Author: Danielle Steel
Victoria Dawson has always been the odd one out in her glamorous, LA family. Chubby, shy, and quiet it’s no wonder her perfect parents were so relieved when her equally perfect sister was born. With the love of her sister inside her, Victoria tries to find a new beginning, love, and the love for herself.
This was not a good book. I was drawn in by the hot pink cover and the blurb sounded like an easy, fulfilling read. Something nice and easy to read over the course of the day. While this book was easy to read, nice is not the word I would use to describe it.
The writing was flat. It read like a third grader’s journal entry. “I woke up. I went to school. I ate lunch” etc, except it focused on Victoria and her family. She was born, her parents didn’t like her, they liked her sister better, she was fat, yadda, yadda, yadda. There was no aspect of storytelling in this book. Was the writing awful? No. But was it worth a whole day of reading? Also no.
Victoria was a wet mop of a character. She was fat, she hated herself, her parents called her their “tester cake”, her sister was perfect, her parents were perfect, why me, etc. And at the most, Victoria was a size 12, not thin, but certainly not the obese the way her parents made her out to be. With the way Victoria felt about herself, I think Steel missed a lot of cues on what people with low self-esteem consider milestones. Victoria goes off to college and loses her virginity, that would be a big deal to someone like Victoria, right? Well, Steel dedicates about a sentence to that, and about 2 chapters on her amazing the nose job she got was. Victoria gets a nose job because the kids at the private high school she teaches at recommended it.
If that sounds crazy to you, don’t worry, it absolutely is.
Victoria’s parents are self-absorbed assholes. Grace, her younger sister, is one too no matter how hard Steel tries to pawn off the same attitude and ideals of her parents in a new package. Grace is getting married, and Victoria wants to stop the wedding because the guy is mean and borderline abusive, just like their father. Victoria, for all the love she had for Grace, ended up not doing a damn thing. She wore an ugly dress and danced with her hot boyfriend who didn’t mind if she was fat, and watched her sister walk down the aisle to her terrible husband. Was that the climax of the book? Maybe? After the Grace dilemma, the book ends soon after.
That was another problem with the book, there was no conflict. Every story has to have a conflict. You could say that Victoria’s feelings about herself were the conflict, but that’s weak. There were no bad guys, just barely bad situations. And things that would, according to someone like Victoria, be a big deal, were minimized to nothing.
I wouldn’t recommend this book. It sounds interesting but the writing, the plot, the characters are all so one dimensional and boring that it throws any potential right out of the window. You know, I was just reading an article that Danielle Steel writes 16 books a year and the commenters were wondering how she managed. The gag is, the stuff she puts out barely counts as writing.