By Maria V. Snyder
Review by ME!
In a six-sided, metal world where hope equals pain, Scrubs are taught to fight nothing but the dust and rust, the two evils of Inside. Society is corrupted and strict control is kept on everyone. “Curiosity is a fatal trait in here.” (p. 45). Then comes Trella. Too mischievous for her own good, a challenge she couldn’t resist turns into the catalyst for a revolution. By the time she gets a grasp on just how big the puzzle is, the pieces get more complex and require not just her, but rather a whole society willing to revolt.
Corrupted and tyrannous, the society of Inside is designed and conveyed superbly, and the reader is constantly learning more as characters uncover truths that unsettle the whole population. In that, two themes can be seen: overcoming deceitful judgments and the complexity of societal corruption. The array of characters shares this complexity, however Snyder was able to logically juggle every character as a distinct, important individual. Trella, the story’s protagonist, as well as many of her companions, are very relatable even though they live in a totally different world. This connection was strengthened by the old-timers' comments about things like years (compared to Inside’s current week-based calendar) and sweet sixteen into maturity. Speaking of connections, there was some pretty awesome foreshadowing, SPOILER ALERT the instance that intrigued me the most being: “Why was Inside always heated?” (p. 57), which made me think that Inside was located either in a snowy, icy, cold place, or in a void like outer space. SPOILER OVER However, although most concepts were very well organized, I sometimes found myself having to read a part over to understand things that seemed random; such as the numerous times when Trella was in the pipes and air ducts, then she was there, then she was here, then… wait… she’s where? Action in the book was expertly paced and introduced at the perfect speed, and this brought my view of Snyder’s writing way up, as did the way she justified the success of Trella enough that it didn’t make her seem inhumanly heroic. On a similar note, I was thrilled to find that results weren’t predictable, but rather had a wonderful balance of being unexpected but not cheesy. Having read the summary of the sequel, Outside In, I did know Inside Out’s approximate ending the whole time, but the journey had twists and turns that made me want to read on SO BADLY! So please, help yourself to that same “WOW!” and indulge in Maria Snyder’s phenomenal work of art.
***Please note two things about the spoiler: it may not seem to be one, but it actually is. Secondly, I know spoilers usually aren’t good in book reviews, but I made sure that it doesn’t take away from the review if you don’t read it, but I still included it because it was the best example to put and it really stood out to me when I was reading, so… Hope you don’t mind!
MY RATING: ********`' 8.75/10