Book Review: The Opposite of Me – Sarah Pekkanen

Title: The Opposite of Me: A Novel
Author: Sarah Pekkanen
ISBN: 9781439121986
Pages: 400
Release Date: March 9, 2010
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Genre: Chick Lit
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

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.

Review:

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.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Debutante Ball, visit the Debutante Ball Challenge, hosted by myself and Jen at Devourer of Books.

Comments

  1. I was actually pleasantly surprised how fully drawn Alex was, considering that most of the way that we saw her was through Lindsey’s slightly biased eyes.

  2. I was actually pleasantly surprised how fully drawn Alex was, considering that most of the way that we saw her was through Lindsey’s slightly biased eyes.

  3. I was actually pleasantly surprised how fully drawn Alex was, considering that most of the way that we saw her was through Lindsey’s slightly biased eyes.

  4. I was actually pleasantly surprised how fully drawn Alex was, considering that most of the way that we saw her was through Lindsey’s slightly biased eyes.

  5. This is the second favorable review that I have read about this book in two days. I am looking forward to the sisterly dynamics!

  6. This is the second favorable review that I have read about this book in two days. I am looking forward to the sisterly dynamics!

  7. I haven’t read this yet, but I was still surprised when you classified it as chick lit, so I was glad to see your explanation later in your review. I’m really looking forward to this book!

  8. I haven’t read this yet, but I was still surprised when you classified it as chick lit, so I was glad to see your explanation later in your review. I’m really looking forward to this book!

  9. I’m so glad it is deeper than most chick lit; I have this coming to me and it’s the book I picked for the Deb Challenge.

  10. I’m so glad it is deeper than most chick lit; I have this coming to me and it’s the book I picked for the Deb Challenge.

  11. I really enjoyed this one too. Great review. I still have mine to finish this morning!

  12. I really enjoyed this one too. Great review. I still have mine to finish this morning!

  13. I’m looking forward to reading this book. Have been seeing good things about it all over the place. I’ve got it on my wish list and will get it for my Kindle I think. Thanks for sharing!

  14. I’m looking forward to reading this book. Have been seeing good things about it all over the place. I’ve got it on my wish list and will get it for my Kindle I think. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Thank you for this lovely review! I’m glad my book surprised you – the twist in it is so important to me, and I hope it makes readers think about their own relationships.
    I’m so appreciative to bloggers like you for championing not just my book, but so many others. Thank you, thank you!
    Sarah

  16. Thank you for this lovely review! I’m glad my book surprised you – the twist in it is so important to me, and I hope it makes readers think about their own relationships.
    I’m so appreciative to bloggers like you for championing not just my book, but so many others. Thank you, thank you!
    Sarah

  17. So glad you enjoyed this one and that so many others did, too! Definitely sounds like a story I would enjoy… sisters have me hooked from the get-go. I’ll be looking for it soon!

  18. So glad you enjoyed this one and that so many others did, too! Definitely sounds like a story I would enjoy… sisters have me hooked from the get-go. I’ll be looking for it soon!

  19. I love sisterhood stories and this one sounds like a great one. Thanks for your review!

  20. I love sisterhood stories and this one sounds like a great one. Thanks for your review!

  21. Definitely more meaty and involved than what I would usually call ‘chick lit’! I think you called it with “a blend of women’s fiction”

    Watching Lindsey grow and accept her true self was very satisfying. Sarah Pekkanen has a great sense of humor, and can carry heavier topics very smoothly as well. Go, Debs!

  22. Definitely more meaty and involved than what I would usually call ‘chick lit’! I think you called it with “a blend of women’s fiction”

    Watching Lindsey grow and accept her true self was very satisfying. Sarah Pekkanen has a great sense of humor, and can carry heavier topics very smoothly as well. Go, Debs!

  23. I wrote a short article about Sarah Pekkanen’s reading in Baltimore tonight. I hope it’s okay that I pulled a quote from your review. The article is here.

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  24. I wrote a short article about Sarah Pekkanen’s reading in Baltimore tonight. I hope it’s okay that I pulled a quote from your review. The article is here.

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  25. Anna – That’s totally fine! Great article.

  26. Anna – That’s totally fine! Great article.

Trackbacks

  1. […] zingers and Pekkanen's spot-on portrayal of the existential dilemmas of young adulthood." Swapna of S. Krishna's Books calls The Opposite of Me "a fun, sweet book that will have readers hooked as they go on a […]

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