Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Opposite of Everyone; Joshilyn Jackson

The Opposite of Everyone; Joshilyn Jackson
William Morrow - 2016
(Intro - Chapter 1)


"I was born blue.

If my mother hadn't pushed me out quick as a cat, I would have been born dead and even bluer; her cord wrapped tight around my neck.  She looked at my little blue lips, my blue toes and baby fingers, and named me after Kali. Kali Jai.

My mother was in the middle of a six-month stint in juvie for shoplifting and possession when I was born.  She had thirty-six hours with me in the hospital before the state took her to finish out her sentence.  My grandparents--stiff, unhappy couple that they were --got temporary custody."

Paula (Kali) Vauss is a tough, Atlanta, divorce attorney with a childhood that was anything but normal. Born to a free-spirited, irresponsible mother, Paula's younger years were spent traveling from place to place when her mom jumped from one quick relationship to another, until she eventually ends up in jail and Paula in foster care.  Although she hasn't seen her mother in years, out of guilt, she sends her mother monthly checks. One day the check is returned along with a mysterious note from her mother, forcing Paula to confront her past and act on what she has learned.

I've been a fan of this author for a number of years.  Her characters are generally quirky and her families dysfunctional.  She knows just when to infuse humor so that the stories never feel too dark or painful.  For some reason I struggled with this novel.  The story is narrated by Paula, and, the chapters are mostly about things that happened in the past but, are written as if it's in the present.  This felt somewhat off putting for me.  I also had a had time sympathizing with the main character.  (Paula is a character that appeared in an earlier Jackson novel - Someone Elses Love Story), but you can certainly read this book without reading the earlier story, and I got the impression there will not be a followup novel featuring Paula. Overall this was just an okay read for me but, I will still look forward to other books by this author.

3/5 stars
(review copy)

15 comments:

  1. I love Jackson and goofed and didn't request this book. Now, I'm thinking maybe that's a good thing.

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  2. I am enjoying this one so far....and even though I've read Someone Else's Love Story, I didn't realize Paula was in that one...LOL.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  3. I've been following posts regarding this author's books but haven't got to any as yet. Making a note of this one.

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  4. Quirky and dysfunctional can be interesting sometimes.

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  5. I have all of her books except this one. I plan on getting a copy, and hope I like it.

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  6. The premise sounds good, but reading your review I think I would do better to start with one of the author's other books.

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  7. I've only read one of her books but would like to read another. This one does sound interesting although it is hard when the main character gets on your nerves right? Thanks for the review!

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  8. I didn't realize this one had a character that originally appeared in Someone Else's Love Story. I have read that one (my first Jackson novel, actually). I really like Jackson's writing style, and look forward to reading this one. I am sorry it wasn't better for you.

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  9. I plan on reading this one since I've love many of the author's other books.

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  10. Diane, I've been interested in reading something by this author, Joshilyn Jackson, for a while now. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts.

    Have a great weekend!

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  11. I really enjoyed Someone Else's Love Story, so am sad to hear this one was just okay. I had my eye on it, but will probably pass on it now. Thanks for your honest thoughts.

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  12. I love her books! Too bad this one didn't live up to your expectations. I'm sure I'll still read it but I won't expect it to be amazing.

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  13. I loved Someone Else's Love story - it was quirky and different. Thanks for sharing your candid opinion of this novel Diane.

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  14. I'm sorry to hear this was a disappointing book. I'm scheduled to read it for a book tour in April. I'll go into it with an open mind, but I've bookmarked you review so I can come back after I finish it.

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  15. I remember Paula and I really liked Someone Else's Love Story. It's too bad this one was disappointing.

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