The Theory of Opposites

The Theory of Opposites

4.4 17
by Allison Winn Scotch
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/17/2014
"Everything happens for a reason." Or so Willa Chandler-Golden, the daughter of a popular self-help guru and bestselling author, has been led to believe. But this idea of a universe of "no coincidences" is challenged when Willa's comfortable life suddenly comes crashing down: her husband proposes a no-contact separation for the summer, she is fired from her job, and her troubled 12-year-old nephew moves in. But when Willa agrees to work with a writer friend on a project related to the popular reality show Dare You!, she must own her choices, while challenging her father's mantra and opening herself up to new challenges and unexpected surprises. Scotch (The Song Remains the Same) spins an entertaining tale of fate versus free will, and of one woman's decision to reclaim her life by reconsidering the paths not taken and facing fears. Rife with lighthearted humor and memorable characters, readers will find themselves rooting for Willa during her emotional journey to overcome her insecurities and create her own path for happiness.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780989499002
Publisher:
Camellia Press
Publication date:
11/12/2013
Pages:
312
Sales rank:
348,073
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Allison Winn Scotch is the New York Times bestselling author of four novels, including Time of My Life. She lives in Los Angeles with her family and can be found on twitter at @aswinn.

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The Theory of Opposites 4.4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 17 reviews.
Jennifer_ORegan More than 1 year ago
I had the privilege of receiving an advanced copy of this novel. It is—indisputably—Scotch’s best book to date! At its core, it examines the paradox of fate versus free will. The contentment that comes with accepting the notion that what’s meant to be will be. Willa, deeply indoctrinated by her renowned father’s theories, falls into a state of total complacency. Is she living or merely existing? Suddenly, Willa’s life is catapulted into a state of disarray—her seemingly perfect husband wants a two-month break to sow his oats, her pubescent nephew needs a place to crash for the summer, and she’s abruptly axed from her job.  Willa must become the champion of her own destiny when an old flame resurfaces on Facebook and she’s lured into a challenging new endeavor courtesy of her best friend. Will she find the guts, the gumption—nay, THE BALLS!—to navigate her own life or will old habits die hard? Scotch’s novel takes us on a hilarious and all-too familiar ride. You will find yourself laughing out loud at the exchanges between Willa and her overzealous, Xanax-addicted sister, Raina, and her prodigal younger brother/yogi to the stars, Ollie! Scotch’s novel sparkles—clever, well written, and the perfect choice for next month’s book club
AnnieMcDonnell More than 1 year ago
Willa (a.k.a. William) Chandler-Golden is a woman living as peaceful as possible, or at least she thinks she is, but she is far from it! She believes in (air quotes) No rocking the boat! So, when her husband Shawn starts showing signs (even proof) of dishonesty, Willa holds tight to the fact that if she asks no questions, her life will stay safe between the four walls of their marriage. The problem was their life was growing beyond the four walls, and Shawn was trying new things without Willa. I was shaking the book, because I wanted to knock her upside the head. Literally! I am thinking “ASK QUESTIONS” Willa! So, this book had to be read in ONE sitting. Ok, TWO! I needed to sleep and wake up to begin again. Not happy I had to stop. LOL. She grew up hearing that everything happens for a reason, when it is meant to happen; as her father dedicated his whole life to the belief that “you are where you are meant to be, when you are meant to be there”, he was on television talking about it for years after his book release. People were drawn to it, as if it were life’s very instruction manual. This was a bit of a “Self-Help” Book for me, and I can see it being that way for many women…I mean, come on; you want to know something you (air quotes) rock the boat; if you want something you (air quotes) go after it…Not everything will just come to you. You will decide by the end of this book, which way you live. So, when Willa’s life goes on a gigantic tailspin; she and her friend, Vanessa map out their own destiny. This book is written for our times for sure! It was fun to read, as it had texts, facebook comments, tweets, etc. in it. It was exciting to read. Totally amusing Beach Read! Go get it and find out if you stay in a marriage that was supposed to be, or let it to go for something you really want.
