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.
About the Author
Maria V. Snyder is the New York Times bestselling author of the Study series, the Glass series, the Healer series, Inside Out, and Outside In. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Meteorology from Penn State and a Master of Arts degree in fiction writing from Seton Hill University. Unable to part ways with Seton Hill, Maria is currently a teacher and mentor for the MFA program. Find her on the Web at MariaVSnyder.com.
Read an Excerpt
A vibration rippled through my body. I awoke in semi-darkness, unsure of my location. Reaching out with my hands, I felt smooth sides arching up and in. My fingers touched overhead. Pipe.
A distant roar caused unease, but with sleep fogging my mind, I couldn't quite grasp its significance. The pipe's vibrations increased as the thunder grew louder. Water. Coming toward me. Fast.
I scrambled in the narrow space. My bare feet slipped on the sleek surface of the pipe as I advanced toward a faint square of bluelight emanating from the open hatch. It seemed an impossible distance to reach.
Cogon's voice in full lecture mode echoed in my mind as the water rushed closer. "Someday, Trella. You'll screw up and there will be bits of you raining out of the showers."
I reached the hatch and dove headfirst through the opening, convinced the water rushed at my heels. Landing on the hard floor, I shot to my feet and slammed the door shut. When I finished sealing the hatch, the whole pipe shuddered, then the vibrations calmed as the water returned to its normal flow. The metal cooled under my fingers, and I leaned my sweaty forehead against it, catching my breath.
That was close. Soft bluelight glowed all around the water-filtering machinery. Hour eighteen: I knew by the rush of water. The upper workers adhered to a strict schedule.
I checked my tool belt to make sure nothing was broken and my flashlight still worked. Then I climbed from the ductwork and made my way to level two by taking a shortcut through an air conduit. Traveling through the pipes and air shafts, I avoided seeing my fellow scrubs. But my peace and quiet ended too soon as I opened the vent, swung down and landed in the middle of a crowded corridor, scattering scrubs.
Someone knocked into me. "Watch it!"
"Come to mingle with the lowly scrubs, your highness?" A mocking bow.
Used to curses and hostile glares, I shrugged. The mass of people in the tight corridor jostled and pushed me along. Life in the lower two levels teamed with scrubs at all hours of the week. They moved from work to their barracks and back to work. We were called scrubs because rust and dust were the twin evils of Inside and must be kept at bay; however, scrubs also maintained the network of mechanical systems which kept both uppers and lowers alive.
The scrubs shoved. They frowned. They complained. I hated every one of them. Except Cog. No one hated Cog. He listened. Empathized with tales of misery. Made people smile. A rare occurrence—as rare as a person like Cogon.
I headed toward the cafeteria in Sector G2. It stayed open around the clock. As far as I could tell, Inside's length and width equaled a square with four levels. All constructed with sheet metal. Overall measurements, by my calculations—for reasons unknown Inside's exact dimensions and specifications were classified—were two thousand meters wide by two thousand meters long by twenty-five meters high. Each level was divided into nine areas.
If I drew a square with two lines across and two lines down inside it, I would end up with nine smaller squares. The first row's three squares would be labeled A, B and C, the next row D, E and F, and the last row G, H and I. With this configuration, there were four Quadrants A, C, G and I, which were Inside's corners, and five Sectors B, D, E, F and H. That was the basic map of each level. Boring, unoriginal, and predictable to say the least.
The cafeteria and dining room for the lower two levels encompassed all of Sector G2. The number two meant it was on the second level. Even a four-hundred-week-old scrub couldn't get lost. Hydroponics resided directly below in Sector G1—the lowest level—making it easy for the food growers to send vegetables to the kitchen scrubs.
The hot, musty smell of people packed together greeted me at the cafeteria's door as the noise of them slammed into me. I paused, deciding if eating was worth being in the same room with so many scrubs. My stomach growled, overruling my reluctance.
The line to get food remained perpetually long. I took a tray and waited, ignoring the stares. Most scrubs changed from their work clothes to wear the drab green off-duty jumpers before eating, but I was scheduled to scour an air duct at hour twenty. So I remained in my formfitting uniform. The slippery dark blue fabric covered every inch of skin except for my hands, feet and head. The material helped me slide through the tight heating ducts when I cleaned them. And I didn't care if I was the only person not wearing moccasins. My mocs were back at my bunk in Sector F1. With so many scrubs around to clean, the floor didn't even have a chance to become dirty.
Pushing my tray along the metal shelf, I pointed to what I wanted from three different choices. The big containers held either green-, yellow- or brown-colored slop, and they all smelled like moldy vegetables. The food was easy to prepare, easy to cook and best of all easy to reuse. I didn't even bother reading the names of the dishes. If the kitchen staff called it a casserole, a quiche, a stew or a soup, it all tasted the same. A pulpy, leafy spinach flavor dominated the other ingredients lurking in the recipe.
To be fair to the cooks, hydroponics didn't offer much in the way of variety. Mass production of the hardier vegetables had replaced diversity, and there was only so much a person can do with mutton. I didn't want to be fair, though. I just wanted something different to eat.
After being served, I found an empty seat, and let the discord of multiple conversations roll over me.
"Where've you been?" a voice asked over the din. I looked up at Cog's broad face as he pressed into a seat next to mine.
"Working," I said.
"You were supposed to be done at hour ten."
