As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

April 17, 2011


Inside Out (Harlequin Teen)Trella is a scrub. She works on the lower level of a community where she and her ilk do the dirty work that keeps the operation going, mostly for the benefit of the Uppers. Known as Queen of the Pipes, Trella’s job cleaning ductwork also allows some privacy, as she finds places to hide. To help her only friend, she becomes involved protecting the Broken Man, a prophet who preaches about a mysterious Gateway. Then the trouble begins. (Booklist/Amazon)

Reviewed by Emily, book fiend

In Inside Out, Maria V. Snyder created the nicely ordered world of Inside, where people are divided into uppers and scrubs. They're kept completely separated, and controlled by the Population Control officers, otherwise known as Pop Cops. Things generally go according to plan until Trella hears what the latest "prophet" has to say and is intrigued. Things spiral out of control, and before long, we've a revolution on our hands.

I really liked Inside Out. It kept me guessing the entire time and just when I thought I had things figured out, there’d be a new twist come in to shock me. I like a book that keeps me on my feet like that.

The characters were well-developed and strong. Everyone played a role and over time, those roles became very clear. There wasn’t anything superfluous about it, even when it seemed like something/someone mentioned just in passing.

Really, it’s an excellent book and not getting the buzz it deserves.

Outside In (Harlequin Teen)And then we get to Outside In. Now, the revolution is over and things are going to go smoothly from here on out. There's a newly formed Committee to oversee things, and people are definitely going to do what they're needed to do.

Hah. Nope. In fact, pretty much nothing goes according to plan and then it really gets interesting. I'm seriously hating that I can't really say much more about plotlines without giving away huge things. I'm just going to have to tell you to go read these two books. Because really, you should.

I'm really starting to love dystopia. I started out hating it, thinking solely of things like Animal Farm and 1984 from my high school days. They really colored my perceptions for a long time. Now I'd probably read them with a different mindset and actually like them. I like reading things like this with the added bonus of a couple more decades of living. :D I somehow like knowing that our society really could degenerate to this point and I like hoping that perhaps some of the powers that be are reading the same books I am and taking notes. I know, it's probably a pipe dream, and probably really weird of me, but there it is.

These books, Inside Out and Outside In, are great representatives of the genre. Freaky to the point of being nearly believable and well-written at that. I promise I'm not just being nice because Snyder is one of my favorite authors. These are seriously well done. I sometimes read dystopia with the mindset of finding plot holes and such, but there are none. None that leaped out at me and distracted me from the story, at least, which leads me to believe that there just are none.

Overall, I think this series delivers. In the first book, you have a specific situation and solution. Same thing in the second. The beauty is that it’s not like some other sequels out there, where you have the same situation replayed. It’s the same characters, same setting, but different problems. I really liked that.

I like the characters, I like the situation, I like the struggles, and I like the independence shown. But most of all, I like it when...

Wait. Can't tell that bit. O_o

Okay, you get the picture. Head on out and buy a copy of both books. It'll be money well spent and you won't regret it.

Market: Young Adult Dystopia
Language: Moderate
Sensuality: Moderate
Violence: Moderate
Mature Themes: dystopia, forced separation, conflict

Book formats:

To learn more about the author, visit: Maria V. Snyder

1 comment:

Amy Finnegan {} said...

This sounds like a seriously great book series!! Thanks for your awesome review, Emily!!