Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight

The Outliers (The Outliers #1) by Kimberly McCreight
Release Date - May 3, 2016
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 352 pages
My Rating - 4.5/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
From the New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia comes a fast-paced teen series where one girl learns that in a world of intrigue, betrayal, and deeply buried secrets, it is vital to trust your instincts.

It all starts with a text: Please, Wylie, I need your help. Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself.

This time it’s different, though. 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 but to ignore her gut instinct and go with him.

But figuring out where Cassie is goes from difficult to dangerous, fast. As Wylie and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine, Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is really wrong. What isn’t Cassie telling them? And could finding her be only the beginning?

In this breakneck tale, New York Times bestselling author Kimberly McCreight brilliantly chronicles a fateful journey that begins with a single decision—and ends up changing everything. 
I've read Kimberly McCreight's adult titles and was extremely curious about her first foray into YA literature. I was thrilled to discover that there would be a mystery at the heart of this novel as she's proven herself to be an exciting new voice in the mystery genre. The Outliers proves that she can move between fiction categories with ease and that her talent in the mystery genre easily translate to young adult works.

Kimberly McCreight is a master at revealing plot points at just the right moment. She uses the story to push the mystery forward and in tandem uses the mystery to propel the story. The result is a high tension, rapidly paced read that is engrossing. Once you're swept away into the story the reminder of the book will soar by with the reader desperately turning the pages to find out what happens next. It's a skill that makes saying 'just one more page/chapter' nearly impossible. It's the kind of story you'll devour in one sitting.

The mystery, and the truth behind what is going on with Cassie, is more complex and larger than I anticipated. It's the type of story where the answers only lead to more questions. I spent most of the novel with my brain racing to unravel the clues, and theorizing what would happen next. It's the kind of story that you'll want to theorize about and each theory only gets more outlandish. I was thrilled that this story was not at all what I expected it to be. It allowed me to be generally surprised by things as they happened. It goes without saying that the less you know about what happens within these pages the more enjoyable your reading experience will be. Those looking for a satisfying ending, however, should be warned that this is the beginning of the series. As a result of this, only some of the questions you have will be answered, and you'll be left hoping the next book releases soon. Kimberly McCreight has only just begun to reveal her secrets and I cannot wait to discover what unravels next.

The characters, including Wylie, are all unreliable. There are so many secrets being kept, and half truths being told. You don't know who to trust, and with a main character who suffers from panic attacks, everything ends up being murky. You believe Wylie feels the way she does about situations and people, but it's hard to believe in those feelings when she herself doesn't know what to believe. It puts the reader on equal footing with Wylie as we have to work through the lies to get to the truth and figure out who to trust as the story progresses. It makes it easy to relate to Wylie and creates a connection with a character that may be hard for people to connect to.

Perhaps my favourite part of this novel is that the parents of these teenage characters do not disappear into the background. There are worried texts, frantic phone calls, and demands for the kids to return home. It's made clear that the parents are very involved in their children's lives. They are present and very much part of the story. Usually we're left to wonder what the parents think while the main characters are off in dangerous situations. It was refreshing to see them represented in a more logical way.

You won't want to miss this book if you are a fan of mysteries where the answers lead to more questions. The breakneck pacing, the increasing tension and it's addictive quality all make this a must read. Kimberly McCreight continues to showcase her talent for crafting entirely engrossing mysteries, and I am desperate for book two in this promising series. If you haven't yet discovered this author make it your summer goal to do just that. 

1 comment:

  1. I've been seeing this around and am really intrigued by the concept. It sounds like something that I'll definitely be sucked into -- I'm glad you liked it! Thanks for sharing!


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