The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight
Read by Phoebe Strole
Summary from Goodreads:
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 was trolling through my audio book TBR a couple of weeks ago looking for something different than what I have recently been listening to, and this cover caught my eye. I can’t remember how it ended up on my list, but I am glad it did. It is was an amazing listen, very creepy and dark and perfect for an October read.
Wylie is a hard character not to feel sorry for, although there were a few times that I didn’t like her very much. There were times when I didn’t trust her as a narrator either. Her anxiety gets in the way with how she is feeling and what she thinks about the people she meets. So it is hard to tell if what she feels about what is happening is real or her anxiety or a mixture of both. I don’t blame her for her anxiety, the things that are going on around her would produce anxiety in anyone, but her anxiety issues are part of her personality. But Wylie is very brave and loyal to Cassie, even though Cassie has not been the best of friends lately. She is also smart and can talk her way out of situations when needed.
I liked Jasper, he is a totally sympathetic character even when he is being a bit of hard ass toward both Cassie and Wylie. He can be stubborn but a good person to have around in a difficult situation. Cassie I didn’t like very much at all, but I did feel sorry for her. She got herself into quite a mess, one that was not necessarily her fault, and she didn’t deserve what happened to her.
I can’t say too much about the plot with out giving things away. What starts out as a badly planned road trip/rescue mission gets even worse. Everything that could go wrong very much does. Trust no one in this book, there are very few people telling the truth. The concept of the Outlier is also an interesting one. This is a very fast paced book and at times hard to put down. There are many, many plot twists that are totally unpredictable. I spent much of the first part of the book speculating what kind of trouble Cassie had gotten herself into and none of them were right, not something that happens very often for me.
Phoebe Strole does an excellent job with the narration. She sounds just like a scared and anxious girl who doesn’t have any real clue to what is really going on. I highly recommend the audiobook.
This is the first book in a trilogy, and the ending certainly made me anxious to read the next book. I put it on hold immediately after finishing this one, so hopefully I won’t have to wait too long for it. Unfortunately I will have to wait till May of next year to read the conclusion. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a dark and creepy read for a cold autumn night.