Wednesday, July 11, 2018

"The Collide"

Kimberly McCreight is the New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia, which was nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, and Alex Awards and was called Entertainment Weekly’s Favorite Book of the Year. Reconstructing Amelia has been optioned for film by HBO and Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films. McCreight’s second adult novel, Where They Found Her, was a USA Today bestseller and a Kirkus Best Mystery of the Year.

The Outliers, the first book in her teen trilogy, also a New York Times bestseller, has been optioned for film by Lionsgate, Mandeville, and Reese Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard. The second book, The Scattering, was released in 2017.

McCreight  applied the Page 69 Test to the newly released third and final book, The Collide, and reported the following:
From page 69:

“The hospital sent your phone back,” Gideon says, when I finally get back downstairs from the longest shower I have ever taken. He puts the phone down in front of me on the coffee table. “I charged it for you. I mean, it probably has like nine kinds of tracing crap embedded on it. You should take a look at your missed messages or whatever. Then we should probably burn it in the backyard.”

Gideon thinking to charge my phone feels like the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. I stare down at it and try not to cry.

“Thanks,” I manage.

When I turn it on, one hundred and thirty-six texts flood in. Jasper accounts for 90 percent of the messages, all sent in the twenty-four hours between when he saw me grabbed on the bridge and when he finally snuck his way into the hospital...
This moment from The Collide is actually both typical and atypical of the book and The Outliers trilogy as a whole. The scene is atypical in that it’s a relatively quiet moment in a series full of a great deal of fast-paced action. After narrowly evading capture in The Outliers, and finally beginning coming to terms with who she is in The Scattering, Wylie now finds herself in The Collide falsely accused of murder. Luckily, with the help of her mother’s friend Rachel she’s been temporarily released on bail. In this scene shortly after her release, she and her brother Gideon attempt to come to an uneasy peace, but reconciliation isn’t simple after Gideon’s betrayal. Still, Wylie needs someone she can count on right now and that person is Gideon, whatever his shortcomings.

It is in this respect that the scene on Page 69 is emblematic of The Collide—and the series more broadly. The Outliers explores what it means to trust in yourself, while knowing that the greatest strength may lie in how we connect with others. What Wylie learns in The Collide is that no one can truly make a difference by going it alone. The trick is finding the right people to fight at your side.
Visit Kimberly McCreight's website.

The Page 69 Test: Reconstructing Amelia.

The Page 69 Test: The Scattering.

--Marshal Zeringue