by Joshilyn Jackson
William Morrow–an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
February 16, 2016
Welcome to the second stop on the TLC Book Tours blog tour for Joshilyn Jackson’s newest book, released just yesterday! I am honored to get to read and review this book and to take part on the tour.
The Opposite of Everyone is the second book of Ms. Jackson’s I have read. To see my review of her previous book, Someone Else’s Love Story, click HERE.
Paula Vauss is a confident and successful divorce lawyer. Of mixed race, she grew up moving from town to town and school to school in the south, as her mother, Kai, moved on from boyfriend to boyfriend for one reason or another. Once she is nineteen, Paula has aspirations to continue her education and Kai was ready for her to leave. Paula never sees Kai again, but sends her money regularly through the years, once she graduates from college and later from law school. Paula learns of more family than she every imagined as Kai finally writes her a cryptic note saying she no longer needed money (years later).
When Paula is around the delicate age of 13, she spends a couple of years in the foster care system, as Kai gets arrested for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. As a result of this experience, Kai and Paula are both damaged, as was the symbiotic relationship they had before this terrible incident happened.
I think Ms. Jackson is superb at spinning stories of strong characters who overcome horrible situations. She does this with the use of mini-stories within the story to move the plot along or to make a point. In this book, mother Kai is a gypsy storyteller to her daughter, using parables and tales with Paula to teach her life lessons and communicate. I was a little sad as a reader that I never get to “meet” Kai in the present. Ms. Jackson throws in a few plot twists (Paula’s divorce lawyer profession aids in this) as Paula comes to terms with her relationships, especially with Kai. Ms. Jackson also uses lots of dialogue and some comic relief (mainly in the form of the tremendous sarcasm of Paula) to let her readers know more about her characters. Paula is a wonderful character with many good traits and lots of compassion, but she has her flaws, too. My favorite other character in The Opposite of Everyone is Paula’s private detective, Birdwine. This guy is a still recovering alcoholic who has his own tribulations and troubles to overcome. However, he is always there for Paula. Birdwine is there for Paula when she needs a friend and her own advocate.
I enjoyed the stories and characters of The Opposite of Everyone immensely. This would be a great book club book as many issues are explored including single motherhood, the foster care system, adoption, and divorce. And, the book was hard to put down due to Ms. Jackson’s writing. I appreciate her research on many of the issues.
–author Joshilyn Jackson
Be sure to check out all the other stops on Ms. Jackson’s blog tour by clicking HERE.