Out of Character by Annabeth Albert (published by Sourcebooks) is a story about friendship lost and found, the past, the mistakes that lead them to that place, growing and changing to become a better person. It is a story of two former best friends who fall in love after many years of being apart.
If you love enemies-to-lovers and friends-to-lovers stories, this book is what you’re looking for to read. Do not pick any other book; pick Out of Character. The story is geeky, charming, and holds some truth.
Milo Lionetti has been making the wrong choices throughout his teenage and young adult life; those mistakes have led him to where he is now: begging his ex-best friend, Jasper Quigley, for help. Milo lost his older brother’s rare Odyssey cards while drunk and playing against the biggest cheat in the game. He didn’t realize he was being played until after he started the game, but there was no going back. After a night of bad decisions, he’s sick to his stomach having done that to a brother that has given everything to him and Milo wants all the help he can get to find new cards.
There seemed to be two issues here for Milo:
First, the rare Odyssey cards cost a fortune. Not only was he screwed by not having the money, but he also wasn’t skilled enough to find them for himself.
Second, working with his ex-best friend Jasper Quigley, meant certain things. He couldn’t allow himself to screw up their newfound relationship, and he needed to keep changing his life around to deserve someone that suddenly meant the whole world to him.
Jasper Quigley is what you call a superhero character, but that wouldn’t accurately describe his characterization and charm. Jasper works at a game store, is in his last year of university, and he’s a spark ready to fly high in the sky. He loves Odyssey and has a goal of working around the gaming industry. That has been Jasper’s goal, and the return of Milo Lionetti in his life took a strange turn. Suddenly, helping Milo find these rare Odyssey cards becomes a quest for love and not pity.
That’s not all Jasper Quigley is, though; he is surrounded by loving friends who appreciate who he is. Jasper’s the kind of person who you can count on but will set you right if you’re acting up. He lives for others, and taking for himself is something he must learn to balance.
Jasper is the spark in this book. Milo would agree.
The story of the two characters’ points of view blended flawlessly, making poignant commentary and having fantastic diverse characters who have a sense of empathy, kindness, and love. Friendship is what trumps all in the story at the end; nothing could have united them more than friendship and their love for those around them. The secondary characters also steal the show, making us laugh and cry at the same time. Out of Character is a fantastic, diverse character book that follows two male protagonists.
The best part of Out of Character is that you don’t have to read the first book in the series to understand this story. Out of Character is an extension of the True Colors world and I couldn’t be happier about it. Make it your best book pick of July!
Author: Zanyalis Martinez
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