anovelreview_blogspot_com More than 1 year ago
The Theory of Opposites has the feel of most books in it's same genre, but this one takes it one step more and made me stop and think about what do I think? Do I believe in fate, so it doesn't matter what I do and think the outcome is always going to be the same or do I control my own destiny. I won't bore you with my thoughts about fate, but I will tell you I enjoyed The Theory of Opposites by Allison Winn Scotch. The protectionist Willa is just such a likable character, she doesn't go out of her way to ruffle feathers (perfectly written middle child--seriously she reminded me of my younger sister!). She has this overly dominating dad who believes what he wrote and insists everyone should as if he is all-knowing. (He kinda drove me nuts). I was actually surprised by the husband and his desire for a two-month break. I was mad for Willa and was like go Vanessa for being such a good friend and pushing Willa to find her own voice. I believe what I enjoyed most about this novel, is Scotch didn't reinvent a whole new Willa in two months. She moved her, grew her, but in a way that was very believable. Her whole personality and tendencies didn't just change 100%. So in the end I wasn't completely sure how she would handle everything...would she still see fate? Would she go with the flow? I also really enjoyed the cast of supporting characters! I thought they added just enough to the story, I loved how life was still happening while Willa was working on daring herself. I'm going to have to stop here, because I want to keep blabbing about the book and I don't want to give any spoilers! I really enjoyed The Theory of Opposites and recommend it. I dare you to grab a copy!
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Surprisingly, this is my first book by Allison Winn Scotch, although I own them all, I hadn't read any.  The synopsis drew me in and I was excited to read about a character that was living in the shadow of a parent and the accomplishments they had. Willa was a likeable character and I appreciated that she was having relationship issues, but she wasn't completely whiny about them.  I also loved that even a character at this age (close to mine) showed that you can change who you are no matter where you are in life.  It took family and friends around her, but Willa through some ups and downs found where she wanted her life to go and who she wanted on the "trip" with her! 
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beh88 More than 1 year ago
loved this book! ten stars!
AGSmithAS More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVED this book and it's now my favorite AWS novel. The story is about Willa, who has traditionally always taken the safe route, which she believes was mapped out for her by the universe. After a series of bad breaks, she decides to temp fate and write her own map. The questions about fate and destiny and how much power our choices have over our lives have always intrigued me. Where would I be if I'd done this, instead of that? Would I have eventually met "John," if I hadn't bumped into him on the subway? Aside from all the though provoking questions, Willa is a very likable heroine who I wanted to see take chances. I loved the whole "Dare You" concept. She has a very messed up and crazy family, which honestly explained a lot. But they really made me laugh. I loved her friendship with Vanessa and her complicated love life kept me guessing. Her relationship with her nephew Nicky was very sweet, too. Love, love, love the book and appreciated the message that it's never to late to take chances and reroute your course. I already miss WIlla.
Lillianne More than 1 year ago
What a great book! With the help from her best friend, the main character in this book enters into a whirlwind of circumstances and events by becoming more of a free spirit! The author does a great job at weaving characters and stories together...and I just could not put the book down until it ended! By the way. actress Jennifer Garner's production company, Vandalia Films, has shown interest in this book! So exciting!
