Friday, October 21, 2011

Fads and Trends - A spazzing out by a bibliophile

Every once in a while, some book or movie succeeds so well that it starts a craze for the same type of book or movie. If you don't know what I mean, you probably haven't been paying attention to the same book shelves as I have, and haven't noticed the vampire craze that Twilight started. Some of these fads I love, some I hate, and there are some I just want to happen. Here's my top three lists for book trends and fads.

Top 3 Book Fads That Make Me Hate Books
  • Vampires - Now, don't get me wrong. I used to love vampire fiction. I read Twilight back when it first came out, before it became a goddamn cult for tweens and unhappy housewives, and I didn't hate it. My favorite books for the longest time were Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series, which revolve around vampire-esque beings, and I like the Sookie Stackhouse books and a lot of other vampire books that have come out. But I'm getting really sick of picking up the same goddamn books rewritten almost every time I pick up a YA book with vampires. So maybe I should say that I'm more sick of YA vampires, not vampires as a whole. I mean, damn. Can I get a little originality, please? At least Twilight did something new, even if it was just body glitter.
  • Love Triangles - Has nobody else noticed this annoying trend? You get this great book, with an awesome female main character whose strong and absolutely badass--until it comes to these two guys, where she's like a bubbleheaded Beverly Hills barbie. "Oh, I can't pick which one I want. They're both so special and amazing and sexy, and sure I've been with this one guy forever, but this new one is so sparkly and neat!" I swear, it seems like some authors only do this to get their fans into shipping wars. Obviously, some authors do it well. Others, however, completely fuck up a plot that could have been great by making it all about some stupid girl who can't pick a boy and, in some cases, cheats or kisses both or something because she's so 'helpless to resist her feelings'. It makes me hate the characters, and sometimes, it makes me hate the books. What the hell happened to female characters who were strong and confident and not confused sometime-sluts who can't make up their minds between the footballplayers/werewolves/vampires/nerds/badasses/bestfriends/etc
  • Dystopia - It started with Hunger Games. Well, really it started with Battle Royale, and the Giver, but nonetheless, Hunger Games set this off. Now, if you actually read my reviews, you're probably surprised to see this on the list, because I think I've stated my preference for Dystopia fiction a few million times. But here's the thing about fads: no matter how good the original idea is, and how amazing a few of the books come out...there's always a sudden rush of books that shame the entire subgenre, and get published just because they have the theme that's popular. I'm not going to list any names, because you can probably think of two or three on your own, but if you've been reading any of the new dystopia books lately, you've probably noticed at least a few that had a great idea but were pretty much terrible in practice. As much as I love Dystopia, I am not looking forward to what this subgenre becomes in a year or two.
Top 3 Book Fads That Are AMAZING
  • Werewolves - I know, I'm probably a hypocrite for hating the vampires and loving the werewolves, but I can't help it. I've always loved the idea of shapeshifters, and I adore how the werewolf genre has evolved. It's one of the things I give a happy nod to Twilight for, even though I hate what the book has done to vamp fiction. Liar, Raised by Wolves, Blood and Chocolate, etc.Wolfs, and shapeshifters in general, just make me happy, and I'm loving the flood.
  • Dystopia - I know, it's on both lists. I have a love hate relationship with this book trend. On one hand, yeah, I'm hating how the average quality of a YA dystopia book is declining. On the other, I'm loving the sudden vast influx of stories with the themes I love. I loved Dystopia back when the Hunger Games idea was still just Battle Royale, and I'm loving the new ideas that keep springing up. A lot of them have flaws, but then you get books like Divergent, which I adored, Uglies, Unwind, Inside Out, Jenna Fox... I mean, yeah there are some bad ones that annoy me, since I get excited to read them only to find out I've wasted my time...but at the same time, I'm loving that I suddenly have so many choices, and there are such amazing gems that its' worth it.
  • Real Life Grittiness - Maybe this isn't really what you can consider a fad, but I'm loving the sudden influx of the really gritty, dark stories. I love a good fluffy story, and I reallllyyy love when the main character pretty much just kicks everyone's ass out of sheer awesome, even if that does make me a sue lover....but goddamn, I am liking these stories where I get to LEARN when I read. You know, books like...The Chosen One, say, or anything to that effect. Stories about the stuff from real life or that could be real life, but not MY real life. Angsty stories, gritty and real stories, stories about sex or rape, murder, the gay kid's rebellion, the skinny barbie who suddenly gets fat (My Life In the Fat Lane, anyone?), nerds, polygamy, cults...I love it. I love when a good fictional story still gives me stuff that I get to learn about. I love reading about angst and terror and confusion and learning and awesome and yes. <3

