Friday, September 10, 2010

If Harry Potter had come out when I was 12 instead of 16, I would be way more obsessed. That's a lot of obsessed, but this is not about Harry Potter.

A few weeks ago, someone referenced Flowers in the Attic on their blog, and this led me down a rabbit hole. First I had to look up Flowers in the Attic on Wackopedia, because I'd forgotten some of the effed up details, which led me to looking up all the other VC Andrews books I read as a child (sidenote: VC Andrews should not be read by children), which led me to looking up OTHER books I read as a child, which led me to realize that just because I was an advanced reader for my age, that did not mean I should have been reading a lot of the books I read. Second grade is far too young to read Are You There, God, It's Me, Margaret.

I devoured books (mmm, books) as a child, many times in one sitting, and I read my favorites over and over. Not much has changed, except I no longer usually have time to read an entire book in one sitting because being an adult comes with responsibilities, which is STUPID AND I HATE IT. Anyway. I made up a list of the books I read over and over, what I remember about each one, and other comments that are probably full of exclamation marks and all caps.

The previously mentioned Flowers in the Attic: OK. This might be the most fucked up book I've ever read. There are four kids, all blond and beautiful. The two older children are teenagers, I think, and the two younger are twins (one boy, one girl). Their father dies and because their mother is a waste of space, she takes the kids to her childhood home so she can beg her father for money. The kids are locked in an attic by their mother and grandmother because they are Satan's spawn (according to the grandmother) because GET THIS, the kids' parents were uncle and niece (I think). Although, in a later book it's revealed that they're really half brother and sister. Gross. Anyway, the grandmother is a total see you next tuesday and is really mean to them. At one point, she pours tar in the older girl's hair while she's sleeping and I think whips her with a belt. Also, the mother feeds the kids arsenic because her father's will says she'll only get any money if she didn't have any two headed incest children. Also, the older brother rapes the older sister. I KNOW.

I don't know why I was allowed to read any of these books. And I read almost all of them. There is a TON of incest in every single one, WHAT THE HELL?

IT, by Stephen King: Yes. I read this book as a child. I can't remember how old I was, but it might have been around the time I wrote The Evil Summer, which explains a lot, yes? Yes. This book is about...shit, you guys, it's so messed up. There's a scary clown, a big ass spider, dead kids, IT IS NOT FOR CHILDREN. But I specifically remember my dad giving me this book to read. When I was like 12.

The Secret Circle: This is the first trilogy I read by LJ Smith, and probably my favorite. Hokay, so. What happens is, this girl named Cassie moves to Salem or something. I think she goes to live with her grandparents, maybe? I don't remember why, but her mom never told her who her father was, so that's a big mystery. Somehow she ends up BFF with this girl named Diana, who is part of a secret witch coven (I know) and they recruit Cassie. Cassie is totally in love with Diana's boyfriend Adam (I am making up names at this point) and at one point they make out and it's a big thing. The whole coven gets in a big fight, and there's this dark evil hovering over everything in the form of, some dark dude. The dark dude ends up being Cassie's real father and he's evil and wants her to join the dark side and then they have this big fight and he cuts of her hand, oh wait, that's something else. My point is, I don't remember anything else about these.

Dark Visions: This was my second favorite of the trilogies and it was about all these psychic kids. They go to some institute, which turns out to be evil (of course), and they run away and there are psychic shenanigans. I feel like there was some big deal with light or dark crystals? And people linking minds? And a love triangle! Like Jack and Kate and Sawyer, but not lame! Except, it was totally lame. I don't remember much about this one. Sorry. Or you're welcome.

The Forbidden Game: I remember even less about this trilogy, but I think the protagonist's name was Jenny (score!) and her friends got her a game (a FORBIDDEN game) for her birthday or something. They all play it and get sucked into it, sort of like Jumangi. There's some guy in the game who keeps fucking with them and he's in love with Jenny. I think his name is Julian and in my mind, he looks like Spike from Buffy, I have no idea what else happens or how it ends. Sorry. Or you're welcome.

I was going to write more but now I'm tired. If I find any cheap copies of these books or any other authors (RL Stine! Christopher Pike! Judy Blume! Caroline Cooney! Lois Lowry! Ann M Martin!) I read a lot as a kid, I might do some reviews. Or I might forget I ever said that. Whatever.


  1. I had totally forgotten, but I still have my beloved Secret Circle trilogy hiding somewhere... I just also remember they all had like a "stone" that was "theirs" and the bad dude's stone was black. Because, you know, he was evil. Man, I really loved those books.

  2. Oh yeah! Was there any actual magic in the book? I can't remember.

  3. I've read practically every V.C. Andrews book even though all of the family histories end up being the same (Surprise: there will be incest!). I loved how the mom delivers the arsenic to them by disguising it in the powdered sugar donuts. That almost made me stop eating powdered donuts, but not quite. And I forgot that the brother raped the sister-- I just thought that they were in loooove and going through puberty isolated together in an attic. I love that book for making every living adult character pretty hateable.

  4. Kids + Stephen King novels = The kids needing therapy later. Especially It. Creepy killer clown, anyone? Hello?

  5. It . . . doesn't that one have a kid-orgy in it? You read that as a child? How did you not become a serial killer is what I want to know.

    I too loved Lois Lowry, Ann M. Martin, Judy Blume (SUPERFUDGE!!), and Caroline B. Cooney. But my favorite books were the Animorphs. I must have read all fifty (plus the specials) at least ten times. Did you know Caroline Cooney came out with another Milk Carton book a couple years ago? I'm very curious about it.

    P.S. I was 13 or 14 when the HP books came out. Total perfect age.

  6. I have so been down this rabbit hole! I read It - as a dare from an older cousin, and because my grandmother forbade it - the summer before I went into fifth grade. I had just turned ten, and all the kids in the book were 11. It became my favorite, albeit entirely f-ed up and freaky, book of all time. (And still is in my top 10 list, easily.) Yes, there was a (completely out of nowhere) child orgy. Yes, there was a scary-ass clown that ripped the arms right off of little brothers and teenagers making out under bridges. Yes, there was an evil so large that they couldn't even think of what to name it.
    But the kids in that book were supposed to be powerless against the monster - they were supposed to get saved by the grown-ups, just like in every other book I had ever read. But they didn't: the grown-ups checked out, let it go, pretended It wasn't real. The kids in that book wound up having all the power, all the magic, all the belief they needed. I devoured the massive book - it's like 1137 pages or something like that - in less than a week, I loved it so much. The nightmares were totally worth it. (Except to my eight year old sister, who I later forced to watch the even creepier tv miniseries with me and now has a - totally justifiable - fear of clowns.)