Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Yoga Club by Cooper Lawrence

2 Star
Chatting it up with bendy WASPs is the last thing on Coco Guthrie’s mind during her 8:30 a.m. yoga class. Having made her fortune as the world-renowned inventor of Butt-B-Gone derriere cream, Coco still doesn’t feel like she belongs among the upper class— until she attends the swankiest Halloween soiree in Greenwich, Connecticut, where three of her fellow morning yogis shared her brilliant idea to appear as Sarah Palin. Soon it’s clear that a love of stretching isn’t all this accidental sorority—which includes a single mom with echolalia, an entertainment reporter who charms the pants off handsome stars, and a drama-prone producer with a taste for drag— have in common.

When the four mischievous Sarahs wander away from the party to sneak a peek at the mayor’s neighboring estate, they are stunned to find him adorned in leather and latex, and rolling up a woman’s body in a Persian rug. To make matters worse, someone has spotted the spying Palins. Someone who threatens to expose their torrid affairs in business and the bedroom. Now the unlikely foursome must use all their wits and wiles to get to the bottom of the kinky crime. But will their budding friendship be strong enough to protect their deepest secrets?

Lydia - 2 Star

The Yoga Club is a who-done-it type read, except we know straight away who did it. There is a bit of mystery surrounding how the foursome will react and go about sleuthing and their adventure in doing so. Unfortunately this novel didn’t retain much as must interest for me as I had hoped and I found it confusing at times.
I had a difficult time believing the newfound relationship between this foursome. They met at a Halloween party because they were dressed the same– as Sarah Palin - and then even further when they all witnessed a murder that night (no spoilers here, it happens immediately) and are subsequently blackmailed to keep quiet so they maintain contact.  There were never many bonding or get to know you moments and when they finally all sat down and ended up discussing things in their lives, which I thought was great and needed to happen – unfortunately, it happened much too late, near the end of the book, which didn’t really work for me. I wanted this scene much earlier to cement their newfound relationship. It may have made it more believable.

Second, none of the plot seemed plausible, or at least it didn’t come across that way because I have read many novels that have convinced me of the impossible. How were they discussing the murder all over town, in restaurants, at yoga and over their phones, even though they think they might be bugged? How did the mayor’s assistant not realize who CJ was? How did that ending even happen?
The characters confused me too. At first I thought they were young, in their early twenties, based on their actions and dialogue. I had to piece together their ages from the various childhood references – Scooby Doo, G-Force, Transformers and Popeye and then the comment ‘I saw more action in the 80’s’ which really confused me because I was fifteen in 1989. These characters didn’t speak like anyone I converse with and they certainly didn’t act like anyone I know either, so I immediately assumed they were younger. Nope. They were in their late thirties, which I discovered deeper into the novel, after having clued in from the many cartoon references.

The dialogue was mostly flat or forced, but it did contain a few rare gems which made me laugh though. There was some repetitiveness throughout that irked me, as did the name dropping that occurred in this novel. I’m not one for the gossip rags or entertainment television, so maybe that’s why, but I didn’t love the associations with all the famous people and suspect it will date this novel quickly.

The ending? How it everything gets resolved didn’t seem even remotely possible. If you’re looking for a bit of a silly, maybe fun read if you love celeb gossip with fairy tale like plausibility, then pick this one up. But be prepared to suspend your belief.

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