Cover Image: Odd & True

Odd & True

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Member Reviews

This book did start out a little on the slow side, but I eventually grew to love it. I loved the relationship between the two sisters and the tales Od was telling of all of the tales of monsters. The book flashed back between Od's past, so we could learn more about her, and Tru's POV in the here and now. It was interesting that the book took place in Oregon in the 1900's, but I do wish that history would have been fleshed out a bit more. But all in all, this was a lovely book with so much attention on family and I teared up at the unexpected ending.
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I enjoyed reading this book. It did take a few tries to really get into it, but once I did, yeah, it was a really great read! There was the story that Odette told Tru when she was a child, which pretty much immediately in Od's narration makes clear it is a story, a fairy tale woven from a harsher truth.

The way this book was told-alternating between Tru in the present, and Od in the past-was really excellent. I did enjoy Tru's chapters more because Od had it harder, and started to push my buttons which was why it did take me a little while to get into this book. It's not a bad thing, it just made it harder for me. But it was a really enjoyable book!

One question I had throughout this book was whether or not the magic was real or not. Something would happen, and it would suggest one way. But then something else would happen, leaning the other way. And in the end, I think it's a bit of both. that some magic does exist will others don't.

From the beginning, this book was about taking something negative, and turning it positive or easier to face in a story. From when their mom and aunt and uncle were kids, to the story that Od told Tru, this was a big part of this book-and part of what made it both confusing and great!

This book was really fantastic and I really enjoyed it!
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*This book was given to me by NetGalley in return for a honest review*                                                                    

I did struggle a bit with this one. The pacing was just too slow for me, I expected a little more action with monster slaying. It did get better more towards the end and I think the recovery of the sisters relationship was the best part.
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I really wanted to love this book. I think Cat Winters writing just isn't for me. I do have to say that the characters are amazing and this is such a gorgeous cover. I would pick up this book just for the cover alone.
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Loved this tale about sisterhood, loss, and recovery. The tension they walk between magical and non magical kept me on my toes the whole time!
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I liked the time and voice changes, though they tend to run together. A good family/survival story. Not sure why, maybe the pacing, but it took a couple tries to get through. Monster hunting with two female main characters is fresh and original. It is nominated for the Rhode Island Teen Book Award list so I can get back on how it fares there.
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Okay so.. I have been obsessed with this book since I saw the cover (feels like forever ago). I know I have seen a lot of other Cat Winters books and have wanted to read them as well, but there was just something about Odd & True that I just HAD to read. 

Odd & True reminded me so much of Penny Dreadfull (I admit, I have only seen the first season though) it was almost uncanny but held it's own. 

There is so much I want to say about this book but I am scared to because I don't want to give to much away. But Omggggg!!! I loved this book but am also disappointed. I have so many questions and some things I don't understand. Especially the ending. That ending came out of no where and completely consumed me, leaving me questioning every single thing. EVER. Part of me wants to scream "HOW DARE YOU?!?!" Lol This book was a bubble of hope and the ending, Cat takes that bubble and *pop* there it goes. ByeBye. Lol 

Would I recommend this book? Gosh yes! Want would I tell the new readers? Prepare yourself.

In addition, I wish there was more to this book. I felt like there was still quiet a bit missing from the story. I'm thinking like "MSG" - feeling full but not really, if that makes sense.

I had a lot of issues with Od to be honest. I know she has been through a lot in her life but I feel like she was extremely selfish especially with Tru. I hated that she did the "It's going to happen this way or not at all" thing (Least that's how it felt). It annoyed me to no ends. I mean, eventually you find out (kinda) why she is that way - but I still feel like that is no reason for her to uproot Tru the way she did. She deserved the truth from the start. 

And as for the monster .... WHAT?! I mean really. All that and for it to end like that?! Are you kidding me?! I don't understand. 

Are there or aren't there?!
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Book Review

Title: Odd & True

Author: Cat Winters

Genre: YA/Horror/Family

Rating: *****

Review: The opening to Odd & True was great we meet the sisters Oddette and Trudchen (who refer to each other as Od & Tru –  hence the title) growing up with their aunt and uncle. Oddette tells Tru many fairy tales and legends often including members of their own family, telling her they were magic until their Aunt Vik sends Oddette away leaving Tru to fend for herself and with a bum leg from polio it is very hard. The story is told from different perspectives and also jumps backwards and forwards in time so I was a little worried I would just confused with the story.