Top 3 Book Fads I Want To Happen
  • The Fae - The Fairy, Fairies, Faeries, what have you. The Iron Daughter, Meredith Gentry, Tithe, Valiant, I LOVE THIS AND WE NEED MORE. Obviously Meredith Gentry isn't YA, but still. I love the dark, evil fairies, the twisted tinker bell. I love the Sidhe and Unseelie and the brownies and trolls, the summer kings and wow. I am so hoping this becomes something big, very soon. I would be so hyped for this. It seems like it might be on the cusp of becoming popular, and I want it to. Now.
  • Time Travel - I always used to love reading fanfiction, and my favorites were always alternate universe, dimensional travel, time travel, etc. And I want that to become something big in my fiction. I want that now. I want modern day girl forced to live in ancient times, I want the future girl who can't function in today's society messing up and struggling. I want the YA version of the highlander being sent by magic into the future, and attacking a car. I want a HUGE flux of time travel and awesomeness.
  • Super Powers - This seemed like it was getting popular for a while, then suddenly the trend was all about dystopia instead. I want more of the super powered fics. I want more Hero, more Shatter Mes. I want flying and fighting and the coolest powers ever. I want this to become some awesomely popular thing, so the part of me that still squeals in glee over the new batman game can squeal in glee over books that don't have pictures.

What about you? What book trends do you hate? Love? What would you like to see as the next fad, if you have a choice?
And hey, got any good suggestions for my favorites? <3
Let me know!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hehe, Template Change

Yeah, in case you're a regular and think you've happened upon the wrong site, you haven't. Changed the site template out of boredom, and this was the one that fit the cover of Raised by Wolves best, so I kind of just went for it. Hope you like the darker theme; I personally think it's easier on the eyes, but if you disagree, or preferred the other one, feel free to tell me.

Thanks, and have a great day. <3

Raised By Wolves - Jennifer Lynn Barnes

One of the many books I took home with me from BEA was Trial By Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, what was the second in a series I'd never read. I hadn't planned on getting it, originally, for the sheer fact that the line was horrifyingly long. However, my party eventually decided to head for it when it had gotten shorter, towards the end, and I figured I'd need to pick up yet another book when I had the time.

Raised by Wolves is the first book in that series. It's the story of Bryn, a human girl who, after a werewolf attack claimed the lives of her parents, was literally raised by wolves--or werewolves, at least. After saving her from the Rabid, the term used to describe the wolves who attacked humans, the alpha of the local pack took her in and Marked her as one of their own. Because of the mark, Bryn has the capability to do everything with the pack, from running with them when the others are changed, to connecting to the pack through the pack bond, a type of telepathic connection all members of the pack share. However, she is still very much human, and is treated as the fragile being she is. Until the day she meet's Chase, a boy in her Alpha's basement that's kept in a cage. Chase changes everything, cracking the very foundations of what she knows.

This book is definitely well thought out, I'll definitely say that. The first few chapters are pretty much a giant dump of backstory and explanation, and it all makes a lot of sense. A lot of it is really cool. That being said, a giant info dump wasn't the best way to give that information out. It was boring and slow, and while the story sped up later and got interesting, I honestly wasn't sure if I was going to bother finishing the book, at first. It just starts too slow, and it drags. I'm happy I did keep with it, because the end was neat enough to make up for it, but the beginning of this book is far from fantastic.

