I had really high hopes for Wishes for Christmas as I used to love The Sisterhood series of novels back when they first came out. I remember reading the first book in the series on one of my summer vacations, sitting on the twin bed my dad got for me for the summer (I still lived in NY at the time and was only in California for the summers. I don’t know if I just grew out of the series or if they just got so unbelievable that I couldn’t read them anymore. I think it might be a combination of both. When I saw this available of Netgalley, I decided to get back into it. Big mistake.
Wishes for Christmas isn’t one full novel, but three (possibly) interconnected novellas involving The Sisterhood and The Godmothers (never heard of this one). In the first novella, the Sisterhood sets out to find one of the member’s teacher from when she was a kid. This teacher was a big part of Maggie’s (the “sister”) childhood and she’s blamed herself for something that happened 27 years ago.
This is supposed to be a romance, but I don’t see it. There’s nothing happening between Maggie and the guy Fern Michael’s website says is her fiancé. I vaguely remember them from before I stopped reading the series (at least I think it is them) and I remember liking them a lot. Here, I’ve barely seen him and I think she’s an idiot.
My biggest issue with this is that it is so disjointed and reads almost as if it is someone’s dream–you know the type: where you bounce around from scene to scene without anything connecting them at all. I don’t remember her books being like this, but maybe they were and I’m just remembering them through rose colored glasses.
Also at issue is the fact that if you’ve never read the Sisterhood series (or haven’t tuned in for the last 5 years or so), you will be majorly confused. There are tons of new characters that are involved in it now–including men, who are apparently “brothers” and have their own series that was spun off of the Sisterhood series. I figured there would be changes, but it is almost as if I never read this series at all. This is not the book to read if you’ve never read the series because it is just assumed that the reader is familiar with the characters. That’s great for people who’ve been reading the series since day one and have stayed with it through the years, but it is a pain in the ass to new or returning readers like me. It is like showing up at a new school where you don’t know anyone and they don’t want to let you into the group. I’ve done that enough time in real life to know that it isn’t fun being the new kid. There is nothing here to make me feel welcome. Isn’t the point of writing to have people read your books? Shouldn’t the author be conscious of the fact that not everyone who picks up their books will have read their earlier books? I don’t think that it would take much work to make new readers feel comfortable with the material; I’ve jumped into many series years after they’ve started (I was a decade late to the In Death novels), but with just a few lines, I got the gist of the books. I’m not even tempted to try the other two novellas. DNF
Wishes for Christmas will be available on October 27th.