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The Singles

3.03  ·  Rating details ·  938 ratings  ·  162 reviews

Take an instantly recognizable social dilemma—attending a wedding alone—add a good laugh (and maybe a cry), and meet The Singles, the warm and witty debut by Boston Globe “Love Letters” columnist Meredith Goldstein.

Beth “Bee” Evans’s first vow as a bride is that everyone on her list be invited to bring a guest to her lavish, Chesapeake Bay nuptials. When Hannah, Vicki, R
Paperback, 241 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Plume (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.03  · 
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 ·  938 ratings  ·  162 reviews

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Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
As one of the perpetually single, I knew that I had to read this book. I've barely been in a relationship, and certainly not in a long-term, plus-one to events type one. Without a doubt, I am approaching the age where I will be grouped into the socially awkward, not paired off group known as the singles. Of course, I'm only 24, so most of my best friends are still unattached as well. But, I know the time is coming - we all do - when people will start dropping like flies into marriage and babies. ...more
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Meredith Goldstein's The Singles, a humorous and often dry look at love and its endless pursuit, is a quick read that anyone forced to attend a friend's nuptials alone will appreciate. When it seems our friends are all coupling up, settling down and leaving us behind, Bee's buddies band into an unlikely group to recall their college friendships, career misdirections and several other catastrophes along the way.

When I started the book, I was initially nervous that Goldstein's debut would suffer f
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
I liked and identified with this story. I've always gone stag at weddings -- even the Maryland-wedding-after-graduation scenario (twice)! And the Syracuse flashbacks took me right there: house parties with earnestly bad college rock bands, takeout from Alto Cinco and huddling up with your dorm friends for days on end, never seeing the sunlight.

Things that stuck out:
-The way buffalo wing sauce smell clings to clothing, as a device that really gave you a feel for that character, resurfacing at jus
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
I love Meredith Goldstein! I read Love Letters religiously and she gives some of the best advice around. Smart, rational, balanced advice - I wish we could be BFFs. But I think she's a better writer than this! I enjoyed the premise - single people at a wedding, story of my life - but her characters were selfish, hollow, and sort of boring. I got a little tired of the pop cultural references. A few are great - as I think they form a common bond with author and reader - but too many is oppressive. ...more
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
Full Review @

There were numerous things that drove me crazy about the book. First off, what could have been a pretty hilarious almost a Bridezilla story simply fell flat to me. I just thought that the book didn't have any bite whatsoever and was read and finished as part of a challenge. I will often read "chick lit" to break up heavier reading and that is why this book was sought out, but it didn't even accomplish that goal for me. Second, it was told in multiple person pers
Helen Dunn
May 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chana Snyder
Dec 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
I'm going to be hard on Meredith Goldstein, whose 'Love Letters' column is thoroughly enjoyable and for whom I had high hopes with this first novel. C'mon, Meredith, you're a better writer than this! Great concept, single folks caught up in the shallow couple-dom of an overly lavish wedding, but too many stereotypes get in the way of decent character development. I am reminded much too much of the world of Emily Giffin, and for that I am sorry. Better luck next time for Goldstein!
May 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
This seemed like it could be a light, fun summer read. But, overall, it was just meh.

It's not a bad book - the writing is fair, but the characters seemed a bit underdeveloped
and the story wasn't something particularly new.

It's an OK book, not great but not awful. It just seems to lack something to set it
apart from the crowd.
May 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Interesting concept, with each chapter focusing on a different character. However, I think it could have been executed better. Nothing super exciting or memorable.
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I noticed this book doesn't have the best ratings, which makes me sad. I enjoyed this book VERY much. If you like books like Bridget Jones i think you would really enjoy it. It is a fun and at times outrageous tale about group of college friends and a few new individuals that are going to a wedding. I love how chapters are from each characters prospective. The author really goes into each individuals life so you can understand who they really are and their backstory. Which made me wanna root for ...more
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a quick and easy read. Although I did find that the story jumped between charcters quite a bit so it was hard to keep the names of people straight. All in all though a quick and easy summer read.
May 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Relatable characters who (mostly) change for the better.
Rachel Slote-Brown
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm surprised how much I enjoyed this. Well-written with interesting characters. Read it in an evening.
Kate McDougall Sackler
Although the writing was fluid, the book still stalled out. A book where not much happens and what does happen always seems far fetched. Ends tie up a bit too nicely.
Won from Firstreads

Review first posted at

Premise: A wedding causes five single invitees to evaluate their lives.

Cover: Title - Simple, direct, effective. Art - Very pretty and reflective of content, with the gold metallic lettering cleverly calling to mind the rings (i.e., life partners) that the novel protagonists don't have. The theme of social pressure for people to couple up literally forms the centre of attention.

Overall, well done and attractive.