I shrugged. "Got to make sure the pipes are squeaky clean for the uppers."
"Yeah. Like it would take you that long," Cog said. "You were sleeping in the pipes again."
"You're going to get hurt—"
"Who'd care? One less scrub to feed."
"Grumpy, aren't we? What's the matter, Trella? Get wet?" Cog smirked, but couldn't hold the expression for more than a second. He was soon smiling, unaffected by my mood.
"Shouldn't you be changing a fan belt or something?" I asked, trying to be nasty, but Cog ignored me, knowing it was all an act—although with any other scrub, I wouldn't be acting.
He nodded to scrubs passing our table, calling out hellos and sharing his smile.
"How's the shower head in washroom E2?" Cog asked one man.
"Much better," the man replied.
I had no interest in mundane details so I tuned out their conversation. Instead, I contemplated my only friend. Too big to fit into the pipes, Cog worked with the maintenance crew and did odd jobs. Most of it busy work, just like scrubbing. Too many idle hands had been deemed dangerous by the upper workers.
Scrubs also labored in the recycling plant, the infirmary, the care facility, hydroponics, the kitchen, the livestock yard, solid-waste facility or in the waste-water treatment plant. Most scrubs were assigned their jobs. A Care Mother noted the skills and aptitudes of each of her charges and recommended positions. My smaller size automatically matched me as a cleaning scrub. It suited me just fine.
"When's your next shift?" Cog asked.
"Good. Someone wants to meet you." Cog's eyes held an avid glow.
"Not another prophet. Come on, Cog, you know better."
"But this time—"
"Probably just like the last time, and the time before and the five times before that. All talk. No action, pushing false hope. You know they have to be employed by the upper officials to keep the scrubs from rioting."
"Trell, you're jaded. Besides, he asked for you by name. Said you were the only one who could help him." Cog seemed to think this divine calling should impress me.
"I have better things to do with my time." I picked up my tray, intent on leaving.
"Like sleeping in the pipes? Pretending you're all alone, instead of crammed in here with everyone else?"
I scowled at him. My fiercest frown, which usually resulted in some breathing room.
Cog stepped closer. "Come on. Hear the guy out."
Again, his face glowed with the conviction of a true believer. Poor Cog, I thought. How can he set himself up for another crushing disappointment? How can I turn him down? Especially when he was the only one who remained my friend despite my abuse. And who'd watched out for me, growing up in the care facility together.
"Okay. I'll listen, but no promises," I said. Perhaps I could expose this prophet as a fraud to keep Cog from becoming too involved.
Dumping our trays in the wash bins, we left the cafeteria. Cog led the way through the main corridors of the second level toward the stairs in Quad A2.
The narrow hallways of Inside had been constructed with studded metal walls painted white. Only Pop Cops' posters, spewing the latest propaganda, scrub schedules and the list of proper conduct could decorate common area walls on levels one and two. At least the massive bundles of greenery in every section of Inside helped break up the monotony. Although, if the plants weren't needed to clean the air, I was sure the Pop Cops would remove those, too.
I would never have had the patience to fight my way along the main paths, but Cog's thick body left a wake behind him. I followed along in this space, walking without effort and without touching anyone. A moment of peace.
We descended the wide metal steps. Cold stabbed the soles of my feet and I wished I had worn my mocs. Bare feet were useful in the air ducts, but not in the main throughways.
Cog led me to Sector B1. This prophet showed some intelligence. Sector B1 was filled with laundry machines. Rows upon rows of washers and dryers lined up like soldiers waiting for orders. The laundry was the most populated area, it had the largest number of workers, and every scrub in the lower levels came here for fresh uniforms.
Surrounded by a throng, the prophet had set himself up on an elevated dais near the break room so everyone could see him.
"…conditions are deplorable. The uppers have rooms to themselves and yet you sleep in barracks. But your suffering will not go unrewarded. You'll find peace and all the room you want Outside." The prophet's voice was strong. His words could be heard over the hiss and rattle of the machines.
I leaned over to Cog. "The wheelchair's a different touch. He'll gain the sympathy vote. What's his name?"
"Broken Man," Cog said with reverence.
I barked out a laugh. The prophet stopped speaking and focused his gray eyes on me. I stared back.
"You find something amusing?" Broken Man asked.
Cog stepped in front of me. "This is Trella."
The man in the wheelchair snapped his mouth shut in surprise. Obviously, I wasn't what he had expected.
"Children, I must speak with this one in private," he said.
I had to stifle another snort of disbelief. As if there was such a thing as privacy in the lower levels.
The crowd dispersed, and I was face-to-face with the latest prophet. Long blond hair, thin narrow face and no calluses on his hands. There were no blonds in the lower levels. Hair dye was a luxury reserved for the uppers only.
"Trella," he said in a deep, resonant voice.
"Look," I said. "You're more than welcome to seduce these sheep," I waved my hand at the working scrubs. "But don't sing your song of a better place to Cog. When you go back upstairs to reapply your hair dye, I don't want him left hurting."
"Trell," Cog said, shooting me a warning look.
"You don't believe me?" Broken Man asked.
"No. You're just an agent for the Pop Cops. Spewing the same bull about how our hard work will be rewarded after we're recycled. Oh, you might stick around for a hundred weeks or so, but then you'll be gone with the next shift and another 'prophet' will take your place." I cocked my head to the side, considering. "Maybe the next guy will have a missing limb. Especially if your wheelchair angle works."
