Inside Out (Harlequin Teen)
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
Digital review copy provided by NetGalley

Author Web Site

PJV’s QUICKIE POV: I find myself entranced by genre. Who doesn’t want to immerse themselves in the bitter dreams of a dark future? To see things how they could be if we don’t shape up. First I was sucked in by Westerfeld, than I was blown away by Collins… and now Snyder has put the icing on a big dystopian cake with Inside Out. Inside Out is a fantastic addition to the trendy new dystopian genre. You really need to read this book, but first get your crash helmet, because it is one intense ride.

REVIEW: Trella is a scrub, destined for the entirety of her life to clean the innards of her home, Inside. Raised by a Care Giver with nine other children, families are illegal for Scrubs. But that is ok for Trella, she doesn’t like Scrubs that much, she doesn’t like Uppers that much either though.  Uppers are the people that live in the Upper levels, the ones that get the private rooms, and all the good food. Trella is content to hide away in the pipes, exploring and only coming out when she is hungry.  If it weren’t for her only friend Cogon, Trella would be absolutely alone.

On a whim to prove a prophet wrong, Trella finds herself in a sticky situation.  Now people are looking to her for guidance and she may have set things into motion that could change everything things in Inside. The girl that just wanted to be alone, now finds that people are relying on her, relying on her to change their lives and free them from a life of slavery that they didn’t even realize until now they were living.

Inside Out is a great example of dystopian fiction.  Trella’s character, while not the most lovable creature I’ve read about, is a force to be reckoned with and extremely enjoyable to read.  The plot is fast paced and constantly keeping you on your toes. One thing after another is thrown at you and I just had to stay up and finish this book because I couldn’t take the suspense.

There were only a few downers, one of which is that I had the mystery pegged at about halfway through the book, which I hate doing.  Also, while the Travas (the policing/bad/evil overlords) seemed to be omnipotent in their control over Inside, they were also very easy to distract and battle at some points and then over powering in their undeafatableness (new PJ word) at others. I believe what Snyder was trying to portray though was they were thought to be all-powerful from misconceptions and lies… but it got a little shaky at points. But this was so minor, so so minor compared to the rest of the novel.  I just can’t rave and rave without saying something.

RECOMMENDATIONS: A bit of violence is all you are going to encounter in this novel. Nothing for parents to be that concerned with.  The topics are a tad deep which younger teens might not be able to get into that well. 15+ fans of dystopian a must.  Scifi fans will also very much enjoy. A very good introduction to the dystopian genre.

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