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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

I have just learned a valuable lesson while I was reading this book. One, is to listen to my friends when they tell me I should read a book, and two, trust my instincts and pick a book I feel like reading. Why? Inside Out has constantly been on my radar and I am one of those readers who said "why did I only read this now?" because really, this book is AMAZING.

In Inside Out, we meet The Queen of the Pipes, Trella, who joins the ranks of numerous fierce and strong female protagonist we have in the YA world. I love it every time an author is able to fashion a unique character having familiar qualities.

Title: Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
Pages: 315
Release Date: April 1st 2010
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Source: Borrowed
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository

Summary (from Goodreads):

Keep Your Head Down.
Don't Get Noticed.
Or Else.

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.

Trella was dubbed as Queen of the Pipes as she knew the pipes like the back of her hand. Her small frame allows her to zigzag through every pipe there is, but Trella did mainly because she wants to get away from everyone. Unlike all the scrubs, she doesn't care, she doesn't share their sentiments, she just wants to be left alone. Trella, always a skeptic, has her paths crossing with "The Prophet", one talking about the Gateway, the door that will lead them Outside. But it was just a myth, and what should have been a test to see if the Prophet was lying became something way complicated that will change Inside. And suddenly Trella, the lowly scrub, becomes a leader of a revolution.

My fascination with the Inside didn't end when I finish reading this book, rather, I want to know what it really is. I think every aspect of this novel is highly fascinating. The scrubs and The Uppers, like the rich and the poor? The privilege and the lacking? Masters and slaves. I think that was how I pictured life in the Inside was, one serves the other while the other gives orders, forever trapped in an enclosed space.

Trella, however reluctant she might be, turned the wheels of fate that will change the whole of Inside with that one trip she made to retrieve the disks the Prophet asked for, for wanting to prove him wrong, creating a series of events that led Trella to start a change in Inside, and her with uncovering a few secrets of her own.

I felt pity for the Scrubs. I've always been for equality, and the Scrubs have their share of unfair and unjust treatment in the hands of the leaders, the Travas, who control Inside. But what if they suddenly find out that the Uppers, the ones they serve for, lead lives that aren't as well off as they thought would be? As the citizens of the Inside learned of the truths and lies surrounding them, the time to revolt came, and Trella is the only one who can lead them.

I loved Trella, no matter how tough she wants to make herself look, deep down she cares. After being bullied when she was young, it became her first instinct to protect herself, and made her feel suspicious and uncomfortable around other people. But who really is Trella? Is she really a scrub? Trella might not believe herself to be a leader, but even with her sarcastic attitude and general dislike for a lot of things, she was able to pull through. That even with her general stubborness, she too is capable of standing up and doing what she thinks is right. And falling in love.

I felt like Riley and Trella's relationship were at times mature, and at times very childish. Riley is an Upper, a smart, curious boy whose curiosity led Trella to him. I loved how "innocent" they relationship were at first, with Trella needing Riley to help her with tasks only an Upper can do. Riley is a sweet, strong boy and his attitude perfectly compliments Trella's. Where Trella is rash, Riley is calm. Riley always seem to be the voice of reason for Trella. He's the type of male lead who doesn't need to assert his manliness, who doesn't always need to be Trella's shadow in order to be described as a strong guy. Riley's strength comes from his ability to think and dependability. And he's the type of guy who isn't afraid to show a girl how he's got stuffed toys as friends.

I have to admit the plot twist for Inside Out, a lot of them, isn't what I was expecting at all, but then again, a lot of things in this novel just wow-ed me. It has its own fair share of action-packed thrilling scenes, as well as  things to reflect on. Should people just follow what is dictated of them, a pre-determined destiny that they do not want, or fight for something, equality, and live their lives freely?

Maria Snyder crafted a fascinating future world filled with familiar circumstances. That those greedy with power will go to great lengths to keep what they have, even if they had to sacrifice countless lives and create the greatest of lies. Snyder's writing evokes feelings from the readers with each turn of the page and each plot twist.

Content (plot, story flow, character):

Maria's writing is just brilliant!

Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!

Book Cover:
Loved the UK version, but this one is pretty as well!


  1. love Inside Out! Trella rocks :)

  2. Liked this book too! Better read Outside In next! :)

  3. I've heard so much about this one, and I can't wait to read it! It reminds me a lot of the book, Worldshaker, which had similar Upper and Lower decks in it as well. That's interesting that Trella just wants to be left alone, when I would have thought that she would be gun-ho to bring about change. Awesome review!

  4. Definitely love the premise of this book. I'm very intrigued about this Inside world, and why exactly are they living inside...nice review!

  5. Thank you so much for this review! I can tell you took some time to write it and thought about it a lot. I can wait to read this and Outside In!

  6. Thanks for reminding me why I got this series. Off to move it closer to the top of the TBR series pile.


    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

  7. I enjoyed reading your detailed review, and I'm adding this one to my wish list. Can't get enough of Maria's Snyder's brilliance!

  8. I would love to read this book. It just sounds amazing, especially the way you explain your thoughts on the story. It seems that the main character is really very vulnerable with a tough exterior, hm? I love characters like that. Thanks for posting this review! It just makes me even more ecstatic to get my hands on a copy.

  9. I really loved this book. I felt completely transported while reading it. It was so refreshing for me at the time. I hope she gets to continue this series.

  10. I first heard about this book right when it came out, but my library didn't have it, and I kind of forgot about it. Recently, I've been seeing a lot about it and I'm still interested. I loved Maria's Study series so I really hope that I end up liking this one as well. The MC sounds great, just like Yelena was in the Study series. Thanks!

  11. I am hooked on dystopian books lately. This one sounds really interesting and different from the ones I've read. I'll be checking it out.


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