Review: 'Seven Exes Are Eight Too Many' by Heather Wardell (2010)
Madeleine-Cora Spencer is the last person who should be on reality TV, but when she's shunned by a friend's new wife because "you can't trust desperate single women", her pain and humiliation drive her straight to the "Find Your Prince" dating show. But when she arrives to meet her potential loves, she gets dumped... on a remote island with seven ex-boyfriends. Seven exes! Could this be any worse?
Quite some time ago I managed to get a NetGalley review copy of Heather Wardell's novel 'Seven Exes Are Eight Too Many', a romantic-comedy-meets-reality-TV read that was first released back in 2010. The book is actually the first instalment of a three-part series, and it's also my first experience with Heather's writing, which is always quite exciting! I have to admit I am not the biggest reality TV fan, but I was straightaway intrigued by the plot of this novel and curious to see how the author would manage to make this concept, including a deserted island and a whole load of exes, work in the form of a book...!
So far, Madeleine-Cora Spencer, known to her friends as MC, has had no success in finding her very own Prince Charming. There have been different guys, but with none of them it really worked out in the end. Madeleine decides to hand over the reins of her love life to someone else by taking part in a reality show that will help her find the right guy. However, a surprise is waiting for her in the form of seven of her exes when she shows up on the first day. The show is going to be slightly different from what Madeleine expected: together with seven exes she will need to survive on a deserted island, while competing with another team consisting of that one ex-boyfriend she never quite forgot about and seven of his ex-girlfriends... Let the games begin!
I can honestly say I've never read a novel like Heather Wardell's 'Seven Exes Are Eight Too Many' before, which is basically a season of a reality TV show written down on paper. The novel focuses on main character Madeleine-Cora, also known as MC, who finds herself taking part in a show that is a combination of 'The Bachelorette' and 'Survivor'. Together with several ex-boyfriends she needs to form a team and survive while competing with a team of women led by that one ex she never quite managed to get over. Definitely an original plotline to start a story with and even though I am not a big reality TV fan, I was intrigued and curious to check it out and see what would happen to MC and the other characters.
While the book is a fun and fast-paced read, I couldn't help but be confused by the large group of characters. There's MC at the core of it all, but we have her 8 exes and another 7 women, the presenter of the show, a few family members and friends... Overall it was just a bit too much and I felt a bit lost until the end of the novel, also because the characters weren't described in a lot of detail and had no clear background story. I definitely think the potential is there, though; I enjoyed the author's writing and am curious to read the other parts in this series. On the whole, 'Seven Exes Are Eight Too Many' is a novel that quite confused me at times, but it's also a fast-paced, fun and original read and I look forward to checking out the sequel!