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Odd One Out

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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.

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.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published October 9, 2018

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About the author

Nic Stone

38 books4,201 followers
Nic Stone was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, GA, and the only thing she loves more than an adventure is a good story about one. After graduating from Spelman College, she worked extensively in teen mentoring and lived in Israel for a few years before returning to the US to write full-time. Growing up with a wide range of cultures, religions, and backgrounds, Stone strives to bring these diverse voices and stories to her work.

Stone lives in Atlanta with her husband and two sons. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @getnicced or on her website nicstone.info.

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Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,747 reviews5,294 followers
October 16, 2018
When I read Dear Martin from this author last year, I enjoyed it and found the plot important enough to give it a high rating, but something about it didn’t quite “click” with me, so I was super apprehensive about reading Odd One Out. On one hand, I was wary that it, like its predecessor, would leave me feeling as though something was missing—on the other hand, with such a diverse cast, my hopes couldn’t help but ride high.

Unfortunately, this was simply not an enjoyable reading experience at all. Stone’s writing voice feels so unrealistic and awkward and strange to me. I constantly caught myself thinking that the way she phrased things just didn’t make sense, and sure, that might sound like a trivial complaint, but when it happens over and over throughout the entire story, it’s worth noting. Plus, there are all these really cringe-y moments, like Jupes referring to being aroused as “feeling strangeness down in my secret place” and various other weird, overly childish phrasing. And there are a few places where the writing literally uses action quotes to depict actions (yes, as in, “**eyes bulge out of head**”—direct quote).

This book takes place in three “parts”, with each part being in the perspective of a different character. There’s Courtney/“Cooper”, the cishet black athlete and male cheerleader, who is pretty fun—not too many issues here besides some general “teen boy” horniness. Then there’s Rae, the Irish/East Asian questioning new girl in town. I couldn’t stand a single chapter of Rae’s perspective. The level of self-obsession and childishness in her narrative made me want to DNF this book so badly.

Finally, there’s Jupiter/Jupes, Cooper’s lesbian black/Latinx childhood best friend. Jupes’ perspective starts off in second person and suddenly switches to first person, which is just a tremendous pet peeve of mine. More importantly, though, she’s so hung up on her label that she treats people like garbage when she gets confused. Don’t get me wrong, we need questioning rep in queer books, but when it causes this much harm to the people around the questioning character, it’s hard to enjoy.

On top of that, while Jupes has some great internal monologue surrounding labels and how nuanced sexuality is, there are some moments that made me, as a bi woman, extremely uncomfortable. I don’t want to go into it all here, because I think this is one of those things where some people will be hurt and some won’t, but the casual bi-erasure in the first half, and constant questioning of whether or not bi people are “allowed” to be attracted to trans people in the second half, was exhausting. Oh, and can we talk about the lesbian character who literally states, “I don’t mess with bisexual girls … Enough girls leave you for dudes, and you learn to keep your distance” AND ISN’T EVEN CALLED OUT FOR IT? NOT EVEN FOR A SECOND? This is hurtful and the least you could do is challenge it in the text.

Finally, the last thing I want to talk about is a little bit SPOILERY:


We are led to believe through the entire book that there’s going to be a polyamorous relationship by the end of it, but that falls flat in the end. Despite all three kids spending the whole freaking book whining about how they’re each in love with the other two, in the end, two of them pair off while the other one goes off to do their own thing, and it felt so freaking queerbaiting for polyam rep that I was stunned. I mean, all of the characters even have their own respective fantasies about them all being together in the end, but it’s not even considered as an option! I don’t know, it just felt poorly done and gross to me.


All in all, this was just such a disappointing read for me, and all of the fantastic diverse rep in the world couldn’t save it from hurtful moments, a forced and uncomfortable ending, and really unlikable writing from start to finish. This book will absolutely have its fans, but I can’t say I’m one of them, nor will I likely be recommending this book to any friends seeking out good queer rep in the future.

ETA: I forgot to mention in my original review, but the last issue I want to point out is that this book has some pretty unhealthy age gaps in the relationships. Rae is 15, while Cooper is 18, which isn't even legal here in Georgia, where the book takes place. Another character is 16, almost 17, when she decides she wants to sleep with a woman in her 20s. The older woman refuses her over and over and the 16-year-old BEGS her and wears her down through pleading, whining, etc., until the woman finally gives in and they have sex. Again, super not legal, super creepy.

Content warnings for homophobia, slurs, kissing without consent, biphobia (not always challenged)

All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Crown Books for Young Readers for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook!
Profile Image for may ➹.
494 reviews2,072 followers
November 12, 2018
me, before reading this book: god, if you’re out there, please don’t let me hate this book as much as I hate its cover

me, after reading this book: god, if you’re out there, why do you hate me
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,514 reviews29.5k followers
October 20, 2018
4.5 stars.

Courtney Aloysius Cooper IV ("Coop") has been in love with his best friend Jupiter for as long as he can remember. He knows she is a lesbian so he knows a romantic relationship between the two will never happen, but that doesn't stop him from thinking about her all the time. Plus, it doesn't help that they spend almost all of their free time together since they live next door to each other and their families are intertwined. Heck, he even pledged his virginity to her when they were in seventh grade.

"Do I realize it's dumb to have secret feelings for my lady-loving best girl friend and to want said best girl friend to be my first sexual intercourse experience? Yes. But being reminded of the dumbness doesn't make me feel very good."

Every romantic relationship Coop has tends to end because of Jupiter, since none of the girls he dates can handle him having a gorgeous female best friend, regardless of her sexuality. Truth be told, Coop never seems too broken up about the relationships ending. But his best guy friends think he's just setting himself up for heartbreak, and want him to put together a "game plan" that doesn't involve Jupiter.

