Everything about The Singles by Meredith Goldstein, from the title to the cover to the jacket copy, seems to hint that it’s a chick-lit book, which, to my mind, does the book a disservice. Not that there’s anything wrong with chick-lit. It's what I was expecting when I picked up the book, but it doesn't fully categorize the story that’s found inside the outer package. Admittedly, a plot involving five guests who turn up dateless to a wedding does seem ripe for stereotypical romantic entanglements, but, over the course of the wedding, the relationships between them develop in less predictable ways.
The five singles of the title are all slightly quirky, slightly dark characters. Yes, there is the longtime friend of the bride who finds herself as the only single bridesmaid, but there is also the bride’s depressive college friend who travels with a seasonal affective disorder lamp, an older uncle who leads a successful yet immature life in Vegas, and even an absent single, who decides to skip the wedding entirely. The five singles interact with one another in various ways and in various combinations. By the time the night is through, these interactions prove to be impactful enough to bring about a certain degree of change in all of them. The ending may be a little too neat and tidy to be completely believable, but the lead up to it offers some interesting character studies and makes this book a fairly quick but satisfying read.