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VINE VOICEon 28 March 2010
Trella is a scrub. She lives in the lower levels of Inside with all the other scrubs - or at least she's supposed to. Trella mostly lives in the pipes. Her job is to clean them but she also prefers to be there when she's not working. Trella doesn't like scrubs much so she'd rather be on her own ... except for Cog.

Cog is Trella's best friend and almost like a brother to her. They grew up in the care facility together and he's the only one Trella trusts and cares about. That's why she agrees to talk to the prophet. She hopes she can convince Cog that the prophet's tales about Outside are wrong. Instead she finds herself involved in a revolution.

Inside Out is an amazing, action packed fantastically written story full of twists and turns that keep you guessing what is going to happen. Everytime I thought I'd worked it out, something happened to make me think otherwise.

The book throws you straight into the action. The rules and customs of Inside aren't explained outright but you pick them up as the plot develops which is a great way to do it. If it had all been set out at the beginning it would have been a slow start.

The characters in this book are great. It's obvious that they all have a detailed backstory that fleshes out their personality and they all have their own important part of the plot. While Trella isn't the most loveable character, I definitely found myself identifying with her. Living in a cramped over-populated area, It's fully understandable that she'd much rather be elsewhere. Her doubts about Outside existing and her efforts at not becoming close to the other scrubs are just her way of not being hurt or disappointed later on.

A fantastic read for dystopian, sci-fi fans.
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on 12 June 2010
I've never read a Maria V. Snyder book before, so I picked up Inside Out based purely on its intriguing dystopian premise. I can't get enough dystopia, and Snyder's popularity led me to expect great things from this YA sci-fi offering. And boy, did it deliver.

Inside Out is the story of Trella, who is one of her world's scrubs. She exists to fulfil her function as a worker, and risks being 'recycled' if she stops being useful or starts posing a threat to the Pop Cops, who govern Inside with a regime of fear. She only has one friend, she doesn't plan to find a mate or have children, and she's hostile to the prophets who surface every now and then, speaking to the scrubs of 'Gateway' - a rumoured secret exit to whatever lies beyond. Trella's never believed in Gateway, but when an act of curiosity brings her under the Pop Cops' spotlight, she finds herself drawn into the search for this mythical doorway and becomes a symbol of scrub rebellion. In the process she also encounters Riley, a member of the Upper society that Trella credits with keeping scrubs down. Except... he's lovely, and the friendship that unfolds between them gives this sci-fi adventure a welcome gentle side. With snarking, of course.

For all Trella's efforts to escape the confines of Inside, it's a pretty fascinating place for a reader to visit. First, there's the lower levels, where the scrubs live. There you'll find barracks, a canteen serving spinach-flavoured slop, hydroponics, and care facilities where all scrub children are raised - ten kids to one Care Mother. The higher levels are inhabited by the uppers, who actually get their own quarters and a shot at family life. Then there's the huge network of ducts and pipes where few ever enter, except for those like Trella who work shifts cleaning them - ten hours off, ten hours off, for week after hundred-hour week. It's Trella's knowledge of this network that's earned her the nickname 'Queen of the Pipes', and that makes her the perfect candidate for the quest to find Gateway. She's also gutsy, smart, and a total trooper of a YA heroine. Or to put it another way, she rocks.

The fact is, Inside Out is everything you could want in a YA dystopian novel. Loner heroine with the hidden potential to lead a revolution? Check. Intriguing set-up with secrets galore to uncover? Got it. The makings of an addictively unlikely romance? Sure thing. Oppressed masses, imagination-pleasing gadgets, a truly evil female villain... It's all there. It's tense and exciting and compelling and at times it's even... cute. In fact, if I have any doubts about this one, it's that it's a little too spot on. I usually like my dystopians slightly on the out-of-the-ordinary side, and for me Inside Out reads more like it's written to formula. A really, really perfect formula. It even manages to deliver an ending that is simultaneously satisfying and cliffhanging, and that's no small achievement. So, I won't hold its perfection against it. I loved every minute, and I'm counting the weeks till the sequel, Outside In, hits bookstore shelves in 2011.

Inside Out is a book that'll whisk you off to its fascinating future world from the very first page, take you on a breathtaking dystopian adventure, and leave you clamouring for more. It's the kind of book that makes your imagination happy. I'd recommend it to YOU. Yes, you. Go on, read yourself some dystopian goodness.
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on 18 December 2014
I normally love a dystopia/post-apocalyptic story, filled with engaging characters and an interesting plotline.

Unfortunately, for me, this one fell flat. The storyline didn't pull me in right away (or ever, if I'm being brutally honest) and I didn't connect with the characters or their plight to escape Inside.

I was just determined to not have another DNF so I persevered and finished it last night.

I've also tried reading one of the author's other works and I couldn't get into that either so I think this will be the last and only book I read by Maria V. Snyder
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on 10 May 2010
This is the first book in new young adult series from Maria V Snyder. I've read her Study series, and loved it, but I was cautious about reading this one. It's science fiction more than anything else, and I predominantly read urban fantasy generally not liking sci-fi. But a couple book buddies mentioned they loved this book and told me I had to read it. I trust their judgement and tried it. And fell in love.

