Outcast by Adrienne Kress
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Published: June 4th 2013 by Diversion Books
You know those books that just fill you with such emotion, such feels, you have to put the book down at the end, go outside, go for a walk, anything just to find your own reality again. Because if you don’t, you will forget yourself altogether?
This is how I felt when I finished Outcast. I actually cried. And I don’t mean the little sneaky tear, I mean full on snotty sobbing. It was just awful. I had to get out of bed at 11pm and take a backyard stroll in my jammies to calm down.
How many books can do this to me? Well, I’m certainly a crier, but not an all-out sobber. So not many. Which makes this book so special. Though the plot was fairly simple and easy to follow, I became so invested into the characters. I actually love them and cannot contemplate why this is a standalone.
Why, Kress? Why do this to me?
Maybe I should just get to the review, before I start crying again.
Absolute captivating brilliance! Amazing layered plot and character development. I fell in love with everything from the relationships formed to our MC’s inner voice. The writing was intriguing – it had me at first sentence. Practically love at first chapter.
I was absolutely captivated by the first chapter of this book. It was simply setting the scene – no action. But it was so wonderfully written and engaging; which can be said for the entirety of the book.
I really liked the setting of Outcast, and how it is never forgotten and incorporated into the plot. Our MC, Riley, lives in a small, tight knot community where everyone knows everyone’s business. This town is, uh “blessed” to be chosen by the Angels, who come every year to take people, who are never seen again. He story starts the year after her best friend and almost-boyfriend is taken by the angles. Riley rebels the next year, by shooting one of the Angels in the face.
One of the best things about Outcast is that Riley has such an engaging mental voice. She has this habit of thinking everything she wants and wishes she could say, but then says something else entirely. She’s so well developed; I feel like she gives voice to the quiet girl – she doesn’t have a huge amount of friends, she’s not considered popular, or fashionable. She’s not outgoing. She is close to her family and focusses on school. But she’s not the bore that everyone thinks, which is why I think Kress’ writing style works so well in this book.
I completely fell in love with Riley; she is so relatable but filled with depth and complexity. But I loved Gabe even more; the gorgeous bad boy.
Gabe. Gabe Gabe, Gabe! I think Gabe is just so utterly gorgeous. He’s the bad boy, but think 50’s bad boy. Think modernised/realistic Greece and Dirty Dancing – but better! Even though he has a reputation, we really get to see the other side of Gabe that only Riley can bring out of him. I just love his character. He is all easy-going with his situation, but underneath, he is really complex. I love his drive to try and make the best of everything, no matter how tragic his situation is.
What I love even more is how these two character complement each other. Quiet, serious Riley and popular, fun Gabe. Gabe has never really known what it’s like to be loved and trusted. Riley has never really been able to trust herself and push over her quiet mental barrier. These two question what the other has always believed themselves to be. Their growing friendship is undeniably cute and I loved every single moment of it.
But Gabe truly is a heart breaker. Right to the very end.
What’s great though? This relationship is not all-consuming. It adds depth to the plot, which was really layered and well thought out, but romance does not control it. Riley’s goal is to discover the truth about the angels and find out what happened to her best friend. This made it really easy to follow. Even though there were always mysteries, and sometimes there wasn’t a lot going on, I was never bored for a single moment. Kress keeps it interesting through the flowing style, Riley, character tension and includes some pretty outlandish things.
Like, you know, freakish angels, naked boys, kidnapping, motorcycles, singing, shotguns, ect.
Overall, I found Outcast to be an amazing and really enjoyable read. There was a layered plot that included young love, second chances, growing up, discovery and sacrifice. There was the awesome character development and growth. There was Riley’s mental voice giving the book that extra something. I was intrigued, saddened, overjoyed, excited, torn and heartbroken. Without a single bad word from me, Outcast gets the gold on a very special place in my shelf.