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Outside by Sarah Ann Juckes - Review

Thursday, June 6, 2019

I was granted access to this book on Netgalley, so thank you to Penguin Random House Children's for the chance to read this book. I was given an e copy of this book in exchange for a review, but was not otherwise compensated for this post.

I was intrigued by the premise to this book when I was browsing Netgalley. Ele has spent her whole life confined to Inside. Inside her Tower she lives with the Others; Cow, Queenie, and Bee. Until not too long ago she lived with her brother Zeb, too. They are kept confined by Him. He comes every week and sexually abuses Ele (which isn't graphically described in the book, but is obvious).

By the time we meet Ele Zeb has died. He taught Ele about the Outside, he had proofs that Outside existed. Ele reminds herself of those proofs all the time. Then one day the Outside starts pouring into the Tower and Ele knows that the time has come for her to escape.

I found this a compelling book, so I read it quickly. I liked Ele's simplistic language and liked how she made sense of the world around her. I liked the world she found on the Outside, I liked the people she met and how she healed. I thought the end was good. I had guessed one of the twists but thought it came about really well, so I liked it. I would have liked a little bit more resolution at the end, but as it was still from Ele's point of view it makes sense as to why there wasn't more.

I think this is an accomplished book and the world was really well imagined. I'd definitely read something else by the author. I'm giving it eight out of ten.


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