Thursday, 7 February 2013

Inside Out Book Review Based on a Peer's Review

Here is another collaborative review I completed after reading the book Inside Out: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 ALERTthe 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 OVERHowever, 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.

It is clear that my peer and I both agree Inside Out is a phenomenal action-packed book, filled with excitement and meaning.  Regarding the meaning, my peer thought the book had two over-arching themes, which were overcoming deceitful judgments and the complexity of social corruption. I agree with her on both these themes. I found the protagonist, Trella, was in a constant mental battle with herself.  She was always trying to decide if it was worth trusting people to help her defeat the injustice rooted within her society. Another theme I thought applied to this book was finding strength within yourself.  Trella had to learn not to doubt herself if she was going to help to overthrow the corruption  in her nation. Although all the characters in the book are living in a completely different society then we do, my peer felt they were easy to relate to, especially Trella. I am torn with this as I found that the characters seemed believable but I did not relate to them. This might be due to the fact that most of the characters were four to five years older then I am.  Also Trella and I have very different personalities.  She is completely untrusting of people and I tend to trust people a bit too much.  Because she is the protagonist most of the characters were foil and based around her, making them hard for me to relate to.  My peer was also very impressed by Snyder's ability to juggle several characters and give them all important roles. I strongly agree with this and was intrigued by what each individual brought to the story.  My peer was fascinated with the foreshadowing found within the book. Spoiler alert: Some foreshadowing that she found particularly intriguing was the question, why is inside always heated? Implying that it could be located somewhere very cold or in a void like outer space. Spoiler alert over. I agree with her that the foreshadowing within the book was creative and grabbed your attention, however I would have appreciated a bit more foreshadowing as the book contained mainly action.  More foreshadowing would have allowed me to make several predications, which would enhance my reading experience.  One flaw in the book that was identified by my peer was that she found it extremely confusing to figure out where Trella was going as she traveled through the pipes and vents within Inside. I disagreed with this as I found there was enough detail for me to figure out where she was.  An aspect of the book that my peer was especially impressed by was the pace of the action.  She felt it was at the perfect speed so the book constantly grabbed you in but you weren't overwhelmed with all that was happening. I definitely agree with her  as the book held my attention until the very last page. My peer was also fascinated by the twists in the plot that made the book interesting and the outcome unexpected. I agree with my peer on this point.  In the book Trella  faced  many problems but there were a lot of surprising events that added excitement and suspense to the reading experience. 

 " Words are easy, it's convincing the heart that's hard." This quote reflects Trella's situation within the structured and controlled world of the Inside.  Hate controls the population and when Trella discovers something worth fighting for it takes all her courage to take a stand. Life in Inside is predictable and uninventive and there is no room for creativity. Under the strict control of the Pop Cops, the scrubs spend their whole life on a schedule and nothing ever changes. This creates an interesting contrast in the story. Another part of Trella's society that I found compelling was that the scrubs were raised to believe that their thoughts were pointless and they were insignificant.  Their only purpose in their society was to clean. I found this interesting because most corrupt dystopian governments try to make people believe that everything is alright and the way they are living is proper. In the story everyone believe there was nothing they could do to change the conditions they lived in however in Trella's case she discovers something that makes her believe she can.  This added a whole new layer to the story. I was actually quite surprised about the amount of layers in this book because just as you believe you have something figured out a new element was added.  An example of this is when the reader is convinced that the uppers control inside, you soon discover that it is actually controlled from the outside! These layers cause the book to become confusing at times especially regarding its structure.  Just when you think that you have reached the climax of the book it turns out to be another part of the rising action.  This definitely added some suspense as you ask yourself "what else can happen, will the situation get better or worse?" Although it was somewhat confusing it also made Inside Out nearly impossible to put down. You continued to learn new things about the characters and their dilemas until the very last page of the book.  This compelled me to pick up the sequel and continue reading. In all Inside Out is a thrilling dystopian novel full of action and excitement. This book is also filled with inspiring messages such as the impact of hope and what perseverance can accomplish. I defiantly recommend this book to anyone who loves dystopian novels as the book is filled with lots of surprises. 


  1. First of all wow you are very descriptive. You used great literary elements and after reading I learned two things. You are very strongly opiniated and this book interested me. Very good job. Mabey next time try to make it shorter


  2. Wow! your blog is HUGE which I think is great! How do have all this time to make your blog so nice and big? I think your reviews are also really good. You told me everything you thought about the book and still kept me reading. Great Job!

  3. I have so my many posts because any free time I have is spent on my blog, reading, outside and on my Ipad. While I am reading I have a lot of inspiration for posts out of the blue as well. Thank you I am glad you enjoyed my blog and book review :D