Publisher: Mira Ink
Release Date: January 2011
Category: Young Adult, Dystopia
Source: From the publisher
Summary from Amazon:
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? Not like it's all that dangerous - the only neck at risk is my own. Until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution...
After you've read my review, hop over to my interview with Maria V. Snyder and read how she came to write Inside Out and her opinion on dystopia.
There are books like Inside Out where I start reading without even having read the back cover. I vaguely knew that the heroine lived in pipes but I didn't try to know more. There is nothing I love more than being taken by surprise by an original story and going on an adventure in a new world with new rules. Inside Out doesn't disappoint and I was blown away from the very beginning by the life Inside.
In this world where everyone lives "inside", the society is split between Uppers (living a rather regular life in upper/richer parts) and scrubs which have no real life to speak of and clean the pipes of dust and rust constantly for fear of being "recycled" (understand literally recycled). Trella is named "the Queen of the Pipes" by her fellow scrubs. She has no friends to speak of (except Cog) and she doesn't feel as if she is part of the scrub population. Not that there is any group feeling, the fear is so extreme that scrubs don't really have real friendships.
The description of the life inside is so masterfully described that I felt suffocated by the oppressive surrounding. The setting is haunting and you keep wondering, as all characters in the story, where is the outside, what is it and why has no one found it? I loved seeing this world through Trella's eyes.
Trella is one of the most interesting character I have met. I love her take on life and how she came to be queen of the pipes. The other characters we encounter as well as the dynamic between Uppers and scrubs are astutely described and not only could we feel the difference between both populations, but we could understand on a systemic level how the society was organised. In a very subtle way, Maria V. Snyder details with fantastic accuracy the power struggles and the power games played by all parties. I am pointing this out because, having studied political sciences it is an aspect I always look for in dystopian or fantasy worlds and I usually feel that those worlds created are not always viable systems (as in - this society organisation could have never existed) and things usually get foggy in the details. That's why I loved this book so much because it is a fascinating subject (oh boy wait for to read the end, you will love it even more!) and it is intelligently and inventively crafted.
Fans of dystopia and science fiction should really fall for this book and the fascinating world it brings. Thoroughly captivating from the very beginning, you won't be able to stop reading until you find the truth about Outside. Maria V. Snyder has created a fantastic new original series which you shouldn't miss! Trella has become one of my favourite heroines in YA and I absolutely can't wait to read Outside In!
Many thanks to Mira Ink for sending me the book!
Info: Some violent scenes in there so better suited for 11/12+