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Insiders #1

Inside Out

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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.

320 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2010

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About the author

Maria V. Snyder

76 books16.9k followers
When Maria V. Snyder was younger, she aspired to be a storm chaser in the American Midwest so she attended Pennsylvania State University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology. Much to her chagrin, forecasting the weather wasn’t in her skill set so she spent a number of years as an environmental meteorologist, which is not exciting...at all. Bored at work and needing a creative outlet, she started writing fantasy and science fiction stories. Over twenty novels and numerous short stories later, Maria’s learned a thing or three about writing. She’s been on the New York Times bestseller list, won a dozen awards, and has earned her Masters of Arts degree in Writing from Seton Hill University, where she is now a faculty member. Her favorite color is red. She loves dogs, but is allergic, instead she has a big black tom cat named…Kitty (apparently naming cats isn’t in her skill set either). Maria also has a husband and two children who are an inspiration for her writing when they aren't being a distraction. Note: She mentions her cat before her family.

When she's not writing she's either playing volleyball, traveling, or taking pictures. Being a writer, though is a ton of fun. Where else can you take fencing lessons, learn how to ride a horse, study marital arts, learn how to pick a lock, take glass blowing classes and attend Astronomy Camp and call it research? Maria will be the first one to tell you it's not working as a meteorologist.

Readers are welcome to check out her website for book excerpts, free short stories, maps, blog, and her schedule at http://www.MariaVSnyder.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,932 reviews
August 18, 2021

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POISON STUDY is one of my f a v o r i t e fantasy books of all time, so obviously I would jump at the chance to read anything else this author ever wrote because I am all about supporting my faves. As of my writing this, this YA science-fiction duology is on sale for $1.99 each (8/16), which is why I ended up getting both books on the cheap.

INSIDE OUT came out in the middle of the big YA dystopian trend following in the wake of THE HUNGER GAMES'S popularity. It kind of falls into a subgenre of books that I like to call "sewerpunk," in that it takes place in the below-ground, kind of like METRO 2033, ESCAPE FROM FURNACE, and QUEENE OF LIGHT. In the world of INSIDE OUT, scrubs clean and scavenge the pipes and uppers do, I don't know, administrative/bureaucratic-type work. Trella, a scrub, is known as Queen of the Pipes for her in-depth knowledge of the sewer system, as well as her high and mighty attitude. She also inadvertently becomes a figurehead of rebellion for the people when she accidentally gets involved in a revolution and uses her know-how to further their agenda and disrupt the regime.

INSIDE OUT was simultaneously better and worse than I expected. I felt like the dystopian world was more well-imagined than I anticipated. This isn't really a HUNGER GAMES clone: it stands on its own two feet as fairly innovative, so props for that. I also liked that Trella was so reluctant to step up to the plate. She liked being alone and antisocial and didn't want the whole nightmare mess that came along with being a revolutionary, which I found totes relatable. I like difficult, stubborn heroines who have realistic flaws and occasionally act selfish. Spare me the sacrificial Christ figures, okay?

On the other hand, I was pretty confused on how everyone ended up belowground. And it wasn't really clear what the difference between uppers and lowers was. What about agriculture? They had food and talked about sheep-- but sheep eat grass and need sunlight. Where was that food coming from? Are there farmers? You can't tell me that there's just military, bureaucrats, and scrubbers. Also, I didn't really buy the sort of romance between Riley and the jokes about the hero's stuffed animal sheep ("Sheepy") were painful and needed to go away. It was an odd split-- here you have a book were people are fed to execution machines ("Chomper") and yet there's cutesy jokes about stuffed animals.

Also, don't expect me to take your military police seriously if you call them Pop Cops. The whole time I was reading this book, I kept thinking about PopCap Games, the manufacturer of Bejeweled and Plants vs. Zombies.

This wasn't a terrible book but it could have been a lot better.

P.S. Major cliffhanger ending.

2.5 stars
Profile Image for Misty.
796 reviews1,232 followers
April 11, 2010
Okay. Let's begin with the fact that I got a digital copy of this early, which -- no, no, no, let's go back farther. Let's begin with the fact that I met MVS back in November (and I never posted pictures or notes of the rollicking good time that was had by all), and at dinner, she told us about the book she was working on that was due to come out in, oh, 1/2 a year (the tease). It was a YA dystopian novel she says, and then I drifted out a bit, because could she have said anything more up my alley? Maria V. Snyder, she of the series' and the characters that make my book club get really loud and inappropriate and, dare I say, fangirlish, was writing a YA. DYSTOPIAN. NOVEL. She somehow read my dreams.

