I’m struggling as to how to review this book. Not because I didn’t like it, but because it’s hard to say anything real about it without giving away parts of the story that each reader should find out for themselves. There was a reason the blurb for The Outskirts was vague and I’d like to honor the author’s decision in that.
While I have heard so many good things about T.M. Frazier and her King series, I had yet to pick up one of her novels. After reading The Outskirts, I understand the hype. Ms. Frazier has quite a way with words. Her prose is engrossing and beautiful. She writes in a way that makes the voice of each of her characters unique, yet it still holds a specific style of writing that is her own.
I loved the characters in this book. The way that both Sawyer and Finn had experienced devastating traumas in their lives and then dealt with them in diametrically opposite ways was an excellent way to begin to highlight how different they really are. They were set up to be perfect counterpoints to one another and the complemented each other wonderfully. The dynamic between Finn and Sawyer made this book for me. The secondary characters were equally excellent and lent a fun outlet to the intensity of the rest of the story.
I’m glad that T.M. Frazier focused primarily on the world and relationship building in this book. Packing it with tons of action would have detracted from what was happening between Finn and Sawyer, as well as the specter of their pasts. There was just enough action to learn about how each character reacts under pressure and to what lengths they’ll go for the people they care most about. I was impressed with Ms. Frazier’s feel for that perfect balance in The Outskirts.
The Outskirts is part one of a duet, so the story is not complete in one book. I’ve read books where a cliffhanger feels forced or even like a ploy, but that was not the case with this book. While I have a million questions about what is going to happen in The Outliers, I feel comfortable with where things were left. That being said, I still can’t wait for the next book. Finn and Sawyer won me over and I am eagerly anticipating what is in store for them!