Jupe loves Coop (they refer to themselves as "Jupe-n-Coop") as a brother and a best friend, but she doesn't think of him romantically. She's waiting to feel something special for a girl instead of the myriad crushes she's had through the years. She's proud of who she is, even though some in school treat her as if she just needs a guy to help solve her problems, while some female classmates think she'd be fun to experiment with.

Enter Rae Chin. The new girl in school, she and Jupiter quickly become friends, which leaves Coop feeling left out. But when Rae and Coop realize they share a traumatic memory from childhood, the two begin a friendship which turns into a flirtation whenever Jupiter isn't around. And no matter how much Jupe tries to downplay Rae's flirty advances toward her, she starts falling for Rae. It's enough complication to rattle every side of the triangle.

Who wins and who loses when friends try taking their relationship to the next level? How do you know when you have true feelings or if you're acting out of fear, jealousy, lust, loneliness, or betrayal? Can you really trust anyone with your heart? How can you truly understand your sexual identity, and if it differs from what you told people, what does that mean for everyone else?

Odd One Out is a poignant, sweet, thought-provoking exploration of the bonds between friends and how romance can both blur and possibly damage those bonds. It's a well-written book about being honest with yourself and those around you, and how easy it can be to take advantage of someone whose feelings may be stronger for you than yours are for them. It's also a look at sexual identity and how it is shaped, and whether declaring who you are is really important.

I really enjoyed this. At first I worried if the characters would be stereotypical or one-dimensional, but Nic Stone is such a talented writer that I needn't have been concerned. These characters are ones you want to root for and know more about, but in the end, they're still high school students—they don't speak as if their dialogue was written by Aaron Sorkin and they're not wise beyond their years. That's one of the keys to this book's appeal, that it feels so genuine.

In Stone's author's note, she says the following: "Being who you are and loving who you love may not be easy, but it's always worthwhile." As I've said many times when I've read great YA fiction, this is one of those books I wish existed when I was growing up, but I'm so glad it exists at this time, and hope it falls into the hands of those who will benefit from it.

What I loved so much about Odd One Out is that it didn't try too hard to convey its message, but its heart definitely won mine over. This is a special book for those who explore it.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,479 reviews19.5k followers
October 23, 2018
I'm flip-flopping between a 3 and a 4 on this one bc it was both unrealistic and messy as hell, while also being super realistic and messy as hell. There were certain things about the plot that I found completely unbelievable and really distracted me from the story, but I still really enjoyed the relationships and the complexities between Coop and Jupiter and Rae. Their connections could have been plucked right out of my own high school experience as a bi girl trying to navigate her closer-than-close friendships. What an interesting ride this book was.
Profile Image for Korrina  (OwlCrate).
193 reviews4,560 followers
March 3, 2018
Wow, do I ever wish I had this book during high school. It was so relatable to something similar I went through, and which I’ve never seen represented in YA before. It was funny and real. And oh gosh, Coop is a precious cinnamon roll! I wanted to be friends with these characters so badly; they were all so funny and warm.
Profile Image for abi.
341 reviews34 followers
October 11, 2018
jupiter for two thirds of this book: ‘i’m a lesbian’
jupiter when she gets her own pov: ‘yeet i like boys but i’m a lesbian but also maybe not who knows?’

this book was messy, messy, messy. part of me can’t believe it was actually written by a queer woman. three povs in just over three hundred pages made it feel like i never really got to know any of the main characters, never mind the supporting characters. courtney was whiny, rae was confusing and jupiter was selfish. they’re probably all believable as 16-18 year olds but i didn’t like any of them and there were some really harmful ideas on the page here like bi people not being able to be attracted to trans / non-binary people, lesbianism being a phase and bisexual girls dumping girls for guys. it could have been so much better and i don’t get the high praise for it.
Profile Image for Natalia.
254 reviews59 followers
January 30, 2019
This was one of the worst books I've ever read. It's was supposed to deal with issues such as sexuality, race, feeling out of place and other teenage problems, but it didn't succeed in representing any of them. In the end it turned out to homophobic, biphobic and just generally had no idea how teenagers think.
The story is separated in 3 parts and every part is told from the point of view of one of the characters Cooper, Rae and Jupiter.
There will be some spoilers ahead.
Cooper was definitely disgusting, but his part was the most readable. He is in love with his best friend Jupiter, but she is a lesbian so his love is unrequited. I found it disgusting that he is well aware of her sexuality, but doesn't respect it at all and continuous lusting after her. He kept hoping that she was going to change her mind. I get that unrequited love sucks, but here it was beyond ridiculous.
Then comes Rae point of view. I don't really have too much to say about her. She was really annoying and childish. At first it was portrayed as if she was questioning her sexuality, but in the end she suddenly revels that she's in love with Cooper and has been intentionally leading Jupiter on.
The third part is Juniper's and here the book get even worse. After realizing that Rae doesn't like her back and she likes Cooper, Jupiter feels threatened and doesn't want to lose her best friend Cooper. Than she comes to the brilliant idea to have sex with him. However after hooking up with him a few times she realizes that she might like him for real, which freaks her out, because she previously labeled herself a lesbian.
I'm not trying to say that a lesbian can't question her sexuality and later realize that she's bi or pan, but the way that it was portrait in the book really bugged me. The ideas that you just haven't found the right man or you can't know your sexuality if haven't had sex with a man are ones that have hounded the lesbian community for a really long time. So here in the book I definitely didn't enjoy the main character practicly "being fixed" after she had sex with a boy and it turning out that she actually likes man too.
As I said questioning your sexuality is normal and there is nothing wrong with changing your label, but it has to be good representation and here it definitely wasn't
Don't even get me started on all the biphobia.
And the worst thing was that no of the characters realized that they had acts horribly and wrong.
In conclusion I wouldn't recommend this book especially if you are in the LGBT community. The representation is horrible and it really just isn't worth it to waist you time.
Profile Image for Ava.
266 reviews311 followers
February 15, 2018
ARCs are out in the world, so I can finally talk about this book - and believe me when I say Nic really has outdone herself with ODD ONE OUT. It's one of the best books I read in 2017, and I can't express how perfect it is and how the representation of both sexuality and race is going to change lives when it releases. It's unique, funny, heartwarming, heartbreaking, and most of all, just like DEAR MARTIN, it's so achingly real. I loved every page of it.