But I didn't want to get my hopes up. Too 'up', anyway, because that's not fair, and there were all kinds of what ifs. YA dystopia is not her norm -- what if she can't write YA? What if she can't write dystopia? What if I *gulp* hate it.

What if I drive myself crazy with worry slash ineeditnow, when I know damn well that it's going to have her talent and character-driven goodness behind it. Back to the "getting the digital copy" bit, I found it on NetGalley and snagged it for review, and what was I worried about?

All of the things I loved about Snyder's adult books are her in Inside Out. I care about the characters, I see a budding romance, but on a YA level, the writing is super fast paced and catching, and it flows wonderfully. Trella is definitely rootforable, and ya love her even when you want to shake her. There was great tension and edge-of-your-seatness, and the world is fully realized and intriguing, just as her worlds always are. All of this I've come to expect from Snyder. AND there are 2 more good things, which I wasn't expecting. 1 - the beginning had me right from the start. Now, this isn't to say that her beginnings don't generally grab me, because that would be a lie, but they sometimes feel like beginnings to me -- they feel clunkyish or awkward. This was a "plunge right in, sink or swim" beginning, and it worked beautifully. #2 - she shocked me. ME. I'm never surprised by anything that happens in a book. I always see it coming, at least in part, and it's generally a question of how well it's done. But even though I perhaps should have known -- clues were dropped, I'm not an idiot -- she shocked me. I didn't think it could be done. Hats off, Maria.

So I think that's all I can say. I don't want to give anything away, I just want you teased enough that you'll go out and grab this, because trust me, it is well worth it. And then you can sit and wait anxiously with me for the sequel, Outside In.
[laughs diabolically:]
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,423 reviews215 followers
May 30, 2018
Inside Out was an interesting read. I was instantly hooked and devoured this book without even realizing it. This book had a couple of good twists and turns that I enjoyed a lot. I will definitely be diving into the rest of this series.

Now even though I enjoyed the book, the characters were kind of meh. Good, but not really memorable or remarkable in any way. They were like characters I've read about so much that they probably wont stick with me in the future.

Trella was a cute character. Again, not really memorable but I did enjoy learning about her. I think her family was interesting enough but her relationship with her mom definitely reminded me of my relationship with my mom. There really isn't one. It's invisible. Besides that I loved her friendship with Riley a lot.

Overall, it was a cute book. It had okay characters and an interesting storyline. I'll definitely be continuing with this series just to see how it plays out and maybe the characters will get more interesting too.
Profile Image for oliviasbooks.
778 reviews518 followers
January 3, 2022
Short review: Great, inventive, dystopian fiction with a surprising ending that makes you jittery for the sequel, a tough, edgy, likable heroine, some tragedy, a little romance. The world building met exactly my taste: It was a little like the film "The Isle" and a little like the young adult novel Exodus by Julie Bertagna, but altogether pretty unique.

Long review (especially written for Teccc): Trella, who is by the old time counting system about seventeen years old, lives in a building that is her entire world, because no exit is known to the inhabitants. The world - called "Inside" - has existed for about 150.000 weeks now. A week consists of 100 hours and splits up into five work shifts and five off-time-shifts for each grown-up. Nobody knows what and where "Outside" may be. Rumor has it that the souls of well-behaving Insiders are released to the Outside, after their body has been fed to the "Chomper". "Inside" is two kilomenters long and two kilometers wide and has four levels, which are segmented into sectors. Apart from staircases and elevators the levels are connected by heating vents, water and electricity pipes, laundry and waste chutes. The population forms two classes: The 2.000 "uppers", living in the upper two levels are all decendants from ten powerful families. The 18.000 scrubs living and in the crowded barracks on the lower two levels believe the uppers live idle lives in spacious apartments, having to care for nothing, making decisions that effect them all without checking back. Although a passive attitude prevails, many scrubs resent having to live in large dormitories devoid of any privacy, having to hand over their newborns to a Care Mother in the care facility, laboring in the recycling plant, the laudry room, the vegetable or mutton farms, getting checked, punished or killed for misbehavior by the so-called "Pop Cops", the population control set up by the ruthless Trava family, who is in charge of Inside Security.
Those who desperately wish for change set their hopes high whenever a "prophet" starts to gather followers. Prophets generally either preach that somewhere a "Gateway" to Outside must be hidden by the uppers, or that everything will end or begin when week 1.000.000 has been reached. Cool-headed Trella stays away from prophets. In fact, she tries to stay away from people altogether, which is almost impossible for a scrub, but she manages: Trella belongs to the pipe-cleaning-team, because her body is small and flexible. Instead of sleeping in her shared bunk she secretly crashes in heating vents or water pipes. It is widely assumed that Trella even knows every nook and niche of the pipe system in the upper levels, which is strictly off-limits to the majority of the scrubs. Her nickname "Queen of the Pipes" travels to the latest prophet "Broken Man", a wheel-chair-bound degraded upper, who claims to have hidden proof of the existence of "Gateway" in an upper level air-vent. Trella complies to help as a favor to her best and only friend Cogan, a mechanic. On one her dangerous journeys to the upper levels, which mark the slow start of a scrub revolt and bring her into the focus of the Pop Cops, she accidentally gets to know Riley, a teenage upper. And she begins to see, that her view of the uppers had been heavily colored by Pop Cop propaganda and that the secrets and problems of Inside reach much further that she had imagined.

