Review| My November Reads

This month was so perfect for snuggling in and reading but instead I snuggled in and binged watched shows. I only managed to read 2.5 books which I wouldn’t have considered bad if I would have read every single day. I took long breaks between the books. I’m not going to include the half book in this month’s post and only review the two books I finished reading.

The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley

I think this is the most excited I have been to read a series in a long time. This series was recommended to me by blogger friend Lani (go check out her blog). I was gifted this book by a friend for my birthday last month and I finally got to reading it this month. The Seven Sisters Series revolves around six sisters who are reunited at the funeral of their adoptive father ‘Pa Salt’. As part of their inheritance from him, each one is given a clue as to where they came from and who their real family is. The book has seven parts each detailing the journey of each sister as she discovers her roots. The first part is the story of Maia, the oldest sister. The clues left by her father lead her to Rio De Janeiro where she uncovers the story leading to her adoption.

WHAT I LIKED:

  • Each book revolves around an historical event. This book revolves around the construction of the statue of Christ the Redeemer. I love how accurately the historical context has been merged with the telling of the story. I actually researched about the statue’s history to check if the author had taken any creative liberties – but most of it seemed on point!
  • The entire plot of the series seems very different and intriguing. Following each sister as she discovers what the circumstances were leading upto her adoption – seems extremely interesting to me.
  • The writing – the book is very easy to read and fast paced. I was hooked to the book till the end.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE:

  • Maybe I had too high expectations from this series but Maia’s story didn’t wow me. I actually only enjoyed reading the historical aspects of the book and not so much the actual story.
  • SO MANY CLICHES! Every author should have a limit to how many cliched storylines they are allowed to use. Without revealing spoilers – while the historical aspects were amazing but the love story that revolves around it is THE most cliched plot ever. Girl gets engaged, girl goes on a trip before wedding to live her life, girl meets exotic foreigner, girl falls in love – I rolled my eyes so many times through the story! Even Maia’s story was fairly cliched.
  • Everyone’s love interest in the book is extremely good looking – I find that extremely shallow. Even a historian and struggling novelist is written to be so good looking that women can’t stop staring at him. And just because one of the leading men in the novel isn’t good looking – he is constantly ridiculed while ignoring the fact that he is a really good guy.
  • The historical story line has no direct bearing on Maia’s adoption story – which I found very odd. Half the book revolves around the historical story but it isn’t the story of Maia’s mother which is what I would have expected.
  • The book still leaves so many unanswered questions about how Pa Salt got to adopting Maia considering he lived in Geneva and Maia was born in Brazil. I’m guessing and hoping this will be covered in the future books from the series but it might have been nice to get some insight into this plotline.
  • Its extremely odd how little the girls know about their father considering he was their only parent. I get that he might have been secretive but not knowing what your father did for a living after living with him for almost 30 years is crazy unbelievable. Especially since you’re extremely well to do – I’m sure your friends/acquaintances over the years would have posed this question to you – its just odd to me that the girls are so unaware.

I am still intrigued by the overall plotline of the series to give the second book a read – which I have ordered (and will be part of my December TBR)! Here’s hoping the second book is way more exciting and has a fresher plotline in comparison to the first one.

YAY or NAY – I’d give this book 2.5/5 mainly because the smaller storylines in the book lacked originality. But if you like reading historic fiction – then you should give this book as well as this series a read.

The First Time We Met by Jo Lovett

I know – the title screams cliched love story! But I was in a mood to read a nice romantic novel since I usually steer clear of such cheesy novels. Plus, it seemed like a nice easy, light read – so I thought I’d give it a try. The story line revolves around Sam and Izzy – two star crossed lovers. When Sam stops by at the cafe that Izzy works in – there are instant sparks. They both feel instantly attracted to each other. But when Izzy asks Sam out, she’s in for a surprise! Sam is getting married that evening. The story thereafter is about them running into each other through the years and still feeling an enigmatic attraction to each other but the timing never being right for their story. Yes, extreme ‘Harry Met Sally’ vibes.

WHAT I LIKED:

  • Easy read since the book has a fast pace.
  • The author has tried to make the story realistic by including relatable problems that adults face when they try to get romantically involved – jobs, kids, exes et all.
  • Izzy’s relationship with her ex hubby- thankfully he isn’t made out to be a bad man. Just a good man with whom she has no chemistry.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE:

  • Again the leading man is described as ethereally beautiful. I have nothing against good looking people but obviously the girl is going to fall ‘at first sight’ for the swimsuit model like good looking man.
  • The full ‘LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT’ idea – if this book was targeting teenagers I could have understood. But it is so unrealistic since at first sight any attraction is only based on how the person looks. Looks fade away with age and stress – something that the author keeps hammering on hasn’t happened for this duo.
  • Cliches – I just don’t get cliched plotlines. I hate wasting my time reading a storyline that has been done and redone so many time. The story has nothing new to offer – just the same old star crossed lover’s in modern day with adult problems. Even the ending is so cliched that I literally ran through the last 10 pages to be done with the book.

