4 out of 4 stars
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Odd Man Out, by Joshua Hamer, is a young adult novel filled with drama and romance. Set in Atlanta, Georgia, the story is told from the perspective of Sean Brown who has recently graduated from college and has decided to move back to his hometown of Atlanta with his college crush, Arian.
After moving back home, Sean sees an opportunity to get closer to Arian as well as reconnect with Cole, his best friend from high school. When Sean finally makes his move and confesses to Arian that he has feelings for her, he is crushed when Arian tells him that she does not feel the same way. After taking Arian to a few of Cole’s rap gigs, Sean starts to notice that the vibe between Arian and Cole is more than just flirting. As Sean tries to figure out what is going on between Arian and Cole, he makes a couple of difficult choices as he navigates through his relationships with both his friends and love interests.
For the most part, I found the plot, which had various twists and turns, to be interesting. The author does a good job of setting up the background story of the main characters, which helped me to understand the relationship between Sean and Cole. This book focuses more on character growth rather than action, so a majority of the book focuses on the dialogue between the characters. While I found some of the situations that Sean went through to be humorous, there were a couple of choices that Sean made that stunned me.
What I liked the most about this book was the characters because they were dynamic and well rounded. The book mostly focuses on the growth of Sean’s character as he faces challenges in his work and in his relationships. His interactions with the other characters, like Cole, was instrumental in his growth as a character. Sean is very loyal to Cole, but Cole is selfish and inconsiderate of how he acts towards Sean. I was surprised that Sean was willing to be friends with Cole after with all the things that Cole had put him through.
There were a few grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, but they did not detract from the book. I would not recommend this book to younger readers because of mature topics like sex and the use of curse words.
Overall, I would rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The interactions between the characters were vibrant and dynamic, and the storyline was interesting and well developed. I would recommend this book to readers who like reading coming-of-age books centered around young adults.
Odd Man Out
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