I just reread the ARC, so now I've read the book twice, and I know I'll read it again many times in the future, just like I do with DEAR MARTIN. It's perfect.
Profile Image for B.
120 reviews12.2k followers
August 6, 2021
the boys perspective... was a little much lol. I feel like I would've enjoyed this 100% more if we'd only been in the final perspective for the whole thing.
Profile Image for Kathy - Books & Munches.
447 reviews156 followers
October 24, 2018
At the start of the year, I read Dear Martin by Nic Stone and rated it 4,5 cupcakes so you can say I was quite excited to hear about her new novel. Not to mention there'd be queer characters. I was sold, needed it. Then I actually finished it, was torn and.. the more time passed, the more upset I got with this book so.. are you ready for this? Because this isn't going to be pretty..

As in Dear Martin, diversity is definitely a huge theme in this book. Where racism is the focus of her previous work, this one is more centered around the queer community – even though I have to at least mention the biracial and black characters in Odd One Out. However, the main theme is definitely questioning yourself, your sexual identity and finding ways to feel comfortable with yourself, your feelings and your values.

Three main characters, three different POV’s leads to me having three people to talk about. The first part of the novel is written from Courtney’s / Coop’s POV. I won’t talk about him just yet since my opinion on him doesn’t really belong in this section.

The second POV we switch to is Rae, the new girl. I have to say I probably liked her POV best, simply because she felt so.. genuine. Her voice is very unique compared to others I read before. She has a thing with creating her own crosswords and it shows. She uses a lot of words I didn’t know before – and probably won’t remember either – but it definitely added to her voice a lot.
Apart from that, I think the reason I liked her POV best is because she’s trying to figure everything out. Identifying as straight and suddenly having these "weird feelings" for a girl simply isn’t easy. Sure, she doesn’t make the best decisions but can we really blame her? We all made - or make - stupid decisions in our teenage years and I understood why she made them. Sometimes you’re just not ready to own up to yourself and admit where your head and heart are at. I thought that was shown beautifully in Rae’s POV. I adore books where characters are questioning their queerness so that was a definite plus.

The third POV is, of course, written in Jupiter’s / Jupe’s voice. I’m still not quite sure about this one. I was torn over it and I hoped it would lessen eventually but.. I’m still torn? In one way, I totally get some of June’s thoughts and views regarding her sexuality and label. A lot of queer people find themselves questioning everything at some point, some still question themselves once in a while. Struggling with our identity? Definitely something we’re good at – at least I know I’m a pro at it. It's hard coming to terms with a different label than the one you've already claimed for yourself, especially if you're afraid of how your peers will react. So on that account, I could see where Jupe was coming from. 

But that doesn’t take away the hurt I felt when she, at some point, pretty much disregarded bisexuality as a genuine label. Being bisexual myself, it was hard to overlook and not feel offended by her total lack of acceptance. Throughout the book, she labels herself as a lesbian accepting of any members in the LGBTQIA+-community but the moment it comes down to herself? Nope! Seems like the only labels suddenly in existence are “straight” and “lesbian” and that’s wrong. Hurtful.
Not to mention how she had this whole thing where she questioned if being bisexual means you can or can’t be attracted to members of the trans community. Like.. Do I even need to go into this further?

Back to the first POV of the story – Coop’s. From the get-go, it's very obvious he's a typical teenager with raging hormones since the story pretty much starts with him remarking on his best friend's looks. That, immediately, is where I got itchy. If someone's your best friend, you.. just.. don't.. Even if you have the hugest crush on them. Then especially! Feels to me like he should've been way past the physical and more focused on the person she is than how she looks. On top of that: he's very aware of her lesbian identity which, to me, comes across as him not respecting her at all.

I have one last character to.. complain about. A lesbian side character in this story literally saying how she will “not mess with bisexual girls” because plenty of them would leave you for dudes. Like? Really? I honestly felt awful reading that. People leave one another for someone else often; gender has nothing to do with that. To just.. call out bisexual girls in this manner felt absolutely wrong. She wasn’t even corrected. It wasn’t further talked about by the author either! If that would’ve been the case, I could have been okay but now? Nope. I felt attacked and hated it.

Apart from the characters, there are also some other things I want to remark on. First one being the use of asterisks to portray actions. [Yes, like "**eyes bulge out of head**" and "**cue loaded pause where..**"] Then we have Coop who tells things to Rae he didn't ever tell to Jupe. I don't agree with that at all. How can you tell some huge secret to a person you just met when you can't even tell it to your best friend, who you've known for years? And all of a sudden, Coop and Rae are besties too! It did not make sense in any way. [And I'm not even going to mention how the whole novel would've been solved in a couple of chapters if only the characters actually communicated...]

2 / 5.

[This review is based on an uncorrected proof provided by the author. This by no means influences my opinion on this novel.]
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,281 reviews1,655 followers
December 12, 2018
Odd One Out wasn't really what I was expecting out of this bisexual love triangle book. It's a decent readalike for Julie Murphy's Ramona Blue if you thought that one didn't have sufficient drama. It's sort of Ramona Blue meets Dawson's Creek.