YAY or NAY – I probably shouldn’t have picked up this book since the plotline did seem extremely cliched and definitely not a genre I enjoy reading. I’d rate it 2/5. Read it if you want to pick up a cheesy, light read novel to kill time with but I’d recommend watching ‘Harry Met Sally’ instead.

I had such mixed emotions while reading both these books this month. I am hoping my December TBR is more interesting and entertaining. Any Christmas related suggestions that I can add to my December pile? What are you reading these days?

Stay safe & binge read! โค

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14 Comments Add yours

  1. Lani says:

    Ha! I felt the same way while reading The Seven Sisters, but I’m perfectly fine with cliches. I think this is because I’m passionate about understanding the craft, so if there are things that follow a framework I don’t mind. Naturally, I enjoy surprises and freshness, too, but I don’t know… I suppose it comes down to mood as well.

    I stopped at the penultimate book for a break. If you don’t like cliques you might want to stop now. Hahahhaa. I was slightly peeved by the predictability of one of the storylines in the second book but overall, I liked it. Although, I’m a major moron when it comes to predicting where movies or books are going so when I could see THAT thing coming, I was like like UGH.

    Like you there were many times I was more enthralled by the past than the present stories. I’m actually looking forward to comparing notes with a friend who recommended them – which were her favorites vs mine. Sorry you didn’t like it as much. I hate when that happens, but books are so personal, like music… and they really need to hit that right moment in time. xo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Totally agree with you about different tastes in books. I sometimes cringe at the books I used to read when I was in my teens (so much Nicholas Sparks).

      I love the idea of the series – it was such an intriguing story line to follow each sister as she discovers her roots. And I might have had higher expectations after seeing some exceptional reviews on goodreads! Its just that I have read so many books with a similar plotline and seen so many similar movies that it just was so disappointing. I could already predict everything that was going to happen.

      I already have the second book – so going to give it a read before giving up on the series. I really liked the historical fiction bit – that was so much fun! Have you read any other books in that genre?

      Again, really appreciate the recommendation. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lani says:

        I’ve read tons of historical fiction! Starting in my teens and it’s been a love ever since. I’ve even gone back as a adult and combed YA sections because I like YA books for their … I don’t know what the word is … innocence? lack of gratuitous sex, violence, and swearing?

        Anyway, I’ll probably finish the series this year. Looking forward to comparing the sisters ๐Ÿ˜› and discovering the mystery around Pa Salt. xo

        Like

  2. These books look amazing and I have enjoyed snugging up with a book too! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      ๐Ÿ˜Š What are you reading these days?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like lots of books and my main love is Victorian theemed books. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. coupleofbees says:

    Oh, I hate cliche romance stories, and it is the most annoying when the stories feature a man who women are constantly throwing themselves at. Iโ€™ve know. Several good-looking men, but not every woman they came across was interested in them. I hope you enjoy your December reading more! โค๏ธ๐Ÿ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      IKR? And I just don’t get why all the leads have to be described as exceptionally good looking. I would rather have the author focus on their traits instead.
      Here’s hoping my December reads are way more interesting. Any light read recos?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. coupleofbees says:

        If you like country music, You’d Be Mine is super cute. It’s a teenage romance novel about two country music singers making it big. It’s not without its flaws, but it is pretty good!

        Like

  4. Juliette says:

    Ahaha loved your super honest reviews! The plot of both the books actually sound nice, even the cheesy novel (I like the idea of people meeting many times in their lives without it ever being the right moment), but I think I would have been extremely annoyed too by the cliches you mention… too bad! I hope you’ll read books that you enjoy more this month! ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Totally agree – both the story lines intrigued me enough to pick up the books but those cliches just had me so annoyed. I hate when I can predict how a story is going to go. Here’s hoping my December reads fare better! What are you reading these days?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Juliette says:

        I know, it can be quite annoying to guess the ending of a book, especially when they’re full of cliches! I’m currently reading “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruis Zafon and I love it! It’s a story about books, love interests and mysteries, would highly recommend!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Happy Panda says:

        Thank you for the recommendation. Definitely going to give it a read!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Absolutely agree with your thoughts on โ€˜The first time we metโ€™ some good elements up overall just too cliched and unbelievable. And I second the recommendation for โ€˜the shadow of the windโ€™, itโ€™s brilliant.

    Like

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