The blurb for Outcast is quite enticing and I immediately wanted to read it. The only problem is they gave away too much information in it, it left little suspense for the beginning of the book. However, you are quickly drawn into the story as Riley is an entertaining, quirky main character. I loved the way in which the first few chapters were written and the dialogue between Riley and Gabe. I had numerous honest laugh out loud moments and it definitely made me want to continue reading. I also found Riley's inner dialogue intriguing and authentic, at least for the first half of the novel.
The second half (approximately) was fairly dull. The typical high school drama creeped in and we even had to deal with a (potentially?) mean girl in Lacy. Seriously the book did not need a cliche like the mean cheerleader and it would have been better left out. Also what felt like a never ending scene at Lacy's pool party produced little to no information/forward projection and it was the beginning of the dull period for me. Riley became less humorous and more hesitant and uncertain. There were no laugh out loud moments to note in the last half and this was a shame. Overall I grew tired of not getting answers as the author was good as stringing us along.
While I did enjoy the skepticism Riley expressed towards the religious fanaticism that came from the "angels" coming each year, it did put a pretty clear target on who the town bad guy turned out to be. Honestly I felt the fact that it took Riley until nearly the last chapter to figure it all out was frustrating.
While the ending was practical and sad (although after all the doldrums prior I felt less than empathetic), it did seem to leave a feeling of open-endedness almost.
I did enjoy the characters of Riley and Gabe (except his "Sweetheart" lines grew extremely tiresome) but I found large parts of the book to be a bit dull. I really enjoyed the beginning of the book, the humor and feisty personalities of the characters really shined through.