Book Review: Dark Angel by Virginia Andrews (A Favourite Teen Read)

Okay, this is a cheat post. I’m heading away for the weekend and ran out of time to write a polished, original post, so I’m going back to a review I wrote here on this blog 3 years ago. Back then I had like 5 followers (including myself) and I’m pretty sure 3 of them have since jumped ship. My friend Laura is still hanging in there. Thanks girl xx.

Dark Angel was one of my favourite books to read time and time again when I was a teenager. Here goes my three year old review of Dark Angel by Virginia Andrews, an author who died in the 1980s but still publishes new content! I hope Ms. Andrews isn’t turning in her grave.

Book Review: Dark Angel by Virginia Andrews

Dark Angel is the secondark angeld novel in the five part Casteel family series.  However, this gothic horror tale can be enjoyed as a stand alone book.

17 year old Heaven Leigh Casteel goes to live with her paternal grandmother, Gillian, and her younger husband, the wealthy and distinguished Tony Tatterton, head of the successful Tatterton Toys empire. Heaven is determined to triumph above her poor, hillbilly roots in West Virginia and make a success of herself in Boston.  Despite the beautiful mansion, trips to the most exclusive boutiques and access to all the trappings that money can buy, Heaven finds herself bored and lonely trapped within the walls of the gothic-like, Victorian style mansion of Farthingale Manor.  Deciding to explore the maze outside in the gardens one cold day, Heaven finds herself outside a tiny cottage that looks like a toy house from a children’s book.  She lets herself in and meets Troy, Tony’s younger, loner brother who prefers to make toys rather than deal with people.  Reluctantly Troy allows Heaven into his life and they begin a bittersweet romance with far reaching consequences.

As a fan of Flowers in the Attic and Petals on the Wind, I was happy to give the Casteel series a chance and am glad I did.  Heaven is an emotionally starved girl yearning for love and acceptance having endured nothing but hardship and betrayal throughout her childhood and adolescence.  The tentative relationship between Heaven and Troy is thrilling to read as is the disturbing, controlling nature of Tony over all those in his life.  As with all of Andrews’ books, disturbing elements of incest linger beneath the surface so when the big reveal comes about, the reader is not entirely surprised.

I first read this book in my early teens and am happy to report that my most recent reading of it hasn’t diminished my enjoyment. Dark Angel is an exciting tale of psychological terror and rousing romance owing to Andrews’ ability to evoke an ongoing sense of both dread and hopefulness in the reader.

Check it out on Amazon & Goodreads


Anyone a Virginia Andrews fan? Flowers in the Attic was one of the books I’d try to hide from my parents back in the day!


About Emma

Buffy fan, avid reader, writer.
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12 Responses to Book Review: Dark Angel by Virginia Andrews (A Favourite Teen Read)

  1. Mae Clair says:

    I vividly remember the Flowers in in the Attic series, and I know I started the Casteel family series, but I think I bailed halfway through because Flowers had me spoiled. I do semi-remember this, but it’s been a loooong time. It brings back a lot of memories about how I devoured V.C. Andrews books. She was my go-to author in the day. Thanks for trotting out this nostalgic-inspiring review, Emma.

    • Emma says:

      It’s been a while since I read Flowers in the Attic. It was another favourite from my teen years. Thanks for stopping by, Mae. Hope you’re enjoying the weekend.

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  3. fuonlyknew says:

    I remember The Flowers in the Attic but I never got to the Casteels. Sounds like I missed some good ones. Have a great holiday weekend Emma!

    • ally61dm says:

      Hi Emma I have read the three. 1. Flowers in the attic. 2. Let there be Thorns 3. Petals in the wind ; I had a girls night a couples weeks ago watching Flowers in the Attics the film was good the night was enjoyable. . But as usual the book better those that had not read the book did not quiet get the point of the film. I haven’t read any other of V Andrews books

      • Emma says:

        Hey, Debs. Which Flowers in the Attic did you watch? They did a TV mini series lately with Heather Graham playing the mom.

      • debsmerry says:

        Sorry for delay of reply, life none stop lately: But you would be correct that it was Heather Graham who played the Mom “Some Mom” the word hopeless. The Grandma was played by Ellen Burstyn whom I had a tinge of feeling sorry for!
        I saw as a film with Petals in the wind to come out soon !!

    • Emma says:

      I think Virginia Andrews wrote the first 2 books in the Casteel series herself and then after that a ghost writer took over, but don’t quote me on that. Heaven & Dark Angel were good and the rest of the series so so. Thanks, Laura.

  4. sherry fundin says:

    I don’t believe I have read any of her books, but Flowers in the Attic sounds really familiar. Have a great weekend.

    • Emma says:

      Flowers in the Attic is the story of a mother locking her 4 kids in an attic for years. The brother and sister turn to each other since they have no one else. The mother’s neglect and abuse forever alters their lives. You probably read snippets of it or caught the really bad movie at some stage. 🙂
      Happy Friday, Sherry.

  5. Debra Kristi says:

    Loved the Flowers in the Attic Series. Don’t recall much beyond the third book, though. May be I stopped with that one. May need to sniff this one out. Add it to my forever growing TBR. 😀 It’s so fun when you pull out the nostalgia. Thanks, Emma.

    • Emma says:

      I’m most familiar with the first 2 books in the Flowers series. I don’t remember liking the other 2 that much. The dreaded forever growing TBR – I know it all too well.
      Lovely to see you here, Debra. I’m enjoying hearing about your New Orleans stories. You and Tameri look like you had a blast.

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