Monday, June 21, 2010

Review & Giveaway: "The Opposite of Me" by Sarah Pekkanen

Lindsey Rose feels like she's finally going to get out of her gorgeous fraternal twin sister, Alex's, shadow: after many long hours spent working at an advertising agency, she is in line for the vice presidency. She'll be the youngest vice president that her company has ever had, and she will have everything that she's ever wanted in life. One devastating night takes it all out of her grasp, and she heads home to Maryland with her tail between her legs.

Lindsey has always been labelled "the smart one", while her sister has been labelled "the pretty one", so Lindsey decides not to tell her parents that she has lost her job and everything that she has worked so hard for, and instead decides to keep up the charade that she is scouting out a new location for her former employer.

As if living with her parents and being unemployed isn't bad enough, Lindsey is forced to become involved with Alex's wedding plans to Prince Charming. Watching her sister, who has always had everything handed to her on a silver platter, preparing to walk down the aisle nearly breaks her resolve to re-invent herself. However, when an old family secret is revealed, and when Alex faces some unexpected challenges, Lindsey and Alex discover that things are not always what they seem to be and they both come to see themselves and their role in their family in an entirely new way.

I love The Opposite of Me's gorgeous cover. I mean, I'm not one to generally judge a book by its cover and all that, but it certainly helps when the cover is as appealing as this one! The picture on the cover is of the back of the heads of two women, one a brunette and one a redhead, and when we learn that Lindsey is a brunette and Alex is a redhead, it made sense. I love that it doesn't show their faces, I like being able to imagine that for myself.

Beyond the obvious cover appeal, the story itself flows effortlessly. This is at first glance a larger book (400 pages), but the story is so enticing that I couldn't put it down. I didn't find the dialogue awkward like I have in some debut books- awkward writing is one of my biggest pet peeves and usually detracts from my overall enjoyment of any book. Instead, I found a carefully plotted story with words that flowed, and it easily held my attention.

The characters in this book were especially well-developed. The emphasis is on Lindsey, and the story is from her point of view, but we do get strong glimpses into Alex's mindset. Lindsey and Alex's parents were hilarious, and they provided comic relief at the more serious parts, which helped the book to maintain its overall lighthearted tone.

The ending was predictable, but that made it no less satisfying for me. In fact, one of the things that makes me sigh wistfully at the end of the book is how good the ending was. After I was done reading The Opposite of Me, you can rest assured that there was lots of wistful sighing.

Sarah Pekkanen has written a strong debut novel, and I'm thrilled that this will not be the last we hear from her (she's already submitted the manuscript for her next book). The Opposite of Me is a compelling look at the complicated bond between sisters.

You can browse inside this book here, or purchase it here. This book would also make a great book club choice, and the book club guide can be found here.

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Recommended to: Fans of women's fiction, those who enjoy reading stories about sisters
Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge 2010, RYOB Challenge 2010



Thanks to Crystal at BookSparks PR I have one copy of The Opposite of Me by Sarah Pekkanen to give away! To enter:

1. Leave me a comment and tell me if you have a sister, and if so, do you two have a complicated or an easy relationship. (Note: I personally do not have a sister, but am blessed that I now have 5 wonderful sister-in-laws!!!) Please leave me an e-mail address so that I can contact you if you are the winner. No e-mail= no entry!

2. *Bonus Entry* Become a follower on Google Friend Connect and leave me a separate comment letting me know that you now follow. Current followers are eligible as well, just leave me a separate comment letting me know that you already follow.

3. *Bonus Entry* Spread the word about this contest! How you do it is up to you: Facebook it, blog about it, post it on your sidebar, just leave me a comment letting me know how you spread the word.

This contest is open to both US and Canadian residents, no PO Boxes please! It runs until July 12, 2010 at midnight EST, and the winner will be contacted by e-mail. Good luck!