Odd One Out consists of three POVs: Courtney "Coop" Cooper, Rae Chin, and Jupiter Charity-Sanchez. Rather than switching back and forth, the book's broken into three sections and they proceed in the listed order. While this works, I do think the swapping helps convey the emotions others are experiencing as something goes down and to pick up the same scene from different viewpoints, which may have helped a bit here.

Right off the bat, Courtney annoyed me, because he's crushing really hard on his best friend, Jupiter aka Jupe. He knows she's a lesbian, but he refuses to give up the dream of her wanting him someday. He gets jealous of anyone she's texting, and he dates other girls briefly just because she tells him to get a girlfriend. Probably she does that because the way he constantly pervs on her (like telling her to change when she's in skimpy clothes in her own room and when she refuses, showing her that he has a boner—he doesn't flash it but still yuck). I've had guy friends crush on me when I wasn't interested, and it's pretty fucking terrible without the added element of him basically denying her sexuality and hoping his penis will make things happen.

It's really hard for me to believe that Jupe and Coop, who are neighbors, are allowed to sleep together in one or the other's bed basically every single night. The parents were like "Jude's a lesbian, so it's fine," which, like, does that really happen outside of pop culture? I also can't fathom the idea that Jupe's unaware that Coop's in love with her and wants to have sex with her, because guys aren't subtle, and again he even reveals that he has basically a constant boner in her presence and he's constantly checking her out. Even more minor experiences with guy friends were deeply uncomfortable and had me slamming on the brakes and putting distance between us, and, with how well she knows him, none of this would have been a surprise. So basically I find this relationship rather toxic, as do Coop's friends, who were the only characters in the book I mostly ended up liking.

Rae ends up becoming friends with both Jupe and Coop. She and Jupe bond over the fact that they're both biracial, and she and Coop bond over their love of/trauma from a children's show they both watched. Honestly, the missing star of the children's show plot was weird af, and I really feel like that needed to be made much more significant or be edited out. As it is, it feels like an artificial way to bring Coop and Rae together as friends, since it doesn't really seem like Rae has much in common with either of them. I'd have preferred to see Coop and Rae truly bond over cheerleading, but that actual common interest isn't really used. Also, the cheerleading stuff is so much more interesting imo.

Rae's half-Asian and half-white, and she's always felt really out of place, having previously lived in a predominantly white community. She also has major trust issues because her mother and then her sister left her. Jupe and Coop appear to be her first real friends. Again, I had a bit of trouble with this, because clearly Rae's really attractive since both Jupe and Coop are super into her immediately, and she's a cheerleader. Maybe times have changed, but through the lens of my high school experience, this really doesn't add up to Rae being the incredibly awkward, nerdy, friendless loner she's made out to be. (I say this as someone who was an awkward, nerdy, friendless loner.) Her POV, like the children's show plot line that makes up much of it, does feel somewhat unnecessary. She ends up feeling like a red herring or something. She has a POV so you think that she might end up with one of them or that the book will end in an OT3. That's not how things go.

In theory, I should love Rae, because she's a dork who's obsessed with words and crossword puzzles. However, I also had issues with her behavior that go beyond just being a teen. She forces a kiss on Jupe who had said no, because she didn't want to be Rae's experiment. She does apologize, though. Worse, though, she continues to flirt with and touch Rae at every opportunity, particularly once she's decided she wants to date Courtney. Again, it's another super shitty friendship.

Things get much worse when we get to Jupe's POV, and not just because sometimes it's in second person for some reason and then switches back to first. At the very end of Rae's, Rae confesses to Jupe that she has a crush on Coop, and Jupe encourages her to go for it. When we flip into Jupe's POV, we learn that Jupe was just about to confess her own feelings for Rae. Jupe then decides that she cannot bear the idea of Rae having something of Coop that Jupe does not, so she offers Coop sex with her for his birthday.

Jupe and Coop proceed to hook up for a couple weeks, and Jupe really loves the sex, but, inevitably, Rae confesses her feelings to Coop, who proceeds to ask Jupe for advice. BUT, of course, he sees a message from Rae on her phone about it and realizes that Jupe knew this was coming, and they cease being friends for a while. Courtney DATES RAE ANYWAY. Even though he has been "in love" with Jupe for the entirety of the book and obviously is even more in feels because of all the sex they've been having. GAH WHY.

Jupe's a mess at this point because she doesn't want to say that she's not a lesbian because people will think she was fixed by a magical penis, so she decides to test herself by having sex with her lesbian friend, Bri. Bri's hesitant to begin anything with her and explicitly says she doesn't want to be involved with girls who also enjoy the peen (she doesn't know about the sex with Coop and also this attitude is awful) and that this will change things. Basically, she's like please only have sex with me if you're really into this, and Jupe's all in. They have sex and Jupe enjoys it but does not get the feels, so she ghosts Bri.

With the help of Coop's friends, aka the only ones in the book who openly communicate about anything, Jupe decides no label fits and comes out to the GSA at school as label-less but liking both girls and at least one boy. In short order, everything's fine. Coop and Rae break up, and apparently they weren't serious anyway because he couldn't bear to kiss anyone but Jupe (except after he learned she had sex with Bri—ugh these kids and using people). Rae forgives Jupe and Coop, and they're not friends again yet but probably will be soon. Everyone is fine. There aren't really emotional scars.

I've talked before about how much I love a well done love triangle, but this is not that. The thing that bugs me is that Rae's just there as a distraction. Neither of them seem to have a particularly authentic connection to Rae, aside from finding her hot. And, in the end, when they get together, Rae conveniently doesn't care so everything is fine and dandy. The character arcs in this book just are not where they need to be to make this work.

