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The Theory of Opposites

“The best way not to be lost is to be your own map.”

~ Theory Of Opposites

Have you ever questioned your choices? Have you ever wondered if there was a ‘life plan’ doled out by the universe that was going to execute itself, regardless of these choices? And have you ever thought that choice does exist and prevail – that your choices are effective in living the life you want to live? If this train of introspection is identifiable or desirable, Allison Winn Scotch’s new novel, The Theory Of Opposites, will absolutely bring you on a self-reflective journey.

Protagonist Willa Chandler Golden’s father is the bestselling author of Is it Really Your Choice? Why Your Entire Life May Be Out Of Your Control. “Accept inertia,” he says. “Once you have accepted that you can embrace inertia, that you can be pulled wherever life pulls you, merely close your eyes, and your perspective will change. Once you stop fighting change, change will find you.”

Willa and her friend set out to experiment with “the theory of opposites.” They aim to publish a book, attempting to counter her dad’s notions. What if you consciously choose to do the opposite of what you would normally do? Will it lead to an alternative road or another route?

While Willa embarks on figuring out where she stands, she must sift through some challenging circumstances of her own: losing her job, having a husband who decides to take a ‘break’ from their marriage and rekindling a friendship with an ex-boyfriend – an ex-boyfriend who resurfaces after he begins reevaluating his life.

The classic debate of destiny vs. free will is intricately woven throughout the novel. Scotch takes the ‘everything happens for a reason’ mindset to extremes, where inevitabilities exist, the universe has a pre-determined ‘master plan,’ and quite frankly, there is little to be done about it. Willa is heavily immersed in her dad’s widespread ideas. She doesn’t know what she really wants, or what she really believes in.

In the book’s beginning pages, she’s simply following the herd as a sheep. She shrugs at life’s happenings, assuming that she has zero control (which was difficult to witness as a reader, and as an outsider who thinks differently). However, as she continues on her quest, she starts asking herself, “What can I do now?” and “What’s next?” She’s trying to write her own map.

Perhaps certain curveballs in our lives are out of our control. Yet, can we still exert free will? Can we still choose how we respond? I think so. Our choices can culminate in what’s meant to be. In essence, we create our own destiny.

In an interview with, Scotch was asked where she personally falls on the destiny/free will spectrum. “I can’t believe that everything is meant to be, because I really do believe that the choices we make matter. But I also know that some things just happen: happy accidents and not-so-happy accidents. I guess those are part of the mystery of life,” she said.

Allison Winn Scotch’s Theory Of Opposites gives us a down-to-earth account of a young woman who’s struggling to find her place and authentic path. This read is for anyone who has ever contemplated the origin of how we navigate our way.

The Theory of Opposites

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Lauren Suval

Lauren Suval studied print journalism and psychology at Hofstra University, and she is a writer based in New York. Her work has been featured on Thought Catalog, Catapult Community, and other online publications. Lauren's e-book “Coping With Life’s Clutter” and her latest book, “The Art Of Nostalgia,” a collection of personal essays, can both be found on Amazon. She loves to be followed on Twitter @LaurenSuval.

APA Reference
Suval, L. (2016). The Theory of Opposites. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 17 May 2016
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 17 May 2016
Published on Psych All rights reserved.