I found nine VC Andrews books in a charity thrift shop and brought them home for $5. Two series' worth, the Casteel and the Dollanganger (the best ones -- although I'm missing Garden of Shadows). I know it's trash, fluff. I can't get enough.

I burned through these books when I was in the 7th grade and often wonder what they did to my psyche. I didn't talk about my love of VC Andrews, my secret shame, for years. When I would find another girl who had loved the books, I would feel a frisson of excitement and a sense of understanding -- there is just something about these books. I wonder if it's important to have snuck them under the covers with you at a tender age.

I was up until 3AM reading Heaven. I noticed a few holes this time around, sure, of course. But oh, what a thrill.


Mallory, Candy Pop, hellojenuine, Andrea, marissa (stylebook), Fabi and Cybelle, Chau, Arlie, in dreams, kater, Ella, Madeline, Katie, HomeCollection., classiq, sunkentreasure, ♔Reyna♔, Ms. P: Thank you all so much for the sweet birthday wishes! I had a wonderful day.

Anonymous: The journal is by O-Check, a Korean stationery company. I got it at the Drake General Store here in Toronto. It's a beautiful journal!

bigfea: Oh, nice! It's not a very good birthdate, I think. Happy birthday to you!

Anonymous: Do I ever stop to consider the materialism? That's a vague question that is open to interpretation. Yes, I found happiness in these things, and I was so excited to get them, but the overall feeling was one of gratitude that I have PEOPLE in my life who are willing to give me pretty things because they know I will like them and not because I asked for them. I don't consider myself to be an excessively materialistic person.  I don't believe that I own vast quantities of things that I don't need, but that's relative; some might think that I do, and that's fine. I feel lucky to have what I do have. The items in the post are secondhand or handmade, or non-handmade of very high quality, and none of these things will find their way to landfill any time soon.  I will take responsibility for encouraging a modicum of "materialism" through my blog, but the people who read my blog are intelligent enough to make their own decisions about what they want and need, what they can afford, and where they find fulfillment and satisfaction. As long as we have an economy based on capitalism in place, and as long as I have a very tiny voice here on the internet, I will continue to support local shops, independent designers, handmade products, etc. I work for a not-for-profit project but I do have an online shop as well. Since I know many people who support themselves through making, buying, and selling, I have to be okay with some level of "materialism."  So sure, I have considered it!

Verhext: Thank you, lady.

heleen: Thank you! I really appreciate that sentiment. I try! Sometimes I'm not really sure why I bother, but I do try.

sarah: Oh, another birthday twin! Happy birthday to you!

ilovesasek: Thank you so much! Oh, I hope you can make it in the spring! 1978 was a good year.

hila: Thanks so much, Hila. There will always be the holier-than-thou contingent, I suppose. It doesn't bother me; the good usually outweighs the bad. When the bad starts winning, I'll just have to bow out!

Stephanie: Thank you! Oh, the peach... those are lovely. I've only worn mine a bit (total walking time of about one hour, I think), but they're really quite comfortable so far! I think they'll last forever. Plus for 50% off, I couldn't resist!

Celine: Thank you, Celine! I know, I was so happy when she showed me! It looks so nice! I had a really lovely day.

de la Cruz, Cathy: Aw, babe! Thank you!

taste area: Yes! I love Capricorns!

EvaForeva: Oh! I should clarify that she designed them herself! She just used one of my pictures. But yeah, she did an amazing job! Thank you!

erin jane / atlantic treefox: I know, I am lucky!

sunshine by sara: Yes! They are!

Tracey: Hehe, which one? The stuffed one or the real one?

bigBANG studio: Thanks, babe! Oh yes, they sure are creepy! In the best way possible!

teacup adventure: Thank you! I appreciate that.

Jane Flanagan: I agree! Although I have to admit the Steiff was a huge, unexpected surprise.

If Jane: Oh, it's not that far!

Sarah: I only wish I had the means to treat my wonderful friends to all the wonderful things that they deserve!

Hello Lindello: Isn't that necklace amazing?! Thank you!

Kate: Thank you, it was! I really wanted a nice blanket and then I found this one and got another from a friend! I guess they're easier to find at antiques markets. Soooo warm!

Megan: Thanks, lady! I know, I feel really lucky!

april: I am SO HAPPY to hear from you! You disappeared!

danica: Thank you, Danica! It's funny to read your comment in light of a blog post I just browsed elsewhere that included a Chloe-branded camera, a Karl Lagerfeld iPod case (?), a Miu Miu purse, etc., behind the innocent premise of "what's in my bag," ha!

Coriander Girl: Yay! Happy new year to you as well! xo

Jenny Morris: Oh, wonderful! I hope you enjoyed your visit to 69 Vintage!

Grace: Thank you, Grace! Yup, 1978! Your words are too kind, thank you. The cats aren't friends yet but they tolerate each other, which is enough for me!


  1. I read through all the original series when I was in Junior High... I can't believe my parents allowed me to read them--back in the 80s we were all so innocent and there was all that incest, etc.!

  2. YES YES YES YES YES. I've been wanting to do a set of comics/drawings called, "All I ever needed to know in life I learned from VC Andrews", or whatever. Dude, I love them. Me and my buddy read all of them, and we actually both re-read Ruby (our fave) this year before our trip to Louisiana. They are very special indeed.

  3. LOVE VC Andrews so much. Went to New Orleans with Anja after reading Ruby and some day I want to go to the Appalachians because of Heaven.

  4. Oh AWESOME. Are those keyhole covers?! I read all those in 7th grade, too. I borrowed them from my mom and then felt really weird afterward since she knew exactly what was in them. My favorite was My Sweet Audrina.