Years after Aunt Vik sent Oddette away she returns on Tru’s 15th birthday to tell her all the stories she told her as a child are true and she wants Tru to join her in hunting the creatures that have become attracted to her. Tru is very sceptical of her sisters’ stories but goes along with it for Oddette’s sake. When we switch to Oddette’s perspective we see that her life growing up especially after the birth of her sister wasn’t great; it was even neglectful at times and the only person she has to turn to is her uncle Magnus with whom she has a very special bond. Magnus is the one who tells Oddette of magic and her mothers’ monster hunting adventures, he is the one that gets Oddette to believe and she now has to convince her sister to believe as well.

As we approach the ¼ mark in the novel we see Oddette desperately trying to get Tru to come with her especially after she learns what Tru has been seeing in the tea leaves but her sister refuses. Tru doesn’t want to leave her aunt alone and she is also afraid because she feels she isn’t as brave or confident as Oddette and therefore isn’t worthy of the same happiness’s that Oddette has. As Oddette is preparing to leave again because her aunt won’t allow her to stay for reasons that Tru doesn’t completely understand that Tru’s internal conflict can be seen clearly. She doesn’t want her sister to leave again but she doesn’t want to leave the security of her aunt’s home either but in the end she is forced to choose and she chooses Oddette. She doesn’t do this because she wants to but because she feels a sense of loyalty and service towards her sister.

As we cross the ¼ mark in the novel we jump back and forth between the two sisters’ perspectives but also backwards and forwards through time and we see that Tru has been living in a bubble for years and I have a feeling she is going to have a very rude awakening to the real world and the world of monsters. As the sisters begin their journey to find the monsters hunting Tru but Oddette also agrees to make a quick stop at their mothers’ home along the way to prove to Tru was doesn’t have many memories of their parents that she is still alive and still loves Tru. After seeing the way Oddette was treated as a child I was really worried for Trudchen and whether she would react well if she is rejected by her mother as a young woman rather than a child.

As we approach the halfway mark in the novel we see that Oddette learned the truth of her family very young and it has warped her perception of her childhood forever but it is the very same truth that she and everyone else constantly sheltered Tru from. Now that Tru is a young inquisitive woman she is beginning to ask questions and gets incredibly frustrated when people refuses to give her straight answers. There seems to be a lot of conflict between the sisters in the early stages of their quest, this is mainly due to the fact that Tru feels her life has been very sheltered while her sister has been able to explore the world, learn new things and even fall in love things that Tru has never had the chance to do. While Tru had been sheltered Oddette has been exposed to things that no child should. They learn that the monster they are hunting could be the Leeds devil which excites Oddette. Tru meanwhile tries to squeeze as much information as she can out of her sister but it seems that Oddette is harbouring some secrets of her own.

As we cross into the second half of the novel Tru isn’t only reading the tea leaves but having strange dreams about the monster and it involves a bit from Oddette’s past; Cy who she never wants to see again although she won’t reveal the reason why. We see the extent of Oddette’s past and why she has a bad relationship with Cy and it may also reveal the reason she was sent away from Tru years before. The girls also face a lot of prejudice, the men hunted the Devil seem to think it can be caught with traps and bullets so when Oddette tells them different they don’t want to listen. Not even Tru’s ability to read tea leaves and her visions helps sway the men on allowing them to help but the girls aren’t giving up yet, they will embrace on their own hunt for the Leeds Devil before it hurts someone close to them.

As we approach the ¾ mark in the novel I was having to stop reading every couple of chapters because I was crying so much especially for Oddette who has suffered so much heart break in her life and it wasn’t shaping up to be any better for her now that Cy is back in the picture. While I wanted this novel to be happy and light like most YA novels but this kept tugging on my heartstrings in the most cruel way at times. I was beginning to believe that all the monster talk and adventures the sisters have had over the years has only been a cover to hide their tragic lives. I was surprised when Tru starts to take control for the first time in her life she refuses to listen and go along with what everyone else is telling her. She demands to be told the truth and not to be treated like someone who will break at the first sign of trouble, but when Od refuses her wishes still she goes to hunt the Devil alone with only the tools that once belonged to her mother as protection.

As we cross into the final section of the novel we see how far Tru has come and the real reason Oddette went to take her from their aunt. We also discover the reason Oddette has been travelling the country for year and what she is looking for. In the end the truth is revealed and the sisters can move on with their lives in the way they were destined to. The epilogue really broke my heart but in a good way and it also leaves a nice opening for a sequel should Winters write on.

