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.
Fifth year they took Chris, my best friend since we were little and who I’d just had my first kiss with the week before.
Sixth year, I shot an angel in the face.
I had absolutely no expectations concerning this book. I liked Kress’s other book fairly well, but it wasn’t anything mindblowing or fantastic. It was a fairly mediocre to tell the truth. However, Outcast definitely couldn’t be called mediocre. It was an incredibly enjoyable, fluffy read with an adorable cast and an equally adorable prose.
Outcast isn’t an entirely easy book to describe, or more accurately, it isn’t easy to describe why I loved it so much. In a lot of ways, Outcast was a fairly average but entertaining book. There aren’t too many things that really make the book stand out.
There was some very well done character development, the extent of which isn’t often seen in YA books. The main character Riley was the average, humorous main character. Think a country Maximum Ride. The love interest was definitely cute but lacking in a distinct and realistic personality.
But, I did really like Outcast. It was funny and refreshing in its character development and characters. And if I’m being shamefully honest, I must admit that I’m a giant sucker for Maximum Ride-esque characters. Brave, cocky, and entirely hilarious. I’m also a sucker for sweet and sassy dudes. And evil angels. And warrior priests. And books that have badass and nice priests because I’m fairly certain not all of them are evil soul sucking demons (no pun intended).
So basically this book was just perfect for me.
Even though Riley was an average character, she was really adorable. While she was a fairly typical character, she was also a very refreshing one. She was brave, but not really a “badass”, if you look at her. She does a lot of really cool things but I don’t think I could put her on the level of Allie Sekemoto from “The Immortal Rules”, who quite literally kicked ass, or Tegan Oglietti from “When We Wake”, who was a badass without actually getting her hands dirty.
Gabe was an adorable character, with his own distinct personality. He wasn’t the most unique but Kress avoided many of the standard tropes in his characterization. He was really sasseh and cute. Very “grease” if you know what I mean.
The side characters were refreshingly fleshed unique in their own ways. There was one that really stood out to me in her character development and personality. Lacy started off being the typical stereotypical evil cheerleading bitch but she really grew up a long the book. She became Riley’s friend and ally. This isn’t really a complete rarity in YA books but it’s still fairly uncommon and I definitely appreciate it every time it happens.
When I first read the summary, there was one line that really stuck.
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.
It probably did for you too because I’m fairly certain the words “angels” and “fear” make you very curious. Aren’t angels the good guys? Yeah, not here. (view spoiler)
Well, if you read a lot of angel books, you’ve probably come across the book Angelfall which was one of the biggest books of 2012 (even though it came out in 2011).
Let me tell you a little secret, Outcast bears absolutely no similarity to Angelfall. There’s nothing relating them except for the whole “angels terrorizing people” thing. There’s no hot angel boy, no tortured souls, no refuge camps, no badass angel ass-kickers. Nope, nada, zero.
So for those worrying or hoping that Outcast will be like Angelfall will be either extremely relieved or horribly disappointed.
The plot was completely different. While Angelfall focused a lot on the whole survivally thingy with bandits and blooooood, Outcast focused more on cute boys and disembodied voices. People who liked the bloooood, badass bitches, and survivally thingy better will probably not like this book as much. But people who didn’t like the main character or the bloooood will like this one much better.
People who like both cute boys and badass bitches will probs find this book either awesome or not awesome. (i know – i so helpful)
In all, Outcast was an immensely hilarious book that I recommend to people who love funny angel books with cute boys and angel-hunter priests. Lisbeth gives her seal of approval.