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'Outliers' is thrilling, satisfying roller-coaster ride

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/1/2017 By KIM CURTIS, Associated Press
This cover image released by Harper Teen shows, "The Scattering," by Kimberly McCreight. (Harper Teen via AP) © The Associated Press This cover image released by Harper Teen shows, "The Scattering," by Kimberly McCreight. (Harper Teen via AP)

"The Scattering" (Harper Teen), by Kimberly McCreight

Like "The Outliers," the first novel in a trilogy of tales from young adult author Kimberly McCreight, the second installment follows the twisting journey of teenager Wylie Lang as she struggles to rebuild her life after the suspicious and accidental deaths of both her mom, Hope, and best friend, Cassie. She also must learn to embrace her ESP-like gift of reading people's innermost feelings and trust her gut to elude those who seek to exploit her and to untangle both mysteries.

"The Scattering" is breathlessly fast-paced and enticingly suspenseful as Wylie finds herself hospitalized against her will with a group of young women who share their skills as "outliers."

To escape, Wylie must rely on help from Cassie's boyfriend, Jasper, who's fighting his own demons, as well as her mom's best friend. But no one is as they seem, and trusting the wrong person — as in the first novel — may prove deadly.

McCreight's writing is crisp and light despite the complicated plot turns. She never lingers needlessly long before plunging into the next hairpin curve. But she doesn't overdo it, and readers hang on as she steers toward the cliff-hanger ending, leaving readers appropriately frustrated, yet strangely satisfied.

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