Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Theory of Opposites

I was given a copy of this book to review and then life happened, or was it fate, that someone in my house lost or threw it away.  Then I turned to my trusty friend amazon and purchased a copy, waited for it to come in and then read it.  And then life DID happen and I had to make the choice to put the book on the back burner for a bit.  Or maybe it was fate that I'd have a full day today to finish it up because my daughter was exposed to RSV and 'allergies' over the holiday weekend and I'd be contained to a chair to hug and snuggle all day. 

Why am I rambling about life and fate?  Allison Winn Scotch's new book, The Theory of Opposites has the main character, Willa struggle with these theories from beginning to end.

Description: What happens when you think you have it all, and then suddenly it’s taken away?

Willa Chandler-Golden's father changed the world with his self-help bestseller, Is It Really Your Choice? Why Your Entire Life May Be Out of Your Control. Millions of devoted fans now find solace in his notion that everything happens for a reason. Though Willa isn’t entirely convinced of her father’s theories, she readily admits that the universe has delivered her a solid life: a reliable husband, a fast-paced career. Sure there are hiccups – negative pregnancy tests, embattled siblings - but this is what the universe has brought, and life, if she doesn’t think about it too much, is wonderful.

Then her (evidently not-so-reliable) husband proposes this: A two-month break. Two months to see if they can't live their lives without each other. And before Willa can sort out destiny and fate and what it all means, she’s axed from her job, her 12 year-old nephew Nicky moves in, her ex-boyfriend finds her on Facebook, and her best friend Vanessa lands a gig writing for Dare You!, the hottest new reality TV show. And then Vanessa lures Willa into dares of her own - dares that run counter to her father’s theories of fate, dares that might change everything…but only if Willa is brave enough to stop listening to the universe and instead aim for the stars.

The book was hilarious with well placed humor.  Willa was aggravatingly annoying in her attitude towards her own life and around page 200 I was ready to punch her if she didn't pick the path I wanted her to pick.  Her husband, is a jerk and it is maddening to read how she accepts it at the beginning but throughout I applauded her realizations of her his asshole ways.  Willa comes into her own with quite a few pushes from those closest to her and even with the light-hearted humor throughout Scotch manages to make the reader question their own path and if their path is pre-determined or if they can make their own path. 

I liked how Facebook was so prevalent to the story because Facebook has become so entwined with people's lives these days it was authentic and added to the craziness of her life.  Accept. Deny. Ignore.  Willa keeps coming back to these three words and wondering if perhaps Mark Zuckerberg has come up with a decent strategy for life.  Accept. Deny. Ignore.  What do you choose?

"I busy myself scrolling through photos of other people's lives.  People who never mattered much to me.  Faces from high school, random acquaintances from college.  They all see so glittery.  So content.  So such of their Points North.  Their eyes always open, and they're always bright and crystal-clear and wonderful.  No one ever posts a shitty picture of their husband with his hands down his pants, passed out on the sofa with Cinemax on behind him.  No one ever snaps that just-so image of her toddler, right as he's on the cusp of a volcanic explosion, with grubby cheeks and a hateful scowl and fists so dirty that baths four days in a row won't do the trick." (pg. 230)

Willa, her neurotic family, her best-friend, and her ex-boyfriend Theo are all characters that you just want to keep reading about.  I really liked this book and would recommend it if you liked her other books.  I've read The One That You Want and The Song Remains the Same also by her and this would be above The Song Remains the Same but right up there with The One That You Want as super good.  Possibly, slightly better.  I love about Scotch's books that the families are always crazy, their is humor and their is personal discovery even when the main character fights it with her all.

Do you believe in fate? Do you believe you can change your life? Is everything pre-determined? Do you ever go left when your body screams right?

Disclaimer: I was asked to review this book, but I ended up buying a copy for myself and all my opinions are my own.

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