The Outliers ★★★☆☆

Getting panic attacks makes you special? Count me in!

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 loved that The Outliers has accurate depictions of what it’s like to live with phobias and anxiety. The physical responses that Wiley has to her triggers, going outside and talking to people, are so spot on I was starting to feel them myself. Wiley’s acknowledgements and awareness about her feelings are such great insights for people who don’t live with anxiety.

What I didn’t love about The Outliers was how easily Wiley overcame her agoraphobia. It takes place over a single evening, so obviously we didn’t have time for her to go through full on immersion therapy to prep herself to leave the house but we are given insight into how bad it actually is for her after her mother dies.

Honestly, The Outliers could’ve been cleaned up a little more before publication because there are a few over the top moments: Wiley taking a deep breath and moving past her phobia, for example. The Outliers also suffered a bit from sagging middle syndrome, but in that same middle I took off my headphones (as I listened to it on Audible) and had to hit Magdalyn Ann in the shoulder while I told her what just happened. I’ve totally spoiled this book for her.

But I am determined not to spoil the book for you! With that said, the ending to The Outliers is full of twists. Somehow too many but also just enough. And each twist slowly changes the genre from Mystery and Crime to Thriller and SciFi. Not that The Outliers can’t be all of these things but I don’t feel like the Science Fiction part of it was set up particularly well.

Overall, I enjoyed The Outliers and I feel like the series will get better with time.

By J. M. Tuckerman

J.M.Tuckerman is a neurodivergent writer with a big education. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, an MA in Writing, and a BA in Writing Arts (specializing in Creative Writing, New Media Writing, and Publication; concentrating in New Media Production), which she somehow managed to earn despite her three very loud and large dogs. Jessica was lucky enough to intern at Quirk Books and Picador, USA while earning her master’s degrees. Her service dog, Ringo, is very proud of all that she has accomplished and hopes to be on a back cover of a published book with her very soon. An avid reader, writer, and lover of young adult and middle-grade literature, Jessica’s bookshelf is overflowing with hardbacks, paperbacks, and a million half-filled notebooks. She is a proud fur-mommy to two lab/st-bernard littermates, a retriever-mix service dog, and one orange little hobgoblin cat, all of whom have made very audible appearances on the Booked All Night podcast.

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