  5. Oh man, those covers are SO familiar! I would love to find some of these and re-read them. I read them when I was pretty young too, I guess around 11 or 12, they were like crack to me! I can't quite believe some of the content I was consuming in those books at that age, but I'm sure I was only just understanding a lot of it, and the forbidden nature was so much of the appeal. I still think of Carrie in Petals on the Wind whenever I see a combination of red and purple, haha.

  6. Ahhh! I got hooked onto VC Andrew's book in middle school when Flowers in the Attic was all the craze. I read through almost all the older series..

  7. Flowers In The Attic and My Sweet Audrina..... are my all time faves? Even though the Flowers In The Attic movie was a let down yet hilarious to watch still.

  8. i read those book at exactly that age too & also hid them under my pillow, not so sure if i could go back to them though. enjoy your reading.

  9. I still have a few VCA in my bookself. The funny thing is I actually named myself Cathy after the character in her book. Not that I want to be that Cathy, that would be very disturbing.
    (Btw a lot of chinese in my age group was not given "english" name when we were born so most would choose new "english" name to add to our chinese name)

  10. What amazing finds! Are the pages of the books slightly thick and yellowed, and smell faintly of musty cigarette smoke? That's pretty much standard for any secondhand V.C. Andrews book.

    I think V.C. Andrews has been a major part of the coming-of-age process for many a young gal. They're like the most messed up soap opera on speed. Looking back, though, I find the story lines extremely depressing, particularly when they get to the last book (usually on a daughter or younger member of the family, I recall?) and you realize that there was no happy ending for the heroine of the previous book (particularly in the Heaven series).

    Most messed up V.C. Andrews book, in my mind, is My Sweet Audrina. The notion that she took back her husband at the end of the book is completely mind-boggling to me.

    If you want to spend more time in the twisted world of Ms. Andrews, I highly recommend looking up Jezebel posts (http://jezebel.com/5040670/flowers-in-the-attic-he-aint-sexy-hes-my-brother) and their former 'fine lines' series, where they revisit old teen faves.

  11. I am crazy jealous you found these! I have been trying to track down the Casteel series for ages without actually ordering the books on Amazon or elsewhere. Total childhood gems.

  12. I just wanted to tell you I found your answer to the 'materialism' comment very well-thought and interesting. I definitely agree with you when it comes to responsible consumerism, and also on how great it is to have people in your life that know you so well! Happy birthday! xo

  13. VC Andrews messed up my mind... in a good way!
    Your response to anonymous was great. I am a style/culture reporter in Taiwan and part of my beat (one of my favorite parts, actually) is writing about indie designers, similar to the ones you often post about here. I love talking to people who have invested a lot of time, money and skill into creating things that they think are truly beautiful and unique. There is an obsession with imported brands in Taiwan and I feel good about bringing consumer attention (and hopefully dollars) to local brands. Materialism to me is about being obsessed with the status your possessions give you instead of looking for things that you genuinely find attractive and useful.
    the renegade bean

  14. Brings back memories.. I can't say I read them ALL but I read a couple and they are ADDICTIVE.

    Caroline @ redglassesblog.com

  15. Those books got passed around in our grade 6 class. Brothers doin' sisters, uncles bangin' nieces, grandmas posionin' babies. All so shocking! Garden of Shadows was my fave!

  16. You have a gorgeous blog!!

    Love this post!!

    Hope you had a lovely Christmas!

    Char x

  17. Ah lord. I was an R. L. Stine / Christopher Pike junkie that graduated to Anne Rice about fifth-sixth grade. Read some V. C. Andrews but I had forgotten a lot about it - who wrote the Sweet Valley Series? I was all over that. I'm pretty sure I did not emerge unscathed.

  18. I loved Heaven.. Flowers in the Attic.. Dawn.. I was so addicted to those books... The love story.. Now I am aging myself. lol :)

  19. Oh, VC Andrews. I remember my mom noticing that I was reading these in grade 6 or 7 and my mom asking me if they were "too adult"...heh heh...little did she know! I think they might've had an effect on the psyche.

  20. I used to LOVE VC Andrews! They really are addicting! Great find!

  21. really nice!!! love that photo!!!

  22. Rereading books after many years is always such a treat. Have a very happy new year!

  23. holy shit. so jealous!

  24. oh my goodness VC Andrews consumed my tender pre-teen mind! I guess I didn't realize I was part of a cult.

  25. oh vc andrews! i always felt like i was being bad by reading them but i just couldn't stop. maybe that was part of the appeal? ;)

  26. I too read them in grade 7...My friends mother was reading and I'd grab the discards...
    I can't believe I read that kind of thing. At that age. Damage was definitely done! :P
    Lovely blog.
    Happy New Year.

  27. Anonymous4.1.11

    I just nabbed Heaven from a free book shop in Baltimore. I felt thirteen again the entire two days it took to re-read Heaven-Leigh's tale. V.C is the queen of addictive trash!

  28. Anonymous5.1.11

    I can't believe I haven't stumbled upon your lovely internet room until now. Found you via Lola is Beauty. All of this is wonderful.

  29. just randomly wandering and came across this post. wow. memories!! glad to know I wasn't alone as I feasted through those pages into the wee hours of morning. I had every single book - my grandfather would actually buy them for me - thought he was being good by getting me to read. :)

    thanks for the happy memory!

  30. I have an intense fear of plantation houses and the bayou due to VC Andrews.
    If There Be Thorns scared the poop out of me.
    I read them all anyway.
    I have just started visiting your blog and I must say, you have a great thing going here and I wish you much happiness with your endeavours!
    Hope to see you in the Junction sometime!