Some reviewers complain that the talk about the design of and the day-to-day life of Inside delivered during the first chapters put them off. I did not feel like complaining. I soaked every detail up and fed it to the picture that constructed itself in my head. Throughout the story, bit after bit was added to the first bigger chunk.

Trella is a wonderful heroine. You could say she is more young-adult-compatible than Yelena or Opal. She did not suffer more traumas than the rest of her fellow scrubs. She does not seem older than her age. She isn't that tough. Her Care Mother (CM) loved and secretly encouraged her to think for herself, her care sibling Cogan looked out for her and held bullies at bay. She has spunk and she dares to cross boundaries. She spices up her life by challenging herself. She despises the other scrubs for their compliance and shakes her head about Cogan's sunny disposition and his wish to get along with everybody. Her journey of personal growth is believable.
Cogan is a wonderful best friend and Riley is a perfect love interest. There were characters who seemed to be good and turned out to be twisted in the end, and there were characters who could or could not be trusted, but you never knew. The Trava family reminded me of Commander Ambrose's security people. Yes, the whole set-up with everybody wearing the uniforms indicating their position and handiwork reminded my of the society of Ixia. In spite of that Mrs. Snyder has created something entirely new and different from her Study/Glass world.

The question prevailing my thoughts after reading the last page was: "When can I pre-order Outside In?" There are so many possibilities hinted at by the astonishing ending.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,990 reviews298k followers
June 1, 2011
I was looking forward to a matrix-style reality and all kinds of philosophical questions about life, death and whatever... it didn't deliver. I struggled to finish it, I'm afraid.
Profile Image for Annalisa.
547 reviews1,378 followers
December 4, 2013
I'd say this is a cross between The Uglies and . Interesting, but not completely original. I struggled understanding some of the world, especially the way she calculated birthdays and eventually gave up trying to figure out how old everyone was or how much time had passed. Plus, there were some minor discrepancies/holes in her world that gave me pause (like the rotating of shifts that supposed to be half on/half off, but then staggered when it was convenient). Some of the plot twists or character availability/knowledge seemed a little too convenient too.

Having said all that, her world is vivid and I have a clear picture in my mind of Trella and the Inside. The more I read the more intrigued I became with the plot. The intensity had a nice crescendo through the book. I wasn't surprised by the end, having watched that not-well-known movie in my spoiler, but it was still interesting. And Snyder includes a lot plot twists to keep you turning pages. The story was good enough, it just felt too much like the Uglies for me to be wowed by it. And of course, it's a series. I've committed to only reading the first of a series and being okay with those loose ends at the end.
Profile Image for Brooke.
136 reviews167 followers
June 2, 2011
Wow. I definitely underestimated this book. So good!

I'm not going to say much, because it's not really a book you can review in detail without giving much away.

Maria Snyder creates an intricate world which is so easy to get caught up in. I must admit, it confused the heck out of me at first and on several occasions I considered setting the book aside, but I'm so glad I didn't. I needed to do a few 'read-then-re-read's of sentences to make sure what I was reading made sense, but after you catch on to things, the language is easy to follow. I think pages 80-100 was where my attention was really 'captured' (pardon the pun).

I wasn't a big fan of Trella at first, but she grew on me as the book progressed. She's tough, and sometimes she came across as insensitive, but with the life / upbringing that scrubs have, you can't really blame her. Riley, Logan and Jacy I loved almost instantaneously - each personality had a witty, clever and easy to like aspect, and I was hanging to read more about them once the book was finished.

I can't wait to get my hands on Outside In - I know it's already released overseas but I'm hanging out until the Aussie Version is released in July (I've got a bit of OCD when it comes to having the same edition for each book in a series) ;o)

To anyone who loved The Maze Runner or Across The Universe - I'd definitely recommend this one for you.

Profile Image for Anne Osterlund.
Author 5 books5,501 followers
January 27, 2011
Trella is the Queen of the Pipes. Capable of climbing places where NO ONE else can go on the Inside. Not her fellow scrubs, forever hemming her in, or the uppers—the exalted upper level inhabitants who think they control the scrubs. No one controls Trella.

Because she doesn’t connect.

But the chance to find Gateway. The chance to escape the Inside.

THAT is a challenge Trella can’t turn down.

A challenge that matters to everyone on the Inside. Enough for people to risk their lives. The workers in the cafeteria. The old acquaintance who accepts torture. The profit who winds up in hiding. The young man who breaks through Inside’s social class barriers to help her.

But can putting their faith in Trella possibly be worth it?

Loved this! Prison Break meets—dare I say it?—Academy 7. After Poison Study, I think this is my second favorite Maria V. Snyder book.
Profile Image for Lenore Appelhans.
Author 8 books685 followers
March 1, 2010
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!
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,917 followers
March 22, 2011
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

My rating would possibly be higher, but the fact that I've read The Hunger Games this year is keeping me from liking this book any more. Comparing the two is unavoidable.

Suzanne Collins said she was watching a reality show on one channel and footage of the Iraq war on the other when she got the idea for The Hunger Games. I'll take a wild guess and say that Snyder got the idea for Inside Out while watching that great National Geographic special about the Berlin Wall. :)

This IS most definitely an allegory for the Berlin Wall. After a military coup, a single family rewrote the rules and separated the population into two groups: the Uppers and the scrubs. There is a strong barrier between two parts of the population, and it's impossible to cross. What's on the other side of the barrier (or in this case on higher levels) sounds like a promised land, but Pop Cops (Population Control Police), led by the ruling family, are everywhere, ready to kill anybody brave enough to think about crossing. Still, there are tunnels and air pipes that can take you to the other side, but you have to be crazy enough to try AND ready to die the second you are caught. Only the very loyal and privileged can legally cross from one side to the other.
There is also a very strong propaganda on both sides, designed to strenghten the barrier and to create distrust between the groups. Even the little things like food on one side and on the other can be linked to East and West Berlin.

I don't want to write any spoilers and going into details and drawing more parallels would certainly lead to that.

I will read Outside In next, and make my decision on the series after that.
Profile Image for SARAH.
135 reviews153 followers
December 26, 2021
this is so bad i want to give it a zero, but that's not possible so i give it a one

this review contains spoilers.

inside out follows its protagonist, trella, who is essentially the lowest of the lowest humans which means she has lived her whole life as someone (a scrub) who cleans for the uppers. trella occasionally while still completing her tasks, sneaks into pipes that allow her to move around inside freely. only one day, she accidentally starts a rebellion, and the entire scrub population depends on her.

sounds fun right?

not at all.


→ characters: 0.5/10

→ plot: 2/10

→ romance: 0.5/10

→ writing: 1/10

.・゜゜・ᴛʜᴇ ᴅɪsʟɪᴋᴇs ・゜゜・

if you're reading this review to help decide whether you should read this book, save yourself the time and read something else. i promise you're not missing anything.

the problem with this book is the immense lack of details, or to put it bluntly, bad writing. it is simply impossible to picture anything in the story, especially trella's living conditions. all I could envision were the "pipes" she always traveled between. that's not the worst part about his book, though.

the ending of the story was ruined by lack of details (again bad writing) and plot holes. in the end, trella defeats the antagonist (i think?), lc karla, a vicious lieutenant, who took satisfaction in capturing and killing members of the rebellion. but readers don't actually know what happened because all trella did was 'stun' lc karla and a few of her workers. stunning doesn't mean killing. in addition to this, there are thousands of 'pop cops' (weird name, i know) who work under lc karla and her family trava's reign. so it doesn't add up that once karla is stunned life seemingly goes back to normal.

-1 brain cell

the book itself is also very boring. in the first half NOTHING happened. please have a better plot. i sometimes like to admire the energy and dedication it took to read this 😔

- 2 brain cells

as for trella, she was vanilla ice cream. same goes for the other character, 'broken man' (it's his penned name and i can't seem to remember his real name so broken man it is), he was the one who originally summoned trella to help him find 'gateway.' trella at first says no but then on the STUPID YA GIRL IMPULSE she goes and retrieves a file he needs. the thing is i would've liked broken man if he had some personality, we literally just see him and trella trying to find 'gateway' while he is hiding from the pop cops. like he wasn't even funny. his character was simply there to just ✨FuRtHeR✨ the main character.

- 500 brain cells

moving on, the romance between riley and trella was underdeveloped and unnecessary. there was absolutely no chemistry between these two. they kiss twice and then they're already declaring love for each other.

no, seriously.

riley gives trella a necklace that signifies "they are in a relationship but are taking things slow." to say i choked on my capri sun reading this would be an understatement.

