Thursday, June 13, 2013

Outcast, by Adrienne Kress

Barnes & Noble

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.

Oh yeah.  I love strong female characters, especially when they go up against otherworldly beings.  Riley Carver may be a teenager, but she has some serious skills in the shoot-em-up department.  She's also pretty snarky, which is a total WIN in my book.

The first half of the book completely drew me in and I couldn't wait to get back to reading it.  My excitement for it lessened as I kept going; it was still an interesting story, but it was too predictable.

Really, it's a stereotypical YA novel: the bad boy; the good girl; parents who are way too permissive; things -- like registering for high school without any legal forms -- happen too easily and with no explanation other than "but whatever"; and so on and so forth.  Not that it's necessarily bad, but there's not a lot to set it apart from the crowd.

Kress is a talented writer and I will read more from her in the future.  I just hope she stays away from the "formula" approach and creates a novel that will hold its own.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.


  1. That's such a shame because the synopsis sounds so original and atmosphere in a book depends a lot on conveying a sense of realism to the reader I think (even if you're writing a fantasy novel or sci fi). I'll keep watching this author's releases though if she give good snark! :-)

    1. If I didn't read so many YA books, I'd probably think it was top-notch. So maybe it's better for middle grade readers.