(Review) The Opposite of Everyone
The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson
Publication Date: February 16, 2016
Pages: 352 (hardcover)
Genre: Women's Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 3.5 Stars
Born in Alabama, Paula Vauss spent the first decade of her life on the road with her free-spirited young mother, Kai, an itinerant storyteller who blended Hindu mythology with Southern Oral Tradition to re-invent their history as they roved. But everything, including Paula’s birthname Kali Jai, changed when she told a story of her own—one that landed Kai in prison and Paula in foster care. Separated, each holding her own secrets, the intense bond they once shared was fractured.
These days, Paula has reincarnated herself as a tough-as-nails divorce attorney with a successful practice in Atlanta. While she hasn’t seen Kai in fifteen years, she’s still making payments on that Karmic debt—until the day her last check is returned in the mail, along with a cryptic letter. “I am going on a journey, Kali. I am going back to my beginning; death is not the end. You will be the end. We will meet again, and there will be new stories. You know how Karma works.”
Then Kai’s most treasured secret literally lands on Paula’s doorstep, throwing her life into chaos and transforming her from only child to older sister. Desperate to find her mother before it’s too late, Paula sets off on a journey of discovery that will take her back to the past and into the deepest recesses of her heart. With the help of her ex-lover Birdwine, an intrepid and emotionally volatile private eye who still carries a torch for her, this brilliant woman, an expert at wrecking families, now has to figure out how to put one back together—her own.
The Opposite of Everyone is a story about story itself, how the tales we tell connect us, break us, and define us, and how the endings and beginnings we choose can destroy us . . . and make us whole. Laced with sharp humor and poignant insight, it is beloved New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson at her very best.
Paula Vauss is a badass attorney with a lot of anxiety. I was able to sum that up about her in a couple of chapters. Of course, Paula hasn't had the easiest life and it doesn't seem to get any better once Julian, her half brother she didn't know existed, shows up at her office.
After Julian shows up we are put on a roller-coaster that was Paula's life as a child. Her life with Kai was a tough one of moving around, of new boyfriends, names, schools...lives. Paula carries a lot of guilt about what happened between her and Kai when she was younger. Now that she knows Julian exists so many things start to make sense to her: how her mother pulled away, how she never looked at her the same.
Paula sends a check to Kai, but eventually they start getting returned. When Julian shows up, Paula uses her ex, Birdwine, to help her find her mother.
Birdwine has issues of his own (mainly drinking) but is more than happy to help Paula in her search. That's because he's pretty much in love with her even though she doesn't feel capable of loving another person.
I really enjoyed Paula's journey in this book. I'm, of course, a sucker for personal growth and I think Paula's journey is a good one. She opens her heart to the possibility of love. Of sibling love and romantic love and she creates her own happy ending.
Most of Paula's journey is trying to rid herself of guilt.When she finally gets a glimpse of her mother, another secret is revealed and Paula's urgency to find her mother intensifies.
Watching all of these things come together was definitely an emotional ride. Paula finally finds herself in her family, after so many years of becoming someone else over and over.
Definitely check this one out.