-10000000 brain cells

.・゜゜・ᴛʜᴇ ʟɪᴋᴇs ・゜゜・.

literally nothing, but if i had to choose the setting i guess? i think i finally learned my lesson, never read ya books published in 2010. i thought i learned my lesson after reading city of bones, but i guess not. for sure waste of time.

if you'd like, you can check out more book reviews on my blog.

→ 1 star
Profile Image for Janina.
214 reviews526 followers
August 29, 2010
Inside Out is definitely totally different from Synder’s Study series, but set in a fascinating new world that I was drawn into from the very beginning.

Inside is an intriguing place. Divided into four levels, it is the home of the uppers and lowers, also called scrubs, and a wonder of modern technology. Especially the scrubs suffer from shortage of space and the constant presence of the Pop Cops, who ensure that everything runs smoothly and according to the Controller’s orders.

Trella is a scrub and works as a cleaner in the pipes of Inside. She mostly keeps to herself and wishes for only one thing: to have some privacy and to be left alone with hopes for escape and a better life ‘Outside’. But then a new prophet claims he knows the location of a Gateway, and the only thing Trella wants to do is prove him wrong. But soon afterwards, she finds herself caught up in the beginnings of a revolution and all her beliefs about herself and her fellow Insiders are challenged …

The first half of the book is a bit slow, but I thought that this was more than compensated by the vivid and detailed descriptions of Inside and Trella’s life there.
Trella was a fascinating heroine. Introverted and disillusioned at the beginning, she begins to make new friends and to trust and appreciate those close to her slowly. You could watch her grow throughout the novel and abandon some of her prejudices, but she always stayed true to herself.
The romance plot was very small, but felt genuine to me. However, I found the development a bit too hurried at the end. Snyder could definitely have left some of that open for the next volume.
The secondary characters were sometimes less developed, but intriguing nevertheless. I liked that you could never truly know if somebody was a dedicated rebel or a traitorous spy. It kept up a constant suspense.
The ending totally took me by surprise. Inside Out definitely has left many questions open that I hope will be further explored in Outside In, the sequel coming out in 2011.

All in all, the only complaints I have: Sometimes, solutions to problems came rather easily with the help of new inventions or the discovery of some computer data, which I found a bit unrealistic and often a little hard to follow.
Also, the heroine's voice was just a tad too young for me, makng this almost middle grade material (although Trella is around 17).
Nevertheless, I'll be reading the sequel.
Profile Image for Maggie ☘.
538 reviews659 followers
August 28, 2016
*3.8 stars*

“When the effort fails, is it worth the cost?”

Inside Out is captivating read, with some surprising twists in the storyline, full of interesting sci-fi elements - if you're into that sort of thing, if not you'll struggle to get into it at the beginning. (Like me, I have to say). Characters were ok, but not truly remarkable (I hope that the second book will change that). There is little bit of romance, but no love triangle and it's not getting into the way of the story like in lot of Ya.

It's more of sci-fi, but the story has some elements of Hunger Games. For example -
“For the first time, I was the center of attention. Everyone watched me as if I were a bomb. Would I explode and cause a disaster or would I pop and cause a miracle?”

This is the type of - it's not you, it's me - read. I'm not the biggest fan of Sci-fi or Dystopia, I guess. Except for Hunger Games and The Lunar Chronicles, I can't recall any book from this genre that I actually love. Although, I'd definitely appreciate if you recommend me some of your favourites.

I still remain huge fan of Snyder's books and will definitely read the sequel soon. (I blame you, cliffhanger!)

“No hope, is worse than fear.”
Profile Image for Jen.
1,464 reviews34 followers
June 20, 2019
This is one of my longest owned unread books and I really wish that I’d gotten to it sooner because it was great! It wasn’t perfect and definitely contained the usual tropes that you’d expect from a dystopian novel. But I still really enjoyed it!

It’s been a long time since I read a dystopian that evoked feelings similar to when I read The Hunger Games, Legend and Divergent (the series that I consider to be the “classic dystopians”). This book came pretty damn close to doing that. The author did an amazing job at creating high stakes suspense and tension and maintaining that throughout the book.

I really enjoyed the unique and interesting setting of this book. The concept of how time was measured a bit confusing at first but definitely something cool and different. Finding out that we’ve only barely scratched the surface and there’s so much more to discover about this world only makes me more excited for the second book.

