Book Title:
Into the Garden
Book Author:
V.C. Andrews
Book Series:
Wildflowers, #5
Page Count:
384
Publishing Date:
December 1st, 1999
Publisher:
Pocket Books
Date Read:
October 25th, 2018
Source:
Borrowed

Synopsis

THEY BEGAN AS STRANGERS -- FOUR TEENAGE GIRLS WITH NOTHING IN COMMON BUT THEIR MISERABLE CHILDHOODS. SOON, THEY WOULD REALIZE THAT THEIR SECRET PASTS HAD BOUND THEM TOGETHER FOREVER....

Misty, Star, Jade, and Cat first came together in Dr. Marlowe's group therapy sessions. They trusted no one but each other -- and even that bond was fragile at best. One by one, each of the Wildflowers told her own story and bravely unveiled the inner wounds inflicted by years of lies, deceit, and untold family secrets; each revealed the shocking tales of how their parents hurt them, used them, or simply abandoned them. And as they shared their darkest feelings, they no longer felt like lost souls with nowhere to turn. Finally, years of loneliness and pain gave way to the realization that someone else in this world understood them. But then the sessions ended, and the girls didn't know if they would ever see each other again.

Now they are coming together one more time. Jade has sent out invitations to her parents' mansion -- the sprawling, opulent home that served as a battleground for much of her young life. There, the four will rekindle their bonds of friendship and trust. But this time, away from Dr. Marlowe's watchful eye, it will be different. Today, in the mansion's attic, Star, Jade, Cat, and Misty will take each other's hands and swear to tell the real truth -- the shattering secrets that lie deep within them like smoldering coals. And once the darkest secret of all is spoken aloud, there will be no turning back. For there may be some things the Wildflowers should leave buried forever....

My Review

Into the Garden is the fifth and final installment in the Wildflowers series, which is written under the V.C. Andrews name. While I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the series, for some reason I have a special place in my heart for Into the Garden – I thought it was incredibly suspenseful and full of thrills, twists, and turns that really tied the whole series together.

While the rest of the books in the Wildflowers series – Misty, Star, Jade, and Cat – were all smaller books (usually around 180 pages or so), this one was a full length novel, and there’s good reason for it – there is so much going on in this book that there is no way any reader could ever be bored with it.

Of course, like with many books (especially V.C. Andrews books), I had my fair share of problems that I just couldn’t get over, causing me to only give this book 4 stars out of 5. I’m going to try to talk about what happens in this book without giving out any spoilers, but this time around I’m not really sure I’m going to be able to help it if I end up giving them away – so if you didn’t read the books or follow along with my other reviews (which are linked above!), then I apologize if I spoil anything for you!

“We had all revealed so many intimate secrets to each other. Sometimes, sharing such things ties people together tightly, binds them in knots that are almost impossible to break. Each revelation is like another string wrapping around our hearts, binding us together forever.”

In the previous books in the series, we heard each girl’s story – all four of them. In Into the Garden, we head back into the life of Cat, who is the narrator for the book. Of course, all the rest of the girls take their proper places in the book, too. They have become friends now, bound by the secrets that they have shared in Dr. Marlowe’s group therapy. From family troubles to boy troubles to dealing with serious issues that aren’t for the faint of heart, these four girls have bared their souls to each other.

But nothing will prepare them for what’s about to happen now.

“Bedroom doors had to be kept closed. Maybe so the secrets wouldn’t slip out.
Or…
Slip in.”

With Cat’s horrible family history, and an adoptive father who is now out of the picture (or is he?), Cat finally feels safer – until something happens to her adoptive mother and she panics and tells the girls.

Trying their hardest to keep Cat out of foster care and in the same area so that they can still be friends, they do what they need to do – and  they must suffer the consequences of the horrifying secret that they are about to share – a secret that will do more than just bind them forever.

When things start to go wrong with their plan, and they realize that they have bitten off more than they can chew, the girls start to panic. It doesn’t help that Cat’s adoptive father has returned, and wants to know what is going on…

I really enjoyed this book, like I said. I felt that it wrapped the series up nicely, giving a satisfying ending to those who stuck around through it all. I was shocked about how the events unfolded in the book, though – I definitely did not expect some of those twists and turns, and I was on the edge of my seat for the majority of the novel!

My one problem in this book that I simply cannot get over is how different the characters seemed in this book compared to their individual stories. The only one who seemed the same (sarcastic and guarded) was Star. Misty and Jade just seemed kind of off to me – Misty had taken on a bubbly, girly personality that she simply did not seem to have in the rest of the books. Jade took on a personality that just seemed…un-Jade like, I guess? I’m not sure. I just felt like they were distant; they felt as though they were merely thrown together without much thought to their personalities in the other four books. It really took away from the story in my eyes, and this is why I took a star off.

If you’re looking for an interesting series that is both dark and twisty, the Wildflowers series is definitely the kind of series that you should consider picking up. The first four books are kind of short, and the last book is 384 pages, so it’s traditional novel length.

I kind of wish there were more books in this series, if I can be honest. I really enjoyed it a lot, and I was bummed when I turned the last page. I loved reading about these girls and the lives they lived, as well as the trials and obstacles that they had to overcome. I have a special place in my heart for this series and will reading it again in the future, I think!

4 stars
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2 Responses to Into the Garden (Wildflowers #5) by V.C. Andrews

  1. Dianna says:

    I haven’t read a V.C. Andrews book in so long — pretty sure Flowers in the Attic was the only one I read. Didn’t even realize there were others! I might have to check this one out.

    • Kelly says:

      There are four more books to the Flowers in the Attic series…I have to admit that I only ever read the first two before losing interest, though! Some of the books under the V.C. Andrews name are so good!

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