Mini-Review: Odd One Out by Nic Stone

I’m calling this a “mini-review” because I’m presenting thoughts I had on this book right after a finished reading it, which isn’t fully comprehensive of all the elements/details of the novel. Still, I thought it deserved to be here because I just want my voice to be heard on this book?

So…here’s the thing. This book is messy because the characters are messy, because they’re still figuring things out and THAT IS OKAY. That is real, that is important, and even though some characters essentially conclude “I’m not sure yet,” almost all of the loose ends of miscommunication and questioning get resolved by the end. The book just forces you to sit with those questions an uncomfortably long time, just like the characters have to. If we don’t allow kids to have these discussions, then they’re not going to fully understand themselves. Yes, the third section of the book from Jupiter’s POV is the worst offender because she is the most immature and unsure of herself, but she acknowledges that by the end. (Though one does wonder why she never brought up bisexuality or other identities earlier, for herself or Rae, but she’s so entrenched in a certain community that I suppose it makes sense? Especially hanging out with Breanna, who is the worst?)

I also just love Nic Stone’s writing?? As with Dear Martin, I loved how she’s willing to break form and write with an authentic voice and I think it’s really engaging to readers. I flew through this book because of the writing style (made perfect sense to me) and because I just had to know what happens. I also just want to point out that if you’re not from the same cultural/linguistic background of these characters, you probably should think twice before criticizing the writing…

SPOILERS BELOW

My main issue, the thing that was never fully addressed: Breanna. IMO it alludes that Jupiter doesn’t approve of her “no bisexuals” rule, but this is statutory rape and Jupiter doesn’t reflect on that aside from “no one will find out”? She only regrets it for “using” Breanna to figure out her own sexuality and that she didn’t have the emotional feelings there. But. There’s more to it and I’m just not sure if young readers will recognize this…

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