There were quite a few plot twists (some of which I found predictable) but that ending completely threw me and gave the potential for the series to go in a wholly different direction.
Profile Image for Mariah.
124 reviews45 followers
July 1, 2010
I received this book just as I was starting to read Maria's first novel Poison Study. So I was kind of comparing the different styles of the different series. That was probably not very fair because I absolutely loved the Poison Study series, while I was not as enamored with this book.

Because of all of the amazing dystopian books that are available, this one needed to be amazing to really stand out in such a large market. And while I enjoyed it, it kind of fell flat. The premise was good and overall it was ok, but the middle was really boring, I trudged through it because I wanted to know what would happen.

The characters, well there weren't very many of them until the end, when they showed up one after the other, so I did not feel that I was able to understand more than Trella and a few others, at the end all of the unknown characters were confusing.

While this book could have been fantastic, it was ok, and I will be reading the next book to find out what happens, but the middle was monotonous and the ending was rushed. Overall an ok book. It did not really stand out like in needed to. Hopefully the next book will be better.
10 reviews
April 24, 2013
rating: 2 stars
summary: horrible book

This book was atrocious and was the first book I've read by Maria V. Snyder I have since given her several more opportunities to "wow" me or show me what kind of writing she is capable of and each time it has been quite disappointing.

'Inside-Out' is another typical young adult dystopic, novel where the main character for some reason can change/save the world and of course has a love interest blah, blah, blah the list goes on.
The main character I found VERY hard to connect to and her situation further still, she was too stubborn and I found the ATTEMPTS at making her appear strong-willed and independent to be quite futile.
it also follows Maria's typical novel structure: strong female protagonist + some form of torture + situation where odds are against her + a group of trustworthy friends that she conveniently wins over + coming out on top at the end = every Maria V. Snyder novel that I have read. thus I feel like its the same character in a different storyline, like an actor in a different movie.

I thought a deeper exploration of the world Maria had created was over due and her limited description to be poorly done and interspersed sparsely throughout the book, she had created an ENTIRE fictional world and as a reader I want to experience it, I want to be immersed within this place of scrubs and pop cops (pop cops? really? maybe it's just me but when it comes to villians, this name robs them of their image, it takes away their image and thus their integral role in the book and storyline!), although she repeatedly explained the dangerous situation that the protagonist was in I never FELT it, it is one thing to say something, it is another to describe it. Describe the world around her! Tell me more about the consequences, the laws the intricacies and the differences between the two distinguished classes (of course she does to some limited extent); if these aren't achieved then as a responder I am unable to feel any empathy, I am unable to connect to the entire story, I am unable to experience this book, and in this aspect the author has failed to deliver.
I also find the author's writing style quite hard to...enjoy, it's not hard to follow, or confusing in fact it's quite an easy read (if you find it interesting) however I slaved through 'inside out' and I HIGHLY doubt I will buy or read the second.
There is more I have to say for this book however I do not like to give scathing or overly negative reviews so I will stop here.

For those who are scanning through reviews for opinions, i'd say this is the book to get if you're just looking for something to read IN BETWEEN trying to find a GOOD READ. It's not amazing or brilliant (or good) but it will get you by, I had to slave through it's pages but I hope it's more enjoyable for those of you out there who do decide to purchase it.
Profile Image for Kathy.
2,741 reviews5,975 followers
January 28, 2012
Maria Snyder's Study Series has been one of my long time favorites so I was excited to finally get around to reading Inside Out. This book ended up being far different from the Study series but I still enjoyed it.

It's hard to say much about this one that isn't a spoiler. Inside Out is a dystopian story with a science fiction twist. There were many things that were similar to several other dystopian books I've read recently, it helped to remind myself that this one was written prior to those books.

Maria Snyder proves once again that she is a great writer. Great characters and lots of twists and turns made for a fun read. There was romance in this book but it wasn't the main focus, more of a side story.

Although I definitely enjoyed the Study series more than this one I can't complain because this was a great young adult book. As soon as I finished I started in on the sequel.

Rating: 4 Stars - Great Book

Content: Clean - there may have been a mild swear word or two but I can't remember anything else

Source: Download from Audible.com
Profile Image for Camilla.
111 reviews
February 2, 2011
This was probably the only book I've ever read where I went to sleep still thinking about it, and woke up still imagining the possibilities of what was going to happen next. The world Snyder has created is truly fantastic, out of the norm, and even heartbreaking. After I read the last page, I learned that Snyder actually got this entire idea, a long with the characters, the twists and even the ending. . . from a dream! After learning that I was a little shocked, but once I thought about what I just finished reading, it's really not that hard to believe. As you read this book, it becomes so real, just like a dream you come to experience, where you are engaged in every moment. All of the components, rules, and jobs that are included with the guide lines to this world, leave you shocked and amazed at the total brilliance of everything. Snyder has captured the true essence of a dream, and brought it to life with her amazing writing and creative imagination. A dream can only take you so far, and Snyder took that extra leap to give us the opportunity to engage in this extraordinary world where characters fight for the chance to experience the real world. . . to experience the Outside.

