The Theory of Opposites, by Allison Winn Scotch.
I guess I didn't see it, that we no longer fit, that he outgrew me. That the gawky high school kid eventually discovers that he can go back to his reunions and make the prom queens jealous with regret.
But what's regret anyway?
Regret, I am learning now, is a lot of things. But mostly, it's a slippery seed of longing, of looking back and asking yourself why you didn't know better, when the answers were so obvious all along.
I was reading a book for my book club that was a little boring, and I crept onto my Kindle and remembered that I had downloaded this, Allison Winn Scotch's newest. I promised myself I'd only read a chapter or two and then return to my previous book ... but I quickly got immersed in this story, and the other book fell by the wayside for a while.
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.
I loved that the characters and situations in this book were all so believable. Willa met her husband, Shawn, on Match.com six years ago, and they've been "Shilla" ever since, as her sister dubs them. All of a sudden, though, he wants to take a "break," and he proposes that they "do what they want" for two months while he goes to Palo Alto for a work opportunity. Willa is a little bit lost without him until her friend Vanessa proposes working together on a new book, one that Willa's father isn't too happy about because it directly contradicts his own bestseller.
Willa had one other love of her life, Theo, and he asked her to move to Seattle with him years ago; she declined, and the relationship ended. He recently Facebook-messaged her telling her has has testicular cancer, and wanting to reconnect.
Another thing I really liked about this book were the emails/Facebook-messages/tweets that popped up at the beginning of each chapter (I love books that do that). It decidedly puts the novel in the year 2013, and modern-day readers will enjoy this. I also was glad the novel ends how it did, because I was worried it would go the predictable route, for a minute, but it did not.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys "chick lit," but it's much more than that - it's a great story of how you never forget your first love, and how to really examine and evaluate relationships, whether they be with your parents, siblings, or significant other.
The Theory of Opposites will be in stores on November 12th. 5 stars out of 5.
*Disclosure: I received an e-galley of this book from Edelweiss for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.