VCA Recaps: Web of Dreams Part 2

Just like in my previous VCA recaps, these will be full of SPOILERS so do not continue if you do not want to be spoiled/haven’t read it. Thank you!

Part 1 here.

This recap will cover Chapters 6–11.

Jillian doesn’t come home for hours. When she finally does, she arrives looking perfect and happy. She chides Leigh for being upset over the divorce and explains why she wasn’t happy with her father. All shallow reasons like how much older he is, how cooped up she feels on board, how much she is missing out on society, etc.

When Leigh lets her know that she saw the invitations, Jillian breaks the news that she is indeed getting married—and to Tony Tatterton. On Christmas, and they are all going to be living at Farthy. Thinking back to when I was twelve, that is definitely not an easy thing for Leigh to swallow.

Jillian pleads with Leigh to be her “best friend” from now on. She isn’t saying it out loud but basically she’s over being a mother. Then, you know, she has to go into how she fell in love with Tony, because you totally should tell your daughter all about it. She claims they didn’t have an affair but she is such a liar about everything else that I don’t really believe her about that.

Also, Jillian makes her promise to never tell Tony her real age. Cleave arrives later on and tells Leigh that he has a room at the Hilton when she asks about where he will be staying. Jillian takes Cleave into his office for a private talk. Leigh is upset when Cleave later leaves without saying goodbye. Poor girl.

Leigh later gets a letter from Raymond, one of the boys she met on the cruise and shows the letter off at school. Thanksgiving arrives and Jillian takes Leigh to Farthy to celebrate it with Tony, Troy, and important friends of Tony’s. Two weeks later, Leigh and Jillian return to Farthy for a wedding rehearsal. Jillian regrets inviting some of her older friends and voices this out loud to Leigh.

Once at Farthy, Troy is excited to show off a snowman he has made out front. Tony shows Leigh her new rooms, where she will be getting ready for the rehearsal as well as living from now on. The rooms are beautiful but Leigh worries about betraying her father’s love. Tony helps her zip up her dress when she comes out looking for her mother.

After the rehearsal is over, Leigh lets Troy drag her into the maze to find hedge trimmings for his snowman. He shows her the cottage at the end and demonstrates that he knows how to make a fire. He is a very mature four year old. They stay long enough for the snow to cover their tracks and can’t find their way back through the maze again.

Leigh and Troy are frozen by the time they are found. Troy is whisked off to a bath and Tony suggests Jillian do the same for Leigh. Jillian is upset over Leigh embarrassing her. Even Tony notices how unconcerned she is over Leigh shivering and helps her up to her new bathroom.

He runs her a hot bath and convinces her to let him help undress her down to her underwear. Once she’s in the bath, he comes in with a robe and she feels very uncomfortable, hoping he can’t see anything. He even dips his fingers into the bathwater.

A bit later, Jillian storms in to rant some more about how embarrassed she is about what Leigh did. Who knew getting lost in a maze during a snow storm was so embarrassing? When Leigh mentions that Troy wanted to get hedge trimmings, Jillian complains about how spoiled and undisciplined he is. She makes Leigh feel bad enough about what happened (right before her wedding!) to apologize.

Well…you should be. This wedding is the most important thing that has ever happened to me…or to you, young lady.”

Due to the snow, Jillian and Leigh stay over. Jillian talks to Leigh about how she will be having her own rooms even when she’s married because women need their privacy for their beauty routines and letting men see them makes them less mysterious.

Tony later brings Leigh dinner and says he hopes she will learn to love Farthy as much as he does. He also gets her to let him kiss her good night. Later, Jillian comes by to tell her that they will be leaving in the morning after breakfast. She also tells Leigh that she will help her see that all of their days from now on will be exciting.

On the way home in the morning, Jillian talks about her honeymoon and also about Winterhaven, the private girl school Tony is going to get Leigh enrolled in. Poor Leigh is just having everything taken from her. When she gets home, she has a letter from her father. It makes her sad.

Later on Jillian reveals that Jana, her mother, has agreed to come to the wedding and will probably arrive in a few hours. Indeed she does come a few hours later. The first thing Jana does is take Jillian into Cleave’s office to talk. The door is left a crack open so Leigh can hear everything.

First Jana bitches Jillian out over her marriage to Cleave. Leigh’s heart breaks when she hears her mother confess that she never loved his. It shatters when Jana reveals that Jillian got knocked up by a man named Chester Godwin. She asks Jillian if Cleave know that Leigh isn’t really his child.