Welcome to the Inside. A world where scrubs clean pipes for ongoing hours, or work at another job that allows the Inside the run smoothly. Everything circulates, and everything is reused; it's a giant cycle inside a secret world. Thousands, and thousands of scrubs fill the lower levels, to the point where it's hard to move, and the stench of everyone's sweat, odor, and clothing leaves you feeling trapped.

They have systems, and rules that leave everyone barely holding on to the harsh environment. Though, Trella has adapted to the pipes and has been given the name; Queen of the Pipes. She sleeps in them, and she knows every nook and cranny when it comes to pipes. She keeps to herself, and doesn't exactly enjoy the accompany of another scrub, except Cog. He is one of her long time friends, and he is one of the few scrubs that manages to keep a smile on his face. Trella is a quiet scrub, but everyone knows how good she has become with entering and getting to know the pipes; which is exactly why the new prophet, Broken Man, has asked to talk to Trella. He knows Trella's capabilities, and has asked her to seek something that he hid a long time ago. He starts to speak of the Gateway, which has rumored to be the door of freedom, which leads to the Outside. A few believe in it's existence, and Trella let's her curiosity decide whether to trust Broken Man or not. Trella finds what he's looking for, but she never thought that it would trigger something bigger, something dangerous.

Now Trella has become apart of something where there's no looking back. She must lay low, and keep her doubts to herself, because the Pop Cops and the Travas know fear when they see it. Trella must gain the trust of others, and learn that other scrubs are willing to help. This is where Trella's skills really come in handy; she must hide from The Pop Cops, and avoid LC Karla, because they are looking for the scrub who started this all, the one who is behind all of this. She may not entirely believe in The Gateway, but as she discovers more, it looks like it's existence can be proven, and maybe there is a way out of here . . . if they aren't caught and loaded into the Chomper before.

This book was so amazing, and the ending was a major WOW! I cannot wait to read the sequel Outside In, and see what happens next!!!!!

Profile Image for Brittany.
21 reviews
February 6, 2013
I guess I'm in that minority that hates a book that everyone else loves...yet again. I mean honestly, was I just destined to be that pessimistic? I guess so. But excuse me for liking real and quality literature. Oh well, guess it's more fun to hate something then to like it.

Writing Style
Okay Ms Snyder, I will hand you something. You do know how to hold attention. The start intrigued me and was very climatic...except that sense of resolve was on every page of the book. It was just frustrating and annoying that I felt like I was getting nowhere. Which made the climatic, anti-climatic. You know that terrifying feeling when you think that the book has a happy ending, but there's still too many pages left? Well that's every chapter in this book. 'nough said.

Trella. I hate her. Broken Man. I feel sorry, but still hate him. Cog. I liked him...he died. Because of Trella. I really hate Trella.
Trella is a self-centered bitch. She doesn't follow the rules and he just causes problems for everyone. She treats the only person who likes her like shit and then she wonders why no one likes her. And what's up with the sleeping in the pipes thing? Honestly. Besides, this is the first heroine I have met that has the solutions handed to her on a silver platter, on the forms of inventions and computer data. She just has to crawl through some pipes. That's it. End of story.
Broken Man is manipulative and will do anything to get revenge. He's not doing anything for the greater good. He just is using selfish ideas and weak minds to get what he wants. And I hate a bully.
Cog. I loved Cog. The only character I liked. And he died. No big scene for him either. Just *pop* and gone. He didn't deserve to die like that. Sucked into space. Trella should have gone first. Cog could've easily done everything and more without being a bitch about it, like Trella was.

Let me summaries the book; I hate people except my best friend, crawl through some pipes, talk to broken man, crawl through pipes, steal something, crawl through pipes, meet a guy, crawl through some more pipes, talk to Cogon, and you guessed it, crawl through some more pipes. This girl has nothing heroic about her other then the fact that she can crawl through a pipe. I was really disappointed by this book and 3 quarters through the book that I haven't achieved anything in the plot line of the book. There was two chapters of excitement at the end and that was it and when your finished your rewarded with the fact that the "inside" is a spaceship. A spaceship. I almost threw the book across the room. I'm disappointed and not reading the sequel.

Thank you Snyder, for yet again, showing me how writers waste my time.
Profile Image for Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker.
596 reviews377 followers
December 13, 2010
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!

