Wylie is a good friend. She has come to the rescue time and time again for her best friend, Cassie. So, when Cassie’s mom arrives at her doorstep asking her if she has heard from Cassie, Wylie knows this time feels different. Not long after, Wylie receives a text. “Please Wylie, I need your help”. This starts a whirlwind of events that takes Wylie across state lines with Cassie’s boyfriend, Jasper, and as they get further from home and closer to the truth, Wylie’s instinct is telling her something is wrong. Seriously wrong.
So this one started out all fine and dandy. I have wanted to read Kimberly McCreight’s work forever but haven’t gotten around to them. I had heard awesome things about Reconstructing Amelia but hadn’t heard anything about The Outliers. So I dove into this book without any research or reading its synopsis.
After I started reading, I realized right away that this was Y.A. If you are a regular reader of Clues and Reviews, you know this is a struggle for me. Aside from some minor annoyances with the characters and some general annoyance with the plot, I actually didn’t mind the first bits of this book. I was intrigued enough to continue reading and the plot was fast paced enough that I wasn’t feeling bored.
However, then I hit about ¾ of the way through and the plot completely flipped. I mean randomly, completely opposite direction flipped. This one went from a teenage mystery thriller to some sort of Divergent-esque supernatural/sci-fi novel without a dystopian setting.
Even with the cliffhanger ending, I’m not sure I will read any of the other books. I feel like if you are a reader of Y.A and you loved the Divergent series, this one will appeal to you. But if you are looking for a mystery/thriller, this one will leave you disappointed.
I had to give this one 2 stars.
Thanks to the publisher for the copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.
Want to know what Chandra and Jess thought of this #cjsreads pick? Keep reading to find out!
What Chandra Thought:
I have such mixed feelings about this book! You take a girl who is somewhat of an outcast at school, has a falling out with her best friend, who disappears with a cryptic note and then teams up with said friend’s hot boyfriend to go looking for her without telling her Dad or any authorities. Sound familiar? Sure does – and then it takes a HUGE left turn at Albuquerque and I’m left scratching my head wondering what the hell is going on. All people are suspect – ALL. I fear saying too much will spoil any plot twists and turns (and there are MANY) so I’m going to leave any type of synopsis as the above. Why do I have mixed feelings, you ask? Because I feel that 90% of the book is absolutely and completely implausible – one huge example being that the main character is agoraphobic since her mother’s death. But as soon as her best friend needs her help, she manages to pack the world to feel safe, hold onto an elbow and walk about the door… and then it disappears – never comes back to haunt her. Um… what? And that’s just the beginning.
Now for fear that you think I didn’t like this book, that’s not true. I actually quite enjoyed it – once I could dispense myself of all reality. It’s action packed – and I mean PACKED – something is going on ALL the time, which makes for a quick read. Each chapter leaves you hanging with something new that went awry. I couldn’t stop myself. I needed to know what was going to happen even though I had no idea what was really happening to begin with. So bring on the Scattering so I know what happens next because that ending… could you leave me hanging anymore?!
Kimberly McCreight reeled me in with Reconstructing Amelia, a book I thoroughly enjoyed. This is nothing like it. And let me tell you, I kinda like that she’s all over the place with her genres. I really want to get inside her head.
What Jessica Thought:
The Outliers was my introduction to Kimberly McCreight, and I was not disappointed! I really enjoy her writing style and the development of the characters. You felt connected to Wylie and her struggle to find Cassie.
We start the story in Wylie’s home with her father. We learn there was an accident and it is now just her father, her brother, and her at home now. After her mother’s death, Wylie has progressively been avoiding leaving the house. Going on almost two weeks at home, Cassie’s mother comes over. Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But she’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself.
This time something’s different, instead of telling Wylie where she is, Cassie sends cryptic clues. And instead of having Wylie come by herself, Jasper shows up saying Cassie sent him to help. Trusting the guy who sent Cassie off the rails doesn’t feel right, but Wylie has no choice: she has to ignore her gut instinct and go with him. Trying to find Cassie is proving to be difficult, and even becoming dangerous for Wylie and Jasper. With a growing sense of doom, Wylie reluctantly heads into the dense woods of Maine in hopes of locating Cassie. Is finding her just the beginning of something?
I really enjoyed the adventure and trying to figure out Cassie’s cryptic clues. Where is she? What’s happening? Can we trust Jasper? I’m so excited for book two coming out soon, The Scattering!
I give this 5/5 stars!