Review: Odd One Out by Nic Stone (Blogtober Day 29)

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41808228Odd One Out by Nic Stone
Published By: Simon and Schuster UK Children's
Released: 18th October 2018
Page Count: 320 Pages
Edition: Kindle ARC
Rating: 2.5/5 

Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Courtney "Coop" Cooper
Dumped. Again. And normally I wouldn't mind. But right now, my best friend and source of solace, Jupiter Sanchez, is ignoring me to text some girl. 

Rae Evelyn Chin
I assumed "new girl" would be synonymous with "pariah," but Jupiter and Courtney make me feel like I'm right where I belong. I also want to kiss him. And her. Which is . . . perplexing.

Jupiter Charity-Sanchez
The only thing worse than losing the girl you love to a boy is losing her to your boy. That means losing him, too. I have to make a move. . . .

One story.
Three sides.
No easy answers.

Thoughts

Courtney Cooper and Jupiter Sanchez have been both best friends and neighbours since they were both seven years old. Despite his efforts to hide it, he can't help being hopelessly in love with Jupiter. But a relationship with her is not on the cards and Jupiter has been out of the closet for almost as long as she has known Courtney. When new girl Rae Chin moves to town Courtney thinks he's finally found a girl to fall for that isn't Jupiter. The only problem is, Jupiter is falling for Rae too.

I read Nic's other book Dear Martin earlier this year and absolutely loved it, so, to say I was excited to read Odd One Out would be an understatement. After reading the synopsis I was raring to get into it. However, I don't know if it was because I set my expectations high or not, but this book fell flat for me.

The diversity in Odd One Out was something that I really did enjoy. As someone who is always on the look out for books featuring LGBTQ+ characters and people of colour I was instantly impressed with this. Our three main protagonists were all characters from different ethnicities, and two of them were each questioning their sexualities (which was probably the most realistic thing in this book). There was also some emphasis on labelling yourself. What happens when you realise that the label you chose for yourself doesn't fit who you are anymore? And what if you don't even want to stick a label on who you are? All really important stuff that can tie into real life today.

However, the diversity was probably the only thing that I did enjoy about Odd One Out. I felt that the author tried to fit so much into 300 pages that I couldn't get to know the characters all that well and also, because of this the plot also suffered if truth be told. The plot, in my opinion was rushed and very underwhelming. I thought one of the main plots was going to be about Courtney and Rae's adventure but this was soon forgotten about. 

The story itself is told through three POVs of Courtney, Rae and Jupiter. Normally I would love multiple POVs but because everything seemed so rushed I just couldn't appreciate it. Despite being stuck in the minds of these characters for approximately 100 pages each, I never felt like I got to know them all that well - as previously stated. The drama between all three of them was very messy, and could have been resolved if they had all just talked to each other about their feelings. This did make for pretty hard reading. If I was going to say who's POV I liked the most I would probably say Rae - she felt like the most realistic character. Questioning who you are if something that we all have done so I felt like she's the character that readers would be able to relate to the most.

The writing style was also something that I struggled with, which made the reading experience rather uncomfortable. The voices of each character at times just seemed very unrealistic and at times quite cringey and at times I couldn't take it seriously. Also, there were times when action quotes were used to decipt actions such as; *cue pause*. This was quite distracting.

Despite having a fantastic emphasis on diversity, identity and the struggles teenagers face with regards to sexuality, Odd One Out really didn't deliver what I thought it was going to. The plot felt rushed, the characters just weren't fleshed out enough and overall it just felt very unrealistic. Which is such a shame as I really did want to like it.



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