Author: Nic Stone Published: 2018 Pages: 304 Rating: 5 stars
Odd One Out is a coming-of-age story which explores friendship, love and self-discovery. Through her telling of the story, Nic Stone triumphs with her representation of race and sexuality, the complex nature of discovering who we truly are and the reality that is the fluidity of labels.
Courtney and Jupiter have been best friends for years. From the outset, we learn that Coop feels something more in spite of Jupiter’s attraction to girls. However, circumstances grow to become more cumbersome when Jupiter’s new best friend Rae comes to dinner. Not before long, two becomes three and the group dynamic shifts. Attractions blossom and soon, we have what is the epitome of the complicated love triangle. And oh it was riveting to read. Friendships turn into crushes, crushes turn into secrets and secrets ultimately lead to heartbreak, tension and betrayal.
Stone seamlessly writes from each of the characters’ perspectives, the three of them endowed with their own distinctive character traits. Courtney the big shot basketballer with a heart of gold, Rae the walking-talking dictionary, and Jupiter the Freddy Mercury super fan. They’re raw, real and relatable. Even Coop’s two best guy pals, Brit and Golly, charmed me with their witty one liners and cool-boy idiolects.
‘now I can feel a wave of crap-I-have-to-fix-it word vomit roiling in my gut.’
This is one messy story. Nonetheless, this chaos encapsulates the reality of attraction and the confusing nature of labels. Stone portrays characters’ feelings so well that I can’t help but remember how stressful crushes can be: the mind games, the overthinking, the ‘what if’s.
Reading this story, you will be in a perpetual state of confliction. I found all the characters to be so loveable that you’ll want them all to be happy. However, in this story, things don’t necessarily go as hoped. There’s love, there’s loss, there’s heartbreak moments to heart-warming scenes. It’s messy and it’s true.
Overall, you’ll be gripped to the pages as you anticipate how the dynamic will pan out. This book truly is for everyone. It’s witty, relevant and perfectly explores the frustrating path of self-discovery. I couldn’t recommend this more!
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster UK for providing me with an eARC to read this in exchange for an honest review.
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