Jana is disgusted at Jillian not only marrying a much younger man but also that she is lying about her age to him.

“Disgusting. Another life built on lies. I have a good mind to turn right around and head straight home, but I came and I’ll stay for Leigh’s sake. That poor child having to be dragged through one thing after another by her selfish, vain, foolish mother.”

Her heart broken, Leigh vows to never tell Cleave the truth and that he will always be her father anyway. She then thinks back to her mother telling her how nice girls didn’t have sex until they got married. Suddenly she realizes just how big of a hypocrite Jillian is.

Jana is impressed with Farthy when they take her to meet Tony, something that makes Jillian happy. The servants wait on her hand and foot.

The morning of the wedding arrive and Leigh is sad that they will be leaving their Boston house and the servants she has grown to love. Cleave has found them jobs on his liner at least.

They arrive at Farthy and it looks beautiful but of course Jillian complains about Troy’s snowman still being out front. Witch. The wedding proceeds and Leigh spends a lot of it wondering how much her mother’s oaths really mean since she had broken them before with her father.

Later Troy shows Leigh all of the wedding presents and sadly confesses that he is unhappy about the wedding because he knows Jillian doesn’t like him.

“She looks at me with growls in her eyes,” he said quickly.
“Growls? What’s growls?”
He growled like a dog.
“Oh.” I started to laugh, but saw he was very serious.

Leigh makes excuses that Jillian just isn’t used to little boys. Troy doesn’t seem very hopeful but is happy that Leigh is his sister and here with him now.

Later Jillian takes Leigh up to her suite to show her a prenuptial agreement between her and Tony. Leigh is confused by the need for it. Jillian calls her stupid and advises her to never trust a man. She tells Leigh that she is showing her this so she won’t worry about their future—no matter what, they’re rich! How very Corrine Foxworth of her.

Jana heads for the airport and back to Texas but before she goes, she invites Leigh to come stay with her if she isn’t happy. After, Tony and Jillian head off for their honeymoon, leaving Leigh with just the servants and Troy.

Leigh fills her hours with Troy. For Christmas he gifts her a ceramic horse that he made with a girl on it made to represent her. Leigh gets a heart shaped locket with a picture of her and her father inside from Cleave.

On New Years, Troy tries to say up until midnight but falls asleep. Cleave calls to wish Leigh a happy new year. Troy wakes up in the morning sick enough that his nanny takes him to the hospital. When she returns, she tells Leigh that Troy has pneumonia.

Leigh worries about Troy. Jillian comes home from her honeymoon some time later but doesn’t seem concerned at all about her new husband’s little brother. She is tired from her honeymoon, from her new husband’s energy levels, and needs to sleep. Leigh can’t wrap her head around Jillian not being at the hospital with Tony.

Later on Leigh goes to the hospital to check on Troy. Tony seems surprised and as the evening goes on, takes her to dinner. He complains about how little Jillian wanted to do on their honeymoon. When they get back to Farthy, Jillian is awake and annoyed that Leigh left.

Once Tony goes away, Jillian complains to Leigh about how tired Tony has made her with his energy. She even talks about their sex life.

“He makes love like he’s raping me,” she explained.

She pleads with Leigh to be her best friend and to help her keep Tony occupied by doing activities with him that she has no desire to do. That doing so will help him not need her so much. She tells Leigh that she will need to spend her weekends home with him. Leigh is very unsure about all of this but reluctantly agrees.

I didn’t know what to say. What was I agreeing to do?

Troy continues to get better. Jillian’s vanity gets worse and she takes even more time with her beauty routines. One evening Leigh overhears Tony and Jillian’s first spat. They are arguing about sex. Jillian is claiming that it is threatening her health but Tony calls out bullshit on that.

When Leigh goes in to talk to her mother after, Jillian reminds her of her promise to keep Tony occupied. Leigh protests that Tony won’t want to be with her and that he married Jillian so that must mean he wants to be with her. Jillian says he just needs companionship.

Leigh also discovers that Jillian won’t be going with her to school in the morning—Tony will. She suspects that Jillian doesn’t want everyone to see that she has a daughter almost as old as she wants them to think she is.

In the morning Leigh wakes to find Tony standing and staring down at her.

After breakfast, they leave for Winterhaven. Jillian is still in her bed.