Overall, I really enjoyed Odd & True. This is the first Cat Winters book I have read despite owning quite a few and I will definitely be picking them up very soon as should everyone else. Odd & True isn’t your average monster hunting novel; it will make you laugh, make you cry and everything in between.
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Thanks to Amulet Books and Netgalley for letting me read an early e-arc of this book for honest review.
I've read a couple of Cat Winters's books and I'm always left wanting to read more. Odd & True was not what I was expecting it to be, I was pleasantly surprised by it. I thought it was going to be a standard YA Monster Hunting Girls story, which I was game for, but Odd & True went so much deeper than that. This was really a story of sisters, secrets, and protecting each other the best way they could.
This is set in the early 1900's, mostly in Oregon and New Jersey. I really like a good historical fiction. I like going to a time gone past, trying to imagine what it was like to live then. I also really like how Cat Winters focuses on German Immigrant stories and experiences, just because that's part of my family story. It's fun to recognize shared backgrounds. Now, I haven't read every Cat Winters's book, but the ones I have read have all contained some kind of German Immigrant aspect to them.
Tru is a character that's living with a disability, childhood Polio that resulted in a stunted, numb leg. Tru is also very level-headed, mostly in comparison to her sister Od. Tru knows her limits, she doesn't feel sorry for herself, and she's determined to do what she wants to do. It takes a little coaxing from Od for Tru to step out of her safety zone, but once she does, she doesn't look back. For readers wanting a book with Disability Rep, this would be a great one.
Od is a very interesting character. She's got this spunk and ability to let her imagination run free. She's the one who definitely believes more in the monsters and charms. She's almost a little childlike in how she presents the world to Tru. She's also a very protective older sister.
Unraveling Od's story was one of the more interesting facets of Odd & True. All the emotions. I just enjoyed the way everything was revealed and how it caused my feelings to change while reading. At the beginning of the book, Od seems a little crazy, but once I found out her story, I felt differently about her.
I also enjoyed the ending of this book. I thought it was really sweet, and it offered a nice wrap-up for the characters.
I'd definitely say give Odd & True a read! It's not going to be what you expect it to be. It's a really good, interesting, heartbreaking story. Each book I've read by Cat Winters has presented a twist I wasn't expecting, and I've really enjoyed them. 
Thanks so much again to Amulet Books and Netgalley for letting me read an early copy of Odd & True for honest review.

What an Interesting Surprise.
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I instantly knew I would enjoy this book from page one. The premise is exciting and original and for once the heros are two bad ass women! If you are looking for a story with twists, turns and surprises galore go for it!
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That was not what I was expecting it to be.  The story unfolds and immediately the reader has a sense that something is wrong.  Much later in the story secrets are revealed that leave you desperate to put everything together.
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I loved the strength of the relationship between the two sisters, and the loyalty, bravery, and courage throughout. Everything I had heard about this book before reading it sold it as a fantasy, which it was not -- although never made completely clear, it was heavily implied that this was a historical novel with characters using paranormal elements as a story in their lives, rather than a historical paranormal novel, which I was expecting. That is not the fault of the book, however, and I enjoyed what I read, but I was expecting something different from the marketing.

I loved that one of the main characters had a disability (and that it was never """cured""" for effect; this is a horrible trope), and I especially enjoyed the flashbacks to the mother's life, as well as the pragmatic, tireless determination of the older sister.
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I absolutely adored this book, which was both a bit of a delightful surprise and the first step in laying a foundation of affection for everything that comes after this!
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It's between a 3 and 4 for me. On one hand this took me a long time to finish because it was too slow and oftentimes killed what excitement I did get out of it, but at the same time, I really enjoyed some of the things that happened and how they were revealed. I think if this book had been advertised more as a historical, paranormal type of read instead of the YA horror I was expecting, I would have liked it better, because I then would have been better prepared for it or maybe might have just skipped it. Still, I'm somewhat happy I did read it because it had its moments. I didn't start getting heavily involved until the near end, and by then, it was obviously finished. Pretty good writing, great way of revealing things with the present and past POVs, sweet ending. Overall, it was an okay bordering on likable read for me personally, but if you like paranormal stuff woven into historical settings, I'd say check this out.
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2.5 Stars 

Odd and Tru by Cat Winters was truly an odd, but somewhat enjoyable paranormal story. 

So, this book and me... didn’t really get along that much and I had an incredibly difficult time getting into the story. I was fascinated with the premise and the first few chapters were okay and quite interesting... However, I found myself frustrated with the plot, which was dragging, that I just had to stop and put the book on hold for a while. I probably tried 3-4 times before I was actually able to finish. 

To be honest, this wasn’t entirely boring or a "bad" book. The concept of the story was intriguing and there were a few parts that I really enjoyed. The paranormal aspects were sprinkled here and there, and while they really didn’t hold my interest, I still liked exploring the world the author created. I thought the family backstory was absolutely great and I really liked the relationship between Od and Tru. Actually, that’s my favorite part of this book. The strong relationship between the sisters was what really kept me reading. 

I had a rough start with Odd and Tru, but overall, I did kind of enjoy the story. Some books are truly meant to be while others not so much. Odd and True just wasn’t my cup of tea, but it could be yours. If you’re into creepy, weird, and dark stories, then I think you might have fun with this book. 