First Se
Oct 10, 2016 rated it liked it
quick read, pleasant distraction
Feb 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the story of the Annapolis wedding of Bee Evans and Matt Fee (yes she will become Bee Fee) and the five guests who despite receiving a plus one invite come solo to the wedding. Hannah, a college classmate of Beth’s is a bridesmaid. She dreads the wedding as she will need to confront ex boyfriend Tom who dumped her. She is hoping that Rob a college friend and old boyfriend will attend the wedding with her, but Rob the flakiest of the five solo wedding guests stays in Texas to support his ...more
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. Particularly the story of Rob and Hannah. I feel the best way to describe to you the plot of this novel is just to give each character's background since, let's face it, there's a lot of them.
She was probably my favorite character. Hannah is a casting director in New York with an ex, Tom, who she desperately wants to impress and have Tom fall madly back in love with her at her best friend's wedding. Hannah was Bee's best friend from college where she sort of had a secret thin
Lydia Laceby
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed at Novel Escapes

I enjoyed this lighthearted tale of singles converging at a mutual friend’s wedding. Having been in this position more than once during my lifetime, I could relate to how difficult the position can be. In the promotional material received with this novel, The Singles was likened to the movie Bridesmaids, but I couldn’t see that much of a connection really. It wasn’t nearly as funny, so I might have been a bit disappointed in that respect after reading this co
Mar 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2012
Bee Evans is determined to invite everyone to her wedding with a plus one. But when five people–Hannah, Vicki, Rob, Joe, and Nancy all decline the option to bring a date–Bee is completely flummoxed (not to mention frustrated). She ends up calling them the “singles” and allows them to drift into the rest of her perfectly planned seating chart.

Told in alternating perspectives of the five characters who chose to attend Bee’s wedding solo, Meredith Goldstein’s novel The Singles is a funny, charming
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love chick lit books that are centred around weddings but don't necessarily focus on the wedding itself. These (usually lavish) events provide such excellent self-made drama, which is probably why I like them so much. Weddings are one of the most emotional events that the general public attends regularly. In this book we don't really learn a whole lot about Bee, the bride, other than what's revealed in flashbacks. We know even less about the groom. I'm not even sure I could tell you his name! ...more
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Wedding-weekend ensemble piece The Singles suffers from having precisely the wrong level of detail. Meredith Goldstein can't help but force as many song titles, brand names, restaurant addresses as she can. She tries to enrich her world and her characters' interests with all this, but it mostly distracts from the story and dialog. At times I wondered if she wrote entire scenes strictly to include particular minutiae. On top of this, the novel was filled with lines that were supposed to be witty, ...more
Elizabeth Walker
Oct 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and devoured it in one day. Granted, the motivation to read it quickly was partially due to the fact that I'd be meeting the author a few days later, but reading it was a treat, not a chore.

The Singles offers glimpses into five peoples' lives who have all RSVP'd as single to a wedding. There's three old college friends of the bride, all in their late-twenties, each of whom has followed a different life path. Then there's the "creepy" uncle of the bride and a fellow
Jan 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
I was disappointed in this book. I know I'm not the target audience, but I read plenty of books that seem more appropriately targeted to 20-something singles. The characters were unlikeable. There were too many pop culture references, which, in a book about fictional characters, felt more like the author was proving how knowledgeable and "hip" she is (and, of course--she writes for the Globe--I trust her knowledge-base!)

I think this started with a pretty good idea. It had too many characters (f
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
After reading "Treasure Island!!!" (see my review to understand my chagrin), this book was a warm hug. "Welcome home, Elyse, Chick Lit is here." I used to be embarrassed about reading chick lit, but I am a chick and I do like reading. I don't feel dumb reading it because 1. I know I'm not, and 2. if people ask I will let them know that I do hold a Master's Degree. Anyway, this book wasn't your quintessential chick lit read after all. It tells the story of a young woman's wedding and the five gue ...more
Katy Budget Books
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it

Magen says: The Singles, by Meredith Goldstein, is a novel about several different peoples’ intersecting lives as they all attend the same wedding. It’s got everything you could want from a light summer read--comedy, drama, and characters just flawed enough to keep things interesting.

This is definitely not my usual kind of reading. I’m that person you’ll find scouring the science fiction and classic literature sections in any given bookstore, staying as far away from contem
Kristin (Kritters Ramblings)
Five single people attending a wedding without a plus one, a bride who is quite unhappy with their decision and somehow all of the singles are separated like 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon! How can you not fall in love with this book? There are five people who decided against bringing a plus one even though the bride insisted - this book is about their stories, why they are single and why they decided not to bring someone to the wedding.

Each character has a few chapters each in their own voice to help
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
ever been to a wedding as a single? yeah, it sucks. all those happy couples celebrating THE HAPPY COUPLE while you sit at a table full of people you don't know, don't want to know, know but don't want to admit knowing...drinking as fast as you can while the bar is still "open" listening to some lame d.j. calling out for all the SINGLE LADIES to get out there for the bouquet toss. i've done it plenty of times and this book was dead on about the whole ordeal. it's written by meredith goldstein of ...more
Aug 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: novel
8/5/2012: I read this book because a friend stood in line for an hour to have it signed by the author--addressed to ME!--the best gift I've received in a long time. (So thank you, friend!) Goldstein writes an advice column called "Love Letters" for the Boston Globe, and The Singles is a great example of "writing what you know". A wedding! And specifically, the complicated and fraught course one must navigate at a wedding if one comes as a single. Five guests, all singles, descend on the fancy an ...more
Joséphine (Word Revel)
The Singles is one of those books that left me feeling indifferent. At 241 pages and one wedding weekend, there really wasn't much to it. The humour was lost on me. Sure, there were awkward moments, which could've been funny but they left me cringing. Also, the portrayal of all the wedding guests who were single as weird kind of grated on me. Not all single people are weird and not all weird people are single. Yet that's the sense that I walked away with from this book.

Maybe it would've worked b
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Meredith Goldstein is an advice columnist and entertainment reporter for The Boston Globe. She's written two YA books, a memoir, and a novel about a bunch of single guests at a wedding. She also hosts the Love Letters podcast, which explores all types of relationships.

Meredith's latest release is the YA book "Things That Grow," a fictional take on her real-life experience bringing her mother's ash

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