Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Book Review: The Opposite of Me, by Sarah Pekkanen

The Opposite of Me is touted as being a story about sisters. It was really a story about one sister whose entire identity was based on being different than her twin sister. I still enjoyed the story very much, even though the twin doesn't really even appear until the last 100 pages.

Lindsey is smart, and heading straight up the ladder at a prestigious advertising agency in New York. She's always had a bit of a weight problem, and thinks of herself as unattractive. Therefore, she's put everything into being the brightest and the best in school and now in her job.

Her twin sister, Alex, who looks nothing like a twin, is a drop dead gorgeous model who is engaged to an extremely rich, and devilishly handsome man. Everything Lindsey is not.

When Lindsey is cheated out of a big account, and a big promotion, she is so upset that she makes a huge mistake -- which gets her fired. Since she is sure she won't get hired by any firm in New York, she decides to go home to her parents' house in Maryland, regroup, and find a job in DC.  She becomes attracted to a high school friend, gets a job with a matchmaking service, keeps her distance from her sister, and never tells any of her family about getting fired. Not exactly what she had planned.

The title of the book is accurate -- both sisters find out that: (1) They don't really know each other, and (2) the person they have become has been influenced by their beliefs about each other. It's interesting how Lindsey grows throughout the book -- really grows up, even though she is 29 years old. This quote sums up very well the premise of the book:

How do you know which life was the right one for you when there were so many to choose from? I wondered. How did you know if you were in the right place or whether there was somewhere else entirely you were supposed to be? (p. 327)

I wouldn't want to leave out the romance -- there is some -- but it's not the central theme. Suffice it to say that as Lindsey grows, she realizes what is important to her, and that includes some romance.

Pekkanen's plot isn't entirely predictable, although some aspects are. But there were some twists that I didn't expect. Fans of Weiner (who blurbs the book on the front cover) and Kinsella will enjoy this work. It is  appropriate for teen readers--no sex, a bit of wine and champagne consumed (and a chocolate martini).

Published by Washington Square, 2010
Purchased copy
373 pages (qualifies for my 350 Page Book Challenge!)

Rating: 3.5/5

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