Lindsey Rose is destined for fame. She's developed some of the most well known ad campaigns for some of the biggest companies in the world. Life in New York is exciting . . . but Lindsey doesn't exactly know because she lives her job. In fact, the only real friend she has is Matt, and she is able to maintain that relationship because they work together.
At twenty-nine years old, Lindsey is just about to become the youngest vice president her firm has ever had. And then she isn't. And then she does the first reckless thing she's ever done in her life. And then she finds herself without a job and living with her parents in Maryland.
Sarah Pekkanen's debut novel, The Opposite of Me, does indeed explore opposites, especially the differences between Lindsey and her twin sister, Alex, and between Lindsey's old high-powered career and her new easygoing job.
But the novel goes deeper, taking as its central theme the idea that from a young age we fall into the roles and self-image we are rewarded for. Unfortunately, those roles don't always reflect who we truly are. Further, once our eyes are opened, there is no map showing us the way to escape our own and others' expectations.
Although The Opposite of Me has many elements of contemporary women's literature, Pekkanen rises above standard chick lit to focus on issues other than happily ever after. It is easy to care about Lindsey and her family, and we root for her ultimate success on her journey to self-discovery. Despite being a bit predictable, the book is an enjoyable read.
I would recommend the novel for book clubs because it offers a variety of discussion topics. Additional themes are child-parent relationships, sisters, twins, careers, boyfriends, and relationships with business colleagues.
A reading group guide is available for The Opposite of Me. To learn more about the book and Sarah Pekkanen visit the Debutante Ball blog and Pekkanen's personal website.
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Published by Washington Square Press, 2010
Challenges: Current Debs, 100+
Source: Review copy (see review policy)
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