Broken Man laughed, causing the nearby scrubs to glance over at us. "Cog said you would be difficult, but I think he spoke too kindly." He studied my face.
Impatient, I asked, "What do you want?"
"I need your expertise," Broken Man said.
"You know every duct, corridor, pipe, shortcut, hole and ladder of Inside. Only you will be able to retrieve something I need."
"How did you know?"
"I've heard rumors about the Queen of the Pipes. Cogon confirmed them."
I glared at my friend. The scrubs in my Care group had given me the title and not because they admired my tendency to explore the ductwork. Just the opposite. They had teased me for my desire to spend time alone.
"Will you help me?" Broken Man asked.
"What is it?" I asked.
"You were right," he said. He leaned forward and lowered his voice. "I used to live in the upper levels."
I stepped back in alarm.
"No," he rushed to assure me, "I'm not part of the Population Control Police. What do you call them? Pop Cops? I worked as an air controller, keeping track of the air systems, making sure the filters were clean and the oxygen levels breathable." Broken Man opened his mouth wide and pointed to a large gap in his bottom back teeth. "See the space for my port?"
"Anyone can have missing teeth," I said. "I know a lady in Sector D1 who'll get rid of anything you want. Including body parts."
Broken Man rubbed a hand over his face. His long thin fingers traced a graceful line down his throat. "Look. I have to spout the propaganda. If I tell the scrubs Gateway exists and the Pop Cops are lying to them, the Pop Cops will recycle me."
I felt as though he'd shot a stunner at my chest. He mentioned Gateway in a matter-of-fact tone. Gateway was a myth in the lower levels. The Pop Cops insisted no physical doorway existed to Outside. But stories and rumors circulated despite their claims, and everyone liked to speculate on its location.
The Pop Cops' prophets preached that Outside could only be attained after a person's life ends. And only if the person worked hard and obeyed Inside's laws. If a scrub was worthy, his inner soul would travel to Outside while his physical body would be fed to Chomper.
Most of the scrubs believed this Pop Cop dribble. I didn't. Souls were a myth and our bodies stayed trapped Inside.
"Come again?" I asked Broken Man.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Though I have never officially reviewed any of Maria V. Snyder's books before, I am a long time fan. Her Poison Study trilogy got a second read-through from me, which rarely happens. I will also recommend Poison Study to just about anyone who asks me for a good book recommendation. Her Glass series is equally excellent and I am looking forward to the conclusion this fall. So suffice it to say I was absolutely stoked to know she would be releasing a young adult book! Trella lives Inside, a futuristic place where people are treated like scrubs and worthless machines. Trella is an anti-social teen - she'd rather sleep in the pipes she is assigned to clean than mingle with the other scrubs. Because of this, others call her the Queen of the Pipes. She has accepted her dreary life as just another hard-working scrub in the Lower Levels. Her best friend Cog (like the machine part) is a believer, one of many who perpetrate a rumor of the Gateway, or a way out of Inside. During some of her usual work shift mischievousness, she falls (literally!) into the friendship of an Upper named Riley, and her whole world changes. This meeting sparks a series of events that will push Trella's skills and beliefs to the limits. But along the way, she learns she may have more to believe in after all. One word can sum it all up for me: WOW. Just... WOW. Once I had started reading it, walking away was out of the question. This was a fantastic distopian vision of a future life. Inside was terrifying and claustrophobic. Snyder has a tendency to write strong female characters with seemingly endless amounts of stamina, and Trella falls into this role nicely. The action sequences were not only supremely intense, but there were many of them. My heart raced, my blood pounded, and I swear I even held my breath once or twice. And all racing towards an ending that left me gasping for more. I also feel strongly that both boys and girls will like Maria Snyder's stories, as they all have tons of action plus plenty of intimate elements as well. If you have never tried Maria V. Snyder before, this is definitely the one to start with! All of this is making me wonder: when is the movie coming out?!
Trella is a scrub - but she's not your average scrub. She has one friend and prefers to spend her time in the pipes rather than with the overcrowded living quarters of the other scrubs. They're forced to clean the Inside for the Uppers. Trella doesn't know much about the world, but when her friend comes to her and says there's someone who wants to meet her, she's suspicious. What she discovers is something she never imagined. Unknowingly, she starts a revolution. Now, people who once scorned her are helping her complete tasks, steal food, and giving her valuable information, all for the hopes of a better life. Everyone wants to know what's on the Outside. Everywhere Trella goes, danger follows. The Pop Cops have captured her best friend. He's sentenced to die if she doesn't get to him in time. They're watching her every move and questioning her acquaintances. Plus, she doesn't know who to trust. She's going by her instincts, but the last time a rebellion occurred, the leaders were betrayed. Trella's hoping she trusts the right people and, with time running out, hoping that they find something that makes all their sacrifices worthwhile. Inside Out is an edge-of-your-seat science fiction action adventure ride filled with twists and turns you'll never see coming. Maria V. Snyder has quickly become a favorite author of mine. I love her Glass series and her Study series. I can't wait to see what she and Trella have in store for us in the next book of this series.
