Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
Harlequin Teen, 2010
4.5 out of 5
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.
I really enjoyed this book. I don't need to tell anyone how popular (or perhaps pervasive is a more appropriate word) YA dystopia is right now. But this one really gets it right.
Trella is a wonderfully strong character, both in body and spirit. Before she gets swept up in Broken Man's scheme, she tends to go it alone, except for her best friend, Cog. But what's so magnificent about Trella is that when her world is turned upside down, she realizes that she can't do everything alone. And not in a whiny girl way either, but a mature, "wow! this is bigger than me" kind of way.
One problem I encountered was the measurement of time. There's all this talk of centiweeks and what-have-you. It's all explained early on, but it didn't completely make sense to me. I probably should have read it again, but by the time I realized it was confusing, I was a ways away from the explanation. Not being able to determine exactly how old a character is did not diminish my reading experience. But that section might be worth a second look.
Now the best part, I can't explain, but absolutely love. The novel manages to complete the story while setting it up for the sequel as well. Off the top of my head, I can't think of another example of this, except maybe TV shows. I love this. If I never get my hands on the sequel, I could still feel this story is complete. (Of course, I'm absolutely reading the next one!)
So, yes, I like this one. I like this one a lot. And even though it has a female main character, there's plenty of action. There's also a dash of romance, but that can be overlooked if you don't like kissing books.*
*Of course by "kissing book" I'm referencing The Princess Bride.
I borrowed a digital edition of this book from my local library.