Monday, October 24, 2011

Odd One Out- Monica McInerney



Pages: 151

· Published: January 1st 2006 by Penguin

· Genre: Contemporary Fiction

· Date Finished: 25th October 2011

· Shelf Recommendation: Buy/Borrow

· Rating: 5 stars *****


Sylvie has always been the odd one out in her family. Her mother is a celebrated artist, known for her bohemian lifestyle. Her father, long estranged from the family, is a respected poet and academic. Sylvie’s two beautiful sisters and her big brother are also making their mark in the design world.

Sylvie hasn’t an artistic bone in her body. On the verge of turning thirty, back living in the family home in Sydney and working for her mother and sisters, she feels stuck in a major rut.

Then her brother Sebastian steps in with a rescue plan. He offers her a room in his Melbourne apartment for as long as she likes, on one condition. In an updated version of a treasure hunting game they played as children, she has to follow his instructions and go exploring the city.

Within days, she’s doing things she’s never done before, going to places she’s never been and beginning to think of ideas for a new career. She is also getting to know a very lovely man. Life is looking up.

Then Sebastian reveals one final challenge…



Definitely a book for book lovers, Odd One Out was a brilliant start to my week. New to Monica’s writing, I scoured my local library finding only one book. I hadn’t planned on reading it so soon, but the cover kept enticing me and I had to take a peak. Never looking back, this was one of my favourites.

Meet Sylvie, an overworked temp who for the past few years has been a doormat for he mother and her two sisters, Heckle and Jeckle [nicknamed by Sebastian.] I instantly felt for Sylvia, the need to take care of those you love to the point that you forget what your life is really about and what other opinions were out there. She was a wonderfully likable character, flawed and hilarious in her own way. Honest and cheeky, and one who I could sit and read about for hours on end and never want to leave her world. Her flight from controlled to independent was one that I thoroughly enjoyed and I loved her little personality quirks.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Sylvie and Sebastian, it was so natural and the charismatic, sarcastic and hilarious chemistry as siblings are concerned really propelled the relationship. I adored Sebastian, he was the constant breath of fresh air, the hilarious pick-me up even through the uncomfortable and uncertain times in the novel.

Ergh and her mother and sisters, don’t even get me started. From the first chapter I already had a strong, unpleasant reaction that made my hands clench into tight balls and the urge to punch them rip into them all the more. I love it when characters make me feel this way. And that is one of the things I many things I love about Monica McInerney’s writing, she really injects uniqueness and interest into her characters, making them truly unforgettable.

Every character in this novel has me wanting more, each of them was realistic and charming in their own way. With scenerio’s hitting close to home I felt myself cringe for everyone involved and Monica really has a way of bringing insightful truthfulness of everyday situations and lives and spinning it into a masterpiece of fiction.

Odd one out was such a hilariously fun and warm novel about family, friendship, getting lost and finding your footing in the world at large and as a person. The journey travelled through the story had hardly any rocky roads and I was turning pages faster than I could read. Totally absorbing, richly promising and heart-warming; this is the perfect book for any season, time, place or mood.


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