Interesting summary up there. I have to be honest. I put off reading this book for awhile because of that summary. I'm not exactly sure why, but maybe it's because I prefer a little more information than what was given. That's just my preference and I know not everyone feels the same way. Either way, I finally got around to reading it and I'm glad I did. Inside Out was friggin amazing. There is something about Maria V. Snyder's writing that I absolutely adore. I loved the Study series, and if it's even possible, I might have loved this book more. The characters were impeccably written. The story was fantastic and suspenseful. The setting was out of this world. Snyder's writing is perhaps a perfect balance of all the things that matter. Everything that makes a book special was there. She makes you care about her characters and her plots are like a movie on paper. I think I like the settings of dystopian novels the best. They are always fantastic and special. There is great world building to be found in them. The hiding in the pipes and the Pop Cops. And then there was the rebelling of the scrubs and Trella sneaking into the upper-levels. The setting and the events that took place in it were just so vivid and compelling. If I have one complaint, it's that I think Trella and the other scrubs got out of sticky situations too easily. Just when you thought something was over for them, they would get saved in an all too convenient way. This happened more towards the end and I found myself thinking, "too easy!" on several occasions. But it is what it is. It was still a fantastic book. I totally want to read the next one, and I will as soon as I can get my hands on it. If you like dystopian novels, I'm pretty sure this will be satisfying. I thought it was pretty special, and it is one I will likely read again in the future if I ever have time to re-read another book. Unlikely.
I didn't automatically gravitate to this book. I received a copy for review and it just sat there on my bookshelf waiting. I'm ashamed that I let it sit there for so long because when I did read it, it blew me away. Science Fiction is something I've always had a love-hate relationship with. It all started with the original Stargate movie and the X-Files. It's never really a first pick for me as far as reading goes. But Inside Out might have changed my mind. The entire concept is what i truly loved about this book. The fact that you don't know where Inside is until the very end leaves you hanging on suspense through the whole story (but in a good way). Inside is a very structured place, everyone has a job to do and is expected to do it...unless they want to have a date with the prop cops who'll most likely throw them in a machine that turns you into plant fertilizer. I really have to give Snyder props for world building. Not only did she create a structured and believable world but it was also fun and interesting. Sure it wasn't as complex as say...Harry Potter but it was still pretty awesome. The politics of Inside could have easily been confusing but there explained so well that it just works. Trella is officially a favorite YA female heroine. She is strong and independent, sure she has her flaws (like her stubbornness) but who doesn't have flaws? The journey she goes through in this book is an exiting, fast paced, emotional one. Her world basically crumbles and starts to rebuild from the ground up. She goes from being one in thousands of scrubs to being the 'go-to girl to lead a revolution'. She starts to fall in love for the first time, looses a beloved friend, and finds out she has a family. This book is filled with awesome, interesting characters. The tec-nos are probably my favorite...well aside from Riley. If your looking for a fast passed fun and interestingly different read, you should definitely check this one out. Excuse me while i go read Outside in....
Trella is a scrub - but she's not your average scrub. She has one friend and prefers to spend her time in the pipes rather than with the overcrowded living quarters of the other scrubs. They're forced to clean the Inside for the Uppers. Trella doesn't know much about the world, but when her friend comes to her and says there's someone who wants to meet her, she's suspicious. What she discovers is something she never imagined. Unknowingly, she starts a revolution. Now, people who once scorned her are helping her complete tasks, steal food, and giving her valuable information, all for the hopes of a better life. Everyone wants to know what's on the Outside. Everywhere Trella goes, danger follows. The Pop Cops have captured her best friend. He's sentenced to die if she doesn't get to him in time. They're watching her every move and questioning her acquaintances. Plus, she doesn't know who to trust. She's going by her instincts, but the last time a rebellion occurred, the leaders were betrayed. Trella's hoping she trusts the right people and, with time running out, hoping that they find something that makes all their sacrifices worthwhile. With INSIDE OUT, Maria V. Snyder leads readers on an edge-of-your-seat science fiction adventure ride filled with twists and turns you'll never see coming. Snyder has quickly become a favorite author of mine. I can't wait to see what she and Trella have in store for us in the next book of this series.
This reminded me of a lot of young adult science fiction I read as a child: Monica Hughes's Devil on My Back and H. M. Hoover's This Time of Darkness immediately spring to mind, and I'm sure there were many others. Those were books I loved and that really got me interested in science fiction at that age, so I really loved the trip down memory lane as much as I loved the story itself! Hopefully Inside Out will lead many new readers to discover science fiction as well.
I'm such a sucker for dystopian fiction. I love it possibly too much, and I absolutely devour pretty much anything out there on the subject that looks even the smallest bit interesting. As a fan of Maria V. Snyder's Study and Glass series, I was even more excited to see what she could bring to the dystopian/post-apocalyptic fiction genre. I've also been noticing a surprising jump in the amount of this type of fiction being released in the YA genre (ex: This World We Live In, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, The Hunger Games). It's interesting to see the popularity of the genre in the YA market and, while I sometimes would like to see these novels being a little gritter, there's something about a YA approach to dystopian futures that gives them an added level of fascination.Snyder's first entry into the genre (and, in some circles due to the argument over the classification of her other novels, into the YA genre) is an interesting trip through a unique world. In Inside Out, readers meet young Trella, a Scrub who works in a dark world known only as "Inside." When Trella meets a Prophet claiming he knows how to get Outside, her world will never be the same.Perhaps my biggest issue with this novel is the exposition and the explanations of the world. While I typically don't have problems with writers inventing their own slang or terms, etc., I felt like Snyder just started using all of the vocabulary of her world without a lesson for readers. This left me scratching my head for much of the book and I'm afraid I missed out on a few things. While the world is very well-crafted and unique, it didn't quite get explained to readers well enough and I found myself frequently getting confused.Overall though, Inside Out is a decent entry into the growing YA post-apocalyptic genre filled with wonderful action and an exciting premise, but with a few small kinks. I hope that later installments of the series are a little more solid, but look forward to them nonetheless.
