Author: Adrienne Kress
Genre: YA Contemporary, Paranormal, Time Travel,
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Source: Publisher-provided eARC
Synopsis: After six years of “angels” coming out of the sky and taking people from her town, 16-year-old Riley Carver has just about had it living with the constant fear. When one decides to terrorize her in her own backyard, it’s the final straw. She takes her mother’s shotgun and shoots the thing. So it’s dead. Or … not? In place of the creature she shot, is a guy. A really hot guy. A really hot alive and breathing guy. Oh, and he’s totally naked.
Not sure what to do, she drags his unconscious body to the tool shed and ties him up. After all, he’s an angel and they have tricks. When he regains consciousness she’s all set to interrogate him about why the angels come to her town, and how to get back her best friend (and almost boyfriend) Chris, who was taken the year before. But it turns out the naked guy in her shed is just as confused about everything as she is.
He thinks it’s 1956.
Set in the deep south, OUTCAST is a story of love, trust, and coming of age. It’s also a story about the supernatural, a girl with a strange sense of humor who’s got wicked aim, a greaser from the 50’s, and an army of misfits coming together for one purpose: To kick some serious angel ass.
☆: 4.5/5 stars – All but ripped my heart out of my chest!
Angel books can go very badly sometimes, but when they’re good, they’re GOOD. Especially when they start with an angel being shot in the face. Adrienne Kress proved herself to me with The Friday Society and with Outcast, she has ensured I’ll be keeping track of whatever YA novels she writes next.
Hartwich is a small town angels steal people from once a year, and the subtle way Kress builds it makes it come to life. After the first few chapters, the horror that Riley essentially lives within a cult sinks in. Pastor Warren came to town after the angels started taking people and he all but controls the town and everyone in it. He manipulates the townspeople and tricks them and after a while, he is the law in Hartwich. Your family either does something to show loyalty to him or you and your family get singled out. Getting singled out here? Not a good thing. At all.
Riley is one of the most well-drawn heroines I’ve seen in some time. She can be judgmental, but once she realizes she was wrong or someone rightly calls her out on it, she starts working to better herself about that. The cheerleader she dislikes so much to start with, Lacy Green? They become friendly enough that Lacy helps Riley get ready for her first date. Riley can forget to consider other people sometimes, but she’s more often selfless to the point that she neglects herself and her own desires. She may not be good with people, but when stuff needs to get done, she gets stuff done and if she considers you someone close to her, you have the best defense in the world.
Like the novel itself, which takes place over the course of a year, Riley’s burgeoning relationship with Gabe is the slow-burn sort. Riley is overly jealous to a baffling degree when he first becomes part of the Hartwich community, but that jealousy goes away a little while later with little explanation. Still, their relationship is so thoroughly, lovingly developed through their interactions, the small things they do for each other, and how well they work together that if a reader leaves this novel with anything, it’s the certainty that these two love each other dearly. Gabe is sweet. He can be a bit of a pervert sometimes, but he cares about Riley and he’s trying to find his way into a time far removed from his own.
The mythology behind the angels that terrorize this town (though not according to Pastor Warren and his followers, who provide a great contrast with their very human evil), the mystery shrouding how Gabe ended up in Riley’s time, the need to figure out what is going on before the next Taking happens, and their solution being a sharpshooter squad to shoot the angels down when they come to take people all do a bang-up job of keeping readers in the thick of things. In the rare times one of the above doesn’t have readers belted in for a fun ride, Riley’s constantly evolving character and personal story will do the trick.
The only real issues I remember are Riley’s come-and-go jealousy and the occasional prose hiccup. For the most part, it’s written beautifully (“Sing ’em to remember” will be in my head for a very long time), but it threw me a little bit when someone got called a loose canon. Loose canons are author problems. Loose cannons are everyone’s problem. Perhaps “lose cannon” was what was supposed to be there? Canon is used every time cannon should be, so I’m not sure if that’s an ARC error or general error.
The ending is just BRUTAL on the emotions. I want it to be the end because it’s so realistic and reminds us that we don’t always get what we want or deserve after doing what’s right. Then again, I want there to be more because Riley deserves something of her own after what she’s been through, but that HEA would practically invalidate the current ending’s message. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FEEL, OKAY? However I’m eventually going to feel about how it all turned out, thank you, Adrienne Kress. Thank you for writing this novel and tearing my heart out in the best possible way.
For the other part of my blog tour stop, I’m giving away one ebook copy of Outcast so someone else will be able to enjoy it. As long as I’m able to gift you an ebook through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or the ebook retailer of your choice, this giveaway is international. But seriously, I’ve got to be able to gift it to you. If I can’t, dealbreaker.
- You’ve got to be thirteen or older to enter.
- Fill out the Rafflecopter form to your heart’s content.
- If you’re the winner, I’ll email you and you have twenty-four hours to respond.
- Don’t cheat. I see those IPs!
Now click on that Rafflecopter link and get to it! Seriously, you want this book.