Title: The Opposite of Me: A Novel
Author: Sarah Pekkanen
Release Date: March 9, 2010
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Genre: Chick Lit
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Though Lindsey grew up in the shadow of her beautiful fraternal twin sister, Alex, she feels like she has made a name for herself now. She’s smart, driven, and is about to be made the VP of the advertising company she works for. However, things go terribly wrong and Lindsey flees back home. There, she is forced to confront her resentment towards Alex and figure out if she’s happy with who she is.
Sarah Pekkanen’s The Opposite of Me is the first Debutante Ball novel of 2010, and it starts this year’s Debs off wonderfully! It’s a fun, sweet book that will have readers hooked as they go on a turbulent emotional journey with Lindsey, hoping she will come to terms with her issues with Alex and find happiness within herself.
The entire novel is carried by Lindsey herself, so if she wasn’t a well-written character, it could be a problem. Fortunately, Pekkanen proves her talent as an author by creating a believable, realistic, and lovable-despite-her-faults main character that the reader can’t help but root for. Lindsey is broken at the beginning of The Opposite of Me, though she doesn’t even realize it. Her fraternal twin, Alex, is generally accepted to be beautiful, while Lindsey thinks she is ordinary looking. As a result, she plays the part unconsciously – she makes herself look plain because she believes that’s what she is.
That’s not to say Alex is the “bad guy” at all – she is also a well-rounded character with issues of her own. Lindsey doesn’t accept this at first – though she knows that Alex has never tried to make her feel like the lesser twin, Lindsey believes that because Alex is beautiful, she therefore has an easy life with no problems (besides figuring out if her facial and nail appointments conflict with one another). It’s a fanciful, teenage outlook on things, but it’s completely understandable where it comes from – after all, Lindsey’s issues with Alex stem from high school.
Watching Lindsey grow as a person is very satisfying and it’s enjoyable to be along for the ride. She figures out some things about herself very quickly, but her more deep seated resentments take her longer to deal with. As a result, the book has great pacing. Pekkanen never makes the reader feel like she’s prolonging the drama just to keep the book going longer; it’s a realistic personal journey that keeps the reader interested through the entire novel.
There’s a lot more I could say about The Opposite of Me, but I’ll simply finish with the statement that I really enjoyed this book. Though I classified it as “chick lit,” it’s more of a blend of women’s fiction. There’s a lot of personal growth in this book as Lindsey confronts her perceptions of herself and Alex; it’s fun to read and I definitely recommend it.