My Review | Outlawed

Photo shows the book cover of Outlawed by Anna North - Photo by Peri McKinnis - Peri Reads -

The day of her wedding, 17 year old Ada’s life looks good; she loves her husband, and she loves working as an apprentice to her mother, a respected midwife. But after a year of marriage and no pregnancy, in a town where barren women are routinely hanged as witches, her survival depends on leaving behind everything she knows.
She joins up with the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang, a band of outlaws led by a preacher-turned-robber known to all as the Kid. Charismatic, grandiose, and mercurial, the Kid is determined to create a safe haven for outcast women. But to make this dream a reality, the Gang hatches a treacherous plan that may get them all killed. And Ada must decide whether she’s willing to risk her life for the possibility of a new kind of future for them all.

Outlawed by Anna North caught my by having a gorgeous cover and LGBTQ+ characters. A story about a queer western gang? That’s truly pandering to me! Here, the story focuses on the protagonist Ada who is run out of town for not producing a child. When she’s had enough, she tries run away to another town but she encounters a well-known gang of outlaws. Led by none other than the Kid, this group of women dress up as men to steal and terrorize. Ada joins this gang to help attempt one of the greatest heists of any gang’s careers. This will plan will either make them great or make them dead.

“And so I began my criminal career there in the house of God, with a leaky pen instead of a pistol and books instead of silver for my reward.”

Of course I’m a sucker for some queer characters. Some of the women in the gang fancy each other including the Kid and their lady, Cassie. I like how the Kid is essentially a non-binary character, as they don’t follow any of the gender norms. The other characters refer to the Kid with they/them pronouns and feel comfortable being themselves around each other. But I won’t lie, there isn’t enough gay interactions for me, a gay person, to enjoy. Book of the Month make it seem like the main character is going to have some womanly love interests. Then Ada has a  paragraph in the middle of the book talking about how she isn’t even into women. I appreciate the representation in the book but I want more okay!

Book Review of Outlawed by Anna North - Photo by Peri McKinnis - Peri Reads -

This complaint I have is a little bit of a spoiler. But the heist, the main conflict, doesn’t happen. Which I can accept if it is beneficial. But when it takes up most of the book, I’m left feeling empty. The story ends without us finding out what happens to the gang. I’m a fan of an ambiguous ending but there needs to be some kind of resolution. Especially when the story revolves this heist and the reason that Ada stays with gang. The ending is truly unsatisfactory to me as it feels cut short. 

“When someone believes in something... you can't just take it away. You have to give them something to replace it.”

Other than that I really did enjoy the western flair and a gang of women who need to protect each other. I love the aspect of a “chosen family” and North writes it wonderfully. We see Ada change from someone who is unsure of herself to someone who can shoot a gun and participate in a gang fight. She’s not someone you can mess with now. If you’re a big fan of Western dramas and want to pretend you’re joining the Kid’s gang then check out Outlawed by Anna North.






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Hey! I’m Peri McKinnis

Peri McKinnis of Peri Reads

I’m a creative, I’m a dreamer, and I’m an Aries. I’ll read any book with enough convincing, I enjoy weird movies, and I’m a caffeine fiend. From the day that I brought my first book catalog home from school I knew that books were going to have a special place in my heart. Now I want to spread that love here, to talk about the books that made us cry, fall in love, and scorn because we couldn’t finish them.