I'm not sure what I had expected, but Inside Out took me completely off-guard! With nail-biting suspense and a crew of uniquely-talented and passionate characters, I found myself anxious to find out what exactly is going on in Trella's world! Unexpected answers that lead to more terrifying questions, but I totally loved the journey! This book can standalone, but if you want to know what happens next, then check out the upcoming sequel Outside In!
I really, really wanted to like this book. I tried so hard, but about halfway through, I realized that I hated it, hated the main character, and just wanted the 'oppressors' to take over and be done with it. Heh. Not usually a good sign in a dystopian novel.What went wrong for me was the way the book was set up: Rather than present a main character in a situation where something major happens that forces a change or action, we're given a character already stuck in an established situation with no apparent reason for zooming in on her life. Nothing remarkable is happening. There's no catalyst for her to change. There's no reason why she should be acting differently from the other people around her, no understandable reason for why she should question authority or think that life should change.And that's what bothered me. When you have an individual living in a dystopian society, there must be a catalyst or specific reason that causes that individual to question the status quo and come to the major realization that things are not as they should be. If someone is living a certain way for their entire life and doesn't know any better (particularly in the way this story is set up), why would they just wake up one morning and decide to rebel? That's not logical. I found nothing likable about the main character, and I didn't have a reason to root for her because there was nothing that spurred her to action in the first place (that I could tell, anyway). If it happened, it happened before the story opened, and that doesn't exactly make for interesting reading. And the 'big twist'? Made me groan audibly. Sorry Snyder fans, but I won't be continuing with the sequel.
Trella is an amazing scrub. She cleans the pipes in the lower levels and hides in them to keep out of the overpopulated halls. She has animosity for the residents of the upper levels. There is mistrust and misinformation between the levels.Her friend , Cog, introduces her to a "prophet". Cog wants more than anything to believe in life outside of the place where they live. This prophet goes by the name of Broken Man and preaches to the lower levels about the better life awaiting them "outside." He tells them about the reward awaiting them if they continue on almost as drones. This is an attempt to keep the scrubs calm and working. The prophet is really a rebel and gives Trella a challenge she cannot pass up.This begins an intriguing story about the force of the masses and mankind's desire to have a better life. There are many twists and turns. Snyder has written a wonderful story with a few surprises. I loved the Study series by Snyder and was not let down in this sci-fi book. I look forward to reading the next story "Outside In." I purchased my copy as an eBook on my kindle.
This dystopian young adult book is an entertaining quick read with aspects of a survival story, a mystery (complete with twists) and of course a coming-of-age romance.Seventeen-year-old Trella lives in a giant cube with other ¿Lowers¿ like herself. They all work for the ¿Uppers,¿ never seen by the Lowers except for the Upper police force. The Lowers do the dirty work of the cube, and are known colloquially as ¿scrubs.¿ Trella, because her job is to clean the ducts, has been able to make her way (illegally) all around the pipes of the cube. She also is pretty much of a loner, except for Cog, her best friend from when they were toddlers. Cog believes there is an ¿Outside¿ to which they can escape someday. He convinces Trella to meet with yet another ¿prophet¿ who periodically appears among the scrubs to assure them that if they are obedient in this life, they can get from the "Inside" to the "Outside" in the next.Everything changes when the prophet is in danger and Cog wants Trella to help. She is in a unique position to do so because of her duct work, so to speak. And when Trella accidentally falls through a vent and meets an Upper ¿ Riley, a young teen about her age who is also hiding out ¿ all her preconceptions are challenged. Soon they are all fighting to survive, and it seems like their only hope is that there really is an Outside.Discussion: For some reason, strong female teen protagonists in dystopias also tend to be self-absorbed, bristly, cynical, and defensive. In other words, they seem to be the teen equivalent of the strong female adult who is considered to be a witch for playing on the same field as men. I suppose if you¿re trying to negotiate a dystopia, it won¿t help you much to be an Anne of Green Gables, but I¿d like to see a little more balance.I loved, however, how the author expressed the way Trella coped with emotions that might weaken her:"Distractions would be dangerous, and all our efforts would be for nothing if we were caught¿ I squashed my fear and worries into a small metal box and dropped in the shattered remains of my heart for good measure. Locked with an obnoxiously big lock, I pushed the container into a far corner of my thoughts.¿Trella does grow a bit in the book, especially with the help of the sweet and caring Riley, but she never loses her edge. Evaluation: I wasn't crazy about this book, but it's nevertheless appealing and has likable characters - even Trella, who clearly has her thorns out only to protect herself from hurt and pain. I did have a couple of quibbles though.Riley is, in my opinion, a little too soft to be a good match for Trella ¿ I wasn¿t buying the chemistry there.Also, the author came up with an abstruse time system that I felt needlessly complicated the story. Thank heavens Trella also gave her age in ¿old style¿ because I was totally not going to do the math!
