Outside In (Insider #2)
Maria V. Snyder
Publication Date: January 3rd 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Dystopia, SciFi, Young Adult, Mystery
Me? A leader? Okay, I did prove that there's more to Inside than we knew.That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion—between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled. Because of me, we're free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again—while still touching base with Riley, of course. He's the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learned that there's outside and then there is Outside.And something from Outside wants In.
What a rollercoaster! Outside In is just as good as Inside Out, perhaps even better (I haven't quite decided yet). It focuses a lot on the aftermath of a rebellion, how things don't just become magically better just because the main rebels feel it must. Uppers and Lowers still think of themselves in those terms and Trella went ahead and destroyed the utopian dreams of a lot of the Lowers with the revelation about just what is outside. In general things are not easy and I don't blame Trella at all for just wanting to stay out of it. She never meant to be the one to start the revolution and yet still everyone looks at her to fix everything and all she wants to do is explore.
Trella is a joy to read once again. I can never get over what a clean change this writing style and character is from Snyder's fantasy books. I can barely connect that they were written by the same author. I grew attached to all the secondary characters as well. Snyder enjoys exploring the theme of trust which resonates with me as that's a theme of my life I've been exploring the past few years. Who do you trust, why do you trust them and can people be forgiven?
One thing that did bother me, is no fault of the actual writing, but the fault of the summary on the back and the title, and that is the fact that something from Outside wants in. The problem being this isn't addressed and realized until pretty late into the book and is a pretty big revelation, I'd have liked it better if that would have been a surprise. Then again it was the promise of something from Outside that got me to want to read this book so badly, so I'm not sure what the publisher's and Snyder could have done about it.
The setting once again is very detailed and feels real. Most of the world had been fleshed out in the first book, so this time it is just assumed we know what's going on and I like that. We get a closer look into all the systems that make the Inside work and I had no problem imagining each area in my mind. Which leads to a completely random thought, but Inside Out and Outside In would make awesome movies, just saying.
Under this spoiler section let's start with Trella's personal growth. First off, she does not accept her Mother right away and that is to be expected, but slowly her mother grows on her and it's a nice progression to watch. Then there is Trella and Riley whose relationship I really like. They are not perfect, they fight, and he means so much to Trella (as seen when she literally cries and mopes over losing him). The sad realization that her job wasn't finished after the rebellion is also realistically come to. I know that I personally hate the aftermath of a hard job, it leaves you drained and poor Trella doesn't get one moments rest with everyone wanting her to fix everything.
One thing I'm very proud of is I totally did not trust Bubba Boom versus Jacy. It just seemed to nicely wrapped up for Jacy to be the bad guy. The fact that the ones to blame are Hank and the Outsiders is very nicely done. It touches upon the fact that the Lowers pretty much had a religion dedicated to Outside and the Controllers and Trella had pretty much just ripped that away, thinking nothing of it.
The Outsiders! Oh I wish I could learn more about them. I want to know what they did to get exiled from the Inside, how long they had control over the systems of the Inside, what will happen to them next. It makes me want to beg for a third book in the series (although the titles don't really leave room for any more). The way they underestimated everyone, especially Trella was amazing only because when Trella pretty much kicked their asses there was much enjoyment all around. She is one stubborn girl who feels the need to protect everyone and they have grown so bitter that I'm not sure they understand it.
Oh before I finished, I think that Snyder has a thing for torturing her characters, first Opal and then Trella twice! I actually have a friend who adores stuff like that (She loves it when her favourite characters are tortured, especially loves it when they die, but apparently the best is when they die and then come back to life). I do love how strong it makes her characters seem though.
If you have not read Inside Out go read it! Right now! I swear it will be worth your time! Then if you have read Inside Out read this, I demand it. After writing this review I've decided it is better than the first. If you like fast paced books read them both. If you like dystopias or sci-fi at all read them both.