May 26, 2017

Review--The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight

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 went into Kimberly McCreight’s The Outliers expecting an on-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller. While it was still a thriller of sorts, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. There were a lot of flashbacks incorporated into the story and I failed to see the point of some of them and then to top it all off, there was a rather large psychological/science-y edge to it. And science has always been my worst subject!

Wylie is definitely an interesting character. Her mother just died in a car accident a few months ago, she and her best friend have been drifting apart and seeing her spin into self-destruction becomes too much, her father and brother have been sort of distant, and to top it off, she’s always had some anxiety issues, and they’ve only gotten worse for her since her mother’s death. After all the normal chaos she endures, she is startled when her best friend, Cassie, goes missing. Adding to that, Cassie’s boyfriend, Jasper comes to Wylie’s house because he got a text from Cassie telling him to do so. And then Wylie gets a text from Cassie saying she needs her help and that Jasper will help her too.

And so begins the bizarre road trip of sorts as Wylie and Jasper race to find Cassie who has holed herself up in some abandoned campgrounds. Her text messages get direr as she talks about the people holding her and fearing for her life. Though it’s not long before Wylie and Jasper run into their own trouble. It becomes incredible hard for them to know who they can trust in this crazy scenario they’ve found themselves in.

This book was kind of odd, I’ll admit. The beginning was rather slow, that’s where there were a ton of flashbacks happening that didn’t really help to paint our current picture. Some of them did have merit, I’ll admit, but others I couldn’t figure out why we were needing to see said flashback. The story picked up once Wylie and Jasper were on the road to find Cassie and ending up finding more and more trouble. And then at the halfway point, things take another turn, which is when my confusion started as there was more of all the psychological talk. I won’t get into details, I can’t really remember much of them anyway or what their highlights were! I guess this is what happens when you stick to the fantasy and paranormal reads! Modern day science and psychological topics make for incredible hard to understand reading!

The latter half of the story also dragged for me, because it was more about applying what we learned from the situation and what to do next. A few more plot twists come along that did make for more excitement and then that ending! Totally surprised by it, yet at the same time, I was expecting it after everything that happened! LOL!

I am sad to say that I don’t think I will be continuing this series. While the ending does give you a bit of a twisted and edgy cliffhanger, I couldn’t help but remember all my struggles that have come beforehand. You would think I could grasp some of these neurological happenings what with my personal background, but honestly, I didn’t. It was just so overwhelming, much like my own experiences. In a sense, I did get a little bit of what was going on. But just all those details went way over my head, I could only grasp the vaguest of ideas. And what confused me plays a huge part in the grand scheme of things. Sadly, all the shock value of the story wasn’t enough to keep me invested with the series. I just don’t think I’ll mesh well with the remaining books. 

I will however still recommend this one if you like thrillers. Especially ones with a psychological twist, one that’s more focused on the science of said psychology!

Overall Rating 2.5/5 stars—a slightly better than okay read



  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one. Doesn't sound like one for me. Though that cover sure is an eye catcher.

  2. Sorry this did not work for you. Great review, hope your next read will be better.
    Nadene @ totally addicted to reading

  3. A very fair-minded review. I really enjoyed this one - but then I'm also heavily into science fiction. I've just completed reading the second book, The Scattering, which I think is even better.

  4. Too bad this one didn't work for you. It can be hard when you are expecting a different kind of book. I hope your next read is better.


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