Celeste (Gemini Series #1)

( 37 )


He was her mirror image. Now the mirror has cracked.
Celeste and her twin brother, Noble, are as close as can be — until a tragic accident takes Noble's life. It's a loss that pushes their mother, a woman obsessed with New Age superstitions, over the edge....
Desperate to keep her son "alive," Celeste's mother forces her to cut her hair, wear boys' clothes, and take on Noble's identity. Celeste has virtually disappeared — until a handsome boy ...

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He was her mirror image. Now the mirror has cracked.
Celeste and her twin brother, Noble, are as close as can be — until a tragic accident takes Noble's life. It's a loss that pushes their mother, a woman obsessed with New Age superstitions, over the edge....
Desperate to keep her son "alive," Celeste's mother forces her to cut her hair, wear boys' clothes, and take on Noble's identity. Celeste has virtually disappeared — until a handsome boy moves in next door, and Celeste will risk her mother's wrath to let herself come back to life.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743428620
  • Publisher: Pocket Star
  • Publication date: 3/30/2004
  • Series: Gemini Series, #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 699,901
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

V. C. Andrews

One of the most popular authors of all time, V.C. Andrews has been a bestselling phenomenon since the publication of Flowers in the Attic, first in the renowned Dollanganger family series which includes Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and Garden of Shadows. The family saga continues with Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth, Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger, and Secret Brother. V.C. Andrews has written more than seventy novels, which have sold over 106 million copies worldwide and been translated into twenty-five foreign languages.


"The face of fear I display in my novels is not the pale specter from the sunken grave, nor is it the thing that goes bump in the night," V. C. Andrews once told Douglas E. Winter. "Mine are the deep-seated fears established when we are children, and they never quite go away: the fear of being helpless, the fear of being trapped, the fear of being out of control."

Andrews's novel Flowers in the Attic launched the popular genre sometimes dubbed "children in jeopardy" -- stories about young people abused, lied to, and preyed upon by their evil guardians. The author's own childhood was not nearly so lurid, though it did have an element of tragedy: As a teenager she had a bad fall, which resulted in the development of bone spurs. A botched surgery, combined with arthritis, forced her to use a wheelchair or crutches for the rest of her life.

Andrews lived with her mother and worked as a commercial artist until the 1970s, when she began to write in earnest. Most of her early stories and novels went unpublished (one exception was "I Slept with My Uncle on My Wedding Night," which appeared in a pulp confession magazine). Finally, in 1979, Flowers in the Attic made it into print. The book soared to No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list and was followed by two equally successful sequels, Petals on the Wind and If There Be Thorns. Critics weren't always kind -- a Washington Post reviewer wrote that Flowers in the Attic "may well be the worst book I have ever read" -- but that didn't matter to millions of Andrews's readers, who devoured her gruesome fairy tales as fast as she could pen them.

As E. D. Huntley points out in V. C. Andrews: A Critical Companion, Andrews's novels fit neatly into the "female Gothic" tradition, in which an innocent young woman is trapped in an isolated mansion and persecuted by a villain. Andrews's own contribution was to take some of the themes implicit in early Gothic novels -- incest, sexual jealousy, and obsession -- and make them sensationally explicit in her works.

As most of her fans know by now, V. C. Andrews died in 1986, but new V. C. Andrews books keep popping up on the bestseller lists. That's because the Andrews estate hired a ghost writer, Andrew Neiderman, to continue writing books in the late author's style. Andrews's heirs have been cagey about just how much unfinished work she left behind when she died, but testimony during a 1993 tax case suggested that Andrews had only completed a portion of Garden of Shadows, the eighth book (out of more than 50) published under her name.

Still, even if the vast majority of "V. C. Andrews" books weren't actually written by V. C. Andrews, many of her fans are happy to have her tradition carried on. Neiderman has drawn on Andrews's novels, notebooks, and drawings for inspiration. "Don't make this sound weird," he once said in a Washington Post interview, "but sometimes I do feel possessed." To the original V. C. Andrews, who believed in precognition and reincarnation, it probably wouldn't sound weird at all.

