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A Reader of Fictions: Be OK - Ingrid Michaelson

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Be OK - Ingrid Michaelson

The Singles

Author: Meredith Goldstein
Pages: 241
ARC Acquired from: Plume via NetGalley

Description from Goodreads:
Take an instantly recognizable social dilemma—attending a wedding alone—add a good laugh (and maybe a cry), and meet The Singles, the warm and witty debut by Boston Globe “Love Letters” columnist Meredith Goldstein.

Beth “Bee” Evans’s first vow as a bride is that everyone on her list be invited to bring a guest to her lavish, Chesapeake Bay nuptials. When Hannah, Vicki, Rob, Joe, and Nancy one by one decline Bee’s generous offer, the frustrated bride dubs them the “Singles,” adrift on her seating chart as well as in life.


First Sentence: "Twenty-nine-year-old bride-to-be Beth Eleanor Evans, a slender, freckled, strawberry blonde whom people called Bee because of her initials, stood in front of the whiteboard she'd purchased that day at the Target off Route 103."

Review:
As one of the perpetually single, I knew that I had to read this book. I've barely been in a relationship, and certainly not in a long-term, plus-one to events type one. Without a doubt, I am approaching the age where I will be grouped into the socially awkward, not paired off group known as the singles. Of course, I'm only 24, so most of my best friends are still unattached as well. But, I know the time is coming - we all do - when people will start dropping like flies into marriage and babies. Being one of the ones left behind can be awkward.

My usual book fare (teen books) actually prompts thoughts about this too. So many fictional works, especially 'girl' books, but a lot of 'boy' books too, focus on relationships, on romance, on true love. Even in high school, there's this conception of the couples and the people stuck going solo, and an idea that the single people are lesser, are messed up in some way. Unsurprisingly, as a single person, I do not approve of this, which is not to say that I think that couples are bad either. I just think relationship status should not be such a big deal.

What drove me crazy is that there are two single ladies at the wedding, all of whom are absurd in different ways. Why do they have to be weird to be single? One is still obsessed with a former boyfriend, even though they broke up freaking ages ago. The other suffers depression, which she treats with a special lamp. Gah! The single men at the wedding are clearly not married by choice, rather than because their significant other left them or because of being crazy.

As I read on, I did get a bit more swept up into the story, and I was certainly alarmed/disappointed to find that it just ended. Although the opening scenes were somewhat as expected, the story definitely developed some depth as it went along, focusing less on who fell in love with whom at the wedding, which is what would happen if this were just chick lit, and on the group's development as people.

All told, this was a pretty fun read, but it wasn't precisely my cup of tea either. The only character I really bonded with was Rob, since all of the others were going crazy over the weekend. Not sure who exactly I recommend this too, but I guess if you find the premise interesting, go for it!

Rating: 2.5/5

"Open me up and you will see
I'm a gallery of broken hearts
I'm beyond repair, let me be
And give me back my broken parts

I just want to know today, know today, know today

I just want to know something today
I just want to know today, know today, know today
Know that maybe I will be ok
"

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3 Comments:

Blogger Giselle said...

This sounds like a fun premise so too bad it wasn't that great. I hate how sometimes books and movies make being single sound like the worst thing ever O_O

April 20, 2012 at 7:38 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

The ending got a little bit better, but I was still so annoyed from the opening. Even worse than being single in pop culture is being a single woman. *shakes fist*

April 20, 2012 at 7:44 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

As another of the perpetually singles, I hear your pain. This book sounds kinda fun, yet kinda annoying. If you find a book about non-weird single people, I am totally the demographic!

April 20, 2012 at 12:08 PM  

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