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The So-called Outcast

Outcast - Adrienne Kress

The protagonist, Riley, lives in a bible belt Southern town that is visited every year by angels.  The angels kidnap a couple of people and revisit each year. The antagonist is a pastor whose moved to the town to take advantage of this implausible situation. What was implausible was Riley's mother forcing them to stay in the town because of her dying parents wish for her to raise her daughter in their house. I did not buy for one moment that her mom was reasonably allowing her family to go through that each year because of a dying wish or not being allowed back in the town if you left the one night the abductions happened.

 

Riley and the rest of the books characters never waste a moment to tell us how Riley doesn't care what anyone thinks.

Riley's mother cared more for her neighbours opinion than her family but the big reveal [spoilers] she did this so her daughter wouldn't have to was laughable.

Because  Riley wouldn't wear a bathing suit because big breasted girls are slutty if they wear bikinis or tank tops. No character in the book ever said this to her [such as when she was "forced" to a party in a bikini] but Riley herself. Outcast features the often used trope that the gorgeous lead isn't as pretty as her mom so is 'plain'.

She constantly compares herself to the other girls in her school and moderates her behaviour on the wishes of others in every other paragraph. The love interest loses his cool with Riley and her mom over letting creepy pastor gain more control over the town because everyone else was doing it.

The book should have actually shown her make a stand for something that didn't involve falling apart over a boy. In this case, Riley's mom does remark that twice she does completely let go of her life. At least on this one character trait, she wasn't one thing but called another.

 

Her "only chance at happiness' was ruined when her boyfriend was abducted. She spends most of the book either miserable over her kidnapped boyfriend and getting closer to the angel she shoots in the face. The said angel turns into a boy from the '50s whose progressive over everything but women's rights.

 

The majority of the book was formulaic but believable characterisation of a girl whose mourning her boyfriend and falling in love again.

The pastor, his son and the "friend" of Riley's were interesting but if the book had explored this more in depth instead of entire chapters on high school pool parties or a date I'd have enjoyed the book a lot more. 

I got more out of the Zenon tv movie on the disney channel when Zenon didn't like how the villain blinked than sweaty pastor creeping Riley out.