A look at the seedy and sometimes geeky underworld of cinema
Sunday, November 1, 2009
VC Andrews Rain
According to the Complete V.C. Andrews Library, Rain was originally supposed to be titled Shadow. So already this book wasn't off to a good start.
Rain starts out as a typical V.C. Andrews book always does. Abusive alcoholic father, brother who is in love with main character, jealous sister and kind loving mother who we all know is doomed. But untypically the main character is (brace yourself) African American, well kind of.
Even though this is the first V.C. Andrews novel to feature an African American character it also seems to be apologizing for it as well. The ghostwriter falls all over himself trying to make Rain as white as possible. Rain doesn't hang out with gang bangers, she's a good student, she hates rap. This makes her completely different from all the other stereotypical black characters in the novel.
Rain's sister Beni is Riley to Rain's Huey. She's jealous of her perfect sister and is determined to get in as much trouble as possible. She hangs out with a group of gang bangers led by Carlton (not Banks) who wants to get with Rain. Of course Rain is too good for him (and everyone else is their neighborhood.)
One night, Rain's "father" reveals the truth, Rain is a biracial girl that they had adopted in exchange for money. Rain is devastated by the news, Beni is even more jealous and Roy, he's just happy that the girl he's attracted to isn't a blood relative. Seriously even if you weren't related, you did still spend the majority of your life believing you were. You can't just turn that off like a switch.
Beni promptly tells everyone the news, and her bitchy friends and Carlton take every opportunity to put her in her place. One night, Beni sneaks off to a party and comes back drugged and disheveled. Her "friends" allowed Carlton and his friends to photograph her naked. They'll give the photos back for a price.
Rather than cops or tell their mom or anything logical, Rain pawns a valuable bracelet and the girls meet their blackmailers at an abandoned warehouse. However things don't go as planned, Beni is killed and Rain of course is too blame. At one point Beni's fair weather friends attempt to set Rain on fire. They aren't successful and I am forced to continue reading this monstrosity.
Realizing that Rain is no longer safe, Rain's adoptive mother demands that her bio mother take care of her. Of course, not so Mommy Dearest doesn't want to disrupt her life with an illegitimate child so she pawns her off on her Grandmother. Roy is shipped off to the army and her mother goes off to stay with family.
In typical V.C. Andrews fashion, Rain is plucked from her loving but poor home and dropped into a lavish but unloving mansion. Rain suddenly remembers that she's a talented actress and of course is sent to an uber fancy school. She catches the eye of Corbette, the school's resident man whore.
Once again we are treated to the rare but irritating rape/seduction scene that the later novels seemed to favor. You know the spiel, the rapist gets the title character drunk, essentially forces himself on her and then the book tries to convince us it was a seduction. To make things even more disgusting, Rain's biological brother, Brody also falls in love with her. Rain can't tell him the truth so she tries her best to discourage him.
Rain's grandmother starts out a little cold towards her but thaws out. Of course, who could really hate Rain? She's practically a superhero to everyone in the book. Also there is a wise janitor, I mean, limo driver who is always there to give Rain advice.
Rain is devastated to learn that her adoptive mother has chick cancer and not much longer to live. She hightails it to her "Mama's" bedside and is reunited with Roy. Roy is being shipped off to Germany and is obviously still hot for Rain's bod.
Since Rain is the most talented person in the world, it only makes sense that she would be accepted into a prestigious art school in London. No doubt, moments after she lands, she will win an Oscar and be elected crowned England's new Queen.
Rain was made into a movie a few years ago, here is my review if you are interested.
Next up, I'll read and review Lightning Strikes. God help me.