Master storyteller V.C. Andrews’s latest series, the Girls of Spindrift, explores the lives of four different highly intelligent girls whose brilliance becomes a burden to them. Once they are taken out of normal high schools and put into Spindrift Academy, which caters to their genius, things improve. (Although, being V.C. Andrews stories, they only improve so much.)

The four Girls of Spindrift e-books (two in 2017 and two more in 2018) form a prequel of sorts to last year’s novel Bittersweet Dreams.

Given all of the great Lifetime movies being made of older V.C. books (Flowers in the Attic, My Sweet Audrina), we thought that doing a dream celebrity casting for the second book in the Girls of Spindrift, Donna, would be fun.

First up, Donna herself. Being gifted is not something Donna ever wanted, and, as everyone knows, at high school standing out makes you a target. It’s difficult enough to have a Latino father and Irish mother, but Donna’s genius only separates her more from the other girls. They don’t say it, but they blame her for everything that goes wrong, just because she’s different.

On the very day she tries her hardest to fit in, everything turns out a disaster. A fight breaks out, and somehow Donna ends up in the middle. It’s not her fault, but it’s her word against theirs, and this time, the other girls aren’t going to stay quiet. The only solution might be to escape to the mysterious school her counselor is telling her about: Spindrift.

For the lead part of Donna…

Amber Dawn Montana, also known as Amber Frank. An American actress, she is known for her role as Taylor Hathaway in the Nickelodeon series The Haunted Hathaways.  But she has the necessary combination of cute, innocent, and the ability to portray a wiser insight and point of view.  Donna is very unsure of herself socially, but because she is so intelligent, she is able to read the words and actions of adults, as well as peers, very well—perhaps too well, as there is a danger of becoming cynical and pessimistic when you can recognize false faces, lies, and broken promises coming on the horizon.  The vulnerability is important because someone with her intelligence is seen as too perfect, thus is often avoided. It’s her deep feelings and humanity that draw a boy like Greg to her.


Who is Greg? Why the dreamboat of Donna’s little tale. And for the part of Greg…

Sergio Mayer Mori, is a Mexican actor who is the son of Uruguayan and Mexican actors Barbara Mori and Sergio Mayer. Sergio is good for the part of Greg because he has the softness and the gentle look that would attract Donna. Unlike his friends, he doesn’t live on the edge and that is clearly reflected in his almost naive look. His gentleness counters the harsh and bitter world in which students find themselves too often and from which Donna will escape. Having Greg by her side makes Donna’s choices very clear.


And what is the bitterness and difficulty Donna is dealing with? Part of it is people like Mateo…

While Alex Aiono is surely a very nice person, he is a popular singer and can portray the hard look that emobodies Mateo. His darkness is not so much a meanness, but a cynicism and bitter self-image, working from what is essentially an inferiority complex and overcompensating with his bravado and cutting words and actions. He has to establish his dominance, and both Greg and Donna become targets even though the only thing they do to him is serve to contrast their peacefulness. He’s jealous of Donna, but unwilling to admit it. And yes, that is a perfect combination for conflict to explode.


Lastly, for the part of Donna’s mother, Mrs. Ramanez…

Irish actress Katie McGrath (Merlin, Dracula) is a perfect Mrs. Ramanez, an Irish woman who married a Latino man, and who remains quite young and beautiful herself. She is a hair dresser and into women’s appearance, perhaps forcing that a little on her daughter in statements like: “Any mother would want her daughter to be more like her, especially mine who was so attractive and aware of every beauty product and technique.”  With this, Donna’s mother stand in some contrast to Donna, who doesn’t put as much emphasis on her looks as her mother would like. Katie can look like a teenager herself at times, which could make for interesting tension, almost jealousy. She wants to relive some of her youth through Donna, who resists, as most daughters would.

And there you have it, a glimpse into Donna and the family dynamics churning and ready to explode at any moment—and you know V.C. Andrews knows how to make that happen.

The burden of brilliance—it’s the tagline for the Girls of Spindrift e-books, and the very real experience of girls like Donna and Corliss (from book 1 in the series, Corliss). As for what happens once they are rescued from the everyday and put into Spindrift Academy? Well, you’ll have to check out Bittersweet Dreams to discover that….

Listen to some of the hot gossip at the Spindrift Academy now.