Review: Outcast by Adrienne Kress

outcastTitle: Outcast

Author: Adrienne Kress

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Paranormal

Received for review from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads)

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.

Review

You’d be forgiven for thinking this was a story about Angels. It’s not. It’s a story about a romance between a Greaser from the 50s and a modern day girl. Everything else is window dressing and the central conceit to make that story concept plausible.

As such, there’s an inordinate amount of time dedicated to contemplation of feelings, dating, what clothes to wear and worry about what Gabe is doing with other girls. Ridiculous things happen – like Riley’s parents just accepting Gabe coming to live with them without asking any sorts of questions, and Gabe being able to sign up for school without any proof of identity – but it’s all to serve the purpose of the eventual romance.

Which does meant the story does get a little frustrating at times. It’s very slow, with lots of time passage and training montages and ‘for a couple of months nothing much happened’ which doesn’t exactly lend much urgency to the tale. The interesting stuff about the angels is rushed through sometimes, and the ending – without spoiling too much – left plenty of questions open, because it only resolves the romance and not the angel story thread. And it doesn’t look like there’s a book two.

It’s not a bad story by any stretch – I actually enjoyed it a lot. It’s fun and silly and there are lots of humorous moments. And I like the idea of a romance between a 50s greaser and a modern day girl. The clash of cultures has lots of potential for humour and interest. And the stuff about the angels was interesting too – a unique take on a mythology that’s got a bit tired with all the ‘I fell in love with an angel’ books out there.

So, a good book, but one that had the potential to be something really special. It just wasn’t quite that.

Rating: 3.5/5

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