Characterwise, Bryn is...meh. She's a lukewarm character, I guess, if anything. Pretty much the entire book reads as her doing really stupid shit out of stubbornness and...well...stupidity. I swear, half the book happens because someone tells her no. I kind of wanted to backhand her a few times. That's not to say she's all bad, obviously. She's loyal, smart, and pretty strong. She's awesome, in a 'sue' kind of way.

I feel like I'm painting a terrible picture of this book, but it's honestly not a bad one. Raised By Wolves is actually pretty neat, it just has some flaws. It's very far from perfect, but it's not bad at all. The world building in this book is fantastic, even if it's delivered in a less than amazing way, and I really liked the fact that, in Bryn's world, werewolf packs actually act like PACKS. Not like a bunch of people who happen to be all werewolves and are kind of assholes to each other, but are actually animalistic packs: loyal to each other, but still reflecting their animal counter parts. The wolves are awesome.

The plot itself gets pretty neat, after the first half of the book. Everything comes together amazingly, and there is a perfect setup for a sequel. Even thought I wasn't amazed at this book, the ending is so perfectly set up for it that I can't NOT read the sequel, which was probably the point. The very end sections of this book were the best, which means, to me, that the second book is likely to be a few dozen times better than the first.

So while, if I had to give this book a rating, it would only score a 3/5, I'm still going to be jumping into Trial By Fire as soon as I finish this review, and I'll still recommend it to anyone who'd still be interested, knowing that the first half isn't fantastic. This book kind of feels like an RPG manual to me; although it's kind of boring, you have to learn the rules of the universe so you can get into the awesome stuff, and then it's just fantastic.

If you're into the YA wolf paranormal craze, pick this book up and you'll probably love it despite the flaws, for the sheer fact that the amazing wolf aspect of this book will absolutely seduce you. Fans of the Anita Blake series, particularly the aspects of Anita being the one human among the paranormals, will love this book as long as you weren't into Anita for the adult aspects. In fact, I'd almost say this book is the YA counterpart, or it at least has the high potential to become so, and I love it for that fact, and I hope you will too.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fire Study - Maria Snyder

As expected, it took me less than a day to finish Fire Study by Maria Snyder, the last book in the Study series and I'm pretty satisfied with the series as a whole. I'll probably end up buying copies of the books for my shelves, so I can reread them whenever.

Fire Study picks up with the end of Magic Study, with Yelena in Sitia still trying to help take out the warpers and keep the Sitia from going to war against Ixia. Cahil has begun to follow the warpers, believing they can help set him on the throne, and to make matters worse, the warpers are trying to release a new threat: a fire elemental like being known as a fire warper, one of Yelena's worst fears.

I liked Fire Study a lot. Not as much as I loved Poison Study, but definitely more than I liked Magic Study. With Magic Study, it seemed like the plot was being dragged on without actually being concluded at the end, whereas Fire Study had some of the same plot, while having the conclusions that Magic Study demanded. Fire Study is a fantastic ending to a really good series, and I'm happy with the way it everything ended up. I adored the way Yelena's powers developed, although I won't go into details about them for risk of spoiling the story, and I loved the way Snyder chose to close the story.

The book, and indeed, the entire series, seemed like a great mix of all the aspects of a good book. There was a good story, good characters, and a romance that was interesting without taking up the entire goddamn book, like so many YA books seem to. I'm glad to finally find a good YA book that doesn't seem to turn into 'wow, which of these gorgeous perfect devoted guys should the main character end up with' instead of the original story. *coughFracturecough*

That being said, if you read Poison and Magic Study, you probably don't need me to tell you that you need to pick up Fire Study. And as always, a specific recommendation to fans of Tamora Pierce~! If you haven't read Poison and Magic Study, I'd recommend it to all fans of the fantasy and YA genres, although I hope I haven't spoiled the first two books for you in this review!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Enclave - Ann Aguirre

I found Enclave on a Goodread's YA dystopian fiction list a few weeks ago, and finally got around to reading it today. I'm definitely going to be paying attention to these book lists, whoever puts them together is pretty awesome.

Enclave is the story of Deuce, a girl who lives in the underground community of the College enclave. In Deuce's community, you are given a gender and a number at birth, and don't earn a name until you reach 15. At 15 you're granted a position as one of the three classes, a breeder, builder, or hunter, and are marked to show your position in the community at the same time as you are given your name. Deuce has trained her entire life to be a huntress, one of the men and women who leave the community to find meat to feed the children, called brats, and the other members of the community. Being a huntress is dangerous, not because of the hunting, but because of the other beings who haunt the underground tunnels. Called Freaks by Deuce's community, these beings are humanoid beasts with claws and fangs who are single minded in hunting for meat. Although they usually eat carrion, Freaks are more than happy to hunt fresh meat, given the chance, and humans are just that.
But when Deuce is given the position of Huntress, she's also a assigned a partner. The partner she's given, Fade, was adopted into her community, but originally came from the tunnels outside the settlement. He isn't trusted by the other hunters, and because she's his partner, Deuce quickly finds that neither is she. But working with Fade, Deuce is quickly finding that that things she's been taught aren't as solidly true as she used to believe, and when one of her best friends is framed for a crime in order to keep her quiet, Deuce takes the blame and is forced to try and survive in exile, in a world where Freaks aren't the only danger.

I liked the idea behind this book, and while I'm glad I read it, it wasn't without its flaws. Overall, it's definitely a book worth reading, especially if you like dystopia, which we all know I do. The plot is interesting and relatively engaging, the setting seems well thought out, and I'm a pretty big fan of the way the dystopia aspect is presented, particularly Deuce's community. I see a lot of potential in the ideas behind the book, and if there's a sequel I'll definitely pick it up when it comes out to see if that potential is realized.

But this book is far from perfect. Like I said, the ideas behind everything have a lot of potential, but so far, that potential is far from having been realized. A lot of the characters are very vague and dull, because character development doesn't seem to have been prioritized. I can think of at least five characters who were just overall boring and undeveloped. That's not to say that they all are, but for the most part, Aguirre's characters aren't amazing.

Part of the reason Aguirre's characters aren't so great is the fact that many of the themes that could have been explored in the story simply weren't. In fact, there are a lot of potential themes that should have been at least mentioned, but seemed to have been brushed over and ignored. Death seems common in the story, and both Deuce and Fade, as huntress and hunter respectively, cause much of this death. At the emotional maturity of a 15 year old, you'd think this aspect would be at least mentioned, but it's as if it doesn't happen at all, except with a single occasion early in the story. Even that occasion, however, didn't involve Deuce's direct involvement, and one would think that killing with your bare hands would affect you somehow, at least at first.

Besides the characters, the story is a little rushed, and there isn't a lot of development in general. Enclave is one of those books that has so much going on that it could easily be the size of, say, Clan of the Cave Bears by Jean Auel, or maybe the fourth Harry Potter. Because it's not, it seems condensed. The story jumps a lot, and a lot of explanation just isn't given, so it seems like the pace moves too fast for the amount given. I think, had Enclave been separated into more than one book, it would have been better. In fact, there is a very definite part of Enclave that could easily have been the separation between two different books, and by cutting this one book into two, and fleshing the two parts out better, Enclave could have been amazing. But, sadly, it wasn't.

I'm not saying that Enclave is a bad book, don't get me wrong. I liked it, and I'll probably end up reading it again some day, as well as reading any potential sequels, since the book definitely ended on a cliffhanger. But it's not the next Harry Potter or Twilight or Hunger Games or whathaveyou. It's a good book, and it's a book worth reading, but it's not anything more than that. As long as you go into Enclave without expecting something phenomenally fantastic and view changing, you'll probably like it. But if you read the summary and get your hopes up that you're going to find your next favorite book, you might be disappointed.