I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

To read more of my reviews, visit my blog -
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Odd & True is like the show Supernatural but with sisters sorting out their relationship in the early 1900s and you aren’t quite sure whether the paranormal stuff is real or not. I’m no Supernatural fan, but that is exactly the kind of pitch to win me over if I weren’t already a fan of the author (which I absolutely am).

Trudchen, a simultaneous dreamer and realist long disabled by a bout with polio as a child. Odette, a gifted storyteller who got kicked out of her home and mixes truth with fiction so well that no one is sure what’s what. Both sisters narrate the novel and neither of them are all that reliable. Tru is overflowing with the fanciful childhood tales Od regaled her with such as being born in a castle, but Od’s written records of their past tell a more mundane story of the girls being the children of a somewhat well off but unhappy family.

If that conflict of truth and stories isn’t enough to keep you reading, the difficult relationship the sisters have with one another will surely do the trick. As Od’s stories and lies unravel, leaving Tru uncertain whether they’re really chasing down a tea-prophesied monster at all, the sisterhood damaged by Od’s departure from home suffers further. They have to fight hard to truly reunite as sisters amid the questions of whether there are monsters out there.

See, Odd & True likes to keep you guessing about whether there’s a paranormal aspect at all. The tea leaves in Tru’s cup showed her the same monstrous figure multiple times and points the sisters to Pennsylvania, but the girls’ unreliable narration leaves you unsure of the truth. Is the figure there or is Tru seeing what she wants to while Od takes advantage of that to be back with her dear younger sister? That suggestion of the paranormal hits juuuuust the right spot.

Also, Cyrus can go drown in human waste. Who is Cyrus, you ask?

You’ll find out and you’ll understand if you read Odd & True.

Cat Winters is one of the most reliable writers of YA historical fiction right now. In the Shadow of Blackbirds, The Cure for Dreaming, The Steep and Thorny Way–all of them are excellent in their own ways and I’m inching closer to reading her adult novels as well. They’re so excellent that it’s hard to suggest which book to start with! Whichever one you like the sound of most, I suppose. Her complex characters and original ideas are sure to win you over no matter which book it is.
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Since her debut, I’ve been a big fan of Cat Winters’, though I haven’t read quite all of her books because I missed Yesternight. I love her strong grasp of history, the elements of the fantastical, and the focus on feminism. The covers she gets don’t hurt either. Odd & True is my least favorite of her books thus far, but it’s still a well done book.

Trudchen grew up listening to her sister’s tales about monsters and their family’s powers to defeat them. She’s been brought up on superstition, but she doesn’t believe any of it. Except, well, when her sister shows up to take her on a grand adventure, she goes, despite the polio that means she needs a wheelchair to travel longer distances. Partially, she wants to see her sister again and perhaps reconnect with her mother, but maybe part of her has always wondered.

Odd & True flips back and forth between Tru and Odette, with Odette’s running through the past and Tru’s in the “present” timeline. Though both POVs do end up being interesting, Odette’s earlier chapters are a bit boring. The pacing of the novel is very slow, because, for all its monsters, there’s not a lot of paranormal activity in this book. View Spoiler » I never particularly connected to either heroine. I was interested in Tru’s ship, but the book really isn’t about that. It very much focuses on the relationship between the women in the family, but I wasn’t attached to any of them, so, while well-written, I made slow progress.

Though this is by far my favorite cover on a Winters book, I didn’t like the book as much as the cover. I’d recommend it for readers who want a female-focused family story and don’t mind a slower read without a lot of plot. Or if you want a really gorgeous physical book; Amulet has the most gorgeous hardcovers.
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I really wanted to like this book but I admitted defeat after 40 pages. I just couldn't get into it. The characters seemed flat and there was too many "just so happens" coincidences that I couldn't suspend belief.
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Odd & True is the story of two sisters, Odette and Trudchen, at the turn of the century. Abandoned by their parents, they grew up with their strict aunt, but Od was always able to make Tru's life a little more magical by telling her fantastical stories about their past.

Cat Winters spins a story that alternated between Od's past and Tru's presence. For most of the book, the reader doesn't really know if the stories that Od tells are true; if monsters really exist; if the girls really are destine to hunt them. Slowly but surely the past is revealed the implications for the present become clear.

I really enjoyed this book by Cat Winters. I liked the bond between the two sisters, but I especially loved the unraveling of Od's true past. The book was well constructed and revealed just enough little by little.

I read this book around Halloween, and it was a great seasonal read.
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I really enjoyed this book. It gave me huge Grimm feels, makes me want to rewatch the show. Full review to come.
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