I read Dear Martin awhile back and have had Odd One Out on my list since it came out. I was able to check out a copy of the audiobook from my library and it unfortunately didn’t meet my expectations.
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.
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. . . .
No easy answers.
For once my major complaint with this book isn’t the narration! Yes, they definitely didn’t sound like teenagers, but I didn’t find any of them annoying and that’s more than I can say for the last few audiobooks I’ve had the misfortune of listening to. This book actually does one of my favorite things and has the author narrate the book, or some of it at least. Each narrator was engaging and really helped bring the characters to life.
No, my complaints are instead scattered throughout the story, in the end compiling to make me feel very “meh” toward this book. I’ll preface the below points by acknowledging that this book isn’t really written for me. I’m coming from a background very different from Courtney, Jupiter, and Rae, and I know that my overall apathy could be coming from this.
- Rae didn’t feel like a very real person, even with a decent narrator helping bring her to life. It felt like when she wasn’t crying or having a forced heart-to-heart with Courtney or Jupiter she was just… there. She seemed to be more of a caricature of a character than a fully developed character, even when the book is being told from her POV.
- Speaking of POV, can we please stick to first, second, or third person?! I liked the POV changes between Courtney, Rae, and Jupiter but was really annoyed that both Rae and Jupiter’s chapters start with different tenses than what was established in Courtney’s part of the book.
- Jupiter’s feminist personality didn’t sit right with me. Maybe it’s because it seemed to be one of her only defining personality traits, maybe it’s because it felt more like an attack toward The Patriarchy and her personal grievances than advocacy for equality, or maybe it’s because it made the book feel like it was trying to send messages about too much at once.
- When everyone finally decided to communicate with each other they sounded way older than their 16-18 years, except when they suddenly backtracked and sounded like they were in elementary school. It was confusing and avoidable with some more revising.
There are more little things that I could nitpick about but the general gist is I didn’t like this book as much as I thought I would. Everything just felt messy and superficial so I found myself not getting into the book very much. This didn’t live up to what I had expected after reading Dear Martin and I’m bummed, but at least I got another book off my tbr 🤷🏼♀️
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?