler series
The Landry series
The Logan series
The Wildflowers series
The Hudson series
The Shooting Stars series
The DeBeers Series
The Broken Wing series
The Gemini series
Summary: A great short read