Inside Out by Maria V. SnyderInside Out by Maria V. Snyder

Inside Out

byMaria V. Snyder

Paperback | March 23, 2010

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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.
Maria V. Snyder was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in Meteorology at Pennsylvania State University in 1988, before deciding to become a novelist in 1995. Snyder graduated with a Master's degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in 2007. The first two books in...
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Title:Inside OutFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 7.99 × 5.17 × 0.76 inPublished:March 23, 2010Publisher:HarlequinLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:037321006X

ISBN - 13:9780373210060

Appropriate for ages: 14 - 17

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surprisingly Great I loved this book it was very action oriented and the hint of romance here and there kept me entertained. Mostly I loved that the main character is trying to figure out why her people live the way they do and what on earth kinda box they live in. That mystery really drew me in and had me eager to read to the end and find out.
Date published: 2017-03-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice I liked this book as a kid.
Date published: 2017-02-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Alright book for YA dystopian novels. Starts out slow, but you get invested in Trella and the others. A good read. A little too technical at points where "the inside" is being described, but good none the less.
Date published: 2015-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very intrigued **spoiler alert** This is one of my favourite dystopian worlds created. It's a world divided into two classes, upper levels and lower levels, and no one from the classes are allowed to associated. Lower levels are called scrubs and the life Trella describes is bleak and depressing, parents forced to give up their children who go on to grow up under the watch of a 'Care Mother' until they come of age and are assigned a job. Trella's job is pushing a cleaner through pipes and she uses those pipes to explore her home, preferring to be alone in the pipes than with other scrubs. Causing trouble in this world could result in being fed to the 'Chomper' and your body being turned into fertilizer. Trella's one friend, Cog, talks her into meeting prophet 'Broken Man' who wants to meet her. That meeting and Trella's decision to go retrieve some discs 'Broken Man' wanted set off what would become a rebellion with Trella as the reluctant leader. I could understand Trella's reluctance, both to believe that a gateway that led outside existed and her unwillingness to trust anyone. Reading about the differences between the upper and lower levels and how the government 'Travas' used false information to make the two different classes dislike each other even though they'd never met was too easy and frightening. I loved all the twists and by the end, I was left with questions but the good 'I'm intrigued by this world and I need to know more' kind, not the 'I have no clue what's going on' kind. 5 stars
Date published: 2012-03-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Character Driven Teen Fiction Pros: protagonist experiences real growth of character Cons: Trella recovers from severe injuries surprisingly fast For Parents: no content issues or language, mild violence Trella knows their world is a cube. Though she's a scrub, and relegated to a life of drudgery cleaning the ducts on levels 1 and 2, she's snuck to the upper levels often enough. Now her skill at navigating the ducts and breaking the rules is going to get her into trouble. Her only friend is convinced that Gateway - a door to an outside world - exists. To prove him wrong she must retrieve something from the upper levels. Only the authorities have set a trap and she's about to spring it. While neither the idea of a two-tier society nor an enclosed environment are unique, their combination and lack of known history by the inhabitants makes this story interesting. Trella's do it herself mentality could be grating, but it's not. She's a teen who wants more from life and who's willing to change as her world expands. She does heal much faster than I believe is possible, and functions well under high amounts of pain, but that's becoming common in teen dystopian fiction. And she's given time to think about events and see the consequences of her actions, allowing for true character growth.
Date published: 2011-03-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Different in a good way I really enjoyed this book. The characters were really well established and easy to love. The story is unique and exciting and totally unpredictable. I'm really looking forward to the next installment of this series
Date published: 2011-02-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Snyder has another winner! Ms. Snyder has proven time and time again that she can write amazing fantasy with very strong and compelling female characters. This novel is no different. Once again she applies her magic and we land in a cubic world that is heavily stratified by social classes. The hero this time is a "worker" who cleans the ductwork between levels. This "scrub", Trella, comes across a rebellious plot by others to uncover what is actually outside their enclosed environment. The plot quickly speeds up and you will find yourself reading through this at a lightning speed. At times, Ms Snyder overlooks some details or bends probability a little too much to save a character but it never gets too far out of hand. A very suspenseful and entertaining read.
Date published: 2010-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it I loved every action packed minute of this book! At first it was a little hard to follow but you soon become familiar with the oddities. While a tad predictable it didn't matter, you wanted it to be true. You experience every feeling the main character has and it's a wild roller coaster ride to the end. Loved this book, loved everything about it. Can't wait for the sequel!!
Date published: 2010-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Whole New, Shocking, Unbelieveable World... 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!!!!! 5/5 2010-051
Date published: 2010-07-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Go Force of Sheep! Trella is a scrub, someone who works the lower levels of Inside, keeping it clean for the Uppers. She is one of thousands of scrubs who are forced into a tight space with no peace and quiet. Because of her small size, Trella can fit into smaller nooks and crannies, which is why she is given the job to work in the pipes. What the Pop Cops don't know is that she hides in the pipes; it is her secret area to get away from her lonely life. See, Trella only has one friend--Cogon--and everyone else taunts her at all times. But when Cogon introduces Broken Man to Trella, the newest prophet, everything goes wrong. Broken Man talks about Gateway, a door that will lead everyone out of Inside to Outside. Nobody knows what lies in Outside, but they DO know that it must be better than life Inside with the Pop Cops and the Trava family manipulating everyone. When a rebellion starts to form among the scrubs, Trella finds herself in the middle of the mess while trying to hide Broken Man, save Cogon, evade LC Karla and figure out a way to find Gateway with Riley and the Tech Nos. What they don't realize is that discovering what lies Outside will be bigger than anything they ever could have imagined. Okay, so first off, WOW! Inside Out was such an amazing experience and a wild ride. At first when I started reading this, I was BEYOND confused. All the levels and new time units, everything was so hard to follow (which is pretty much why I didn't give it five stars). But once you got the hang of it, the story flowed and it worked. The ending was a really big stunner too! I don't think I could have imagined that at all! It's amazing how Snyder can put tiny hints here and there throughout the story, and you only get it when you read the ending. Trella was a very believable protagonist, and so were all the other characters. The twists left you flipping the pages ferociously as you read on about who would betray who and when (trust me, you knew it was coming...). As great as this book was, I think I'd have to say that it isn't Snyder's best. Yes, the story was amazing, but it was sometimes a little hard to follow. If you ask me, her Study books were much better. However, I still really enjoyed reading Inside Out and I can't wait for the sequel, Outside In, to be released next year! :D
Date published: 2010-03-28

Read from the Book

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.""Don't start.""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."One hour.""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."Yes."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."What expertise?""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.

Editorial Reviews

"Simply wonderful. Reading The Program somehow reminded me of reading Shakespeare. Each page is so laden with verities that a slow read is mandated. So, read slow and thrive." -- Walter M. Bortz II, M.D., bestselling author of Dare to Be 100 and We Live Too Short and Die Too Long