Reviewed in the United States on April 18, 2010
Before I say anything, I first want to say that I really, really, REALLY wanted to like this novel.
I mean, it had a nice title and the cover of the book was cute--I mean, with all the nice colors that were involved in making it, it seemed to draw you in.
Also, I liked that this novel was about renewed friendships and yoga. (I think it's something about yoga in general that I and a LOT of people can really warm up to.)
Only as I got into the story itself, some of it just wasn't grabbing me.
At times, I felt like the dialogue was a little too on the nose--like for example, there's a scene with Bess and she's talking to the 'Subway Crush Guy'. She says something like 'New York B!tch Face' to him and I'm thinking this statement is something that should've been 'thought' and not really said.
Because I'm thinking to say expletives, especially in casual conversation with someone you just met, you want to wait until you really kinda get to know the person. I mean, to hear this, it seemed kinda unnecessary and over the top. (By the way, there are a LOT of other times when 'bad' words are thrown in that didn't seem right. I mean, the characters seemed smarter than this. They didn't have to always use these kinds of words.)
Also it was in how the author described 'Subway Crush Guy'. He was described as 'Raisin Jewels' because of his brown eyes. This seemed rather odd to me. I mean, has anyone ever thought about what a raisin looks like? You know this dark, wrinkly thing? I mean, could you imagine THAT on a pair of eyes? Talk about creepy. (And ugly too!) I mean, why couldn't the description be 'brown jewels'? I think that would've said it all. (I mean, you don't have to go searching around for actual things that are the right color and all. Just say what you mean, because when you try to be too exact, it can come off as cartoonish.)
And speaking of cartoonish, the way the character Mario was described as having a 'Thick Puerto Rican Accent.' I mean, THICK PUERTO RICAN ACCENT?! Oh my!!! This was MOST off putting! (And rather UN-pc!!!) I mean, what would've been the crime if Mario had been Puerto Rican sans the accent? I mean, not everyone speaks in accents and in reading this, all I could think, was that LESS definitely would've been MORE!
Also, it was the names that the author used that kinda bothered me. For example Charlie's business partner was named 'Felicity'. And for me, whenever I hear that name, I'm thinking about the Keri Russell character on that television show. I mean, some names are just so ICONIC that you just don't want to touch them. (Also I think the name 'Felicity' didn't seem right for a character that was in her fifties.) It just seemed contemporary to me in the way that names like Casey and Brittany seem to me.
Also it was the name Sabine. This too seemed iconic in the way that it reminded me of the 'Griffin and Sabine' characters. And lastly it was the thing with Sabine's cat. Why on EARTH would he have the name 'Lassie'? Why would anyone name a cat that, when everyone on the planet is thinking about a courageous and loveable Collie dog? I guess to wrap it up about the whole name thing that I have a problem with here is that I think it's better when the names can be original and stand on their own.
Also, for whatever reason, I was put off by the author calling Naomi's son's hand a paw. I don't know if this was supposed to be cute or what? But to me, a hand is a hand and a paw is...well, from an animal! The wording just kinda rubbed me the wrong way. (And by the way, this term was used more than once, wherein I wouldn't have used it all.) Also, when Naomi's son breaks his arm, the author called it a 'wing' (and she does this more than once too). I mean, after awhile, I started thinking what is it with this little boy and calling his body parts 'animal' parts? Go figure?
Also it was the whole Bess thing and her article. It just seemed kinda underhanded. I mean, as the reader in all this, I want to think that an old friendship is being renewed, only on one level, it really doesn't come off that way because of this smarmy article she wants to write.
Also, for whatever reason, I didn't get to know as much of Charlie as I would've wanted to. (I mean, for the most part, she comes off as a side character and she should've come off as a MAIN character--only we don't get to see that much of her.) Because it would've been nice to see Charlie teach other classes other than the one that she teaches to her friends.) Also, I think it would've been nice if she would've had a guru--you know, somebody that she could've consulted and got advice from. Also, I would've liked to see what Charlie liked to do on her downtime. I mean, does she like to read, go dancing, visit museums, what?
Because when you have the whole backdrop of New York city to utilize here, why not use it? I mean, with the exception of using a subway here and there, this story could've been set in any city in America. I mean, why set up the story in New York, if you're not going to get a feel for it?
And maybe THAT was my overall problem with this novel. I just didn't get a feel for it.
And that's a shame. Because I really wanted to.