Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
Keep Your Head Down.
Don’t Get Noticed.
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.
First of all… wow! This is definitely going on my list as one of my top favorite dystopian novels. Not quite up to Hunger Games but really close. Note: this may contain slight spoilers.
Trella was a complex and interesting character. Enough flaws to make her frustrating at times, but she eventually realizes her selfishness. (Maybe that’s just satisfying after my class on Shakespeare and having the mantra “know thyself” repeated endlessly…) I could sympathize with her excessive need for solitude. She has spunk and a backbone, which is nice in a female protagonist. Her reaction to the woman who is possibly her mother was true to her character.
The supporting characters were all interesting in their own ways, even through the lens of suspicious Trella. The relationship between Trella and Riley doesn’t seem too forced. I despise the insta-love that seems to be so popular, so the fact that they didn’t vow their undying love for each other by the end was a relief.
The plot line is launched pretty much from the get go and keeps up a brisk pace. Time is handled well throughout. She also weaves in her background information “dumps” in an unobtrusive way without it sounding forced.
The Not So Good:
It’s not that the ending wasn’t good, but it seemed like there were too many surprise near-endings. Maybe that was just me wanting to know how it ends, though. There were also some really obvious clues, which meant no real surprise at times, though there were enough surprises to keep me turning the pages. Also not so good: I’m still waiting for the library to get the next book in.
Caution to younger readers: There is a lot of violence and some torture involved. However, it isn’t explicitly described.