Title: The Opposite of Me
Author: Sarah Pekkanen
No. of Pages: 377
First Released: March 2010
Synopsis (Courtesy of Powell’s Books): “Twenty-nine-year-old Lindsey Rose has, for as long as she can remember, lived in the shadow of her ravishingly beautiful fraternal twin sister, Alex. Determined to get noticed, Lindsey is finally on the cusp of being named VP creative director of an elite New York advertising agency, after years of eighty-plus-hour weeks, migraines, and profound loneliness. But during the course of one devastating night, Lindsey’s carefully constructed life implodes. Humiliated, she flees the glitter of Manhattan and retreats to the time warp of her parents’ Maryland home. As her sister plans her lavish wedding to her Prince Charming, Lindsey struggles to maintain her identity as the smart, responsible twin while she furtively tries to piece her career back together. But things get more complicated when a long-held family secret is unleashed that forces both sisters to reconsider who they are and who they are meant to be.”
Comments and Critique: Labeled as chick lit, I find The Opposite of Me to be more substantial than that. There are life lessons to learn and self-reflection to consider. Ms. Pekkanen’s story comes to life through human emotion and her characters’ very real issues.
Lindsey is the perfect heroine, in that she faces a challenge and through her own self-reflection, realizes that life is about taking chances. Through her experiences, the reader gets an accurate assessment that we all need to stop and reflect on our lives, determine our wants and needs and adjust them if necessary. We need to understand what success means to each of us. More importantly, we need to enjoy life. To quote one of my favorite movies, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” (Ferris Bueller). Ms. Pekkanen drives home this advice through Lindsey.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the novel is the lesson in empathy Ms. Pekkanen shares with the reader. Lindsey’s main problem is the fact that she never stops to consider what others are experiencing. Lindsey is very self-absorbed, which proves to be one of her main downfalls early on in the story. As she grows and learns to put herself in others’ shoes, only then does she begin to move forward with her life. Again, this is a lesson we can all afford to learn.
The Opposite of Me proves to be the perfect summer read. It has all of the elements – humor, heavy on relationships, romantic, a life crisis or two, soul-searching, and a happy ending. It is slightly predictable yet enjoyable and engaging. I look forward to reading future books by Ms. Pekkanen.
Because I bought this book, this book counts towards my Buy 1, Read 1 Book Challenge.