Nic Stone is one of my favorite authors. I appreciate how real, raw, and gritty her stories are. Her latest novel, Odd One Out, did not disappoint. This was the coming of age story that explored first loves, friendship, self discovery, and more. What made this story stand out more for me was the fact that this was actually Stone’s story. She shared a very personal story that resonated with me and it still does to this very day.
This was the story of Courtney (aka “Coop”), Jupiter, and Rae. Courtney and Jupiter have been friends for years and are inseparable. Coop had a small secret that he’d been keeping from his best friend – he had strong feelings towards Jupiter even though she was attracted to girls. The dynamic between the two changed when Rae entered their circle. Everything that had shifted from two friends to three friends. You can probably figure out that attractions blossom and feelings develop. While this sounds like the textbook definition of “love triangle”, it was not cringe worthy. It was messy, complex, heartbreaking, and realistic. Bravo, Ms. Stone.
The story was told from all three character voices. They were wonderfully flawed and deeply complex. Their voices sounded completely individual and I was able to connect with all of them. Coop was the genuine basketball loving one, Rae was smart as a whip, and Jupiter was the Queen/Freddy Mercury fanatic. Put these three personalities together and I was hooked. Their banter and one-liners had me glued to the pages.
Don’t be deceived, while the characters seemed completely relatable, the story was messy but in the best way possible. That was what made the story feel so much more real. Feelings are messy and often overly complicated.
Can you tell I’m struggling with this review? That always happens when I love a story so much. Bottom line – this was everything I wanted and more. The characters were fantastic, the pacing was perfect, and the plot was masterfully developed. Like I mentioned, it was taken from Stone’s personal experiences and with that knowledge I feel I know the author a little more than before. It also makes her that much more fierce, brave, and approachable. If you have been on the fence about this one, please give it a chance. You won’t be disappointed.