Friday, June 14, 2013

Outcast Blog Tour: Review

OUTCAST
Adrienne Kress
Paranormal Young Adult
322 pages
Diversion Books
Available Now
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (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.

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.


MY THOUGHTS
Outcast is a story that promises so many of the things lovers of paranormal young adult fiction crave when reading, a little mystery and a little romance nicely woven together to create a balanced story that allows both elements to shine without one overshadowing the other. Though the blurb suggests we're in for an action-packed page-turner as soon as we crack the spine, this story does take a while to really get going, the initial intrigue of Riley's rather violent reaction to an angel in her backyard quickly fading as more mundane details about her day to day life take over. The mystery surrounding the Taking and the fate of those chosen by the angels for either glorious or nefarious purposes still hovers at the edge of Riley's vision, but for a good portion of the middle we simply spend time with her and Gabe, enjoying their moments together while wondering when everything is going to be made clear to us.

Riley has a cute personality; a dry sense of humor and a less-than halfhearted desire to fit in among her peers leaving her on the outside looking in, but though we don't necessarily get to know her as well as we might like over the course of her story, she's not completely inaccessible to us and it's easy to spend time with her as she sorts out worries both normal and paranormal. One minor nitpick, and certainly one personal in nature and unlikely to be an issue for everyone, is her continuous referral to her father as Daddy, something that makes her feel much younger than her seventeen-ish years. That rather minuscule complaint aside, Riley is someone easy to root for both romantically as things progress with Gabe, and physically as time passes and a new Taking approaches.

Gabe is someone we come to know even less than we do Riley by the time we reach the final page, but though he doesn't firmly embed himself under our skin, he's easy to appreciate on a more superficial level, his interest in Riley progressing from shallow and flirtatious into something far more meaningful over the course of their time together. Our connection to him reaches its most emotional in the concluding chapters, a more concrete bond to him snapping into place quickly and easily, leaving us thrilled to finally have it where we want it but also mildly regretful that it's in place for so short a time before we close the back cover.

All in all, Outcast is an enjoyable read with a very bittersweet ending, and while it does take a bit of time for us to settle in and for the plot to pick up speed after a quick sprint at the beginning, our time with Riley and Gabe is still time well spent. Those readers who are able to take explanations for supernatural things at face value will likely fare better with this story than those for whom the question “why” is a repeated mantra while reading, as the details surrounding the Taking and those responsible for it are not quite explored as much as they could have been. That being said however, surface questions are answered and we're given a cliffhanger-free ending with the promise of happiness down the line for our young heroine, leaving us satisfied with only minor complaints here and there rather than large grievances.

Rating: 3.5/5



Find Adrienne:


Find Outcast:


This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

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BLOG TOUR

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38 comments:

  1. OoOO haven't heard of this book before!! It does sound actually pretty cute!! But.. then I read you said it has a bittersweet ending.. Uhm. OoO No! Now I'm rather scared as I need my happy endings..

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    1. Yeah, it's the very definition of bittersweet. Especially when you let yourself think on it a bit. BUT there's the promise of happiness for sure:)

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  2. I just read about this book somewhere. Maybe Goodreads. I don't know where. Maybe on NetGalley. Not sure. But I just read the Book Blurb. Why fight angels? Aren't they the good guys? These are the books that confuse me when dark angels, and (light)angels are fighting. Who do you root for? Anyway, hope there's a good explanation for these unfriendly angels. you are so switzerland!

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    1. Hahaha I am Switzerland:) And there is an explanation for these so-called angels, but I do wish we had gotten more backstory there. Obviously a lot is happening upstairs.

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  3. So why are hot naked young angels taking people? Oh great now I am interested ;)

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    1. Hahaha right? You just have to know what's going on after that blurb:)

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  4. I haven't heard of this one before but I had to stare at that cover for few minutes. I'm actually scared of books with angels cause I mostly end up disappointed. Still I think that main problem here would be bittersweet ending. Great review Jenny :)

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    1. She designed that cover herself! Isn't it pretty? I'm usually not a huge angel person either, but this one is a little different. You might like it.

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  5. I tend to question things far too much so I don't know how comfortable I'd be with this story. Adrienne's steampunk really disappointed so I'm really in no hurry to pick up something else by her, but perhaps I'll change my mind later on. And the words 'bittersweet ending' worry me quite a bit. I love my endings happy and clean cut and satisfying.
    Fantastic review, Jenny!

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    1. Me too Maja, bittersweet is always hard for me because I want actual happiness, not the promise of it. And I did have a lot of questions once things were explained, and there just wasn't time before the very end to get them all answered. I feel like there's potential for more though, so maybe she'll do a sequel at some point.

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  6. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! I received it for review but have yet to crack it open, though I can't wait now. Wonderful review, Jenny!(:

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    1. Ooo it will be fun to compare notes Keertana!