Just placed this book on my "Favorite Book of 2010" shelf.
October 22, 2015
Perhaps the dystopian genre needs to start to challenge itself. I really enjoyed this one and my rating would have been higher if I had read this book before more challenging, imaginative dystopian books like Branded, Red queen, The V girl, Angellfall and an Ember in the ashes.

All in all I recommend this book to anyone who likes YA dystopia with a little bit of romance because it's entertaining.
Profile Image for marlene .
254 reviews
September 7, 2014
It's been a while since i finished a book in only two days. I just couldn't put this book down! The story had me from the beginning, and there were some seriously awesome twist and turns.
I really loved this book! Everyone who enjoys sci-fi or dystopian will definitly enjoy this book too. Read it! :D
Profile Image for Eva Linden.
Author 4 books37 followers
April 21, 2023
Een spannend boek waar ik vanaf de eerste bladzijde helemaal in meegezogen werd. Ik had dan ook niet anders verwacht van een van mijn favoriete schrijfsters
35 reviews
April 20, 2011
"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."
- Goodreads

Norwegian review:

Jeg tror dette må være noen av de mest spennende bøkene jeg har lest. Det var slik at jeg hadde lyst til å lese i ett strekk. Det skjedde noe hele tiden. Jeg blir slått av hvor fantastisk Maria V. Snyder er til å bygge opp historier. Det er så komplisert og eksepsjonellt utførte historier. Dette er en bok i den dystopiske/science fiction-aktige sjangeren. Jeg vet ikke helt hvordan jeg skal begynne med å forklare serien, for den er så innholdsrik og unik. Det er forresten to bøker jeg snakker om! Den første boken heter "Inside Out" og den andre heter "Outside In".

Boken handler om Trella som bor i The Inside. The Inside er på en måte deres verden. De kjenner ikke til noe annet - ingen jordklode, ikke noe univers, de vet bare om innsiden av plassen de bor på. Det eneste som menneskene i Inside holder seg fast til et håpet om The Outside. At det finnes noe på utsiden av verdenen deres. Det var en historie om The Gateway, som skulle lede dem ut til Outside. Jeg vil si at det i starten minnet meg om en stor boks av metall eller jern. Inside er delt opp i fire nivåer. I de nederste nivåene, så jobber "the scrubs" som holder Inside ren for de som bor i de øverste nivåene - også kalt "the Uppers". Trella har som jobb å rengjøre disse rørene som går over alt. Hun kommer ikke så godt overens med folk, så hun holder seg ofte ute av syne. Arbeidet blir strengt overvåket av "The Pop Cops", som passer på at alle gjør det de skal. Det som boken hovedsaklig handler om er Trella og hvordan hun styrer opprøret mot Travas-familien og søken om The Gateway.

Trella, som er hovedpersonen, er en veldig spesiell karakter. Hun er rett og slett råtøff. Dette er en historie som er veldig langt unna vår verden og vårt verdensbilde, men samtidig så er det så realistisk. Så jeg vil absolutt anbefale denne serien til dere som liker dystopiske bøker og bøker som er spennende!
Profile Image for Alice.
Author 4 books100 followers
May 17, 2011
I think I might be burned out on dystopic YA. I loved Snyder's Fire Study series and liked the Glass series (which I still haven't reviewed, but are fun fantasy novels with really strong female protagonists), but this is straight sci-fi and it's pretty weak. The world-building is scant, and my anthropologist spidey-sense kept tingling at various entirely unaddressed issues. Lots of deux ex machina technologies too. A very quick read, but I found it pretty boring overall. I'm halfway through the sequel and I don't know if I'm going to finish it, which is extremely unusual for me given that I'm a fast reader and YA is like crack.

Definitely read Snyder's other books but give this series a pass. Also, the romance is not very romantic (I kind of feel that way about her other books, but I find it a virtue there-- the romances take a serious sidelines to what are basically the career goals of the protagonists, but in this one I couldn't even drum up lackluster enthusiasm for the love interest).
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,244 followers
May 10, 2017
I loved Poison Study, so I decided to try this book. Meh...

What I liked: The story idea was original, the world building was good, and there was at least one time that I was truly surprised during a "twist", which is awesome.

What I hated: The mind-numbingly detailed descriptions of Trella's travels through the pipes and insides of the giant cube. I would say that 3/4ths of the book is pages and pages of describing where she is going next. I just couldn't take it.
Profile Image for Rosa.
221 reviews19 followers
May 25, 2013
So how old is everyone? I tried, I asked my husband to figure it out and still have no clue. I maybe skimmed that paragraph? I just told myself 16 and didn't dwell. This wasn't my favorite all time, but would still recommend to a friend looking for something new.
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