Courtney “Coop” Cooper knows exactly what he wants. He also knows he can’t have it. That’s what happens when you’re in love with your lesbian best friend.
Rae Evelyn Chin doesn’t know what she wants. She’s new in town and thrilled to immediately befriend Coop and Jupiter. She just hopes wanting to kiss Coop doesn’t ruin their friendship. Not to mention wanting to maybe kiss Jupiter too.
Jupiter Charity-Sanchez has always known what she wants. But when she finds herself caught between Coop and Rae, she starts to wonder if that’s a good thing.
One story. Three sides. Nothing simple in Odd One Out (2018) by Nic Stone.
The novel is split between Coop, Rae, and Jupiter’s first person narrations (each is a “book” in the story instead of the alternating chapter structure typically seen with multiple points of view).
Stone describes her sophomore contemporary novel as a bit of wish fulfillment–a story she wished she’d been able to read as a teen herself. The story features carousels, crossword puzzles, and Freddie Mercury–three passions that inform the characters’ perspective parts.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one but by the end of the novel Coop, Rae, and Jupiter had utterly won me over. In a world where labels are everywhere and nothing is ever as simple as it should be, I loved seeing these characters try to figure things out.
The three main characters have distinct voices (and perspectives, of course) with narratives that overlap just enough to allow readers to watch the plot play out from multiple angles. Coop and Jupiter’s parents (Coop’s mom is widowed and Jupiter has two dads) are great additions to the cast often stealing scenes and adding a nice layer of support for all of the characters as they try to make sense of things.
Odd One Out is the sexy, funny, and surprisingly sweet love triangle book you’ve been waiting for. Highly recommended.
Possible Pairings: Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi, The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli, Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert, Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian, Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, Three Sides of a Heart: Stories About Love Triangles edited by Natalie C. Parker, Cloudwish by Fiona Wood, Pride by Ibi Zoboi