Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Review: Elasticity

By Melissa Amster

I did not attend my 10 year high school reunion. Don't fall over in shock or anything. I'm actually glad I missed it, considering what I heard about it after the fact. It even took place in the same state where I was living at the time. So I was surprised to read about three women who wanted to go to their high school reunion in a different state from where they were living. Especially since they didn't like most of the people in their school to begin with.

Brooke is a shopaholic who has gone broke supporting her clothing addiction. She's supposed to give a speech at her high school reunion, but what could she possibly say to motivate her past classmates when she can't get her own life together?

Whitney has always been overweight and her lack of confidence about her body could destroy anything good she has going for her, especially her relationship with her boyfriend.

Tripp has been raised to succeed, being the heir to a family fortune. The pressure has gotten to her and OxyContin is the only way to keep her sanity intact, or so she thinks. When an opportunity to detox presents itself in the form of a reunion and a trip back home, will it be worth all the suffering?

All three friends have a month to get their acts together and meet their goals so they can face their high school bullies and let them know that they couldn't be defeated. For Brooke, it's regaining financial stabilty; For Whitney, it's losing weight; For Tripp, it's cleaning a drug addiction out of her system. In the process, they learn more about themselves than they ever thought possible.

Elasticity is Tiffany Romigh's debut novel. When she first presented it to me, I thought it would be like Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. After all, they had even less time to become successful before their reunion. The subject matter definitely enticed me to read it. However, it was a lot darker than this 90s chick flick favorite of mine. Granted, I didn't know how much could be done with only a month before the reunion. I was definitely impressed with these women and their desire to better themselves and was hoping that things would go well for that entire month. Naturally, they each had setbacks and I became frustrated when those happened. It was like reading a friend's diary and wanting things to turn out right for them and then finding out that it was more of a struggle than they expected. I wanted to call each girl and tell them that they needed to get their act together, pronto! Of course, I couldn't do this, so I hoped Tiffany would give them each happy endings, or at least the equivalent of one. After all, this is a fictional novel!

Each woman had underlying issues to overcome before they could even attempt to meet their one-month goal. Brooke's parents clearly favored her sister and made it obvious every time she talked to them. She felt like a failure, even when she thought she had it all together. Whitney's parents didn't talk to her at all, no matter how hard she tried to connect with them. Tripp's father had some high standards for her to achieve. When she started on her drug addiction, she lost the right to even set foot in her childhood home. There was more to their stories than just reaching their goals and it made them more realistic in that way.

The one thing holding this novel back was the wordiness. There were a lot of metaphors and the writing seemed more like it was trying to be poetic than attempting to tell a story. I'd get to a really good part, but it would be weighed down by the language. There was also a lot of psychobabble tossed into the mix. However, I was able to get past this issue to the heart of the story, which is what was most important. What I saw there was three friends who were trying to find their own way and also support each other. Their flaws were on display for all to see and it just made them more likable, even when they were at their weakest moments.

If you're looking for a novel that's a bit off the beaten path (as in, it is different from the common themes that come up in chick lit), look no further than Elasticity.

Thanks to Tiffany for the e-book in exchange for an honest review.

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