I’m still enjoying the re-read and it is definitely looking like Jillian is grooming Leigh to be Tony’s plaything. Or is it just me?

Anyway, next Leigh goes to Winterhaven and unlike her future daughter, makes a friend easily.

 

 

 

 

VCA Recaps: Web of Dreams Part 1

Just like in my previous VCA recaps, these will be full of SPOILERS so do not continue if you do not want to be spoiled/haven’t read it. Thank you!

Web of Dreams (Casteel #5) by V.C. Andrews (Andrew Neiderman)

With nowhere to go, no one to help her, Leigh fled into the arms of Luke Casteel!

Leigh VanVoreen had to escape from Boston’s Farthinggale Manor. The foul secret she harbored within her seemed to darken her life forever. Jillian, her mother, would not believe her…and Tony Tatterton, her stepfather, had betrayed her most cruelly.

But the pure devotion of Luke Casteel promised her hope and respect. Only Luke knew her deepest of secrets…only Luke would love and protect her. Bravely she bore the suspicions of the Willies’ hillfolk, as she tried to grasp the happiness that had so long eluded her. Leigh prayed with all her heart that her bright, shining dreams would save her from tragedy at last…

 

This recap will cover the prologue–Chapter 5.

The prologue begins with Luke and Annie returning to Farthinggale Manor for Troy’s funeral. Annie goes inside, finds herself in Jillian’s suite, and then discovers a diary that Leigh left. While this is definitely a stretch, not to mention a huge plot hole if this diary actually goes to the Willies/end of Leigh’s life, I guess it works.

Leigh’s story begins on her 12th birthday when her father gives her the diary (he calls it her logbook because he is the owner of a cruise boat line). Her father, Cleave, is shown as loving but somewhat of a workaholic. Her mother, Jillian, is shown to be loving but also narcissistic. There are also hints that she is either seeing or wants to see Tony Tatterton sprinkled throughout the beginning. She even gets Leigh to agree to go see the mansion where she is doing fairytale murals.

One day Leigh pleads with Jillian to tell her the story of how her and Cleave met/fall in love and notes that the details of the story always changes. Jillian also gives herself a pity party each time and compares her story to Cinderella’s.

Jillian’s mother, Jana, is painted as someone really uptight, which I never noticed in later books. Me thinks Jillian is full of it. Jillian gives Leigh some very confusing advice on being a woman and on men a well.

To celebrate Leigh’s birthday, Cleave takes her and Jillian out for dinner. He announces that they are going to be going to Jamaica on one of his cruise lines in a week. Jillian complains about the timing despite her earlier ranting to Leigh about how Cleave NEVER takes her anywhere she wants, including places like Jamaica. I think this really shows Jillian character.


That weekend Jillian takes Leigh to see Farthinggale Manor. All of the staple servants from the last book such as Miles, Curtis, and Rye Whiskey are introduced. Jillian is visibly excited and even Leigh can see how taken she is with Tony. Leigh is understandably nervous around the handsome man but instantly takes to his younger brother, Troy. Tony takes all of them on a tour.

Afterwards, Tony gives Leigh a birthday present, a golden necklace with a cruise liner charm on it. Jillian expects Leigh to thank him with a kiss on a cheek and Leigh can feel Tony’s breath on her neck when he puts the necklace on her. Leigh is troubled by how her mother is acting towards Tony but can’t quite grasp what is going on.

While Jillian works on the mural, Tony takes Leigh and Troy to the private beach. Tony tells Leigh about how his and Troy’s parents died—their father actually had a heart attack while in a maze.

Troy is sad when Jillian says it’s time for them to leave. On the way home, Jillian gets in a tirade over her age and even Leigh is starting to wonder about her mother’s obsession with it. Leigh also begins to wonder what it would be like to be married after her mother reveals that Tony thinks she is 28, which would mean she would have had Leigh at 16. Jillian is apparently in her 30s or 40s but doesn’t look it and has no issue blatantly lying about it.

Leigh brings up how sweet she thought Troy was and how she would like to be a teacher. Jillian is very anti-teacher, assuming all teachers are ugly and she says she wants Leigh to end up marrying rich and having a grand estate. Ugh.

Jillian begins to prepare for the bon voyage party the will celebrate Cleave’s new cruise to Jamaica, insisting on him using the most luxurious ship—called The Jillian, of course—and inviting famous people.

