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3.5 stars Odd One Out is a solid story, but the narration didn't work so well for me. It was difficult to distinguish the three different narrator's voices, and I found I had to go back to check whose thoughts I was reading more than once. I really enjoyed the whole inner discussions Jupiter had with herself. About labels, mostly. Because what are all those labels for? Ourselves? Or other people so that we can fit into their world view? I think that's what I liked the most about the story, because labels can be very restrictive.
I went into this book with high expectations because of my love for Nic Stone’s other books. There were parts of the story that I really enjoyed. There were other parts that seemed way too silly to me. I kept pushing because I couldn’t stand the thought of not finishing this book. Right at the 70% mark, the storyline picked up for me. The twists and turns at the end of the book saved it for me.
3.0 out of 5 starsFrustrating Journey, But Important Conversation
Reviewed in the United States on 1 October 2018
In this second novel by Nic Stone, we are introduced to a trio of characters: Courtney, Jupiter, and Rae. Each character takes a turn narrating the story by thirds in the book, starting with the only male of the three, Courtney, who is harboring a bit of a crush on his female best friend, Jupiter. The only issue there is that not only is she his best friend, but she is also an acknowledged lesbian. Courtney finds this situation frustrating, but not worth losing his best friend over. In the middle of the story, Rae comes along to become part of their friendship. Rae has a crush on both Courtney and Jupiter, feeling uncertain about her sexuality.
To say this novel leaves your head spinning is putting it mildly. I've never struggled with my sexual identity, so I struggled to relate to the frustration the teen characters in this novel struggled with. Having said that, I appreciate having characters that address this issue head on. Although I think this topic is probably long overdue, I felt frustrated by the constant state of turmoil between these three characters. Because both female characters are uncertain about their attraction to males and females, we're left feeling almost as if they simply can't make up their mind and end up hurting a lot of people along the way. I wasn't sure if that was an intended message? I really felt for Courtney and thought he must be about the most patient boy in the entire world.
As for addressing sexual orientation, I think this novel takes us there but fails to maybe draw out the cultural conversations and issues for these teens. There is a bit of a conversation about it near the end of the novel, but I wished more of these had been addressed earlier. My frustrations could all be related to my lack of real knowledge, but this novel does open up the conversation and made me think about teens and this frustrating journey to discovery.