The Scattering [The Outliers Trilogy, Book 2] by Kimberly McCreight [in School Library Journal]
While Phoebe Strole stays consistently convincing in voicing characters of different genders and ages, and conveying shocks and surprises throughout, Kimberly McCreight’s continuing mystery centered on teen Wylie is showing signs of fatigue, not to mention just plain disbelief. Wylie, a self-described “full-on agoraphobic” in the first book, is still at the mercy of her diagnosis, but her condition seems to conveniently disappear whenever she needs to hide, escape, or save someone.
As book two opens, Cassie’s dead. Wylie and Jasper (Cassie’s ex-boyfriend) are back in Boston, albeit briefly. Jasper’s fallen into a guilt-induced existential crisis, and Wylie lands in Boston General Hospital with other girls who might be like her – even if they don’t know that yet. Then her father goes missing. Her twin turns belligerent. And her mother’s ex-best friend, who’s clearly been lying about what she knows, is suddenly Wylie’s designated protector.
Verdict: Readers will need to be familiar with book one to fully comprehend book two. Strole’s steady narration helps ameliorate McCreight’s growing narrative flaws, enough that already hooked teen readers will likely request access to the full series