Friday, January 25, 2013

{Review} The Yoga Club by Cooper Lawrence

ISBN #: 978-1439187272
Page Count: 324
Copyright: December 20, 2011
Publisher: Gallery Books

Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

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?

Mandy's Review:

Before I delve too deeply into this review, I'll begin by saying that this is a mystery you can read while sitting in a cozy chair on a late afternoon while drinking tea. Even though there's a murder in the book, it's not a thrill-riding roller-coaster adventure through Crazy Town. It's more about the bonds of friendship and how women tend to let friendships fade over time (yes, this book is geared towards the females).

I have some issues with this book so be aware that there may be some spoilers.

The mayor of Greenwich is into BDSM. Of course this is hush-hush because he doesn't want his constituents or voters to know his dirty little secret. To hide it, he has a building towards the back of his property (which remains padlocked) that is decked out with all the freaky stuff for a good time. He also hires dominatrixes from out-of-town for his private parties. Here's where one of my problems comes in ... He has a locked building out back for his sexual adventures. Yet the four Palins look into the back door of his home and see him partially decked out in BDSM gear rolling up the dominatrix in a rug. My issue is that if he didn't want people to know about his sexual preferences, why would he even allow the dominatrix into his home? Why not take her straight to the locked building? If she did come into his home first, why have the leather outfits in his home where his wife could find them? It just doesn't make sense to me.

Then, the summary above states that there's a "drama-prone producer with a taste for drag." Not so. The drama-prone producer, CJ, states in the book that he's never done drag:

"I'm one of the few gays you'll meet who never did drag, and I know nothing about makeup. I just know what looks good. I'm good with men's fashion, but that's where I draw the line." (Pg. 207, Lines 11-14)

CJ is one of the funnier characters in the book. One particular passage I enjoyed was:

"Don't panic, but if I act a little weird it's because I may have taken my Prozac twice tonight. I'm gonna be eighty milligrams of fun," he declared. (Pg. 199, Lines 25-27)

Bailey is the entertainment reporter mentioned in the summary. Apparently this girl is a whore from the word 'go.' She's had sex with just about everyone in the business, from Matt Damon to Ryan Reynolds to John Mayer. I tired quickly of her name-dropping, know-it-all attitude.

Olivia, the single mom, is a hopeless romantic who's in love with love (you know the type, I'm sure). She wants to believe the best in everyone and often finds it hard to stick up for herself or make her own decisions. So, in the end, when she just all of a sudden gets angry and yells at the mayor making him cower and confess ... it wasn't believable.

I enjoyed the friendship part of this book, but not the murder-mystery part. The murder is mentioned in the beginning to tie the four people together and give them a reason to be a part of each other's lives. Throughout the remainder of the book, until the very end, the murder is used as a background story while focusing on each of the four individuals and their emotions and personal life. The sudden confession at the end felt like it was thrown in because the writer was almost done with the story and figured it was time to tie up that loose end. It just didn't flow or feel like a natural progression of the story.

I would only recommend this book if you want an easy read about four unlikely people becoming friends. Don't read it for the murder aspect.

*A paperback copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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