Good To Know

Andrews wrote nine novels before Flowers in the Attic, including a science fantasy titled The Gods of the Green Mountain. Later, when she was a bestselling novelist, she wanted to try her hand at different kinds of fiction, but her publisher discouraged her. "I am supposed to stay in this niche, whatever it is, because there is so much money in it," she told Douglas Winter. "I mean, I have tapped a gold mine and they don't want to let go of it. I don't like that, because I want to branch out."

Though V. C. Andrews went by the name Virginia, her birth name was Cleo Virginia Andrews, not Virginia Cleo Andrews. She had planned to publish her books under the name Virginia Andrews, but her first publisher printed Flowers in the Atticas the work of "V. C. Andrews" in hopes that the gender-neutral name would make the book appealing to male readers.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Cleo Virginia Andrews
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 6, 1923
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portsmouth, Virginia
    1. Date of Death:
      December 19, 1986
    2. Place of Death:
      Virginia Beach, Virginia

Read an Excerpt

Prologue: The Voices Mommy Heard

I can't exactly remember the first time we saw our mother stop whatever she was doing, look out at the darkness, smile, nod, and softly say something like, "I understand. Yes. Thank you," to no one we could see, but every time she did it, I felt an eerie excitement, a pleasant chill like the quiver I might feel sliding down a hill on my sled or leaping off the rock to splash in our pond. When I was very little, seeing and hearing Mommy speak to her spirits was simply scary fun, and no matter what I was doing at the time, I would stop and listen and watch her, and then Noble would stop playing and listen, too. Sometimes we would hear Daddy talk to himself and Mommy as well, but this was different, and only Mommy did it.

I would look at Noble to see if he made any sense of it, and he would look at me with a confused expression, the dimple we both shared in our left cheeks flashing prominently, his eyebrows, like mine, raised and twisted. Neither of us understood, but neither of us asked her about it.

I knew in my heart that in time, she would tell us.

And yes, one day she pulled us aside and hugged us to her, kissing both our foreheads and cheeks, perhaps kissing Noble a little more because she always seemed to think he needed more of her kisses than I did, and then she told us everything with great excitement in her voice, as much excitement as someone learning what she was going to get for Christmas.

"I am going to let you both know a great secret," she said. "It's time for me to tell you. Do you know what a secret is, Noble?" she asked.

She didn't ask me because she knew I knew. I was a far better reader and listener than Noble was, and I had twice the vocabulary. He nodded, but not with any real confidence in his eyes, so she explained.

"It's something you must not tell anyone else, something you must keep locked up here and here," she said, pointing to his head and his heart. "It's a very bad thing to tell a secret after you have promised not to do that. Understand?"

Noble nodded firmly now and Mommy relaxed, took a deep breath, and continued.

She told us she heard voices no one else could hear, not even Daddy, and she could see people — spirits, she called them — that he couldn't see.

"Who are they?" I asked.

She said they were the spirits and the voices of all her dead ancestors, and then she drew up a ghostly mélange of men and women with distinct and interesting personalities, girls who still whined about their lost lovers, men who were stern but wise, women who were beautiful and women who were plain, even disabled, like Auntie Helen Roe, who had polio when she was very young and was in a wheelchair until the day she died. She told us they buried her wheelchair with her and she was still in it, even in the spiritual world. She made it sound as if they were actually in the room with us, sitting there, smiling and watching her tell all about them. I kept looking around, expecting to see someone.

Whether they were all true ancestors or merely inventions of Mommy's imagination didn't matter at the moment. I wanted them to be as real as the occasional visitors who came to our ancestral home, a large three-story Queen Anne house first built by my mother's great-grandfather William De Forest Jordan, who had laid claim to acres and acres of rich riverbed land in an upstate New York valley nestled almost in camera by Mother Nature.

His portrait hung in the living room over the fireplace. He was stocky, with a thick neck and heavy shoulders that looked like they were straining the seams of the suit jacket he wore. When the portrait was painted, he had a neatly trimmed Van Dyke beard and a full head of stark white hair brushed back with a part in the middle. His skin was dark and leathery because he spent most of his time outdoors in the sun.

I didn't like looking up at him often because his dark brown eyes seemed to follow me about the room, and he wasn't smiling in the portrait. In fact, he looked angry, I thought. When I asked Mommy if he was angry or upset about having to sit for a portrait, she told me that people took their pictures and portraits very seriously in those days and believed smiling made them look frivolous. To me, he always looked like someone who was incapable of smiling, even if he had wanted to smile. He was one spirit I wasn't all that anxious to meet.

