Creator VC Andrews Discussion

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PaulA
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02:40:31 AM Jul 6th 2016
The trope examples list is for specific examples; discussion of trends and patterns covering multiple works belongs on the Analysis page.

  • Abusive Parents: Hoo boy. If you're a V.C. Andrews heroine, you're lucky if your parents/caretakers are only neglectful of you. The worst of the bunch have to be the Dennisons in the Casteel series and the Carsons in the Wildflowers series, , both of whom have mothers bordering on younger versions of the Evil Matriarch and fathers also heading toward the Dirty Old Man route.
  • Alpha Bitch: Clara Sue in the Cutler series and Gisselle in the Landry series qualify. There tends to be an Alpha Bitch at every Boarding School of Horrors the heroines attend.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: The protagonists tend to be very beautiful, with their foils being not really ugly but they have this one particular thing mentioned about them that isn't "beautiful." This is usually being overweight, having bad hair, lips as thin as rubber bands, etc.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: Tons of them, in almost all of the books, often in multiple families in one book.
  • Break the Cutie: Happens to pretty much every main character.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Though many people associate V.C. Andrews with this trope, it actually only appears in the Dollanganger series. Afer Andrews' death, however, the ghostwriter took the idea and ran with it.
  • Cool Loser: Pretty much everyone, Cathy in the Dollanganger series, Heaven in the Casteel series, Dawn in the Cutler series, Ruby in the Landry series all fit.
  • Dark Secret: VC Andrews lived on this trope, there are dark secrets in every book series, multiple secrets in every book.
  • Dirty Old Man: Numerous examples in all books and series, most infamously the Casteel series' Tony Tatterton, who raped his 13-year old stepdaughter Leigh, then later in a fit of dementia/drunkeness, attempted to rape his daughter Heaven (who is the result of Tony's rape of Leigh), and later still, in a similar state, his granddaughter Annie.
  • Expy: Stock characters are pretty much the same across several of the series. The heroines, their love interests and their children seem to follow the same kind of mold, with a few deviations. So do the "evil grandmother" figures (Olivia Foxworth, Olivia Logan, Lillian Cutler ...), the "jealous sister" figures (Vera Whitefern, Fanny Casteel, Clara Sue Cutler, Allison Randolph ...), the "vain mother who doesn't care" (Corrine Dollanganger, Jillian Tatterton, Laura Sue Cutler, Haille Logan, Megan Hudson ...) and the "perverted old men" (Tony Tatterton, Octavius Tate, etc). Geraldine and Howard Carson from the Wildflowers series also bear a more than passing resemblance to Kitty and Cal Dennison from the Casteel series (i.e. "the domineering, fastidious mother who treats her adoptive daughter cruelly because she reminds her that the man she loved had a child with another woman" and "the henpecked father who initially gives his adoptive daughter the love and attention she needs but eventually takes advantage of her sexually").
  • Gender-Blender Name: Many minor female characters in the books are named Toby.
  • Happily Adopted: Very uncommon compared to the alternative, and the few cases of it tend not to last.
  • Hypocrite: In spades, often combined with Values Dissonance and Moral Dissonance. The most prudish, uptight, religious characters are often revealed to be abusive (though they justify their abuse in the name of religion), adulterous, dishonest, etc.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Typically, the heroine will represent the Light Feminine, and her rival/foil the Dark Feminine.
  • May-December Romance: Although occasionally the idea of May-December is more like May-August or May-Mid-Autumn. The original novels in particular are prone to labeling anyone over thirty as Christmas Cake.
  • Most Writers Are Adults: Most of the books suffer from this. An especially bad case is the Early Spring series, where the main character is aged between six to eight years old through the course of the books. Even though the storyline is based around her going through precocious puberty, she's still a young child; yet the narrative voice is essentially the same as for the older teenage heroines of other series (who, themselves, are prone to this trope.)
  • Name's the Same: Olivia Foxworth and Olivia Logan, Laura Sue Cutler and Laura Logan, Catherine "Cathy" Dollanganger and Cathy Carson (though the latter has the nickname of "Cat" to differentiate her) and Catherine Landry, Melodie Richarme-Marquet and Melody Logan, Tony Tatterton and Antonia "Toni" Winters, Sarah Casteel and Sarah Logan, Clara Sue Cutler and Clara Sue Sanders. The heroine of the Early Spring series is named Jordan March, and Family Secrets features a non-related main character also called Jordan March.
  • Police Are Useless: This is often excused as most of the troublemakers fall into the Screw the Rules, I Have Money! category.
  • Rags to Riches: Many series have the heroine start out in a poor family and then learn that she's actually related to a wealthy family. However, these riches always come at terrible prices...
  • Rape as Drama: Rape happens a lot in Andrews' work, and most of the time, it's played for drama.
  • Satellite Love Interest: A lot of the heroine's love interests seem to fill this role. Logan Stonewall in the Casteel series, Niles Thompson in the Cutler series, and Paul Tate and Beau Andreas in the Landry series all apply.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The heroines of later books are prone to this in general, but especially Mayfair of Bittersweet Dreams, in an effort to show her supposed genius IQ.
  • There Are No Police: Nor are there social services.
  • Theme Naming: From the Casteel series to the De Beers series, every main heroine has a name that can be used as a noun: Heaven, Dawn, Ruby, Melody, etc.
  • The Vamp: Usually dark-haired and usually after the heroine's man.
  • Twincest: Implied in the majority of series where different sex twins are involved, especially in the Cutler and Logan series. Richard and Melanie Cutler have a close attachment to each other that Christie finds disturbing due to the fact that they're starting puberty; while Cary Logan is all but explicitly stated to have been in love with his twin sister Laura.
  • Unwanted Harem: If you're a V.C. Andrews heroine, every single male who lays eyes on you will want to have sex with you, especially if they're blood-related to you. Consider that Cathy sleeps with her brother (who she marries), her caretaker (who she marries), her dancing partner (who she marries), and her mother's second husband (who she...okay, she doesn't marry this one, but she still professes to love him. In equal measure to all of her other lovers, presumably) in the Dollanganger series, and you'll understand.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Though it's rarer than unicorns, the heroines do occasionally get a chewing-out for their behavior.

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