One thing I love about Maria V. Snyder is I can always count on her to give me a nice, strong female protagonist. I wasn't disappointed with Inside Out as a result.Although part of the story reminded me a bit of Uglies by Scott Westerfield (especially the beginning) it quickly veered away into a story of secrets and uprising against the unfair. Mix in a bit of mystery and you have the makings for a heart-pounding thrilling tale.Although I loved this book for it's own reasons, it isn't by any means, perfect. One of the surprise "twists" could be seen coming from a mile away and there were a few parts in the book that just seemed to be a bit too neatly handled - everything falling into place a bit too easily. But overall I was very pleased with Inside Out and will happily recommend it to any fans of dystopia.
The first in a dystopian duo set in the future. Trella is a scrub working (and living) in the pipes she cleans, as part of an underclass in a mysterious society. Whilst there are similarities with Snyder's previous books (in particular characterisation and cliimbing) this is a much bleaker book. However, it's a thoroughly enjoyable book with plenty of intrigue and you really want to know what's going in in this world and whether the Scrubs will gain any freedom.
INSIDE OUT, by Maria V. Snyder, is a fast-paced and unique story that will keep you on the edge of your seat....the entire time! Snyder created phenomenal characters, hair-raising plot twists, and a resolution that will make your head spin. I immediately connected with Trella. She was a bit of a loner who kept one good friend. She kept low key, which enabled her to explore her way through the air ducts all over the Inside, and it earned her the name 'Queen of the Pipes'. But, her extended knowledge of the Inside roped her into a situation that affected the lives of everyone on the Inside. Character-wise, I loved the relationship dynamic between Trella and Riley. Two people from different 'levels' finding more in common than they ever dreamed fueled the rebellion and its leader. I hoped and hoped that these two would get together throughout the whole book. And no, I won't tell you if they did!Snyder is truly a fantastic writer. Her prose is amazing and I was able to visualize everything that Trella saw in the Inside. The book was detailed and very thorough and I found myself tuning out everything else around me while reading. At the end of the book in the Acknowledgement section, Snyder said that this was a 'dream book'. She saw the characters, twists, and ending in her dream and wrote it all down. I am always looking to my dreams for inspiration and I am happy to know that it is possible!It's extremely hard to write an un-spoilery review for this book. I spent all my non-reading time trying to figure out what was Inside and Outside and when it was revealed I was absolutely blown away. All I can say is.. GO GET THIS BOOK!
I really enjoyed this story "Inside Out" by Maria V. Snyder. Its unique in that Snyder builds this whole universe that really is just built like a square disected into four levels. The Lower level citizens are Scrubs like Trella. They do all the dirty work keeping the world running. They are overcrowded to the point that no one even has their own beds and they have to sleep in shifts. They are taken from their mothers at birth and run in care facilities. The uppers, they believe, are housed in suites with their families. They get all the good jobs and are lesser in number than the scrubs. Above the uppers are the Controllers...those select few that run the entire world. This gives you a brief idea of the world Snyder has set forth, but its only a glimpse as the world is far more involved and complex. This is all very compelling and original. As a reader, I wanted to know where these people were really? Why were they being herded and watched over like sheep? What were the uppers and controllers hiding? The book works on so many different levels. A class of middle or high school students could argue and debate the many themes found in this novel. However, here is why this book suffered in my opinion. Trella uses the air ducts to pass secretly through the levels. Understandable in a great idea...however the first 2/3 of the book feels like endless passages of her moving through those ducts in great detail. It became repetitious and slowed the book down dramatically, at least for me. I was bored enough at the beginning that I began another book, which I nearly never do. I always knew I would pick back up and keep reading about the Inside, because the world set up was so fantastic. I just needed to break up the many dull trips through the vents. That said, if the plot of this book even slightly catches your eye, do pick it up. It is intriguing and well worth reading. You probably won't forget this world soon. I do plan to pick up the next book
I wasn't sure what to expect when I first picked this book up. I've only read Snyder's Storm Glass and heard great things about her Study series but this story sounded so different from those two series. If you enjoy dystopia's I think this is a nice book to add to the list. The first half was solid but not "I can't put the book down" and the second half really had me hooked. I think one of the greatest parts of this book is seeing the transformation Trella's character goes through in how she views her fellow scrubs, the uppers and herself. The supporting cast of characters are also great. Each person has to face the prejudices they hold about the Uppers and the Scrubs and see past the propaganda they have been fed about each other in order to find out the truth about the world they are living in. And call me cheesy but I really enjoyed the relationship between Trella and Riley and how they use mama sheep and baby sheep to push past some awkwardness (yes, you need to read it to understand). LOL. Probably the only minor issue I had was keeping track of the time units in the book. I was never good at math and started losing track of how long their "weeks", "centiweeks", etc was so I had no real idea of how old these characters were or how long this "world" had been in existence. Other than that I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
Inside Out is a unique view of the usual conflicts between the societal class structure of haves and have nots. The Lowers are charged with the care taking of the world in which both they and the Uppers live. Keeping mechanics purring, maintaining the cleanliness of duct work and a variety of other custodial tasks the Lowers are thought to truly be the bottom of the barrel.To add insult to injury they do this all as a result of living in a police state. They are made lower not by choice or even by circumstance, they are such by being oppressed by the higher class. They are forced into labor, made to dress a certain way and even eat according to the choices of others. These people do not have any freedoms at all.Main character Trella is a Lower, her responsibility is to crawl through duct work sanitizing it so that the Uppers have clean air. She should be a relatively simple character but Snyder has created her with depth and complexity. Sure, she knows her station in life and she knows she shouldn¿t want more but she does. She wants to know what Upper is like, she wants to experience the differences and what she perceives as the luxury and most of all she wants the freedom to do so.This is where everything in her life (and frankly the lives of everyone) starts to change. Trella explores the duct work, memorizes its every nook and cranny until she¿s fluent in the language of her surroundings. She¿s bold and in some ways carefree enough to expand her exploration over time until she finally finds herself in Upper. Only now she¿s not entirely alone. She¿s met Riley, an Upper boy.Their romance is certainly intriguing as it builds over their mutual desire to seek a better understanding of how the division of power both came about and can further be destroyed. The latter is where most of the story is told. Will there be a revolt? Will there not? How do they get there and stay safe if it does? All questions to ponder as you read this book.In addition to building a convolutedly simple and sparse world ¿ it seemed quite box-like to me ¿ Snyder does an excellent job with character development. From the almost rabid Pop Cops to the group of unexpected conspirators from Upper and Lower we meet a great variety of personalities. Through them all we learn lessons on trust and loyalty, love and friendship, but above teamwork.Inside Out is an excellent dystopian read with a strong female in the lead. It has the potential to teach readers valuable and useful lessons all while keeping them entertained.
