When I first picked up The Opposite of Me, I thought that the title was pretty straight forward. After all, it’s about two twin sisters who are complete opposites. Alex is thin, has red hair and turquoise eyes, and works as a model. She is the epitome of beautiful. She is engaged to an incredibly handsome and charming rich man who adores her. And there’s Lindsey. She has brown hair and brown eyes, and is about to be made VP at the advertising firm that she works at in New York, the smart sister…until everything blows up in her face and she finds herself jobless and moving back home to her parents’ house in Maryland. Only, no one knows the real reason of why she is there. Lindsey is embarrassed about the turn of events and also wants to remain “the smart sister” in her parents’ eyes. So she lies, biding her time until she can get back on her feet.
As Lindsey desperately tries to start her career over, she begins to learn more about herself and realizes that there is life outside of work, and (gasp) outside of advertising. One evening, Lindsey bestows an act of kindness onto a stranger and ends up not only making a friend, but being pointed into a whole new direction, one that she never would have considered. She begins to question everything about her life and her relationships, or lack thereof. This gives way to a string of events that will change both Lindsey and Alex’s lives forever, but it also brings them closer together. They kind of trade places, but is that really what happens, or is it actually the real way they were supposed to be all along. In a way, it’s exactly what they both needed. They were so focused on what they felt they needed to do with their lives, and what was expected of them, that they didn’t take the time out to think about what they themselves really wanted.
The Opposite of Me isn’t a tale about two twin sisters that are completely opposite, and it isn’t about making the best of what life throws at you either. It’s about Lindsey and Alex as individuals who learn that there is another side to themselves, that they are not necessarily what they have molded themselves out to be. It’s about two sisters who, despite their differences, are actually more similar than they could have imagined.
Pekkanen makes you realize just how precious life really is, that what you do with it is as important as the relationships that you make along the way. But she also makes you question yourself as well. She makes you want to look in the mirror and really think about who you are as a person, and if you are where you want to be. Do you recognize the person staring back, or is there someone else entirely that you could be? We all have different facets of ourselves, and as we grow as individuals certain things get pushed aside in order for other things to flourish, but maybe it’s those things that we neglect that would make us the happiest. The Opposite of Me shows us that sometimes, it’s okay to change your life’s plan if that change will allow you to start living again.
I leave you with a quote to entice you to read this book.
“If we don’t fight it too hard – if we don’t cling to the person we used to be and instead let go of the paralyzing fear and turn into who we’re meant to be next – it’s easier.”
-Sarah Pekkanen, The Opposite of Me