Family legend had it that he was hiking alone in the famous Rip Van Winkle Catskills and turned a corner to behold this stretch of land comfortably set between two slopes where once the Sandburg River had run when it was free to race along, unchecked by dams upstream. Now it was more like a creek, albeit often a raging one after heavy spring rains or a winter of particularly heavy snowfalls.

"Your great-great-grandpa Jordan's heart pounded the way a man's heart pounds when he sees a beautiful woman," Mommy told us. "He fell in love with every tree, every blade of grass, every rock he saw, and just knew he had to live here and work his farm here and build his home here, and yes, dear children, my sweet dear and precious twins, die here."

On the north side of the house, he was buried along with our great-great-grandmother Elsie and a child of theirs who had died in childbirth, an unnamed creature of misfortune who had the door of life slammed shut before she could sound a cry, take a breath, behold a color or her mother's face. The three granite tombstones were in a small square created out of fieldstone about three feet high with an entrance. Their stillborn child's gravestone reads INFANT JORDAN and her date of death. There was, of course, no date of birth. Her stone is smaller, with two baby hands embossed in a clasp above the inscription. Mommy says that sometimes when she touches the hands and closes her eyes, she can feel them moving, feel their softness.

The vivid way she described it made me think that the dead reach up through their tombstones to see and hear and even touch the people who come to visit their graves. Mommy's great-grandmother Elsie died before her great-grandfather. Mommy said her mother told her she often saw him hugging the stone as if he was actually hugging his departed wife, and he would kiss it, too!

All of our other family members lay at rest in church cemeteries, except they didn't lie at rest, according to Mommy. They rose almost immediately from their cold, dark graves and began to walk the earth, eager to speak to our grandmother, our mother, and now eagerly waiting to be able to speak with us. That was the prediction Mommy made to us.

"Soon, children, soon, you too will see and hear them. I promise. They've promised. When they feel you're ready, they have promised they will," she told us that day, and she looked out the window with her beautiful angelic smile softly sitting on her full and perfect lips and nodded as only one who had heard the voices would nod.

How could we not believe it would all come true?

Copyright © 2004 by the Vanda General Partnership

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2005

    Celeste, by V.C. Andrews

    The book Celeste, by V.C. Andrews was an extremely good book. It was also a little creepy. The first few chapters were a little boring because it was all introduction, but I loved the rest of the book. This book belongs to a series and I have read the second one, Black Cat, and I plan on reading the rest of them, also. I love all of the V.C. Andrews books and I would reccommmend them to anyone who likes to read novels.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    Zane to seleste

    Ill be ur lover

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2012

    Grandmother granddaughter

    A recommendation from my grandmother..... rare to have a book loved by all ages

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2011

    One of the best!!!!

    I loved this book. It was my first vc andrews do i didnt know wat to expect. When i read it i just couldnt put the book down. They only usauly only take a day to read for me, but so hard to get

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  • Posted April 23, 2011

    OK....that's all

    The plot itself is interesting, but the way that Andrew Neiderman, NOT the real V.C. Andrews herself, put pen to paper to create this story was horrible. I've read the first 2 books, currently on Child of Darkness. Believe me, the second one sucks. You should only read it so you can better understand the third book.

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  • Posted December 29, 2010

    I liked this book and it does get better

    I'm up to the Gemini Series #3 Child of Darkness, and while I've read many reviews that say they didn't like this book, i really did like it. I think it was a good book that made me want to read on to the next two books so far. I found it interesting that one post mentioned how it didn't sound like VC Andrews didn't write the book herself. The reason for that could be 'cause she died a long time ago and the books have continued to be written by her family. So, it is another person's perspective. As for it not being realistic, well, I think sometimes that's what makes a book good. It can take us into a world where it is impossible for certain things to happen. Over all I think it was a great book.

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  • Posted January 9, 2009

    i love it

    i loved it just like all the other ones so moving!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2006

    Sad, but good

    This book is a great book. I mean it put so many feelings in just one book. It was so sad especially in the beginning when Celeste's mother treats her brother better than her brother. And what I hate is her mother. Other than that this book was so nice.I loved it. I guess it is my second favorite book aside the Dollanger Series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2006

    It was just as intense as her Flowers in th Attick!!