I would recommend Enclave to fans of the dystopia YA subgenre that's become so popular lately. If you liked Wither by Lauren Destefano, you might like Enclave, and I'd suggest it if you're on the fence about whether or not to get it. But Wither is also a good indicator otherwise, and if you didn't like it, or particularly if the underaged breeding system just rubbed you the wrong way, I'm going to say that you're not going to want to even touch Enclave. Keep in mind that, at 15, there are people in Deuce's community who become Breeders for the community, after all. Fans of Inside Out by Maria Snyder will probably like this book, and fans of Hunger Games looking for something new to try should definitely pick up Enclave next time they get the chance, no questions asked.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Magic Study - Maria Snyder

Wow, I'm really in a Snyder phase at the moment, haha. But I figured I'd finish the Study series before I move on, and I'm trying this whole review every book I touch before I touch another one kind of thing, so here we are. I'll probably end up doing Fire Study at some point soon, too, haha. That being said, onto the review!

Magic Study is, as you may have figured out, the second in the Study series by Maria Snyder, and the sequel to Poison Study. If you haven't read Poison Study yet, you might want to skip past this review until you're done, because I'm probably going to ruin it for you otherwise.

Magic Study continues Yelena's story after she's forced to leave Ixia for being a magician. After leaving behind everything and everyone she knows and loves, Yelena heads into Sitia with Irys and the other children from her orphanage, all of whom are believed to have been originally kidnapped from Sitia's magic families. Yelena meets her family, finds out she has parents, a brother, cousins, and more family in general than she can remember the names of, and goes on to study her magic. But having grown up in Ixia, Yelena's ways clash up against many of the Sitian customs, and seems to gain more enemies each day she remains in Sitia. And to make things worse, she comes to travel and study with a young main who claims to be the rightful prince of Ixia, and who is involved in a plot to get himself back on the throne.

I can't decide how I feel about this book. On one hand, I really wanted something more like Poison Study, and this book kind of takes Yelena's story in a completely different direction. On the other, I kind of like the new direction, too. Poison Study had more of a theme of rebellion, which I loved. I loved the idea of Ixia's command, I loved the setting, I loved the people, I loved Yelena getting stronger, and the love building, and I just loved it.

Magic Study is less about Yelena growing and rebelling and her relationships, and more about traveling, trying to prove that she isn't a spy every 5 minutes, and exploring her magic. Well, that last one makes sense, given the title, but still. Without being in Ixia, there's no real rebellion to be had, the setting changes frequently, with none of them as likeable to me as the Ixia castle was, and, while many of the characters from the first book are present, the relationships are already built with them, so it just isn't the same. There are new characters, obviously, but few of them are very likeable, since this book kind of revolves around Yelena's enemies and clashes in the new culture. That isn't to say there isn't good relationship building, so much as it's just different.

Just because the stories are different doesn't mean this one isn't good, of course. There are a lot of new aspects to Magic Study that I like. Yelena explores her magic, which leads to some pretty awesome developments, not to mention her family and the school. I won't say too much, to keep from spoiling this story for you, but I thought it was still an excellent book. But personal preferences in mind, Poison Study was spectacular, whereas Magic Study is just good.

If you liked Poison Study, then you should obviously check out Magic Study. They're not the same, but if you liked Poison, then you probably want to follow Yelena, haha. And if you like Tamora Pierce, I'd once again recommend both Magic and Poison, because they're definitely in the same place, I think, as far as genre and such.

Check back, and I'll probably have a review up for Fire Study soon, the next book in the Study series.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Teeth: Vampire Tale - Edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

Teeth is a YA anthology of unusual stories about vampires written by many a famous author. The goal of every story is to bring something new to the vampire subgenre, and almost every story in the collection does what it is meant to do.