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Twink More than 1 year ago
Allison Winn Scotch is an author whose name I was familiar with - I've read many, many positive reviews of her book. But, her latest (5th) book, The Theory of Opposites, is the first one I've read. And I wish I'd picked up one of her books sooner - she really is a delight to read. Willa and Shawn are that couple - you know - the ones who do everything together, don't fight and seem to have it all. You know - Shilla. Because Willa believes it all - we don't control our fate. Our lives are pre - determined. Her father's best selling book "Is It Really Your Choice? Why Your Entire Live May Be Out Of Your Control", has been the defining force in her life....."No one has a choice. We all lead the lives we were meant to live." Until....Willa finds a wine bar receipt for the night Shawn said he was out playing pick up basketball. Until....Willa's advertising presentation tanks and she's summarily fired. Until....the pink line on the pink line on the EPT test keeps coming up negative. Until....Shawn says he wants time apart and takes a job for the summer in another city.. Until her best friend Vanessa challenges her to take a chance, change her life and live her life exactly opposite to her father's theory.... It takes a bit to make me laugh, but I have to tell you that I was chuckling out loud in the lunch room reading the first few chapters of The Theory of Opposites. Winn Scotch has created absolutely wonderful characters - I was rooting for Willa every step of the way. Her doubts, her insecurities, her thoughts, her dialogue were realistic. The eventual outcome was so satisfying. (Willa and Vanessa would be great friends to have!) The supporting cast was no less endearing. Willa's family had me in stitches, as did the emails sent amongst the family. Scotch is a clever, clever wordsmith. So, yes there's a huge, fun, chick lit element to the book. But it goes much deeper than that. Willa has to decide if she has the desire, the want and the need to change and be the master of her own fate. So, yes, this is a coming of age story - albeit a little later in life. And it's not just Willa - all of the characters are searching for something. I have to say, Winn Scotch made me stop and think about my own life. Truly is it ever too late to try something new, make changes and just grab life with both hands? What an excellent introduction to a talented writer. This may have been my first book by Winn Scotch, but definitely won't be my last
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My fav author
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
I was looking for something different than what I typically read when I was on Edelweiss and requested this one. I am so very glad I did. Having never read a book by this author and considering I don’t read a lot of “chick lit” or women’s fiction, I didn’t know what to expect from this book. What I got was more than I could have ever expected: a great and touching, unpredictable story with a main character I connected with and cared about. “If you were to believe my father – and many people do – you would believe that there is no such thing as coincidence. That life is a series of intentional moments that lead us from one to the next, each one ping-ponging us from one destiny to another, all of which carry us on the wave of life up until the inevitable: death.” Willa (short for William) Chandler-Golden has lived her life in her famous author father’s shadow – and under his beliefs about fate, despite not truly believing his theories. She has a good life, a perfect-on-the-surface husband and a great job. Her husband is brilliant and successful. They’re trying to have kids. Things begin to unravel slowly. First, she finds a suspicious bar receipt in her husband’s wallet. His behavior has changed and he’s working longer hours. “The one that got away” contacts her via Facebook and reveals some surprising news. Things aren’t going well at work. Then her husband suggests they take a two-month break, at the end of which they’ll decide if they want to stay together. With the help of her friend Vanessa, she takes a big jump to try to find herself and kick-start her life, start making her own choices and living life according to her own beliefs. Cue the Theory of Opposites. She will disprove her father’s theories about “everything happening for a reason” by choosing to do exactly the opposite of what she would normally do. Add in the reappearance of the ex, her absolutely insane family drama and Shawn’s adorable nephew, Nicky, and this book grabbed me and hung on tight until the last pages. “Start disproving him now. Let me dare you. I dare you, Willa Chandler-Golden, to try to live life on the outer edges. To fight so hard against your original instinct, to change your fate by making choices that you never otherwise would make.” As the book went on and I watched Willa grow and change, I was conflicted about how I wanted it all to end. Did I want her and Shawn to reunite after their break? Did I want her to go back to her first love, Theo? I can’t say I really felt strongly either way, both men had plenty of good qualities and faults. I would have accepted either ending, as long as Willa got the happiness she deserved. Which, she did. I finished the book with a  smile on my face and a tear in my eye. “You handle it because you have to. And you could have. Everyone can. Everyone does. Life sucks sometimes, but you handle it.” I can’t say enough good things about this book. The writing was sheer perfection. It was funny and, at times, emotional. The story had me tied in knots because I was so conflicted about everything that was happening. My heart broke for Willa as Shawn suggested their time out. So much of her identity was wrapped-up in him that I wasn’t sure how she would handle it. Plus, just the sheer thought of a partner making a suggestion like that devastates me. I guess I have some pretty old-fashioned ideas about marriage. I just felt so much for Willa. I laughed with her, cried with her and cheered for her through the entire book. I adored her friend Vanessa. She was able to give Willa the kick in the pants she so desperately needed to find out who she really is, aside from Shawn’s wife. This book was filled with fantastic and complex characters. I found something to truly appreciate about each and every one of them. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. All quotes come from the review copy and may differ from the final version.