Also, sexualities are complicated, no doubt, and a girl who thought she was a lesbian can find out that she's bisexual or pansexual or something else she's not sure how to label yet. I thought Ramona Blue handled the lesbian ends up falling in love with a boy plot line pretty well. It's not my favorite plot line by any means, but it can be done with nuance. Here, though, it did bother me that he had been lusting for her for years and ends up getting what he wants. The fact that they were friends all those years, and he was just waiting and hoping for this really rubs me the wrong way.

Though I do love Stone's motivation in writing the book, helping questioning teens to know that it's okay to wrestle with their identity, I feel like it gets a bit lost in all the dirtbag stuff all three are doing to one another and to others. I did like the fact that Coop is a male cheerleader and Jupe's dads, and the fact that Rae's being lovingly raised by her single father. Unfortunately, I just didn't like the main characters, or, at least, I did not like them together. For once, I wanted a book not to be romance.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Silvia .
642 reviews1,430 followers
December 15, 2018
I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

🌸 full review now posted!

It was messy but I feel like the message it was trying to give is very important. I just didn't love the execution.

This is a book about how complicated it is to navigate personhood, relationships, past trauma, identity, social pressure, and basically everything else you might find yourself having to deal with in addition to your daily life as a teen. Books like this are the reason I, in my mid twenties, love reading YA. Because sometimes this "typically teenage" struggle doesn't stop, or (some of it) is delayed until later, and seeing things through the eye of a teen can be both refreshing and healing.

We get three point of views in this book, not in alternating chapters but in three blocks. I wasn't sure about this choice at the beginning but it ended up being both the best and worst thing about the book.

🐣 Courtney "Coop" Cooper - Black teen in love with his best friend, deals with past trauma and loss, intends to keep a promise he made as a kid even though it seems impossible that the conditions will ever be right for that to happen.

🐣 Rae Evelyn Chin - biracial Irish/Korean new girl at school, people-pleaser, abandonment issues, not as straight as she thought.

🐣 Jupiter Charity-Sanchez - Black out and proud lesbian, adopted daughter of two dads, caught between new and old friendship, number one fan of Queen.

First off, I thought that the POVs served their part of the story well, they also were distinct enough and didn't feel like an excuse to reveal things that the previous POV character didn't know. But as things got messy (more on this later), I couldn't help but feel that, a) I liked each POV less than the previous one; b) things had to be told instead of shown, and I couldn't detect character agency for the previous characters.

Every main non-POV character felt like a plot device that served the current POV character. It was as if only because the focus had shifted on someone else, the other two's ambitions and personalities were forgotten.

By the third and last POV, having previously been in the head of the other two POV characters, I couldn't recognize their actions as their own and they felt only driven by what Jupiter wanted, and worst of all, most of it was just for the sake of drama. Now look, I know everyone makes bad choices and I'm not against that at all. I feel like I need to point this out because I'm aware that there's a tendency to be less forgiving of POC characters as opposed to white ones when they do shitty things. But their actions, combined with the fact that the only POV I was reading from at that point wasn't giving me any reason to sympathize with any of them, made it really hard to enjoy reading the last third of the book, as opposed to the first one which made me laugh and love Courtney so much.

It's kind of hard to explain myself without spoilering anything so I'll leave it that: this book got messier and messier and if you're easily frustrated it could affect your enjoyment by a pretty big factor

A list of things I didn't like paired with things I did like:

• I think having two questioning queer people in one YA book is amazing. The questioning queerness was the strongest point of this book and the reason despite all of its flaws this is a three star for me.

○ While it's great to have different people question and explore their sexuality in different ways, some of the surrounding queerness (in side characters) was sometimes something that didn't sit well with me. For example, a lesbian girl says she doesn't mess with bisexual girls who have "touched the D" or something like that. This is something that might be called out later but not right away and I didn't see the point of this. Another example of something that was personally a bit hurtful to see was the assumption from Jupiter's part that every girl who wanted to "experiment" with her was actually straight. For being so openly against heteronormativity, she sure assumed that straight is the norm.

• The talk about labels came late but it was powerful and important enough to somewhat fix that ending for me. Labels can change and it can be scary to change them or to go without for a bit, regardless of your experiences with your previous labels.

○ This might be me overthinking things, but at some point I felt like a correlation was made between being attracted to one specific gender through attraction to their genitalia, and even discovering said attraction because of uhh...having seen their genitals. This felt cisnormative and I think too much focus was put on body parts.

• All books need as many Queen references as this one.

○ This is not exactly a thing I didn't like (at least until some point) but I need to point out that this is a love triangle, and not the best one I've read, but it's a love triangle among queer teens of color, which is something that I'm glad got its own spot in YA.

So overall, would I recommend this book? It depends on what you're looking for and your tastes (who would have thought?!), and I hope my review gave you an idea whether you might like this or not.
Profile Image for kate.
1,226 reviews948 followers
March 13, 2019
A wonderfully, infuriating and messy story.

I don’t know how else to describe this other than messy but in the best way. It portrayed the painfully messy inner workings of being a teen, the messy journey of discovering yourself and the mess that is society and the messages that, no matter how hard you try, you can’t quite escape.

So yeah, it was a mess but a brilliantly written one. It was funny, stressful, lighthearted, heavy and authentic. The characters were equally funny, witty, strong, loveable, messy and freaking infuriating. I kinda wanted to throw this book across the room at a few of their decisions but I’m pretty sure I’ve felt this way at some point or another about every teenager I’ve ever met (and I have no doubt many felt this on multiple occasions towards my teen-self. *I* feel this about my teen-self) but I also wanted to wrap them in bubblewrap and make everything okay.

I adored the way the three POV’s were structured. I don’t think I’ve ever read a multiple POV book where it dedicated portions of the book to each character, rather than alternating chapters etc. but I loved it.

