Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Pub Date: April 2010 and February 2011, Harlequin
Format: eBook (two novels in one)
Source: Purchased from BN.com
The world of Inside is simple. Do your job, stay out of the way and don't dream of anything better. Because as every Scrub knows, there are no other options.
Until Trella—the Queen of the Pipes, as some call her—gets involved with a revolution that will rock her world .
Trella was just doing a favor for a friend—her only friend. Hiding an injured man from the Pop Cops seemed easy enough—though dangerous. But then she discovered that the myths of Outside might be real .
Being Inside's hero only left Trella with more work. Ducking those responsibilities, she continued to explore her stark world—and found something she never expected. Strangers. From Outside .
I am a huge fan of Snyder's Study series and Glass series, and since I have come to love YA dystopian novels, I was excited to give the Inside Out series a try. In the end, I did enjoy these books (as a total package), but not to the same extent that I loved Study and Glass.
In my opinion, Inside Out got off to a tediously slow start. I had a very difficult time getting into this book until probably close to halfway into it. I'll admit that if I hadn't paid for it, I might not have chosen to keep reading, but the second half of the book and indeed, the second book in the series, make up for the rather lackluster start. The premise of the story was intriguing, but I think part of what hurt these books was that the characters didn't resonate with me and the story just wasn't particularly visually stimulating to my imagination. The synopsis above gives away next to nothing in terms of what the world is like in these books and I don't want to spoil it for any of you who haven't yet read these, but in a nutshell, it was difficult for me to visualize/accept what Snyder was describing.
As with most any YA book these days, there's a bit of romance, but compared to Snyder's other books, this one is barely believable -- at least that is how I felt with Inside Out. Perhaps if that first book hadn't existed, I could have accepted it a little more readily with Outside In. It's funny, despite the fact that Trella is not really a particularly likable female lead, I couldn't help but root for her both in her role as Inside's hero and her budding romance. By the time the first book ended, the story had really just gotten to the "good part," and so I felt more inclined to continue on with Outside In.
The pace of the second book is much faster and this time I found I couldn't put the story down. We get a deeper look at Trella in this book and I think it is really this story that made me more inclined to root for her and actually start to care. She simply seemed more human and relatable. As far as dystopian novels go, as a package deal, these books are certainly worth the read if you are into this genre. If you loved Snyder's Study and Glass series, be prepared for a completely different world, characters, and story. I think I should have approached these books as if I was reading an entirely new author, as opposed to going into it focused on my prior experiences with Snyder's books.
Individually, I would probably rate Inside Out as a 3-star book and Outside In as a high-4-star book. In the end, as I no longer add half-stars to my ratings, I'll be generous let the weight of my enjoyment of Outside In determine my overall rating: