Tag Archives: Inside Out

Guest Reviewer: Maria V. Snyder
Guest Reviews
May 11, 2010 posted by Ivy

Guest Reviewer: Maria V. Snyder

Maria V. Snyder is the author of the popular novels, The Study series, The Glass series, and most recently Inside Out, which also happens to be our Book of the Month right now.  We recently asked Maria to review one of her favorite YA novels.  She chose Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready.   Enjoy!

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Award winning fantasy author, Jeri Smith-Ready has dipped her toe into the young adult market with her recently released fantasy book, Shade.

The premise of the book is quite intriguing – On the day of Aura’s birth a Shift happened and all children, including Aura born after this Shift can see and hear ghosts. It’s sixteen years later and the world has adjusted to life with ghosts that only kids can see. Aura would like nothing better to ignore them and hang out with her rocker boyfriend, Logan Keeley. In fact, Aura would like to find out why the Shift happened and how she could undo it.

Jeri has created an unique world with Shade. And she answered all the logical questions a reader would ask about what’s it like to live with ghosts (thank you Jeri!). For privacy, she invented black boxes that keep ghosts from entering certain rooms like the bathroom and schools. People wear red to repel them, and there’s a shady government agency (of course) dedicated to studying and policing them.

Just like in her urban vampire books, Wicket Game and Bad to the Bone, Jeri’s love of music is once again a main theme throughout this book. Aura’s hot boyfriend is the singer in an Irish-flavored rock band in Baltimore named the Keeley Brothers. In the beginning chapters of the book, we learn it’s the night of Logan’s 17th birthday and record company reps are listening to their gig. After the gig, he’s offered a recording contract. Basically, it’s the best night of his life, but unfortunately it’s his last.

Now don’t yell at me for spoiling this little surprise. Just read the back cover blurb or the write up on Amazon.com and you’ll know all about it, too. And the kicker about those back cover blurbs is – the author doesn’t write them. It’s usually the editor or marketing, hoping to hook a reader’s interest. After I read the blurb, I assumed that Logan’s death happened before the start of the story (don’t know why – I just did). That when I opened to chapter one, it would be a few months later or even a day later, but no, there’s Logan happy and full of life. He’s a great character and so are Aura and the band members (Jeri excelled with creating very likable characters).

Unfortunately for me, knowing he’s going to die makes it really hard for me to read the first three chapters (the reason – I’m a mother of a 15 year old boy so I don’t think this would bother the target audience as much). I kept putting the book down, but I wanted to review the book and I loved Jeri’s other books, so I kept with it. But as soon as I made it past the tragedy, I flew through the rest of the book in a day.

This is a great book you need to read. Logan returns as a ghost (so he’s not gone gone) and another potential and very much alive suitor, Zachary Moore arrives with his secrets and sexy Scottish brogue. The characters and world are rich and well developed and the ending hinted at more books to come. Which I just found out, the second book, Shift is due out on May 2011.

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Read also Maria’s review of Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer here.

Visit Maria’s website for more info about her and her books.

Contests
May 10, 2010 posted by Ivy

Inside Out Giveaway Winners

Without much further ado, the winners of the Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder giveaway are:

5 US and Canadian winners:

Kelsey F.
Desiree T.
Morgan M.
Jacy H.
Abigail B
.

1 International winner:

Nelda F.

Congratulations guys!  Expect an email from me soon.

We had over 300 entries in this giveaway. Thanks so much for participating everyone and stay tuned for more book giveaways.

Read Katie’s review of Inside Out and Maria’s Interview.   Also watch out for Maria V. Snyder’s Guest Review tomorrow.

Author Interview with Maria. V. Snyder
Author Interviews
May 5, 2010 posted by Katie

Author Interview with Maria. V. Snyder

Maria V. Snyder is the author of extremely popular series such as The Study Series and The Glass Series and various short stories to name a few. April celebrates the release of Maria’s new young adult novel Inside Out and as it is our current book of the month, Maria was kind enough to answer some of our questions for your reading pleasure. I should warn you, there are a few spoiler-ish moments. Enjoy!

Trella has had an interesting childhood, one that has left her with very little trust for anyone else around her, yet it was those people who ultimately Trella needed to survive. Was it a conscious decision to have Trella start from this place of no-trust to slowly understanding why she needed the people around her?

MS: Yes – I did try to have Trella start out basically hating her world and the people in it—except for one person. Then as she learns that not every thing in her world is as she had thought, her view changes with time and experience. I’m like to put my characters in difficult situations and see how they change.

Where did the idea for Inside Out come from? I’ve read it was a dream, but was there any other events that inspired the setting? I’m particularly curious as to how the concept of ‘weeks’ and ‘centiweeks’ came around.

MS: It was from a dream. But I created some of the details in order to turn the idea into a story. The idea to use weeks actually came from my daughter. She was mad at my son and told him she “wouldn’t talk to him again for a million weeks.” Then she paused and asked me how long was a million weeks. So I calculated it out and came up with 19,000 years. I tucked this little nugget of information away and then when I needed a way for the Insiders to keep track of time, weeks sounded better than years. Centiweeks is just like centimeters – my world uses base 10 for everything so centi and deci all worked well.

Originally Trella and Riley are lead to believe that there are vast differences between Upper and Lower lifestyles, largely stemming from lack of knowledge. How important was it to need the Uppers and Lowers to work together to discover a solution to their problems?

MS: It was very important since the uppers controlled all the mechanical systems. And also the Pop Cops encouraged the lack of knowledge between the uppers and lowers so they would not trust each other and wouldn’t compare notes and see how they both suffered under the Pop Cop’s rule. I was trying to show how making assumptions about people because of their race or religion is not the right way to go about it. That you need to learn more about another person before you judge them.

The harsh methods taken by LC Karla to control the scrubs and Uppers were eventually her downfall. If there was more understanding between scrubs and Uppers, would life be better for everyone?

MS: It would be better, but still having that division of people – uppers and lowers and different set of rules for each will make people unhappy.

Favourite holiday destination?

MS: I enjoy spending a week at the beach – any beach will do as long as I have sand, sun and an ocean to swim in :)

Can you tell us anything about the next instalment, Outside In?

MS: I can’t tell too much as I don’t want to give away the twists of Inside Out, but it continues Trella’s story and how she and the Insiders deal with a new threat – one from Outside.

All time favourite novel?

MS: This is a really hard question for me to answer. I have so many favorites and each is a favorite for a different reason. Since Inside Out has a strong female protagonist, my favorite girl power novel is The Gate to Women’s Country by Sherri S. Tepper.

What is currently in your To-Be-Read pile?

MS: It would probably be easier to list what isn’t in my TBR pile :) Right now I have a bunch of young adult books in my pile, Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins, Fire, by Kristen Cashore, the last two books of the Percy Jackson Olympians series by Rick Riodian, Ink Exchange, by Melissa Marr, Bad to the Bone, by Jeri Smith-Ready, How to Make a Wish by Mindy Klasky, and I’m eagerly awaiting Rachel Caine’s newest Morganville Vampire book, Fair Fight.

Any quirky writing rituals or habits?

MS: When I sign books, I like the color of my pen to match the color of the book’s cover. Right now, I take 5 different color pens with me and they have to be Uni ball’s vision elite pens :)

Any last thoughts to share with us?

MS: I like to add that because the layout of Inside can be hard to imagine, I posted maps of all four levels of Inside on my website.  Here’s a link: http://www.mariavsnyder.com/maps.php I was hoping my publisher would print them in the book.  But they are excited about the book and have created a website just for it: http://www.whatsinsideout.com On the website is a personality quiz to see what type of scrub job you’re suited for, and a video book trailer for the book.

Inside Out is available now at all good bookstores.

Inside Out – Maria V. Snyder
Book Reviews
April 21, 2010 posted by Katie

Inside Out – Maria V. Snyder

Keep your head down. Don’t get noticed. Or else.

I’m Trella. I’m a scrub. A Nobody.

One of thousands who work in the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I’ve got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? Not like it’s all that dangerous – the only neck at risk is my own.

Until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

I should have just said no…

Trella’s life is a never-ending pattern. Work the even shifts, 10 hours on, 10 hours off. Cleaning the air-ducts with her cleaning troll. Turn troll on. Follow troll. Turn troll of, move to the next duct. It’s a life that she has known for years. One that has made her hate the scrubs around her. It’s in the ducts that Trella can get her peace. No one else around, just her and the metal. And when you have a life with no friends, it’s easy to see why Trella chooses the ducts over the taunts and hostile glances of the other scrubs around her. All except one – Cogon. Everyone is friends with Cog, and it’s impossible not to be.

Cog had been looking for Trella. He has a new prophet he wants her to meet. An Upper who did something so wrong that he was cast into the Lower levels to be forgotten. Yet Trella has her suspicions. This Upper knows too much about her, is asking for too much and promising too little. Yet it’s the kind of thing Trella can’t resist. A chance to prove why she is the queen of the pipes. For the prophet claims he has information on the location of Gateway. The portal to Outside. Yet, they are hidden. In his old apartment, which just happens to be in the restricted section of the Uppers. Scrubs aren’t meant to access the Uppers, and Trella is probably the only who has found a way around.

