Skip to main content

Odd One Out


Odd One Out by Nic Stone (309 pages)
Overview: Courtney knows he's straight. The only problem is that he's in love with his lesbian best friend, Jupiter. While he tries to come to terms with the fact that he and Jupiter will never be a thing, he keeps wondering if there's a hope as Jupiter has always acted flirtatiously with him, and they spend many nights cuddled in the same bed. Then new girl Rae moves to town, and it's clear that both Courtney and Jupiter both want to date her. They're also both terrified of losing each other if Rae becomes either one's significant other. Even though Rae starts out thinking she's straight, Jupiter makes her question everything she's believed. Overall: 3 

Characters: 3 Courtney would be a super interesting character if he ever did more than moan and grown about Jupiter. He's on the cheerleading squad in the basketball off season, and he's grown up with Jupiter's dads as his father figures since his died in a car crash when he was very little. In the few moments he's interacting with his other friends, I could see why Stone wanted to write about Courtney, but, sadly, those were only glimmers.
I liked Rae a lot more before she picked up being the POV character in Part 2. She goes from being endearing and slightly mysterious to a self obsessed person who sticks as many SAT words into her speech as possible in a way someone with an actually large vocabulary never would. Her pension for SAT words suddenly becomes her only feature which is sad because her original story of realizing she's confused about her sexuality could have been the most compelling story in the book.
I feel like I never really got to know Jupiter. She's loud and outspoken both as a feminist and a member of the LGBTQ community. It's clear from the start, though, that she uses her noise level and labels as a shield against really digging into herself.

Plot: 2 The biggest problem in the book is that there's literally no plot. There's a half hearted occasionally mentioned thread of mystery over a missing child's TV performer that you mostly forget about until it gets mentioned about every fifty pages. Each teen's journey of self discovery can't even pull together a plot thread. The first hundred pages is Courtney aggressively whining about how he'll never be with Jupiter and the two of them repeating the same unhealthy patterns over and over. Then the same thing basically happens in the next two transitions in POV. Nothing new really happens, and none of them truly confront their struggles.

Writing: 4 I was into the first fifty pages. I wasn't sure where Stone was going with it, but I had faith. Dear Martin had such a strong plot, and Courtney had a similar voice. Stone's writing for Courtney felt so immersive, I was willing to follow the character rambling to a point, but, to a degree, it almost felt like Courtney honestly felt like it was wrong for Jupiter to be gay because it meant that he couldn't "have" her which rubbed me the wrong way. All of the characters eventually folded into being overly "written"- truly just characters and not plausibly people. It just felt unnatural, and Stone not really confronting the issues she posed was unsatisfying. Also, the age spread between Courtney (18), Jupiter (16/17), and Rae (15) was a little troubling especially considering that Courtney and Rae contemplate a relationship throughout the book. The main issue is that Stone is unable to delicately weave all of the sensitive topics she raises in her new book.

More By This Author...
Dear Martin: Review Here

Last Minute Gift Ideas:
Best Books of 2018: Here

Links of Interest:
Save The Date: Review Here
Solitaire: Review Here
What I'm Looking Forward to in 2019: Here
Truly Devious: Review Here

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

YA You Need To Read: April 2021

It's already April! School has been super super hectic, and I'm starting my old job as a bookseller again, so I haven't had much time for reading lately (ironic, I know), but I did want to talk about some books coming out in April that I can't wait to read (one day) that might inspire you to pick them up. I particularly can't wait for My Epic Spring Break Up! It's been on my list for a while now (I mean, look at that cover), but I also found some new books that hadn't been on my radar while browsing around the internet that I wanted to bring to your attention.  Let me know in the comments what April books you can't wait for!  Zara Hossain Is Here by Sabina Kahn  April 6th Zara has lived in Corpus Christi, Texas for a while. She's always dealt with the Islamophobia that's rampant in her high school, but when the star football player gets suspended, Zara becomes the target of a racist attack by the rest of the team that puts her and her family'

Once Upon a Quinceañera

Once Upon a Quinceañera   by Monica Gomez-Hera Overview: Carmen hasn't graduated high school, even though it's the summer after senior year. When her senior project fell through, Carmen has to scramble to complete the project over the summer. That means no college (not that she applied) and no future plans beyond becoming a Dream (floating around in a Belle costume at children's parties) with her best friend Waverley. So maybe it's not the summer Carmen wanted, but it's fine. At least until her ex-boyfriend who ruined everything, Mauro, also shows up on the team and then they get assigned to work her nemesis and younger cousin's quinceañera, which becomes the big event of the summer. Nothing ever quite goes to plan for Carmen, does it? Overall: 4 Characters: 4 I enjoyed hanging out with Carmen for a while. She's super witty and cynical in a way that I appreciate. I also loved reading about a character who's just out of high school and doesn't have a

Halsey's I Would Leave Me If I Could Poetry Review

  I Would Leave Me If I Could  by Halsey  I've started this review a couple times and scrapped all of them. I've written hundreds of reviews before, and this is the first time I have absolutely no clue how to review a book. It's not just because it's poetry. And it's not because I don't have thoughts on every single poem. I've read the book twice and scrubbed a million notes around her words and highlighted every poem on my second read through. I have so many favorites, and my heart feels like it's going to burst after finishing each poem. Halsey exceeded every expectation I had set to the high bar of her music. I almost feel like this book is too good for my review to remotely do it justice, so I don't even know where to begin.  This book is extremely vulnerable. Halsey has never held back on telling the ugly truth in her lyrics, but the poetry takes it so much farther. She has space to tell the entire story, fewer constraints than what will fit in

Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi: YA Book Review

  Yolk  by Mary H.K. Choi Overview: Jayne is in fashion school in NYC. Well, she's enrolled. It's debatable how often she actually attends. June has a fancy job in finance, or that's what everyone thinks. But when June gets cancer, the estranged sisters are pulled together because June needs Jayne's identity to get treatment. By pretending to be her sister to get the life-saving procedure, June is forced to come clean and pull Jayne back into her orbit. Though their relationship stays rocky, they're suddenly glued together, forced to admit that their respective glamorous lives are actually filled with roaches and trauma and missteps. Overall: 5+++ This book made me happy cry (that's never happened while reading) and sad cry. Characters: 5 The book is told from Jayne's perspective in an extremely close first person. This book has plot. Things happen in the way that life happens, but it's mostly just characters getting split open and probed for all their w

We Can't Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon: YA Book Review

  We Can't Keep Meeting Like This  by Rachel Lynn Solomon  Overview: Quinn is done with high school along with many other parts of her life. Unfortunately, her obligations to her family's wedding planning company, her crush on the caterers' son who's back from his first year of college, and her complete dissatisfaction with her college plans aren't things she can graduate out of. She spends the summer in search of what actually makes her happy including secret harp lessons, and she grapples with whether love is ever real or if it's just a wedding day illusion. Overall: 5+++ Characters: 5  I absolutely love Quinn, and I'm extremely upset that she can't be my new best friend. Quinn is the younger sister by seven years and has grown up in a family where weddings are literally the family business. The issue? Her parents separated for 6 months when she was little, and she's never had a chance to process that. All the weddings seem fake and like a performa

YA You Need to Read: June 2021

It's almost June which means summer time! For those of us in school, we're finally looking at a break and maybe some more time to read, or at least add to our TBRs. I've actually managed to get some real reading done since I finished my spring semester at the very start of May, and I'm excited to have another summer of reading like I did when I was 14.  Here's five books coming out in June that have made it onto my radar. Let me know in the comments which June release you're looking forward to most.  The (Un)Popular Vote by Jasper Sanchez June 1 Mark decides to run for student body president even though he promised his dad he'd keep a low profile. With his dad being a notable politician, he doesn't want anyone digging into Mark's past or discovering he's trans, especially when Mark's father isn't particularly accepting either. But after a slew of homophobic events at the school, Mark decides to run and assemble a team to help him glide to

Olivia Rodrigo'a SOUR As YA Books: Track By Track

This list turned out to be much harder to make than I anticipated when I came up with the idea last week. I set out to match songs to SOUR because what goes better with an album written by a 17/18 year old than YA books, but it turns out that YA books are just too hopeful for this album. Unlike many of these songs, I couldn't find books where the characters ended the book totally despondent and broken up. It took a bit of brainstorming, but I think I found a book to match the essence of each SOUR track. Le me know in the comments which songs on SOUR are your favorite. Mine are "brutal", "favorite crime", "deja vu", and "jealousy, jealousy".  1. "brutal" : War and Speech   by Don Zolidis War and Speech just radiates the same badass, discontented with teenage life energy as "brutal". This was the first book that popped into my mind when I thought about making this post. Just look at the cover. Sydney's life has been fa

It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland: YA Book Review

  It Goes Like This  by Miel Moreland  Overview: Moonlight Overthrow took the world by storm as a group of 14 year-olds from Minnesota. Over the years, though, the queer band has evolved and fell apart. Eva's heart was broken by the sudden end of the band (and her first relationship with bandmate Celeste). Steph's mental health was slowly being destroyed by being non-binary yet stuck conforming to the standards of a girlband. Celeste had aspirations of a solo career, and Gina initiated the break-up in favor of an acting career. While Eva has moved on to penning chart topping songs from behind the scenes and going to UCLA, Gina has the acting career she thoughts she wanted, and Celeste is going it alone on a massive world tour. Steph retreated back into their family life in Duluth, shunning LA. But when a storm rocks Duluth, the silent group chat springs to life as the band realizes they needs to help. Can one week heal years of broken emotional bones?  Overall: 4.5 Characters:

Writing Morally Gray Characters: A Guest Post by Laurie Devore, Author of A Better Bad Idea

Laurie Devore is stopping by the blog today to talk about her new book from Imprint, A Better Bad Idea , which is out now! This mystery/thriller/romance fusion is Laurie's third book, and it's a new twist on her usual contemporary YA stories. For this guest post, Laurie talks about crafting morally gray characters that your readers will still feel attached to and cheer on. Here's her best writing tips:  I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of what people will do when they’re pushed to their brink. While my new novel, A BETTER BAD IDEA, may seem like a departure in some ways from my previous novels, I actually think their DNA is quite similar. The stakes are higher, but as ever, this book is about girls making unimaginable choices because of their circumstances, whether self-inflicted or not.   I’m constantly thinking about what it means to write morally gray characters, and I think the main takeaway from me is that I’m just much more interested in what people do and w

The Anthropocene Reviewed: Nonfiction Book Review

  The Anthropocene Reviewed  by John Green  Overall: 5 It's a little meta to be writing a review about a book on a five start scale that's whole premise is reviewing the human centered planet on a five star scale. Maybe we're all just a million little Yelp reviews stacked on top of each other. None the less, here's my review of John's reviews, which I've given a perfect five stars even if it's not necessarily a perfect book. Five stars is a state of mind, right?  I should probably premise this with the fact that I like John Green's books despite the fact that maybe they're a bit manic pixie dream girl at times. They're not the most brilliant books in the world, but they became extremely important to me one summer. I felt seen by the "teens who don't sound like teens" according to a ton of adults on Goodreads. They sounded like me. And they still matter to me, even though, as with everything popular, they've been thoroughly disse