I could easily go into each individual story and tell you my opinion of them, but I'd rather not ruin the entire collection for you, so I'll try not to get too in depth about any of the stories. As far as trying to bring something new to the vampire subgenre, I definitely think the majority of the authors succeeded. In this collection, there are stories about vampires from Asia, territorial issues and manipulative games involving them, and a particularly memorable story regarding the 'coming out' of vampires, complete with a high school assembly. Some of the ideas are amusing, some are sweet, some are romantic, and, yeah, some of them could have been better, but the best part about this collection is that each story is so short that the good ones tend to have amazingly leading endings, and the bad ones are over so fast they barely phase you.

Of the stories, my favorite was probably "Why Light?" by Tanith Lee, a story about a vampire who can survive the sun, and her arranged marriage to a vampire who can't stand a minute of it. It was a sweet, slightly romantic story that I thought was pretty fantastic, and I'd love to see a full book version, rather than a tiny short story. "All Smiles" by Steve Berman was a close second, and is the story of a gay boy in a type of military camp who runs away, tries hitchhiking, and gets way more than he expected when he gets a ride. Like Lee's story, "All Smiles" could easily make a fantastic full book, and this short story almost reads like the first chapter in what would be a book I'd pick up in an instant.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, I was not even vaguely interested in Neil Gaiman and Emma Bull's contributions to the collection. Don't get me wrong, I like poetry, which is what these two decided to contribute. I like poetry a lot. But when I'm reading short stories, I want to read stories, not poetry. If I wanted poetry, I would be reading a collection of poems. I mean, the poems weren't terrible, but they weren't so amazing that I could forgive them for taking up a slot in the book instead of an awesome story, which I know these two could have done instead, and done well. One of the reasons I wanted to read this was Gaiman's name, and to find out that I get a poem instead of a cool story was just disheartening.

On the bright side, though, a lot of the other author contributions more than made up for those two poems, so I'd say that Teeth is still a cool book. I wouldn't read it all at one time, though, because the stories do tend to blur together. It's a perfect book for reading just before bed, or while you're waiting for an appointment or bus. It's not a 'sit down and make hot chocolate and read for two hours' kind of book, so much as it's a 'hey, I've got time to blow in this waiting room' kind of book.

If you like the usual vampire fiction that's so prevalent on the YA shelves, you'll probably love Teeth, and you should pick it up. If you like any of the authors who contributed, you'll probably like this too. If you're still raging at Twilight for starting this vampire craze, well, you probably weren't interested in Teeth to begin with.

If you want something light, quick, and easy to read while still being entertaining, grab a copy of Teeth when you get the chance!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Poison Study - Maria Snyder

Shortly after finishing Inside Out, I couldn't help but grab the first in Snyder's Study series, especially when the Glass series was only a spin off of it. After reading, I can easily say that Snyder is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.

Poison Study is about a woman named Yelana, who, at the start of the book, has been tried and confessed to killing the son of her benefactor, and is about to be executed. Shortly before her execution date, however, Yelena is offered a second option: as the next person to be executed when the military dictator of the country's food tester has died, she is offered the position herself. Given the choice between dying on the noose and living for just that much longer, Yelena accepts and begins training to detect all manner of poisons, kept loyal through the use of a continual poison she is tricked into taking the first day, and the antidote she must take every morning to keep it's effects prolonged.

Poison Study was not at all the book that I was expecting, which has a lot to do with the fact that, much like Vampire Academies and Bloodlines, I read the spin off series before I read the main series. Lucky me, I once again knew more about the main character that this book even touches on. Because of that, though, this book was completely new to me, besides the names of a few key characters. And even though it wasn't what I was expecting, it was still very good.

I love Snyder's characters. There's no way I couldn't. Her main character is amazing and has depth, the love interest is amazing and has depth, even the side characters, like the military commander whose food she tastes and the cook in the kitchen, are amazing and have depth. Everyone in the book has their own special story and background, and it's frankly amazing. I think I may have loved a few of the side characters more than I loved Yelena, and that's pretty hard.