The night of the party arrives and Jillian has also invited Tony Tatterton. Her attraction toward him is so obvious that even Cleave notices and frowns. Tony gets Leigh to dance with him. For now he’s not too creepy. Jillian also scolds Leigh not to gorge herself on food. Yep, this woman is definitely a shallow narcissist.

The cruise to Jamaica begins but all Jillian can do is complain about everything despite the ship sounding super luxurious. Leigh goes with her father down below deck one day and accidentally gets grease on one of her new outfits, which of course sends Jillian into a rage.

Leigh is dismayed when she overhears her parents arguing. Her mother gets seasick for a few days and then decides to take an airplane back to Boston. Leigh is left at the ship with her father, who is so overwhelmed with work that she tags along with some new girl friends.

Leigh tries to fill her time now that her mother is gone and father busy with work. She meets two boys, Fulton and Raymond, who hang out and are attracted to her. One of them insists that she could be a high school senior instead of a 12 year old.

One night she is supposed to have dinner alone with her father but is dismayed when she discovers he has invited the captain of the ship along. Later on she realizes that maybe he’s having a hard time with her mother’s departure too.

On the day before the cruise ends, the boys give Leigh their addresses and one of them kisses her on the cheek. In the morning, Cleave goes to Leigh before breakfast to break some bad news: her mother has gone to Mexico to get a divorce from him.

Leigh is understandably upset, especially when Cleave tells her that she will be staying with her mother and he will be on a month-long cruise journey. She tries to be brave for her dad. After breakfast, the ship docks and Leigh is upset when her mother sends a driver to get her instead of coming herself.

Her mother isn’t home when she gets there. Leigh goes into her father’s office, realizing how different things are going to be without him around. She goes into her mother’s suite and notices something in the sitting room. It’s a stack of printed wedding invitations.

Poor Leigh. Her mother is a selfish bitch!

Even though the beginning was a bit boring at times, I really enjoyed Leigh’s voice. There were a few sentences that were strange, especially this line Leigh thinks about her father: I yearned to have him hold me so tight I couldn’t breathe, to warm my lips with his kisses, and to make me feel like everything would be okay.

Overall I liked it and I feel like Jillian’s character is well done. While she’s a selfish narcissist at the start, her character just seems to get even more so as the story unravels.

Next, Leigh learns who her mother has fallen in love with and makes a new friend.

 

 

 

The Book VS the Movie: The Princess and the Goblin

Book written by George MacDonald, 1872
Movie directed by József Gémes, 1991

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:

Princess Irene lives in a castle in a wild and lonely mountainous region. One day she discovers a steep and winding stairway leading to a bewildering labyrinth of unused passages with closed doors – and a further stairway. What lies at the top? Can the ring the princess is given protect her against the lurking menace of the boglins from under the mountain?

 

VS

Which I Viewed First: The movie, as a child.

Which I Enjoyed Most: The movie, slightly.

Out of 5 stars, the Book Gets: 3.5 stars.

Out of 5 stars, the Movie Gets: 3.75 stars.

Things the Book Did Better: For such an old book, I feel it was still pretty enjoyable for this day and age. The story was also solid and more interesting.

Things the Movie Did Better:  The characters seemed a bit more developed/likable. Songs also work better in movies for me than they do in books, even though Curdie’s song tended to get stuck in my head.

Verdict?: Movie, slightly. Enjoyed both about the same though.

Should the movie be re-made?: A live action version could be interesting but I feel the animated movie does a pretty good job.

What do you think? Agree, disagree? Would love to hear your thoughts!

 

See more Book VS Movie posts HERE.

 

Harry Potter Re-Read 2017 (HP & The Chamber of Secrets)

For 2017, I decided I wanted to re-read the Harry Potter books since it has been a long time, and to also read HP related books. In February, I read the second book in the series, The Chamber of Secrets, in the illustrated format.

Somehow the illustrations were even more stunning in this edition, though the pages with the spiders were super creepy because I’m with Ron concerning them. One page was so unexpected and realistic that I actually jumped.

I loved re-reading this one as well. I also liked the story/mystery better than the first, though I’m not sure any of the books will ever top the nostalgia from the first book. I felt the same about the movie.

Sadly I didn’t make any recipes from my Harry Potter cookbook because of life. I still haven’t made any new recipes though I’m hoping to get back into them soon.

