Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking those links, I will receive a small commission from the sale at no extra cost to you.Odd One Out by Nic Stone
Published by Crown Books for Young Readers on October 9, 2018
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, LGBTQ
Format: Hardcover (320 pages)
Purchase: Amazon • IndieBound
Add Book: Goodreads • Bookhype
From the author of Dear Martin comes this exploration of old friendships, new crushes, and the path to self-discovery.
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.
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. . . .
No easy answers.
I love love triangles, so I was definitely looking forward to Odd One Out‘s bisexual love triangle! Jupiter and Courtney have been friends forever. Courtney wants more, but Jupiter is a lesbian. Then Rae moves to town and Jupiter is immediately smitten, but Rae starts falling for Courtney. Clearly, this is going to be a big mess.
Messy is the best way I can describe Odd One Out, and mostly not in a good way. I was certainly intrigued, but everything felt so disjointed. It’s almost as if there were three totally separate stories happening here and they got thrown into a blender. There’s the actual love triangle, which wound up rubbing me the wrong way. Then there’s Courtney and Rae’s quest which was super weird, but I was oddly into it. That didn’t get enough attention though. Finally, there’s Jupiter’s struggle with her sexuality.
I did not like how Courtney was basically just waiting for Jupiter to reciprocate his feelings. I definitely believed he had feelings for her, but it was kind of gross how he just could not get the fact that she was a lesbian through his head. Of course, this comes into question when Jupiter starts questioning her sexuality. The ending basically felt like straight boy wish fulfillment.
As for Courtney and Rae’s relationship, it started out rocky, but then they bond over their childhood hero, Carnival Carl who mysteriously disappeared one day. A day that is etched in both of their memories forever, since that’s the same day Courtney lost his father and Rae’s mom left. They want to find out what happened to him to find some kind of closure. This could have been its own book with a fun mystery and possibly some high emotions. Instead, it felt kind of thrown in to get these two close to each other and isolate Jupiter.
The last third of the book is focused on Jupiter and her coming to terms with her feelings for Rae and Courtney, and her sexuality in general. This was interesting, but a lot of it felt forced. There is this problem with people assuming lesbians just haven’t found the right guy yet, and this is brought up, but it felt like it was mentioned so that it wouldn’t look like that’s what’s happening with Jupiter and Courtney. He didn’t “turn” her. It was just very jumbled and like the author was trying really hard to make sure that the reader doesn’t think this. That could have been accomplished by spending more time with Jupiter’s emotions and confusion over what she was doing with her best friend.
In the end, Odd One Out just didn’t work for me. The themes and premise are excellent, but it wasn’t pulled together.