37 comments:

  1. I'm glad to see you enjoyed it. I've heard a lot of good things about this book, so I'm keeping it in mind.

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  2. I do not have a sister but I've always wished that I did.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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  3. I am a follower.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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  4. I'm entering because I loved this book and would love to have an extra copy to give as a gift to my sister, with whom I have an amazing relationship. She and I are 3 years apart and have somewhat opposite lives, but we get along really well. I love talking to her. Check out my blog tribute to my sister, written earlier this year:
    http://merrylandgirl.blogspot.com/2010/01/sisterly-love.html

    Thanks!
    Melissa
    mbamster0720@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm already a follower. :)
    Melissa
    mbamster0720@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I will be posting this in my weekly giveaways blog on http://chicklitcentral.blogspot.com

    Check back on Wednesday!

    Melissa
    mbamster0720@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mary D
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail.com

    Actually, I have 7 sisters (and 9 brothers) - but since I was adopted I did not have the opportunity of growing up with them, so there is no 'real' relationship.

    When I was an adolescent (before I found my birth family) I always fantasized about having a twin :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mary D
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail. com

    And I am a follower :)

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  9. I have two sisters and have pretty great relationships with both of them even though we are all three very different. I'd love to win a copy of this book!

    bthgordon at yahoo dot com

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  10. I am also a follower!

    bthgordon at yahoo dot com

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  11. Thanks for this giveaway. I have a sister and our relationship is extremely strained. We are three years apart and totally different. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  12. thanks for the chance to read this fabulous book....and no, i do not have a sister

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  13. No sister here. I've heard good things about this, thanks for the chance to win.
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am already a follower via GFC. Thanks!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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  15. I don't have a sister but I do have 3 sisters-in-law. My best friend has been like a sister to me for almost 40 years so I am blessed to have her.
    I'd love to read this. Thanks for the giveaway!
    eswright18 at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. I follow via GFC
    eswright18 at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. No need to enter me, although this sounds up my alley. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

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  18. I do have a sister -she's 6 years, 6 months and 1 day younger than me. Our relationship has always been rocky, but over the past two years we've gotten a lot closer. She has matured very dramatically, and I moved out of the house to go to college (I'll be a senior starting this fall), so I think the space really helps us cope with our rivalries.

    baileythebookworm[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I do not have a sister, but I always wanted one!

    belle2211(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am a follower

    belle2211(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  21. I have a sister and our relationship is so complicated. I always thought it would get easier as we got older, but that is definitely not the case. I'd love to be entered to win this one.
    mdmartin at bellsouth dot net

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  22. I have a sister and for the most part we have a complicated relationship. We don't really get along all that well unless we're in different states.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oops I forgot my email address
    andie.v107(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  24. 1 sister, 8 years older than me.
    "Complicated" doesn't begin to describe it.

    JHS
    Colloquium
    jhsmail @comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  25. Google follower!

    Thanks,

    JHS
    Colloquium
    jhsmail @comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have three sisters and I am happy to say that they are all my best friends.
    Please enter me in this giveaway

    hawkes(at)citlink.net

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm a NEW follower via GFC

    hawkes(at)citlink.net

    ReplyDelete
  28. I have one sister who is older then me and while we live several states away from each other, we are close.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am a GFC follower.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I have a sister and it can be either a very easy realationship or very complicated!

    billiondollarprincesss@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I have one sister and our realationship is very complicated.
    vivaglampink@yahoo.ca

    ReplyDelete
  32. I don't have a sister, but I think it would be fun to have one. This sounds like a good book. Thanks for the giveaway.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  33. blog follower via GFC
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  34. I do not have any sisters. Only a brother. Always wanted one tho.

    dcf_beth at verizon dot net

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'm a follower - GFC

    dcf_beth at verizon dot net

    ReplyDelete
  36. I do have a younger sister and we have an easy relationship. We live over 5000 kms from one another so things can't really get complicated.

    dftrew(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  37. I follow with GFC

    dftrew(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete