02 April, 2012

Review: Inside Out by Maria V Snyder

Pages: 315
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian
Format: Paperback (UK)
Published 2011 by Mira Ink
Originally Published April 1, 2010 by Harlequin 
Goodreads // Amazon

Keep Your Head Down.
Don't Get Noticed.
Or Else.
I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution...

This book blew my expectations away. I've read several of Snyder's books before and I've always been fairly impressed, but Inside Out kept me on my toes. I was also really drawn to the world of Inside, even as I read it in the warm sun.

Some readers may not like the setting. It's dark, drab, and dreary as there is never the smallest hint of natural light. In fact, this society is beyond having normal days (probably from the lack of sun) and citizens live their lives within 100 hour long weeks. At first it was difficult to grasp this time concept. I still don't understand it when someone's age is prattled off. Only once does Trella tell the reader her age is 17.3 years according to old dating systems. My advice is to take the beginning of this book slowly to understand the world and time system she lives in. It's odd, but worth it. I imagine Inside as being a giant rubik's cube, though my mind always hearkened back to Battlleship every time she'd say something like G4 (or is it 4G?).

Despite the awkward-at-first society that Trella lives in, this book picks up the pace and soon Trella is weaving in and out of pipes and air-ducts to try to find Gateway, what others believe to be the way out of Inside. What stopped me from giving this book 5 stars was my lack of attachment to most of the minor characters. I did end up liking Riley, Trella's eventual love interest. I was pleased that it was a very minor piece of the story. However, I only ended up caring for some of the minor characters' fates and I don't think that's how it should be. They each had their own sense of humour for living in their state, but Snyder didn't make me feel any huge concern for them. Although, to be fair, she did a fantastic job in getting me to loathe the villain of the story, Karla Trava (Hate this woman!). Trella herself was a fantastic character. At first she was hesitant to go against the status quo but it didn't take long to get her gumption and kick some serious butt. I loved how strategic and snarky she was.

The ending has left me with such a cliffhanger. My mind was just about blown to bits when we discover just why the Insiders are living in Inside. I'm not sure who I'd recommend this book to, as it's very different from those I've read before. I'd say it was fairly close to the Uglies series, but it has a lot more mystery. Definitely go pick this up if you like your dystopian novels more on the grungy side.


  1. wow the UK cover is awesome for this. I keep seeing this book, and have said naahhhh in the past, but your review makes me think I might really like it. Nice work!

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