Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Review: Outcast by Adrienne Kress

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.
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Kat's Review
Can we begin this review by talking about that cover?  It's gorgeous, and it's the reason I was first drawn to this book.  That cover gets the imagination working, and promises a fun ride ahead.  This is the first book I've read from Adrienne Kress (I know.  I KNOW)  so I didn't go into it with any preconceived notions about what to expect.  After doing a little digging, I learned that she's Canadian.  Well.  I love supporting Canadian authors, and so I'm happy to say that I liked this story. 
Riley is a teen girl who is suspicious of the preacher who arrived praising the angels shortly after people started being taken by winged beings on the same night each year.  In the town's quest to make sense of the disappearances, people are quick to embrace this new preacher's take on things- that their town is blessed, and they should worship the angels.  When one of the winged beings shows up in her back yard, Riley shoots it in the face in self defense. 
This is when things get weird.  The "angel" morphs into a teen boy, Gabe, who thinks he's just woken up after a rough night in 1956.  As they try to work out what this means, Riley needs to teach Gabe how to survive in the modern world, and figure out what to do the next time the "taking" rolls around.  I would be lying if I said that Riley didn't annoy me at times.  She was a take charge kind of girl, which I loved, but she was also self-centred and she could be mean sometimes.  Her innate sense of superiority (which I don't think she recognizes in herself) makes sense by the end of the book, but there were times when I didn't really like her.  Gabe made me laugh from the start, and with his 1950s sayings and cool demeanor provided a nice contrast to Riley's intensity. 
Although dealing with a very popular topic these days, Angels, this novel is a pretty original take on the subject.  There are some fun supporting characters, and Riley's parents are key players in their own way.  The twist at the end isn't completely unexpected, but it does make me think that this book could be the first of a series.  There is a lot of room to continue exploring this story. 
Rating: A Good Read
This is a fun take on the angel craze, with a strong heroine and a charming love interest.  A good mix of supernatural elements, teen drama, and budding romance. 
I received a complimentary copy of this title from NetGalley and the publisher in return for an honest review. 
Purchase: AMAZON

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