Monday, December 16, 2013

Review: Outside by Shalini Boland

Title: Outside
Author: Shalini Boland
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Release Date: July 21, 2011
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Book One in The Outside Series.

The future is divided by Perimeters: high-security gated communities where life goes on as normal. If you’re inside you’re lucky. If you’re outside, life expectancy takes a nose dive.

Riley is fortunate to have been born on the right side of the fence. But her life of privilege comes crashing down when someone breaks through and murders her sister. 

She forsakes her own safety to go in search of the killer. Luc decides to go with her otherwise she’ll be dead before she’s past the security gate. But what awaits her outside is more unbelievable that she ever imagined.

Cut to the present day where Eleanor's world is falling apart. This time next year, civilisation won't be quite so civilised...

Outside is two stories that are told at the same time.  At first the jumping back and forth was very confusing, but as I got used to the two differnent voices and times, it turned out to work very well.  One story is Riley's.  Riley's search for her sister's killer takes her outside her safe zone (literally) and into what she refers to as Outside.  The world has fallen apart and going outside of your secured compound can be very dangerous.

Eleanor's story is the story of how the world got this way.  We watch the fall of society through the eyes of a teenage girl and her family.  It is an interesting perspective and eventually we find how it ties to Riley's story.  The two merge quite beautifully near the end.

There is a lot of adventure in Riley's story and a lot of teenage angst in Eleanor's.  The book had a lot of tense moments spread out as if you were watching several TV episodes in a row - each with their own conflict and climax.  It made it easy to forget the overall story arch at times.  The world Shalini Boland has built is very interesting and believable - look for my review of book two in the next couple weeks.

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