Author – Kimberly McCreight
Publisher – HarperCollins
Publication Date – 3rd May 2016
Series Status – 1st book in the Outliers trilogy
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: she has 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?
*I won this book from Maximum Pop Books in one of their YouReview competitions*
4.5 out of 5 stars.
I really enjoyed this book, it was a really interesting start to a trilogy. It’s mainly a YA thriller with elements of Sci-fi thrown in. It was so gripping, intense and super fast paced. It was really hard to put this down, every time I put it down, I instantly wanted to pick it back up again. The mystery was thrilling and every time I thought I’d figured everything out, it all got twisted around again.
I loved the Mental Health aspect and it was done well. I thought the portrayal of Wylie’s anxiety was really well written and I didn’t find it stereotypical at all. I especially liked that Wylie was able to leave the house to rescue Cassie but the author showed that just because she was able to do that, didn’t mean that the anxiety had gone away.
I’ve read some reviews that say that they didn’t like the way the author had handled Wylie’s anxiety and that it was unrealistic how Wylie was able to leave the house ‘just like that’. I probably would have been annoyed if the author then didn’t mention anxiety again but anxiety works in strange ways.
For example, I am terrible in an emergency and I just fall to pieces BUT my best friend who also has an anxiety disorder is able to push through in an emergency and is able to do what needs to be done. That doesn’t mean that her anxiety has gone away, it just means that different people are better in different situations.
I can’t explain this next bit without spoilers so beware;
I was however, a little miffed that towards the end of the book, it is established that Wylie is an ‘Outlier’ and has special abilities. This in my opinion, doesn’t help in making Mental Illness a normal topic in everyday life. Saying that, it’s not a contemporary novel so it did work in the genre so I got over it pretty quickly. I still highly enjoyed the book and I’m excited for the next book.
Wylie was a really great character, she reminded me of me in some ways. Always worrying about everything, always jumping to the worst conclusion. I really connected with her, probably because I have an anxiety disorder but I felt myself nodding in parts because I knew exactly how she felt. She annoyed me sometimes when she was mean to Jasper but I know anxiety makes you say and do stupid things sometimes.
I didn’t like Jasper to begin with but he really grew on me. He seemed like a really big jerk at the beginning but he actually really cared about Cassie and he started to really care about Wylie too. He just seemed like he had a really big heart and so much kindness inside him but sometimes his anger got the better of him.
Cassie was a really weird character. She was the only character that felt a bit flat and it was really hard for me to connect with her. She was quite mysterious and don’t get me wrong I love mysterious but she was creepy and I couldn’t figure her out at all.
Overall, there wasn’t much I liked about this book. It was really thrilling and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. Most of the characters were all so real and easy to connect with. That cliffhanger was not cool though! I nearly threw my book across the room.
This guest review was contributed by Charleigh’s Book Nook. From her headquarters in the UK, Charleigh provides honest and forthcoming book reviews for her readership.