Reviewed by Bethany Kelly
Paula Vauss, a cutthroat divorce attorney, wasn’t always this way: skeptical and emotionless, pushing people away when they got too close. No, she used to be a free-spirited young girl on the road with her even more free-spirited mom, who told beautiful and entrancing tales born from Hindu mythology and southern oral tradition. She used to be the girl with a new past and present every time her mom decided it was time to leave the town they were in.
In The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson, we see Paula’s journey to becoming the person she is now–a ruthless divorce attorney to the rich and privileged of Atlanta. And after receiving an odd note from her mom and having a half-brother she never knew about land on her doorstep, we get to experience her journey back to her true self…a journey that shows healing and forgiveness through the eyes of a skeptic.
I was interested in this book after reading the synopsis, but nothing could’ve prepared me for how amazing this book is! From the moment I began reading it to the very last page, I couldn’t put it down! This book pulled at my heartstrings with every paragraph, showing me what it truly means to be part of a family–even a family that isn’t the most functional.
This book also has an amazing underlying message of forgiveness and how that – or the lack of it – can affect a person’s life, while also reminding us all that our time on this Earth is limited. Finally, it also hits on the topic of child abandonment, and as I stated before, it pulls on your heartstrings.
As for the craft of the book, it is told from the perspective of Paula, both in the past and in the present. Jackson’s writing style is lyrical and beautiful, but also simple and not overly complicated if that makes sense. Paula and all of the other various characters are well-developed and not lacking in any way. I can literally picture them in my mind during each scene. That’s how well they are developed and described!
I absolutely recommend this book to anyone and everyone, and I will most definitely be searching for more of Joshilyn Jackson’s books to read!
Bethany Kelly is currently getting her MFA at Goddard College and has a BA in English. She is a writer, editor, and stay-at-home mother and wife who spends her spare time (when she has some) reading and cooking.
Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by William Morrow Paperbacks. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.