Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Book Review: Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

Inside Out

Maria V. Snyder


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 had been on my to-read list for a long time. The Study Series by Maria V. Snyder had weaved its way into my heart a while ago, placing Snyder in my all time favourite author list (others being Shannon Hale, Gail Levine, Patricia C. Wrede and Diana Wynne Jones), so when I learned through jolly old goodreads that she had written a YA Dystopic novel I almost exploded with excitement.

Finally with the help of a library card I was able to get my hands on it and I was not disappointed at all.

The thing that stuck out the most is how original Trella is compared to Snyder's other main characters in Study and Glass and as an amateur writer I know how easy it is to write the same character over and over again. I was also struck at how different the prose style felt to me from her fantasy books.

The world created in this book sucked me in. I found myself calculating how old characters were, comparing centiweeks to years and loving that everything was done in the metric system (honestly if there was no sun or outside elements forcing a number of days into a year I'm sure humans would make it all divisible by 10).

I also enjoyed, as I always do in Snyder's book, how she (whether or not she means to) address cultural differences and how easy it is to be manipulated when you don't know the full picture.

Outside In is now on my to-read list and I'm incredibly ecstatic that I waited long enough to read Inside Out so that this next book is already out.

In Depth Spoiler Review
Oh god, oh god, it is so funny that I kept getting an Across the Universe vibe from the book, yet the entire time I thought it was going have a City of Ember-esque world, and honestly knowing that the next book in the series is called Outside In, it just reinforced in my head that this was a building on Earth, so boy did I freak out when I realized they were in space.

I had to stop, go back and reread the passage about five times before I realized: OH MY GOD COG GOT SUCKED INTO SPACE. And looking back, it was well foreshadowed which for me is a joy to read and I know it is going to be a joy to reread. However I will say that I guessed about Trella's mom almost immediately, either I know Snyder to well, it was too well set up or it was cliché. Any way that was something I did guess.

I also think that the ending, the very end, I guess you could call it the set up for the next book was a nice way to end it off. It makes you want to read the next book and it also makes you curious. One of my biggest "what ifs" is what if you could fit Inside Out into the history of the world in Across the Universe, of course it's different, but I wonder what would happen to this society if what happened to that society happens to them (vague I know, but I don't want to spoil the big secret of Across the Universe).

Also as always with Snyder I adored how the romance was taken care of, there was something very natural about the way it developed and I love how it takes the back burner, only something that just happened to come out of the situation and is not important to the plot, only to the development of the character, yet the spark of romance without over doing it connects with me perfectly.


If you like Dystopic Science Fiction books, Young Adult or Adult I would recommend this book. If you enjoy Maria V. Snyder's other books I recommend this book. If you liked Across the Universe not just for its romance I recommend this book.

This is a book I plan on buying a hardcopy of because I sense that I will want to be rereading it many times over.



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