I really enjoyed Snyder's Study series and was looking forward to her YA debut (because, despite common belief, the Study and Glass series are considered adult novels). Unlike Yelena, the Study series's heroine, Trella takes a while to warm up to. However, her story was unique and riveting and her voice did it justice. Also, Trella softened during the course of the novel and I found my feelings about her softening as well. My one complaint (and it's kind of a big one) - the story felt like a Disney version of a dystopic society. While the issues were serious, the characters were caricatured. Despite this, there are plenty of twists to be found in this book and I can't wait to see what the sequel, Outside In, has in store.
make me want to find out what was going to happen next. I was happy to pick it up whenever and got easily distracted. I liked Trella. I liked how she grew and that her opinion of other scrubs and the uppers changed. I bought into her world view shift. And the whole cube where she lives is brilliant. The way they count time, the organization, the differences between the uppers and scrubs. Cool. Yet, Trella's romance fell flat. I love romance in my novels, kissing scenes are my favorite. I didn't buy into her and Riley and worst of all, the kissing was Wimp. So between the lack of romantic tension and low excitement for the plot (though it was cool), I wasn't all that impressed.BUT THEN I read the ending and it was awesome. In the context of what is going on outside of their cube, it's an awesome premise. It got me REALLY excited to read the next in the series, Outside In.
I am so glad I had low expectations for Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder, because it blew my mind. I often set the bar high for books that I read and wind up disappointed, so I was quite pleased when the opposite proved true while reading Inside Out.Inside Out is a dystopia which takes place basically in this huge building structure. I can't tell you what the structure is because that would be giving away so many spoilers. But if you aren't slow you'll probably figure it out much faster than me. Trella is a scrub which means she cleans the pipes of the building for the uppers. Everything changes in Trella's world when an upper is banished to the lower levels. No, they don't fall in lurve. The society is fascinating, as is how the people are controlled based upon population, rights, and how much living space each gets.You all know how much of a stickler I am for characters. Trella is exactly what I like in a protagonist. She is headstrong. She makes her own decisions and sticks to them. She's also a loner, which I am able to relate to at times. I loved watching Trella grow and change throughout the novel. Honestly, she drives the story, her words will pull you in. The story is told in first person, and will grip you until the very last page.Also, can we just talk about Riley super quick? Riley is a secondary character, and ahhh, awesome. He's kind, smart, and there's a scene with a stuffed animal which made me love him, you know in the way that you can fall for certain characters.If you like the sociology of Mistborn, then you'll most likely enjoy Inside Out. If you're a sucker for revolution and uprisings and class conflict, then bro, you need this book. The pacing is super fast. Inside Out will keep you up all night turning pages, plus it will make the wait for Mockingjay go by much faster.
