Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Outliers

The Outliers

4.0 6
by Kimberly McCreight

See All Formats & Editions

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's vital to trust your instincts.

It all starts with a text: Please, Wylie, I need your help. Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie


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's 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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this creepy conspiracy thriller, first in a trilogy, a young woman embarks on a hazardous road trip to rescue her missing best friend, following a trail of increasingly desperate text messages. To find Cassie, whose wild child ways often get her in trouble, Wylie has to work with Cassie’s boyfriend, Jasper, whom she blames for her friend’s most recent fall from grace. As they journey into the dark depths of Maine, they discover the unsettling truth that all of this trouble is connected to Wylie’s father’s research into heightened emotional perception, and now multiple groups are after them. McCreight (Where They Found Her) crafts a tense, atmospheric narrative that sends the teens reeling from one surprise after another, but the plot threatens to collapse under the weight of so many twists and turns, which stretch credulity a little too much. There are some nice emotional moments, especially when Wylie tries to faces her deep-seated anxiety, but the central premise doesn’t quite hold up its side of the bargain. Ages 14–up. Agent: Marly Rusoff, Marly Rusoff Literary Agency. (May)
VOYA, April 2016 (Vol. 39, No. 1) - Sherrie Williams
Wylie has been nearly paralyzed with grief since her mother’s death, barely able to leave her house even to go to school. Her scientist father tries to get her back to her academics, to no avail. She is broken out of her self-imposed exile by a text from her estranged best friend Cassie. Cassie needs her help, and following a series of cryptic messages, Cassie’s ex, Jasper, shows up at Wylie’s door to drive her on a rescue mission. As Wylie and Jasper drive blindly through the Maine woods in search of Cassie, her texts become increasingly erratic and directions are delivered in bits and pieces. Upon finding Cassie, Wylie discovers that her father’s research is deeply linked to Cassie’s disappearance and that she may not be able to trust anyone. This first book in a planned trilogy moves at a rapid pace and is action-packed from the start. The first half of the book focuses on action and danger, while the second half relies on plot twists and shifting allegiances to keep the reader engaged. Wylie’s struggles with grief and a difficult relationship with her best friend mold her into a multilayered character who captures the reader’s sympathy. As is common with most series starters, there is a substantial amount of world-building taking place in the last quarter of the book, resulting in an intricately plotted conclusion. This book is highly recommended for older teen readers, who will anxiously await the next volume in the trilogy. Reviewer: Sherrie Williams; Ages 15 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
Boston-area high school junior Wylie Lang is in danger of losing everything she loves. Her beloved, brilliant, war-photographer mother died in a car accident four months ago, and her best friend, Cassie, seems to be going rapidly off the rails. Suffering from acute anxiety, Wylie is unable to go to school and is stuck at home with her unsympathetic twin brother and her father, "a hard-core nerd scientist who lives entirely in his head." When Cassie's boyfriend gets a troubling text message from Cassie, Wylie manages to conquer her agoraphobia and accompanies Jasper on a desperate drive to an abandoned summer camp in northern Maine, where Cassie is being held by a mysterious group. In this story, no one is who they appear to be, and few adults can be trusted. Wylie, Cassie, and Jasper (all evidently white) become pawns in a complex charade involving the attempted hijacking of Dr. Lang's research by defense contractors who see profit in his discovery of rare emotional intelligence in a few research subjects, known as "outliers," including Wylie herself. At times the plot, like the Maine woods, thickens to a point of impenetrability, and the twists become far-fetched. Wylie's present-tense account is smooth and well-paced, however, if not strikingly original. Readers who are willing to suspend disbelief will enjoy this action-packed psychological thriller. (Thriller. 12-16)
--Mary Kubica
“An exhilarating novel that unfolds at warp speed.”
Julianna Baggott
“THE OUTLIERS is a fast-paced, emotional, and darkly compelling novel with an ending that works like a catapult. I can’t wait to find out what McCreight has hidden up her sleeves!”
Jacqueline Woodson
“Mccreight’s book is an edge of the seat page turner. Her ability to get at the core of what it means to be a friend, a girl, a human being in this society is at once thoughtful and dead on.”
Mary Kubica
An exhilarating novel that unfolds at warp speed.
Sara Shepard
A spellbinding thriller that keeps you guessing until the very last page.
Suzanne Young
Original and wholly addictive, The Outliers is a heart-pounding mystery that will leave readers desperate for the next book.
This fast-paced thriller will have readers pinned to their seats with all the twistsand turns in the second half.
—Mary Kubica
“An exhilarating novel that unfolds at warp speed.”
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Wylie is worried about her former best friend Cassie. They haven't gotten along since Cassie began dating Jasper and then started drinking and partying all the time. When she goes missing, her mother comes to Wylie's home. The teen wants to help, but she hasn't left her house in months, because she's afraid to go outside. Jasper, also frightened for his girlfriend's safety, arrives on Wylie's doorstep with text message instructions to pick her up and drive 100 miles away. The protagonist must overcome her fear, and general dislike of her friend's boyfriend, in order to save Cassie. As the road trip progresses, so does the mystery of who has their friend. With a slow-paced beginning, the novel gains traction once the highway journey gets underway. Unfortunately, Wylie is a frustrating protagonist. Her agoraphobia, which at first seems debilitating, is easily overcome several chapters into the book. Her near hatred of Jasper also seems extremely misplaced, as he goes out of his way to be nice and often makes her feel better despite the dire circumstances surrounding his girlfriend's potential kidnapping. Some of her fears seem to be well-founded, as nearly every individual she encounters after leaving her house turns out to be involved in her friend's disappearance. VERDICT A great supplemental read for angsty teens but otherwise without broad appeal.—Ryan P. Donovan, Southborough Public Library, MA

