The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight

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I heard about this book through Reese Witherspoon’s Facebook account – if she ever recommends a book READ IT!

I will share part of the book description blurb and then some of my thoughts. I’m not sharing the entire blurb, as in my opinion it’s a bit spoilery (technical term).

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.”

The tagline for the book is “Trust Your Instincts”.

Wylie is not a typical teen, she suffers from crippling anxiety, which is all the worse since losing her mother in a car accident. Her best friend Cassie has suddenly gone a bit wild and started hanging with the cool kids: drinking, taking drugs and having sex.

When Wylie gets the text from Cassie to say she needs help, she hasn’t left the house in 3 weeks. She’s stopped going to school, talking to her friends, and is really worrying her dad and twin brother Gideon.

When Jasper, Cassie’s no good boyfriend shows up at Wylie’s door, she only hesitates for a moment, and pushes herself to get out the door to go and save her best friend.

Strangely this is a YA novel where I absolutely identify with the teen protagonist. As someone who suffers from depression and anxiety I thought the authors description of how this affected Wylie to be spot on. There have been times when I have literally had to drag myself out of the door to do something I didn’t want to, and felt as if I would pass out, have a heart attack or just completely lose it.

Also, I’m sure we all had that fight with the one friend who suddenly gets invited up to the popular kids table and seems to forget the last 5 years of bullying. High school is a bitch.

With exploration of grief, depression and anxiety, this novel really doesn’t feel like a young adult novel.

I’m not going to go into the weird stuff that happens on Wylie and Jasper’s road trip, because spoilers, but I will say that things are just plain weird; along the way there are malfunctions and interactions with strangers, plus Cassie is behavinh strangely, sending out these cryptic texts. Wylie has no idea who to trust. In all honesty, I’d probably tell Cassie to spell out the problem if she wanted help and speak to my parent/s, but I’m not in high school anymore, everything doesn’t seem quite as “the fate of the world depends upon this”.

Anyway, this is a really good novel, the first of a planned trilogy. Again, try not to read the official book description if you are thinking of buying it, because it pretty much ruins the first book for you.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Toodles!

Stephani Xxx

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