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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Book Review : "The Opposite Of Everyone"

The Opposite of EveryoneThe Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was the sixth novel I have read from Joshilyn Jackson, and they have ranged from super terrific ("Never Have I Ever", "Backseat Saints") to very good ("The Girl Who Stopped Swimming", "A Grown Up Kind Of Pretty", to okay ("Someone Else's Love Story") to...this one. Oh, it's well written, her novels always are. And some of the characters are so alive and engaging that I won't forget them soon, like Kai with her Eastern/hippe dippie stories and Birdwine the (sometimes) drunken private eye with, yes, a heart of gold, or at least something quite valuable. But there are problems, or at least there were for me.

First off, I just plain didn't like the narrator, Paula Vauss (or Kali Jai, by birth.) Yes, I admired her willingness to fight to survive, and when the story centers on young Paula, on the road with her gypsy mother, and then later, in the system, when Kai goes to jail, I liked it and things moved along and I cared what happened. But half or more of the novel is about grown-up Paula, who is a shark lawyer dealing in big-bucks divorce cases. She's into casual hook-ups and always has her emotional walls up.

Yes, she comes by this honestly, but I just didn't like her; she's the kind of woman I wouldn't voluntarily spend five minutes around, given the choice. She has a snarky put-down and an easy box to put everyone else in, but most of them are more together than she's ever been. When the story is in her hands, it slows and I had to plod and slog to keep going. There are two reasons why I did. One, I am just stubborn that way, and as long as the writing isn't awful I will press on. Two, the reviews said that many people struggled through the first half only to be wowed by the end, in tears, la de blah. Well, the end--I mean the VERY end--*is* pretty darn fine. But getting there was not worth the time it took to get there. It took me three and a half weeks to inch my way through the first half of this book, and two days to read the second half. Having reached this shore, I have to say I could have been reading something better. Not recommended.

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1 comment:

  1. As is often the case, your review is far more interesting to me than the book ever could be. It doesn't sound like it has a plot, just a meandering character study sort of thing, and the character as described does nothing for me either. But you are the toughest reader ever, and can put your foot on the neck of this book and say, I have conquered! ;)


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