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Outliers Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Kimberly McCreight is the author of the New York Times bestseller Reconstructing Amelia, which was nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, and Alex Awards, and the USA Today bestseller Where They Found Her. She attended Vassar College and graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters. Visit her online at www.kimberlymccreight.com.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Outliers 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
lrhubble 10 months ago
Fantastic Contemporary Young Adult It has been over a week since Wylie last heard from Cassie. Since their last fight. Wylie does what she always does when Cassie is in trouble and that is save Cassie from herself. It is different this time though. Cassie keeps sending cryptic clues instead of just telling Wylie where she is at. Cassie also doesn’t have Wylie come by herself like she usually does. Cassie sends Jasper to help Wylie. Wylie doesn’t feel right about trusting the guy that sent Cassie off the rails to begin with. Since Wylie doesn’t have any other choice she needs to ignore her gut instinct and go with Jasper. It goes from difficult to dangerous fast when they try to figure out where Cassie is. Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is very wrong as she and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine. Cassie isn’t telling them something and now they are wondering if finding her will only be the beginning. This is a fantastic suspense story that will take readers on a roller coaster ride. Once the action starts it doesn’t stop until the very end. It will also have readers wanting to know what happens next. With each clue that is revealed the story takes another turn that will have readers wondering just where this is going to end up going. Wylie makes for an intriguing character that makes for an engrossing read.
LarkPaula More than 1 year ago
I am generally a sci fi and fantasy reader, but once in a while it’s nice to take a break from that with a fun what-is-going-on-here thriller. The Outliers is a perfect choice for non-stop action and just a hint of sci fi. I confess that, at one point, I didn’t think I was going to like this book. The main character, Wylie, suffers from crippling anxiety at the beginning of the book, and it’s developed into agoraphobia. A few pages into the book, she’s willing to not only leave her home, but she leaves with a boy she doesn’t trust or know very well, and her destination is unknown. Knowing enough about agoraphobia to know that that behavior is inconsistent with the condition, I was irritated. I pushed on, however, and am glad to report that this is eventually resolved and explained- as are a couple of other little quirks. I am honestly impressed with how well the author keeps track of all of the lies she tells the reader in this book. Misdirection is the name of the game, and McCreight admirably ties up all of the loose ends. All except that last one, which feels very much like a season finale cliffhanger of one of my favorite television series. Speaking of. . . this really would be a great premise for a television show. Someone should take note. Because much of the plot is based on deception, it’s really difficult to write much about the plot without giving away spoilers. At one point you will feel like this is a book about a girl battling a mental illness. At another you will feel like it’s a cautionary tale about teens gone wild. It also sometimes-might be a plot-driven tale of a kidnapping. It’s all of these things, and more. It’s also obviously just the tip of the iceberg. The last two pages will have you tearing your hair out, dying for a sequel- because at the conclusion of this volume, it’s only just begun to get to the good part. A lot of discovery work has been done, and it seems that the real adventure is about to begin. There may be a point at which you feel that the book is dragging, and you’re ready to put it down. Don’t. Just don’t, because if you do, you will miss one of the best final sequences I’ve read this year.
MariahEllis More than 1 year ago
I'm really not entirely sure what I just read. Going into this book, I thought I knew what it was going to be about, and it started out that way, but then it took this weird direction that didn't really make a whole lot of sense. Things weren't explained well at all, and I'm wondering if the author even completely knew what was going on. Did McCreight know what she wanted this book to be? Or did she have a bunch of ideas and she tried to fit them all into one book? I never felt very connected to the characters, and I couldn't understand the motivations behind their actions. Things also seemed to wrap up a little too perfectly. It was like the author didn't know what else to do, so yay, let's all meet up back and home and wait for something else crazy to happen. Overall, I am definitely incredibly disappointed. I loved Reconstructing Amelia so much that the YA fanatic in me was head over heels looking forward to this. I would probably advise readers to stay away from it. Just don't even waste your time. But, if you are still curious and want to give it a try, there are honestly worse books that you could pick up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great suspense
MAP1 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It is a fast-paced story with innumerable plot twists and turns. I was blindsided by many of these, and simply found myself asking "Just what is going on here?" Once started, it is a book which is impossible to put down. Already looking forward to the follow-up!
ruthsic More than 1 year ago
The Outliers starts off with a thriller chase plot, then turns into a conspiracy - all of which was coupled with great visual scenes and an overall aura of urgency. Wylie, an agoraphobic, sets out to search for her best friend when she receives a distressing message, along with said best friend's boyfriend, whom she doesn't entirely like. Over the course of the chase, which starts from slight worry over a bender to the fear of kidnapping, the pair have to go under the radar. Then they are caught in a web, which doesn't become apparent immediately; well, Wylie is the one anxious and paranoid enough to notice things, which keeps them out of danger for most of the time. The second half is mostly unraveling of the trap they are in, part of which relates to flashbacks that are interspersed throughout the texts. I did pick up some clues, but otherwise, this was a hard one to crack. I loved how the author kept the sense of danger alive - it was very visual, this novel; I could imagine the scenes playing out in my head. The creepiness, the chase, the dread and the suspicion - they all play out well. The climax was a bit unexpected, and it felt a little out of place with the plot and with Wylie as a character, like it was trying too hard to explain away some things. But the ending - well, that was a good cliffhanger; I want that second book already!