The plot was pretty awesome too, I've got to say. I was expecting magic and Yelena kicking ass and taking names, from the glass series, and instead I got a country that abhors magic, Yelena being a poison tester(but still awesome), backstabbing, betrayal, love, and hope. This book is definitely one of my new favorites, and I'll be getting a copy for my bookshelves when I get the chance.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy. Fans of Tamora Pierce will probably love Yelena's story as well, as she often came to mind when I was reading Poison Study and the Glass series. There's also a kind of dystopia feel about this book and setting, without it actually being real dystopia, so fans of the genre might want to pick it up as well, just to try it.

Poison Study is out now, and is the first in a series, so if you think it sounds interesting--or if you agree that the cover is gorgeous--, grab a copy next time you get the chance. You won't be disappointed!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Inside Out - Maria Snyder

I actually met Maria Snyder several months before I'd even touched one of her books, after the lovely Zenita D and I went to her book signing to support a friend who helped put it together. She was signing Inside Out, and I didn't make the connection between her and the other series of hers that I read last year, the glass series, until Zenita pointed it out to me a few months ago. When I saw Inside Out again recently, I couldn't help but pick it up in the hopes of it being as good as the glass series. I'm really happy I did!

Inside Out is about Trella, who is a member of the low class in the Inside. Note the capital I. The inside is a huge structure that is made of metal and interwoven with hundreds of pipes and vents. As a member of the lower class, called the scrubs, Trella's entire life consist of mind numbing work, in her case that of cleaning the small pipes that only she and those of her size can fit into. Other scrubs do everything from fixing the parts of the Inside to doing the cooking or tending the hydraulics, and all scrub grow up taken care of by Care Mothers, never knowing their parents or siblings. Scrubs are ruled over by the Pop Cops, who are part of the upper class, and who ensure that the scrubs follow the rules and can't rebel. Trella is the Queen of the Pipes, meaning that she considers scrubs useless, and spends most of her time sleeping and hanging out in the pipes themselves. This changes after her one friend, whom she grew up with, Cog, finds a prophet. Prophets are common, always preaching about a mirror of Christianity, and how one can go Outside if they are good during their lives Outside. Trella has never given into them, until the newest one that Cog finds happens to ask for her by name. And more than that, he may have physical proof of the exit of Inside. It's up to Trella to find out if he's telling the truth, and if so, escape.

I actually really liked this book. As always, I'm a massive fan of any kind of dystopia stuff, which Inside Out reeks of. Anything that reminds me of The Giver or anything like it makes me happy, which means that in today's YA world, I'm a pretty damn happy camper. That being said, Inside Out was good for more than just the setting.

The plot of Inside Out was really good, and Snyder is really good about foreshadowing and providing just enough hints to make the reader think without giving away the entire story. I honestly thought I knew how this was going to end from the very first few chapters, only to get to the end and be pleasantly surprised, which isn't something that happens very much, anymore. Everytime I though I knew what was going on and what was about to happen, it seemed, something else that I hadn't considered would just show up.

As far as characters go, I have to say that I'm a fan of Trella, too. She's a complete badass, which I like, without being the typical 'mary sue' boringly perfect character who just kicks every one's ass and is awesome and unbeatable. She has her flaws, she has her problems, and she actually becomes aware of these.

Overall, I have to say that I really, really liked this book, and I'll probably be grabbing the sequel, Outside In, very soon. It's a nice blend of sci-fi, fantasy, and dystopia all in one, and I'd definitely suggest it. If you're a dystopia fan, pick up Inside Out soon, and tell me what you thought. If you like books that let you think and try and puzzle out the story before you finish it, pick up Inside out and you won't be disappointed. If you're just looking for a new book and you like sci-fi and awesome, grab Inside Out next time you're at your local library and bookstore!

And if you like Inside Out, keep watching, and I'll probably have a review of Outside In sometime soon!