All in all, this book sent me on a rollercoaster of loving it, hating it, having no clue what I felt about it, to finally settling on (I think) that kind of being the point, maybe? Life is a total mess, bad decisions are made and nobody’s perfect and people (teens especially) should be allowed to be messy in regards to figuring out who they are and where they fit in the world. So despite not agreeing with pretty much any of the decisions these characters made, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and feel like it will be an incredibly important one for many readers.

TW: homophobic slur, biphobia, deadnaming
Profile Image for Kayla Brunson.
1,417 reviews250 followers
October 22, 2018
Now that I'm thinking about this book again, I lowered it down to two stars.
I have so many more things that I disliked more than I liked.
I didn't love this like I thought that I would. To be honest my thoughts are still all over the place. So much of this could have been cleared up with communication. 

This book is told in three parts. We get the POV of each character. We have Coop, Rae, and Jupiter. Coop has been in love with his best friend Jupiter (who happens to be a lesbian) forever. Rae moves to town and is attracted to both Coop and Jupiter. Jupiter has feelings for Rae. As you can see this is was set up to be a bumpy ride.

Like I said before, so much of this could have been cleared up with communication. There were quite a bit of hidden feelings here and actions based on those feelings that kind of pissed me off. I struggled to get through Rae's POV. I really didn't like her character and thought things would have been so much better if she never came around. But at the same time, I can also see her as a catalyst. her being around set things in motion. 

My favorite people of this whole novel were Britain and Golly. Those two characters were awesome and I loved every part of the book that they were in. 

I feel like actual teens will really love this and it can bring some things to light for them. This book does tackle self-identity and that's a big thing for teens. Well, it was for me. Younger me would have loved this book!

Overall I can appreciate what the author was trying to do here, but it was a bit all over the place for me. To top it all off, the end wasn't what I would have expected it to be and it ended kind of open instead of actually giving an ending note. 

While I do think this book would be helpful for some, it just didn't stand out for me. 

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Profile Image for Alice-Elizabeth (Prolific Reader Alice).
1,157 reviews160 followers
December 16, 2018
I received a digital copy for review via NetGalley!

Odd One Out was such a huge disappointment, after being very interested in the coming-of-age, discovering yourself and exploring sexuality story-line. We follow three POVs of three teens: Courtney, Rae and Jupiter who are all in high school and navigating their way through the powers of friendships and relationships. I don't often do this but I would like to leave a link to another Goodreads review by Destiny: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... which basically sums up most of my thoughts on this novel. It was a little triggering in places for me and one that won't be a re-read!
Profile Image for Ashley.
Author 14 books734 followers
October 28, 2018
This book would have changed my life if I'd had it when I was 16.

It's about figuring out who it's okay to love and the thin lines between friendship and romance and sex. It's about how messy love can be, and about how it's okay to be unsure about everything. And it is damn good.

Oh how I love it so. I can't wait for you all to read it.
Profile Image for Giulia.
707 reviews105 followers
Shelved as 'the-did-not-finish'
August 18, 2020
Unpopular Opinion Time 🐸☕️

DNF @17%

Nope. This is not working, and I'm sorry.
After loving Dear Martin I was highly anticipating this new book by Nic Stone, and I'm sorry to say that I'm disappointed.

The writing style felt too juvenile - almost childish - and it just didn't flow nicely.
The characters, I just simply COULD NOT STAND FOR THE LIFE OF ME. And the relationship felt hallow and unnatural. Moreover, I'm not a fan of the whole "best friend in love with his lesbian girl friend" so...no. Just no.
Also, Imma start a petition to punch Coop in the face - whoever is interested knows where to find me.

I was expecting something more from the author of Dear Martin. Instead I got a rather cringy and eye-roll worthy story that I'm simply not interested in continue reading.

What a pity, really :/
Profile Image for Jay G.
1,284 reviews460 followers
March 13, 2019
Want to see more bookish things from me? check out my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer...

Courtney (Coop) and Jupiter have been best friends for as long as they can remember. Coop has always had a crush on Jupe, only problem is that she will never like him back as she identifies as a lesbian. When new girl Rae comes to town and both teens find themselves becoming interested in her, things get a bit messy.

I think this is a great book for those questioning their sexuality and how they wish to identify. It really shows some of the thoughts and feelings many teenagers go through on a daily basis. The book is split into three parts for each characters POV. The relationship complexities between the three teenagers was messy and confusing at times, but I think they were realistic for people their age to be going through. I really enjoyed Courtney (Coop)'s voice, I found him to be funny and relateable. I didn't care much for Rae, she ultimately felt childish and annoying to me. I like Jupiter (Jupe), but her choices and decisions were not the best. I did enjoy how all three characters felt and made decisions that people their age would make. The diversity in this book is also great. Coop is black, Jupe is an adopted biracial lesbian with two dads and Rae is an Irish/black girl questioning her sexuality. The one major issue I had with the book was the amount of unchallenged biphobia, other than that, I did enjoy it!
Profile Image for rey.
241 reviews116 followers
June 21, 2020
hmm, i had pretty mixed feelings about this one. i was wary going in because i saw some reviews abt it being biphobic, but most of the biphobia was internalized and dealt with (except the throwaway comments where one of the characters was like oh bi people can’t be attracted to trans people, which is SO not true but to me that seems transphobic rather than biphobic, but still definitely bad). there were a few other throwaway comments that weren’t great either, and breanna was BLATANTLY biphobic but it was never actually said that her biphobia was biphobia (or even a bad thing for that matter).

also, it just bothered me throughout the whole book that literally all of the problems could have been solved if the 3 of them just entered a poly relationship. like, they all liked each other, so why not?? i get that that’s not what the author wanted to do with the story, and that’s valid, but it still made me :/

there were some cute parts, but i also didn’t like the writing style that much, and i was mostly just annoyed for various reasons throughout the book. so, not the best experience.

also, side note: that deadnaming was so unnecessary. especially from a cis author. i appreciate that it was portrayed badly but it did not need to happen in the first place.
Profile Image for Jaroda.
135 reviews37 followers
October 10, 2018
In Nic Stone's latest, we meet Courtney, Jupiter and Rae, three friends who have got a lot to figure out. About each other and about themselves.