Against her better judgment, Trella goes looking for the prophet’s disks, knowing that if she is caught, she has no hope of ever returning to the Lowers. Yet as she continues to delve further into the secrets of Inside, she realises maybe everything isn’t exactly as they have been told. After a chance meeting with an Upper who doesn’t turn her in, Trella embarks on a path more dangerous than anything she has tried before. Along with Riley, Cog and the prophet, Trella embarks on the path to discovering the true location of Gateway. A location that every scrub has heard of, but few believe exists. Yet there is a cost, more deadly then Trella could ever imagine.

As more and more scrubs and Uppers alike start to become involved, it is only a matter of time before one of them will be gone forever…

Inside Out is the start of a new series from bestselling author Maria V. Snyder. I have been a large fan of Snyder’s work, and was interested to see how Inside Out would live up to her, in my opinion, most well known work, the Study Series. From the first chapter, the writing and perspective of Trella captured me. Trella was a character that was so clearly defined that I knew we were on for an adventure. Trella develops from a girl who doesn’t trust anyone around her, into a young woman who is confidant in what she needs to do to protect those around her. Trella goes through her rough moments, her self doubts and battles her inner demons on why is she helping to do something she swore she didn’t believe in? Yet without the help of Cog and Riley, Trella would not have been able to achieve anything. For Cog teaches her how to see those around her for more than just mindless scrubs, and Riley convinces Trella that not all Uppers are the same, that there are people who she can trust.

The development of the social constructs of Inside is completely thought out and impeccably detailed. Each and every aspect of society is there, rules that must be obeyed or fought against. Social hierarchy, illegal activities and the ever alluring promise of Outside. The world is complete in a way that lets you get completely lost in the actions of Trella and her friends, lets you believe that their situation is possible. Extremely well written in a way that leaves you needing to read the next page, Snyder has constructed a work that I see as the beginning to a new and fantastic series.

Publication date: 2010

Pages: 315

Rating:: ★★★★½

Teaser quote: My heart dropped into my stomach and ran laps. Lieutenant Commander Karla and three Pop Cops followed my supervisor. The LC’s smug expression and the terrified fury on my supervisor’s fact told me all I needed to know.

Without hesitating, I ran.

Contests
April 12, 2010 posted by Ivy

Inside Out Giveaway

Thanks to Maria V. Snyder, we’re giving away 6 copies of her new book Inside Out.  Six copies for her 6th book!

Inside out by Maria V. Snyder

Keep Your Head Down. Don’t Get Noticed. Or Else.

I’m Trella. I’m a scrub. One of thousands who work in the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. The Trava family who rules our world from their spacious Upper levels wants us to be docile and obedient, like sheep. To insure we behave, they send the Pop Cops to police us.

So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? Not like it’s all that dangerous–the only neck at risk is my own.

Until a lower level prophet claims a Gateway to Outside exists. And guess who he wants to steal into the Upper levels to get the proof? You’re right. Me. I alone know every single duct, pipe, corridor, shortcut, hole and ladder of Inside. It’s suicide plain and simple. But guess who can’t let a challenge like that go unanswered? Right again. Me.

I should have just said no…

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Simply fill out the form below with your name, email, and mailing address.  We randomly draw the winners using random.org.
  • 5 copies go to U.S. and Canadian winners and 1 copy to an International winner.
  • Contest ends on May 10, 2010.

April Book of the Month
Site Updates
March 30, 2010 posted by Ivy

April Book of the Month

May I present to you our book of the month feature for April:

Inside out by Maria V. Snyder

Keep Your Head Down. Don’t Get Noticed. Or Else.

I’m Trella. I’m a scrub. One of thousands who work in the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. The Trava family who rules our world from their spacious Upper levels wants us to be docile and obedient, like sheep. To insure we behave, they send the Pop Cops to police us.

So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? Not like it’s all that dangerous–the only neck at risk is my own.

Until a lower level prophet claims a Gateway to Outside exists. And guess who he wants to steal into the Upper levels to get the proof? You’re right. Me. I alone know every single duct, pipe, corridor, shortcut, hole and ladder of Inside. It’s suicide plain and simple. But guess who can’t let a challenge like that go unanswered? Right again. Me.

I should have just said no…

Visit the book’s website for more info and a three-chapter excerpt! Inside Out website.

More Inside Out to look forward to this month with Nikki’s review, an interview and a guest review by the author Maria V. Snyder, and an awesome Inside Out giveaway!