Trella is a scrub, just one of the thousands packed in like sardines in the lower levels who keep Inside clean. Because of her penchant for roaming the miles of pipes around Inside to steal moments of peace for herself, Trella is known as Queen of the Pipes. And her superior knowledge of getting around comes in handy when she inadvertently starts a rebellion against the ruling Upper family of Inside and their brutal Pop Cops.I don¿t often get fangirly in my reviews, but OMG does this book make me giddy! I¿ve been thinking about it non-stop since I finished it last night, and I am excited to share what made me enjoy it so (spoiler-free of course).This dystopia has a very sci-fi feel, especially when you realize that everyone Uppers and scrubs alike are essentially trapped within a very large, self-sustaining cube. It gets you spinning theories as to how they got there, why they¿re there, and who controls ¿gateway¿ (the way out all scrubs are hoping really does exist).This cube setting was difficult for me to imagine initially. Trella does A LOT of crawling through the pipes from one sector to the next, so it made things much simpler once I drew a diagram (there¿s a detailed description in the first 10 pages that starts you out) to help me imagine the distances and locations of everything.Speaking of Trella... She¿s hard to like at first. She¿s a stubborn, skeptical loner with a prickly, sarcastic personality. But as the story progresses, and she starts to let her guard down, your heart goes out to her as you realize it¿s the divide and conquer techniques of the rulers that have molded and manipulated her (and everyone else).And boy are the rulers messed up. Seems they seized control from a more democratic initial leadership, and make sure nobody is in the know except for them. Anyone who doesn¿t conform to their 10 hour on, ten hour off shifts, who asks questions, or forms noticeable friendships is fed to the Chomper. They have a strict one child policy for the Uppers and encourage pregnancy in scrubs (but take the children away). There¿s a lot of food for thought here on eugenics, class warfare, and such but it¿s worked so well into the plot and action, you never feel like you are getting an info dump.The plot kept me engaged throughout with its clever twists and turns. Along the way we get to know a great cast of characters, all of whom felt real to me (even the rat guy who was only given one page of face time).My absolute favorite character was Riley, the Upper boy who becomes Trella¿s ally and romantic interest. He is so YUM, I want to create a button that says ¿Team Riley¿ (though there¿s no other team to be on really in this book) and post in my sidebar right under my ¿Team Peeta¿ button. I loved his and Trella¿s scenes together, and how his silly sweetness really draws her out.Ok, now that this is officially my longest review ever, I¿ll wrap it up by saying the ending packed a punch. I thought it concludes this chapter of life Inside very nicely (the story arc feels complete, no cliffhanger), but still makes you eager to read further adventures when they come out. I just hope the next installment, OUTSIDE IN, due in 2011, has lots and lots of Riley!
Predicted the 'twist' pretty early on so the suspense wasn't really there.
Wow, what to say about INSIDE OUT by Maria V. Snyder? It¿s hard to form concrete thoughts about the book when my mind keeps replaying the story over and over again. If I had to sum it all up, I¿d say that this book was a fantastic story of discovery, rebellion and love. To shorten it even more ¿ this story was awesome.Trella is a scrub, a young girl assigned to work in the lower levels of Inside. Every day is the same, spend half of her time cleaning the air pipes and the other half sleeping. Occasionally she¿ll find some time to eat and take care of necessities, but every day is the same. Change is actually such a rare occurrence that it literally stops everyone dead in their tracks. When Trella¿s life is interrupted by change in the form of the prophet, Broken Man, it¿s no wonder that she is less than thrilled about it.Living in a world where everything is controlled by the Pop Cops and the Uppers, Trella has to fight to learn who she is and what part she plays in the journey that is unfolding before her. Leading a rebellion may not have been at the top of her to do list, but when the rest of the Lowers start to look at her as the revolutionary they have been hoping for, well, what¿s a girl to do?Part of what made this book so fantastic to me what Snyder¿s writing style. INSIDE OUT was very easy to read although there were a few concepts that could have been quite confusing. Snyder really created a world quite unlike the one we live in and yet she still managed to make it very understandable without being too obvious. We¿ve heard it before ¿ show us, don¿t tell us. With so many new ideas and explanations required, Snyder could have easily just told us about the changes in this new world. Instead, she did an amazing job of incorporating this education into the story and allowing us to discover it as the book progressed.I do believe that Trella is one of my new all time favorite characters. She¿s a strong girl and yet a believable one. She has her weaknesses and yet Snyder did such a well job developing her that she refrained from turning angsty. There¿s something about Trella where even though nobody would ever want to fill her shoes and the horrible conditions she lives in, she¿s still a person you want to be. Funny when she can be, strong when she wants to be, she¿s a well rounded and relatable character.I believe that Science-Fiction lovers of any age will truly appreciate INSIDE OUT. While it is technically a Young Adult book, there are some older themes in it and the overall feel of the story would work for both Young Adults and Adults in my opinion. Snyder didn¿t just spend all her time creating great characters and letting us see what kind of shenanigans they can get into. She also spent a considerable amount of time creating a fantastic world and a great storyline. Her descriptions are colorful and he imagery is such that it really feels like the reader is transported into the story as an active participant.I loved INSIDE OUT and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a change from reality. This was a new and different story that left my fingers flipping the pages as quickly as my eyes could follow. I did receive this book as a temporary file to review, so now the challenge is going to be sneaking out and buying my own copy.
I'm having a love affair with Maria V. Snyder! Everything she writes, I love. Nevertheless, I'm such a big fan, I'm almost anticipating major disappointment. Thankfully, that disappointment never came!Inside Out was so good, I could not stop reading it. Ms. Snyder simply picks up the reader and drops him or her right into a new world. Usually, when you read one of her books, it takes you awhile to figure out what the heck is going on. What time era is this? What technology are they talking about? Who are these people? Well, that happened here as well. And I LOVED it. For one entire day, I lived with Trella as she climbed the pipes, met the Uppers for the first time, doubted herself when wondering whom to trust, and ran from the Pop Cops. The plot has been told in other reviews so I won't repeat it but it will make your heart race!Will I read the next book?I'll probably pre-order it months ahead of time!
I really liked Inside Out. It had a nice arc for the main character, who goes from caring about no one to being fully involved in her world. I like stories about plucky heroines who figure out how to overcome a fascist system. The world is interesting and a little creepy. It is kind of a cross between Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series and the movie The Cube, but Snyder's storytelling abilities overcome the fact that it's slightly derivative.