One story. Three sides. No easy answers.

Feels sorta cliche to say, but this definitely is a book I wish I had when I was younger. It was real. It was messy. Sometimes it was Real Messy. And I loved every bit of it.

Nic spins out three distinct personalities in separate POVs that paint the larger picture of what it means to be questioning, how it affects/changes relationships and ultimately what it means to discover your truth, to own it and live it. With her signature dialogue, Nic has created something not only relatable, but unforgettable. I highly recommend picking this one up if you get a chance.
Profile Image for Reading Relish.
390 reviews32 followers
August 17, 2021
This book was messy, but in a good way!


*Trigger/content warnings in this book for homophobia, biphobia, abandonment, childhood trauma, and talk of a death of a parent.*

I read Nic Stone’s debut, Dear Martin, earlier this year, and LOVED IT! As soon as I got the opportunity to check out this book at my library, I jumped to the chance! Just like Dear Martin, Odd One Out was raw and riveting, and a book everyone can get something out of!


•The Carnival Carl subplot just felt like filler to me. I understand that it brought Courtney and Rae closer, but I didn’t find myself immersed.

•The ending, which I can’t say much about without giving it away. While I do like the message, it felt like the particular scene it ended on was abrupt. I know that might not sense, but I can’t explain it any other way.

Other than these two things, I very much enjoyed Odd One Out!


•Golly and Britain. Coop’s best friend never failed to make me chuckled throughout the book! I loved every moment they appeared!

•The cleverness of the title! As you read each perspective, you start understand why Stone titled the book Odd One Out.

•From intersectionalism, sexual identity and fluidity, to labeling, to questioning one’s sexual orientation, Stone did a wonderful job balancing all these out and making sure they weren’t undermined.

•The love triangle. I know, in what universe are we living in where I enjoy a love triangle?! Normally, the drama in a love triangle involves the question of who‘s most worthy of the person-in-the-middle’s love. The triangle in Odd One Out didn’t do this! Instead, it brought up topics of love and sexuality. Also, there was no one person in the middle. Everyone was confused and trying to figure everything out, and I feel like that made the love triangle more realistic.

•Coop, Rae, and Jupiter all had distinct voices! Here’s the thing: the more POVs you have, the harder it is to make sure everyone has a distinct personality and voice. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read books where I was unsure which protagonist was speaking because they all sounded the same. Stone, however, was able to make sure Coop, Rae, and Jupiter had their own voices, personalities, problems, and lives. And the best part was that Stone didn’t do this by writing them as stereotypes like the jock, the popular girl, the nerd, etc. Coop, Rae, and Jupiter were all multi-dimensional characters I couldn’t help but love!

•If you’ve never read an author’s notes, please do yourself a favor and read Stone’s in this book. You’ll be able to tell how personal this story is for her. It adds just a little bit more to this messy but beautiful story. My favorite line in her note was: “Being who you are and loving who you love may not be easy, but it's always worthwhile.”


Odd One Out was messy, realistic, and an all-around wonderful story. Nic Stone really knows how to delve into hard-hitting topics by showing how it affects characters right then and afterwards. I truly believe there are teens and adults alike who’ll be able to find themselves in Odd One Out.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Axellesbooks.
621 reviews125 followers
June 14, 2021
Wat een emotionele rollercoaster is dit boek! Hoewel het misschien niet zo diepgaand is als ik dacht dat het ging zijn, vond ik dit toch een zeer mooi boek om te lezen. Ik werd helemaal meegezogen in de romances in dit verhaal.
Profile Image for Cori Reed.
1,135 reviews377 followers
November 10, 2018
I really enjoyed this. Perfectly explores the complicated reality of young relationships, platonic and otherwise.
Profile Image for Fadwa (Word Wonders).
547 reviews3,524 followers
January 27, 2019
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

I received an Arc of this book in exchange of an honest review

CW: panic attack, childhood trauma, abandonnement, talk of death of a parent.

Full review originally posted on my blog: Word Wonders

I truly am a fan. I was after reading Dear Martin but I’m even more so after reading Odd One Out. This book made me feel seen in ways not many books have achieved before. It was hands down one of my most anticipated releases for this year, so when my review request was approved and it arrived in the mail shortly after, I SCREAMED, threw all my reading plans out the window and started it immediately. And I was not disappointed.

The opening scene was HILARIOUS and it set the tone for the whole book. Because no matter what POV we’re following and eventhough the voice changes drastically from one character to the other (which was done extremely well and I adored it), the one constant is that it always remained funny. Don’t get me wrong, Odd One Out has its serious parts but there’s always that one line, one paragraph, every now and then that makes you crack up.

The book is written in three different perspectives, Coop, Jupiter and Rae but we don’t get them at the same time, each one gets a separate section of the book which was an interesting experience, because I’d find myself wanting to know what another character is thinking in a situation but couldn’t because they either already had their POV or it wasn’t their turn yet. It kept me reading in a way, eventhough, I didn’t need much prompting to be honest, I was hooked, obsessed, and every other word in the dictionary that means I couldn’t stop reading. I was reading it in Italy which means I didn’t have much down time but I used every time waiting for transportation or anything else to pick it up and read if only just a couple pages.