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  7. I adore the cover! I had to Pin it to my Cover Love board :D
    It sounds like my kinda book too. Definitely going to add this to TBR list ;)
    Suzy Turner, YA Author

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    1. I do too! I love even more that she designed it. Awesome:)

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  8. That cover is so pretty and colourful! I'd totally be sold on that alone...you know me...I'm a cover slut. I actually like the sound of a really fast beginning, though it does sound as though the pacing does take some getting used to. Wonderful review, as per usual, Jenny :)

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    1. It definitely starts out with a bang - literally. It slows down a touch after that and then ends strong, but the middle dropped off a bit for me. Still, overall I enjoyed it:)

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  9. I was casually skimming through the synopsis when "NAKED" jumped out at me. Funny how that works. Though I'm not really sure nakedness can make up for a very bittersweet ending. Hmm.

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    1. Hahahaha I'm sure it wouldn't surprise you to know that exact same word also jumped out at me. What are the odds? ;-)

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  10. I love the cover of this book, Jenny! How cute is it!
    I haven't read a YA paranormal book in forever and I've been wanting to read one for some time now. It's a shame that you didn't get to really know the characters as deeply as you wanted. I do think I would be a little turned off by that.
    Also, the bittersweet ending has me a little worried.
    Fab review, Jenny!

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  11. Why oh why with the bittersweet! Can't we all just let our ends be happy and flowery. :) :) :)

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  12. I am sorry this had a slow start but even with that and the bittersweet ending it still sounds like you were able to enjoy this one. For some reason I haven't seen this one around a whole lot.

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  13. I really like the cover. Likes it intrigues me. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Uh, you had me at naked guy.

    No, I'm kidding I'm not that shallow.

    Naked guy... YUM...

    Oh, hey there's an actual review here, too? *reads* Yeah. It sounds good, but angel stories are so hit or miss for me (mostly miss). I have a hard time suspending the beliefs that have been drilled into my head every Sunday at church for the last 30 years.

    Angels are my literary kryptonite.

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  15. I love that cover and the blurb... but I do think I'd be so frustrated with most of the book not getting those answers! At least you get some with Gabe at the end, but I know I'd be like you and frustrated that it wasn't sooner! Still, hot naked guy in your backyard...

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  16. A naked guy! Who hoo! Are there pics? I am happy to hear that this ends well, I can handle the rest as long as there aren't love triangles and cliffhangers!

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  17. I requested this off of NG just because of that gorgeous, eye catching cover. Plus, I love angel stories. Bittersweet ending doesn't sound that good but I love that atleast there's not cliffhanger. I'm so glad that it was enjoyable, really looking forward to it now. Wonderful review, Jenny!

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  18. I like the cover! Very cool. Not sure about the less-than-strong connection with Gabe...I want to fall in love with the boy!

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  19. Ooooh! Bittersweet ending! The daddy thing probably wouldn't bother me, but I know exactly what you mean about niggling personal pet peeves. I have plenty of those.

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  20. I don't think I've even heard of this before! I'm dying of curiosity about this boy and the 'angels'. But I'm not sure I'd have patience for the more mundane details of life. I'm pretty curious though... I may have to give this one a try!

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  21. I love reading about angels. Thanks for the giveaway. This book sounds really awesome.

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  22. I adore that cover! What do you think of it?

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  23. Glad to hear there's no cliffhanger, and I've never had a problem with bittersweet endings (usually I appreciate the realism), but I think I might have trouble swallowing the supernatural occurrences without that "why" voice going nuts. I'm a big fan of solid explanations, even for unbelievable supernatural stuff—I can buy it, as long as it's explained well. And no no NO on the grown up girl saying daddy! It's hard for me to respect a heroine who talks like she's in diapers. I think this sounds interesting, but not anything to shove aside my TBR pile books for anytime soon. Lovely honest review Jenny!

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  24. This sounds interesting and I am glad that once you settled into the book it took off, the characters sound good and so sweet that we avoid a cliffy! Awesome review Jenny!

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  25. I remember in the seventh grade, one my friends would call her father "Daddy" and we teased her (lightheartedly of course!) for doing so, haha. Riley seems like an overall likable character. I've heard pretty good things about this one, but I'm worried about the bittersweet ending!

    Wonderful review, Jenny! :)

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  26. Never seen this book before and I'm not 100% I want to read it because I don't like bitter-sweet endings .(I might have read too many of them lately...

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  27. I'm always asking "why" so I may not be satisfied with this one but it does sound entertaining. Lol, I still call my parents "Daddy" and "Mommy" and see nothing wrong with that :P

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  28. This cover is gorgeous! I also am totally on board with this statement: "Outcast is a story that promises so many of the things lovers of paranormal young adult fiction crave when reading, a little mystery and a little romance nicely woven together to create a balanced story that allows both elements to shine without one overshadowing the other." That's exactly what I want! But I think that the lack of explanations in the world building might bug me. Thanks for this honest review!

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  29. I requested this one from NG but then totally forgot about it until now. Bummer! While the story sounds fun, that bittersweet ending makes me a bit hesitant. I did enjoy the author's debut novel so I think I might give this one a whirl.

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