Anyway, I loved the addition of Dobby and Moaning Myrtle (especially Myrtle from the movies!). I also love to hate Lockhart and I feel the actor who played him in the movie did an amazing job.

And I totally cried when Hagrid returned in the movie. Not even going to lie.

I feel like a lot of the scenes from the books like the Quidditch Match and the Polyjuice Potion worked a bit better in the movie but I still loved both versions.

I am so glad I decided to re-read this series.

March & April Book Haul

My goal for 2017 is to try and buy less books overall and to try to buy more that I will read this year. Here’s how I did this month.

I plan on reading The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers around July. I had a few credits on BookMooch so this was basically free.

Booktuber and YA author Maggie Ann Martin sent me Hotel Ruby for a giveaway I entered. I plan to read this one around Halloween. It sounds similar to Evil in the Walls so I am curious about it.

I got The Daughter of the Pirate King with my March Owlcrate box. If I have time this summer, I definitely want to squeeze it in. I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel that focused on pirates.

All of the wonderful bookish goodies in my Owlcrate.

I plan to read Rise of Empire next month. I also hope to squeeze the 6th One Piece manga in for this month. I may read Proven Guilty later on this year if I have time. I saw the Irish Fairy and Folk Tales and had to get it. These were bought used on eBay and Amazon.

James Alexander released a new sweary coloring book called Road Rage. It is hilarious. I sat on my patio and laughed until I cried as I flipped through the pages. Unfortunately he is having some issues with Amazon and CreateSpace refusing to stock his work. I am really glad I grabbed it when I did and hope they will re-instate his books.

I didn’t care for any of the library editions for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn so I decided to get this adorable Puffin edition off eBay. I plan to read this for my classic next month.

I found Illuminae at my local Ollie’s Discount store for $6 so I found it hard to resist. If I don’t get to it this year, I would like to make it a goal to read it next year. Sci-Fi is a genre I rarely read from and this one actually interests me.

James May’s Toy Stories was at my library’s outlet store. I scored it for a couple of bucks and will probably gift it to my Father-in-law, who enjoys James May and these sort of books.

I got Suite Scarlett with BookMooch points.

I also got Vampirella, a comic, and Shark Movie Mania in March’s Horror Block. I definitely want to try to get to both of these this year since I am obsessed with sharks and would like to read more comics.

I have been hearing great things about You and I found a brand new hardcover of it at Dollar Tree. Definitely going to get to it soon.

This isn’t a book but since it’s book related, I thought I would add it. I found this at Target.

I also found these adorable Harry Potter magnetic book clips at Target!

 

I acquired 15 books during these months and plan to read 9-10 of them this year. Not bad!

 

Books in April 2017

For 2017, I have challenged myself to read 80 books. In April, I read eight.

 

New Favorites: Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis & The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

Least Liked: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Classic: Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Old Favorites (Re-Reads): Gates of Paradise by V.C. Andrews (Andrew Neiderman), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.

The Crown was decent and I really liked Toxic (though this series has gotten so ridiculous). I also liked Peter Pan but I probably wouldn’t re-read it or the rest of the books. Some of the re-tellings could be interesting though.

Overall I had a great reading month. I was disappointed that I didn’t love The Sun is Also a Star but my two new favorites made up for it.

 

My new favorites for April.

My classic read for the month.

So far Goblet of Fire is my favorite. Forgot how good it was.

Another V.C. Andrews (Andrew Neiderman) re-read. Check out my re-cap of it.

So what did you read in April and what were your favorites? How many books are you tackling for 2017?

jnc

Books in March 2017

For 2017, I have challenged myself to read 80 books. In March, I read 8.

 

New Favorite: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Classic: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Old Favorites (Re-Reads): Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling.

I had a great reading month. I couldn’t even pick a Least liked book so I left it off for this month. While I didn’t love Fallen Hearts by V.C. Andrews as much as I used to, I still really enjoyed it. Mara Wilson’s book, Where Am I Now? was a much more emotional read than I was expecting (in a good way). I also loved Little Women.

The Heir, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Deadly were all pretty good.

 

 

My new favorite read for March.

My classic read for the month.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite of the series so far.

And while Fallen Hearts isn’t my favorite VCA novel any longer, I still really enjoyed it. The recap I did was fun, too. Check it out here.

So what did you read in March and what were your favorites? How many books are you tackling for 2017?

jnc