I’m not gonna sugar coat it, Odd One Out is about a love triangle, which… you already know if you’ve read the synopsis and with no exaggeration whatsoever, this is the best one I’ve ever read. All three people involved have feelings for the other two. And it’s…wild. Messy feelings. Messy relationships. Messy decisions. And that was one of the best things about this book, just how real and unfiltered it is. My absolute favourite thing about it though is the sexuality exploration, two of the characters start questioning their sexuality and while one does figure it out before the book ends, the other does not and I loved how that was made to be okay, since there’s always so much pressure for people to figure out their sexuality, I really appreciated it.

The story starts from Courtney “Coop”‘s POV, he’s black, very straight and very in love with his best friend. What I loved most about him is how much of an absolute sweetheart he is. Don’t get me wrong, he messes up, but he tries his best to be a genuinely nice a guy and rid himself of toxic masculinity. Also, I love how he puts his feelings aside and tries to be the best friend he can for Jupiter. Even when Rae shows up and his feelings start confusing the living hell out of him. I mean that’s not special about him, when Rae shows up, they all get confusing feelings and try their best.

Jupiter is a feisty little thing and I love her so so much, I love all of them, but she’s probably my favourite. She’s afro-latina and queer. She’s the kind of girl who doesn’t take shit from anyone and would clap back if you dare to cross her or any of her friends, She’s caring (even though she doesn’t really like showing her emotions that much), funny and a big ol’ romantic at heart, which she tries denying but that is the most relatable thing I’ve ever read.

Then we have Rae, the new comer, she’s biracial, Irish-Korean and bisexual, which she starts realizing when she meets both Coop and Jupe and starts developing different, but equally romantic, feelings for the both. She’s really sweet and the kind of calming presence people like having around. She deals with abandonnment issues for most the book and her and Coop bond over shared trauma and embark in an adventure that they hope will help both of them heal in a way.

I really loved the dynamic between the three of them and the way they fit together in this kind of fragile balance that you feel will snap any moments and IT KEEP YOU ON EDGE WAITING FOR IT TO HAPPEN, and wondering when and what it’s gonna be. Special mention to Golly and Britain, Coop’s guy best friends who are silly and goofy but also sweet and adorable.

There was this note to the reader at the beginning of my arc that Nic Stone wrote to people reading her book who are figuring out their sexuality or are still trying to figure it out and that was absolutely heart warming and almost made me tear up.
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 7 books1,212 followers
September 29, 2018
Three teens of color. Three sexualities. . . but maybe more. This is a fabulous YA novel about what identity means and how sexual identity is a fluid thing and sometimes hard to define. The story itself follows Coop and Jupiter, who are best friends that have always felt something a little bit more. When a new friend joins the trio, things become more challenging as the dynamics change. Jupiter is falling for Rae while Rae is falling for Coop and Coop doesn't know exactly what he wants except to not continue falling for Jupiter (she is, his friends agree, what holds him back from going head in in other relationships).

Stone has a knack for writing teens who sound like teens. The dialog is authentic and honest, as are the struggles all three have when it comes to their feelings and desires.
Profile Image for bookellenic.
230 reviews81 followers
December 14, 2019
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This was fun, timely and very LGBTQ+!

Quick introduction to the plot, because, let's face it, you've probably peeked at the summary already: Jupiter and Courtney have been best friends for a very long time and have a rather unconventional family arrangement. Insert Rae, a new student in their high school who ends up being a family acquaintance and joins the Jupe-and-Coup duo (now gang).

I loved how the author decided to take a very saturated (and not-so-beloved-anymore) trope and then thought "I'm gonna create a lot of mess and give you a love triangle with so much angst and confusion, you might actually not want to stop reading about it, because you will literally have no idea what endgame even is". Add lots of dialogue and interaction between the main 3 characters, whose point of view gets approximately 1/3 of the novel each plus a very diverse bunch of teens and you got Odd One Out. I could easily devour in in a few hours, but purposefully prolonged the experience in order to keep the fluffy-not-so-fluffy read going.

As it often happens when you have me and YA contemporary in the same equation, by the last part of the book the magic fizzes out a bit (I'm being figurative with the word magic here). When Jupiter's voice comes into the mix, it all started to feel more... forced. There was a lot of info-dumping on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, which is something that often comes from characters that are supposed to be dynamic, independent and self-aware despite their young age. I noticed the same in Lottie fromWhat's a Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne (couldn't resist throwing a readalike in here). There was also a big portion of inner monologue in Jupe's point of view, which was really different from the constant dialogue we got in the earlier two parts of the novel, so it somewhat affected the pacing.

And then the author kept trying to throw the main 3 characters and the two teenage side-characters together all the time and it got a bit... much. Also, Jupe's level of maturity in certain situations that are thrown in her face and immaturity in others that she knowingly throws herself into... girl, do you know your stuff or are your actions a mere plot device that make my head spin? Make your mind up, so that I can too. Bare in mind, I'm not sure how plot-driven readers will react to this book, but the confusion caught up with me during the last portion.

I think fans of Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera and Angie Thomas will really appreciate the book, for the writing style and references alone. That being said and knowing how personal this book was to the author, I find Odd One Out worth your time. Yes YA reader, talking to you!

I was closer to a 3.5, but landed on a 4/5 after all.
Profile Image for Lea (drumsofautumn).
622 reviews625 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
February 27, 2019
DNF @ 52%! There's so much wrong with this book, there's so much right with this book. It's honestly just one big old mess but I couldn't push through this any longer just because I found the characters sooo annoying. Like it was literally exhausting to read from their perspectives.
Profile Image for Jackie.
297 reviews197 followers
April 19, 2020
umm okay so i may have cried.. i loved this book so much 🥺

i think i read it at a perfect time in my life because i’ve been having a lowkey identity crisis for months and in some ways this book perfectly represented that. and jupiter is basically me and I LOVE HER SO MUCH and courtney too i need them both to be my best friends but also my partners thank u very much
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