‘The Opposite of Me’ by Sarah Pekkanen looks at the lives of a pair of fraternal twins: Lindsey Rose and Alex Rose. The book is from 29 year old Lindsey’s point of view. Lindsey has always lived in her twin’s shadow since they were young. The reason: Alex is drop-dead gorgeous. And always has been so. In order to compensate for her lack of looks, Lindsey has always pushed herself academically. The result is that at the age of 29, she is a workaholic in a New York advertising agency and is on the verge of being offered a vice-presidency. Alex on the other hand, has never really excelled in studies as Lindsey has and is currently still in their hometown engaged to marry the guy of her dreams (read: drop-dead gorgeous and filthy rich) and is working as a news reader (read: does the celebrity section) and model.
Fate however has other things in store for Lindsey. All that she has worked for over the years comes crashing down on one night. And embarrassed and humiliated she flees New York and returns home under the pretense that her employers sent her on work purposes. It is a massive blow to Lindsey’s self-esteem. It also means that once again, she is back in the shadow of her twin. To make matters worse, Lindsey finds that the person she is falling for is the same person her engaged twin is also having feelings for.
Whilst dealing with the pain that her far more beautiful sister is attracted to the same man, Lindsey finds a new job. One that is completely different to what she has been used to. She is now working in a dating agency which, unlike online dating sites, involves her and the owner interviewing people and setting up those they think are compatible. It doesn’t pay as much. It doesn’t involve long hours. And Lindsey surprisingly finds herself enjoying her job. She also discovers a new image…she realises she doesn’t have to wear boring suits and can actually accentuate her looks with the help of make-up and clothes.
But then a family secret is revealed which leads both Lindsey and Alex to question who they are and their identities and their lives in general.
My take on the book: It was so-so. It was a light read and one that was pretty quick. But it just didn’t do it for me. The family secret was almost an anti-climax. The ending was anti-climactic as well where everything fits neatly and perfectly. And I got thoroughly annoyed with the whole “without looks you are nothing” message that seemed to be underlying it all. The author did try to have sections where it is mentioned that looks don’t matter but on the whole with Lindsey transforming herself and getting noticed and feeling better about herself kind of negated that bit.
Until next time,
***This has been cross-posted at Bond with Books***