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Deja Vu | Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

The Breakdown

General Info:
     Title: Inside Out
     Author: Maria V. Snyder
     Genre: Dystopia, YA, Science-Fiction
     Publisher: Harlequin
     Publishing Date: April 1st, 2010

          - The way it mirrors out society 
          - Mix of genres

    Things that could have been better:
         - Characters were dull and fell into stereotypes and tropes 
         - Plot twists weren't shocking - except for one
         - Forgettable

Rating:  2.5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon |

Initial Thoughts

A friend of mine enthusiastically recommended this to me at the start of 2016! Plus it's Maria V. Snyder - I've read some of her books before, and they haven't been horrible...Finally, that cover just got to me! It's really creative how the title is really meta, in its design, with the word 'inside' being inside the word 'out' 

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.


I have a weird feeling that I've actually read this book before, but forgotten completely about it. After I got into the first few pages, everything about it just sounded really familiar. Maybe I've read another book like it before, or maybe I've read it before and just forgotten everything about it. Let me know if you know any books like Inside Out - I'm curious to know which it is! 

Maria V. Snyder's writing here is actually pretty easy to follow. I tried reading the Healer series previously, and whilst the first book was easy to follow, the following books were harder to read and just more disjointed for me. So I was happy to see that this book was fluid and smooth with the writing and managed to hook me in. 

The setting of Inside Out is rather interesting to me. With the division between the 'uppers' and the 'scrubs', the tension between the two classes of society was depicted very well, and it made me think about tensions between races, with how discriminatory and uneducated some of the discourse was. The knowledge that each class had of each other was off-base and based on stereotypes - which I actually enjoyed, because I thought it mirrored our society very well, and made it easier for me to relate to the book.

I found the main character, Trella, to be quite dull honestly. There was nothing really special about her, other than her title as the 'Queen of Pipes', for her constant scuttling about in the pipes Inside. She fell into the trope of being that unique person who is essential for x, y and z to happen, and that trope about being the outcast. Her love interest, Riley, was the same as well, with regards to being boring. With two characters that were about as dull as cardboard, I didn't feel any chemistry between them, not even with their joking around about the stuffed sheep, which felt forced and very lame. 

The plot twist at the end, where Trella's parentage is revealed wasn't much of a surprise to me either - I saw it from a mile away, and when her parentage is revealed, I didn't gasp in shock or particularly care, really. But I did enjoy the plot twist where we find out what Inside and Outside really are, which I didn't see coming. 

Final Thoughts

Inside Out is a good book in terms of writing, but ultimately forgettable with reused tropes and dull characters. I've already started the second book within days of reading this one, and I've already forgotten some of the key characters. Whether it's my bad memory or it's just a forgettable book, I'm giving Inside Out a hard 2.5 stars. Merely passable. 


This is based off my Goodreads review, which ranks the book by its characters, plot, writing style and entertainment value. 

Thoughts in a Phrase 

Deja vu. 

Keep reading and loving books!

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I Haven't Touched A Book In Six Months: An Update On My Life

Hello friends! It has been AGES since I was last here!
I hope you have all been well! 
Confession time: I didn't touch a book for six months. 
Do I feel guilty? Not really. 
At this point, you're probably gasping. How could I have gone six months without reading a single book for fun? And how am I not guilty?? 
These are very good questions. Questions that I have no answers, only excuses for! 
Of course, the usual comes to mind; university, doing five subjects, work, tutoring, research projects, a social life, etc. Sorry (but really not) for the excuses! 

What I've been doing (life edition)
Juggling five uni subjects again this semester was definitely not fun - especially when I had to worry about anatomy and chemistry! My final exam weeks were especially daunting, since I had five exams in the first week alone, and one more exam in the first half of the second week. 
But throughout all the stress, I was really glad I had my family and my boyfriend to back me up with delicious food, dinner dates, supplying me with chocolate and dried mangoes and...and...wait....I think I'm just grateful to have delicious food :')
I also had one exam over the holidays, because I deferred it due to my hectic exam timetable, so holidays were filled with study >_< 

What I've been doing (bookish edition) 
Like I've said, I've been doing...stuff. Which is all fair. But what have I actually been doing bookish wise? 
I went to a Penguin Teen event at Brisbane Library two months (?) ago! It was really fun...mostly because I got to meet up with some of my fave book bloggers, such as Maddie, Jeann, and Brett! 
I've also been buying a ton of books...stocking up for these university holidays! One month is definitely not enough to get through all the books...but I'll try my hardest to! 
I rearranged my bookshelf! It looks the same as always (i.e. a cluttered mess), but I managed to fit more books in! LIFE ACCOMPLISHMENT. 
I managed to read just one book over the holidays... Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare! Which I resisted buying for so long, because I had another exam over the uni break...but I bought it anyway and gave into procrastination :')) 

My plans for the future
I'm planning on reading The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon! 
I'm also looking forward to writing a ton more posts and actually posting them...instead of leaving them as drafts :')) 
Hopefully I'll finally adapt to using Twitter...been offline on it for way too long! ...same with bookstagram haha! 
I'm getting ready for a new semester of uni now too - hopefully I'll do well again this semester! 

What have you all been up to? Have you read anything interesting that you think I should get around to? Any hot new releases I should keep my eye on? Talk to me! It's seriously been WAY. TOO. LONG. 

Keep reading and loving books (and sorry for the long absence!) 

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Conversations: Commenting Back - Should it Be Compulsory?

Welcome one, welcome all, to another edition of Conversations! This month, our topics will be focused on blogging habits. 
This week, let's discuss:
Do you always comment back? Should commenting back be a must? 

Firstly, let's define what commenting back means. I know when I first started blogging, that term really confused me. I initially thought it just meant replying back to comments on your blog. But then as time wore on, I realised that "commenting back" meant visiting said commenter's blog and commenting on one of their posts. 
So that's the definition we'll go with today - commenting back refers to visiting a commenter's blog and commenting back on their post

I personally try to always comment back. After I reply to someone's comment on my blog, I head on over to their blog, through their user or their link they've provided, and find an interesting post to leave a comment. This isn't always feasible for me though - sometimes I take unexpected hiatuses (like I am now) because life creeps up. I try to go back afterwards and comment back - so I do a delayed comment back, if that makes sense. 
Sometimes, people comment on older posts of mine, which have been up for a month or so. Whilst I really appreciate that, and Disqus does send me an email notifying me that someone has commented, I usually leave it for later...until later becomes never. >_< 

Still, I make sure to try to always reply to peoples' comments on my blog at the very least - for me, that's just common courtesy. If people take the time out of their lives to care what you think - shouldn't you take the time to reply to them? Replying to these comments is always easier than making your own comment - at the very least, replying back shows that you are grateful for their presence here. 

Should commenting back be compulsory? I don't know. Personally, I used to think it should be compulsory - after all, we are in this community to make friends, to find other like-minded people. And it does get tiring, leaving so many comments on other peoples' blogs, hoping to make a connection with them, but to be faced with them never trying to connect with your words. I get that people have busy lives, but it's important to reach out, and connect with your readers if you have a blog. 
But at the same time, I remember hearing someone say in the blogosphere that they didn't comment back, because they didn't want to force a comment, and be fake. I think that philosophy is pretty interesting, and I agree with it to some extent. I agree that you shouldn't have to force yourself to comment back - if you can't find anything interesting to talk about, don't comment! Don't write a comment like "Wow, so interesting, thanks for sharing!". It's pretty fake, and it shows that you don't really care about making connections. But at the same time, we are all book lovers - there should be something on everyones' blogs that we can relate to, or empathise with. 

In the end, I don't think that commenting back should be compulsory. But at the very least, I believe that bloggers should reply to comments on their own blogs - I know I used to follow a bunch of blogs that didn't reply back to comments on their own blogs, and it was really disheartening because I never felt like I mattered to these blogs, it never felt like they wanted to make friendships. It seemed like all they cared about was stats, getting ARCs, and gaining followers. 

If you know me, that's not the kind of person I like.

Well, that post took a very personal detour. What do you all think about commenting back? Should it be compulsory? Let me know in the comments below, or in the linky here!

Keep reading and loving books!

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