The Heavenstone Secrets
Pocket, Dec 2009, $7.99
The two Heavenstone sisters live with their parents in an old Kentucky mansion. The older sibling Cassie is the perfect Heavenstone as she behaves properly everywhere. The younger sister Semantha is prettier, but somehow pales next to her accomplished older sibling.
It is hard to live up to the perfect definition of her parents when everything frightens you which is what Semantha feels. Her biggest fear is that of Cassie who always orders her around when their parents are not there to see the other side. When mother becomes ill and hospitalized, Cassie takes over her role in the household. She scares Semantha even more as the younger Heavenstone feels like a criminal under interrogation by her sibling and fears what her sister is doing to her and her father even as she conceals something that will be obvious in a few months.
The concept of good seed bad seed has been a round a long time (Bette Davis in Dead Ringer, Whatever happened to Baby Jane? and Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte). However, V.C. Andrews keeps it fresh due to Cassie as the perfect teen Machiavellian manipulator though it helps that her pathetic parents prefer not to dig below the surface. Semantha overkills the victim defense as much of the story line she whimpers about her fear of her sister and just about everything else. Although entertaining as readers will wonder if hormones running wild will bring a backbone to Semantha The Heavenstone Secrets contains no Flowers in the Attic.