Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Review: Outside In by Maria V Snyder

Genre: Young Adult
Publish Date: Feb 15, 2011
I received a copy for review from netgalley.

Me? A Leader? Okay, I did prove that there's more to Inside than we knew. That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion - between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled. Because of me, we're free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again - while still touching base with Riley, of course. He's the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learned that there's outside and then there is Outside. And something from Outside wants In.

I had trouble with the previous book about Trella and the people of Inside called Inside Out as some of you may recall. However, I had hoped that after the coming together of the people of Inside and the discoveries that were made by Trella about herself and the state of her world that this book would be better and that the characters would have grown and therefore be more enjoyable to read. I was sadly disappointed.

The first part of the book I could not stand Trella, yet again. She didn't want to be bothered with helping the council fix Inside, she didn't seem to have a real job, and she never went back down to check on the Lowers where she originally came from. Nope, it seemed that as long as she had a room in the Uppers section that was much more spacious than the Lowers, and everyone left her alone to explore, she was happy. If you asked more you got whiny Trella. And on top of that everyone is telling her how she's the only one who could help them, save them, fix them. It was irritating because she comes off as one of the worst heroes ever. However, I did like that when there was a crisis or emergency, she always stepped up to help and when it became obvious that Inside was heading towards yet another disaster, she put on her big girl panties and went about rescuing everyone and their brother.

The side characters had been somewhat likable and relatable in the first book, but in this one, I was hard pressed to find one character that I actually liked. Riley whined if she spent too much time working with the council or helping others and then would turn around and tell her how disappointed he was in her because she didn't do enough to help. I actually felt kinda bad for Trella when it came to Riley and that's saying something. Some of the other characters that were so confident and ready to help in the first book suddenly became an annoying hindrance to the cause in this one.

Going into this book, I had hoped to see how Inside was going to come together and erase the damage that was done in Inside Out as they expanded into the expanse and learned about their past and where they were going and Outer space. I was hoping to see how they would overcome any difficulties and crises that would pop up in the natural progression of things. That was not this book. The plot was so implausible that I actually shook my head several times. We had to go back to being under an evil rule and have rebellion 2.0 to get the people to care and work together and if the only way they can come together and get things done is when they're under attack, I don't see how they're going to survive to get where they're going. Also, the whole concept of the Outsiders was just a bit much for me.

Final grade: D+

These books were not for me, but I can see how others would enjoy them. The idea behind them is good and there is a lot of action and the requisite romance so I don't expect everyone else to be as annoyed with them as I have been.


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