    I have been reading V.C. Andrews for a long time. I really enjoyed This book. Celeste has remained couragious over her mother's close watch. Are they going to make a movie?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2005

    wonderful book

    This is another wonderful series from VC Andrews. I have always loved these series, will always want to read them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2005

    Thrilling and Sad

    This book was great, except made me really frustrated. The girls mother didnt let her be who she wanted to be, and completly brainwashed her. I would recomend this book to anyone. Its exciting, creepy, and dangerous!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2004


    I am sorry to say that this book was not it's best and I am a Big fan of V.C. Andrews I have read all of her books annd this book made me sad. I wanted to scream because Celeste was a book who had potential but I noticed that I reread some of the same details a good several times and that bored me-the book was a good plot but this time the writing sucked. I wanted with my whole heart to see Celeste kick the sense into her mother but It didn't happen and I also wanted to see Celeste refuse to dress up as Noble-to be herself and turn her mother into the police because who knows in the next book what's going to happen. I will definetly be buying the next book to this series in hopes that it will get better and there will be a change in Celeste. The reason I said the book made me sad is because of the lousy job at publishing this book I don't like to reread the same details in a book a million times but that's just me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2004

    Tis Not Even One Star

    This book could not get any worse. Andrews' original works (the Casteel and Dollanganger) were riveting and truly interesting. The ones written by that ghostwriter started out good, but have recently dived into a whirlpool of pure, unadulterated boredom. The recent books lack any significance that set them apart from the others. Basically, they follow the same plotline. And the biggest mistake the ghostwriter made was writing the mini-series. V.C. Andrews is among my all time favorite authors - not the ghostwriter.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2004

    A BIG TIME V.C. Andrews fan

    This book was ok. For V.C. Andrews not writting it, I guess I can live with it. Yes she is dead and other people are writing her books (her family from what I heard) but that should not mean that her books get this boring. It was ok, but as someone else said I could put it down which is not common with all the other V.C. Andrews books. I am not all that disapointed thought. I still love her ideas...even if it is getting kinda repetative. I own almost every single one of her books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2004

    I Loved Celeste

    I noticed a lot of bad reviews with Celeste. I have read ALL of V.C. Andrews book and found this one to be no different from the others. It was well written and the plot was good. I can't wait for the next one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2004

    More disappointing than usual, Mr Ghost Writer

    I agree with the statement that the Dollanganger and Casteel series' were the best out of all 'VC Andrews' books. I mean, the Dollanganger series was a little twisted, but it had substance. My favorite series of all time is the Casteel series. I LOVE 'Heaven'! Celeste is just another dissappointment in a long series of mess. The ghost writer seems to be mistaking twisted plots as automatically qualifing as good writing. He cheats! That's all there is to it! It's like reading a frilly, empty story trying to have some substance, but severely lacking in such! I admit, I think the plot IDEA is totally intriguing, but our 'VC Andrews' imposter did not do it justice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2004

    Like Flowers in the Attic

    Celeste reminded me of the original VC Andrews books. You have another sick and demented mother as bad or worse than Corrine. I have read VC Andrews since I was 12 yrs old. Better than Broken Wings series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2004


    The beginning was really boring and drawn out. It took me a long while to get thru the begining because it wasnt able to keep my interest. After that, it was ok. The mother was really making me mad and the story line was really unbelievable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2004

    vc andrews's magic is gone

    i am frankly dissappionted in the recenct vc andrews books, i have read her earlier works and they are a lot better than the trash that is printed out under her name. Celeste was a tragedy. Vc andrews's family should be concerned that the books are losing their style. About celeste, In simple terms the book sucked What was with the dead people talking.That was highly annoying.The mother should be admiited to am asylum. Well I all vc andrews's dedicated fan are going to by the sequel to celeste (black cat)in october but when i buy it i am gonna keep the recipt so i an return it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2004

    It Could Have Been Better

    This was not one of V.C. Andrews bests. I have read several of her books and they all had the effect of me not wanting to put them down. This book to me had no climax in it and I found that I could stop and take a break from reading it very easily. I will probably end up buying the second book in the series because I think the plot is good, and hopefully the second one will be better.

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