Trella is a scrub, expected to do her job, keep her head down and stay in line, who only wants space to herself. To find it, she's learnt to hide out in the pipes she cleans. Her only friend is Cog, a guy who gets on with everyone. For him, she agrees to speak to Broken Man, a 'Prophet' who claims to have proof of 'Outside'. He wants Trella to retrieve it and because she can't refuse a challenge, she agrees. The consequences of her actions though, are far worse than she could have imagined.

I liked Trella from the start, although I'm certain she's not the kind of character everyone could like. She's distant and doesn't seem to care too much about anything, except finding a space she can get some peace away from people. Something I can relate to, I like my space too. Cog is more or less Trella's opposite, he cares about everyone. Watching them play off each other is sweet and funny. I don't want to say too much about the plot because I don't want to give anything away. It's a strong, fast plot with some great twists and turns. The end left me hanging and I wanted more badly. It's frustrating to know I've got a wait a year for the second book, Outside In. The characters are well rounded and while they all keep their secrets, we see and know enough about them to care about them. I felt Trella's fear of the Pop Cops easily and came to flinch at their mention. Ms. Snyder pulls no punches with this book and the hint of romance threaded in adds to the overall experience.

A fantastic book and one I'll happily reread. This book may not be my usual style or preference, but it's got great characters and it's a world that while a little confusing to start with, is one you can understand and imagine easily through the narrative. I would highly recommend this book for those aspects, and because I had a tough job putting it down!
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on 28 January 2015
Only 60% through and I keep checking to see how much more I must endure before the end - I hate not to finish a book that I have started. Trouble is, this could have been good: an intriguing story in a fascinating environment. But oh, how two dimensional it all is; a good basis for a cartoon film, perhaps, but no depth at all to the characters or even the cube within which they live. So no affection for any of them from this reader; and without any empathy the story is simply not credible.
The stars are for the basic idea.
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on 10 April 2013
this book is a good introduction into teen fantasy. The story is a nice wee story about an airduct cleaner who falls in love with a boy from the higher classes.
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on 23 February 2013
this book pulled me in despite the fact that I was prepared to be disappointed!Could stand alone but I will read 'inside out' by the same writer.
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on 25 August 2015
These books were brilliant. Really enjoyed them.
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on 12 April 2010
Snyder's Inside Out has all the pace and intricate plot of her all her other series, despite the YA Classification. The characters are lovable and charismatic and fully rounded: there were no moments when I was wishing for more. Inside Out had me on the edge of my seat the whole way, I was completely drawn in to Snyder's new world and was dissapointed at the end of the book when it spat me out. An exciting, lightly romantic thriller that I would be happy to read again and again.

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on 26 January 2011
Starting this book, you are thrown into this strange world straight away - there are no explanations or back-story, which I much prefer as you can get going with the action from the start. Trella is one of the scrubs, who live and work in the horribly overcrowded lower levels of Inside, under the control of the Uppers who live above them. A scrub's life sounds seriously bad, there are far too many people doing EVERYTHING right under each others noses - there is plenty of descriptions of the hot, sweaty and smelly conditions. No mention of disease or crime though, which I think is a bit unlikely given the state of their lives. Trella, understandably, likes to find a bit of peace in the pipes where she works and has explored them better than anyone else, which comes in handy later. She's also a real loner, hates everyone else except her one friend Cog, who she grew up with in one of the artificial family groups that children are placed into. Cog persuades her to meet a prophet called Broken Man, whose tales of Outside are raising the hopes of the scrubs. Trella doesn't believe any of it, but despite herself she is drawn into the search for the Gateway and a violent struggle against the Pop Cops (or Population Control Police) who have a fearsome reputation and a fondness for feeding people to the Chomper for recycling.

This is a fairly enjoyable book, once you've got your head around Trella's world. The descriptions are good and the characters and their relationships are believable. And there's plenty of action too - in fact sometimes it all feels just a bit relentless, whilst people (mostly Trella) seem to recover from injury remarkably quickly.

Although I wanted to finish the book, and there were plenty of plot twists and turns to keep you guessing, I can't say that it ever really gripped me so much that I hated to put it down. Perhaps it's because I couldn't really relate to the world of Inside, or didn't really like Trella very much. She was just a bit too sure of herself to be a truly likeable character, and no-one else in the book was given as much "air time", which was a shame because I think Riley was much more interesting. Perhaps if some of the chapters had been written from his point of view I would have enjoyed it more.

Plot: 7/10
Engaging plot with some events.
Writing Quality: 7/10
Good writing quality
Originality: 7/10
I thought elements were not as original as they could be, but overall it was unique
Characters: 7/10
They were developed well, but some of the characters I did not like as much as I should have.
Descriptions: 8/10
I think there were a good number of descriptions, and I really enjoyed imagining the world they were in.

36/50 = 72%
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