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Outside In

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  289 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
Lynn’s life is full — choir practice, school, shopping for the perfect jeans, and dealing with her free-spirited mother. Then one day her life is saved by a mysterious girl named Blossom, who introduces Lynn to her own world and family — both more bizarre, yet somehow more sane, than Lynn’s own.

Blossom’s family is a small band of outcasts and eccentrics who live secretly i
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published May 1st 2014 by Groundwood Books
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Dec 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
One star because the book is slow and as it moves slowly along, not much happens. I did really like Lynn, the main character. She's got a funny, wise view of the world, and the way she handles her flaky mother is impressive. I wish Lynn had had more story to play with.
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
~Can you keep a secret?~
Outside in: a 2015 Red maple nominee you're sure to enjoy. With a realistic fiction book filled with mystery, drama, humour, and adventure, it certainly will have you on the edge of your seats. Follow Lynn on her adventure with her new mysterious friend blossom, as they encounter their inexplicable journeys, all just to keep one single secret.

Lynn and her friends Kassie and Celia are excited to go on a trip with the school choir, to attend a singing contest in Oregon. As
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was amazing. First, I thought that it was a tad unaccessible because there is a bit of slangy descriptors in the beginning, but they grew on me. I have read many books with many bad parents in them, but the mother in this one deserves a punch in the face. I would love to read more about the Underlanders, I was so charmed and thrilled by their lifestyle that I would read faster until we could get back to them. As a librarian THIS is exactly why I am so sensitive to children and adults w ...more
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
A nice little book that questions consumer culture in a gentle and satisfying way. I liked the characters, and their relationships, but as likable as they were, they were a little flat. There was some slang that I found a bit obscure (maybe because I haven’t spent any time in British Columbia), and the dialogue seemed a little wooden to me—this one might just not travel that well.
Philippa Dowding
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the first Sarah Ellis book I've ever read, and now I'm wondering why I waited so long?! This story really grabbed me from the first moment, and it didn't let me go. I was very happy to quiet my inner writer's voice and go along for the ride. The premise is interesting: a young girl discovers a family living totally off-grid and "underground" in every sense of the word. The off-grid family, or Underlanders, seems at first offbeat, strange, a group of misfits, but as you come to know them, ...more
After being saved by the kindness of a stranger, Lynn, seeks to find her anonymous Good Samaritan. When they finally connect she learns that her good sam's name is Blossom who lives off the grid with her unconventional family. Lynn who lives a typical middle class life with her flaky and unreliable mother is intrigued by Blossom's loving but unusual family. This was a great book that makes you think without becoming too preachy. The author does a good job of pointing out that no life is perfect ...more
Jan 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: red-maple-2015
The book was slow and boring.I just did not like it.I put the book down after 50 pages but finished it. I agree with Keaton. this is not my kind of book. One star for me.
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: red-maple
I really enjoyed this book, but would have liked a little less drama between the friends and whatnot, I think.Still, a really great book.
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I liked this book!
Heather Layne
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-books
Loved it. Quick one-day read.
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
Lynn has a busy life with two best friends, choir, and a mother who keeps messing things up. Her mother can’t hold down a job and the man who has brought a lot of stability to their little family for a few years has just left because her mother cheated on him. Luckily, he is allowing them to keep living in his condo for a few months. When Lynn chokes on a butterscotch candy at the bus stop, an unknown person helps her. All Lynn knows about the person is that they were wearing a plaid skirt. Lynn ...more
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yrca-books
This is a great example of how to not judge a book by it's cover. This is a sweet realistic fiction, quick read. It is a YRC nominated book for 2017.
Bryant Schumacher
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: etec-545-class-4
“You could call Sunday Wednesday.” Lynn, like most popular girls in school, has a full schedule. Shopping (yeah, that comes first), school, and choir to name a few. Other than her somewhat unreliable “free-spirit” of a mom, Lynn’s life is rather normal. One day, though, her life is saved by a young vagrant girl at a bus stop. Blossom, or “heimlich girl” as she becomes to be known to some, saved Lynn from choking on a toffee candy. Blossom, though being somewhat elusive, eventually becomes friend ...more
Outside In by Sarah Ellis is about a typical high school girl named, Lynn. She does well in school, is part of the choir and has a hippy mom who never seems to be able to hold a job. Her life is a little weird but she is pretty normal. Until she meets Blossom. Blossom saves her life at the bus stop when she begins to choke and they become friends. Blossom introduces Lynn to her "family" who live as "The Underlanders" under the city reservoir. They are unconventional and weird, but smart and lovi ...more
Siena Mccollum
When Lynn is rescued from a near death experience, her whole life perspective is changed. While choking at a bus station, a mysterious girl in a school uniform performs CPR on her and saves her life but then quickly disappears before Lynn can thank her. Lynn began to give up on the search for her mystery life saver. Then finally came the time for her school choir field trip that she had been waiting for what feels like forever to go on. She was all prepared when she finds out that Shakti, her ca ...more
Brooklyn Walkerschulte
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“Outside In” by Sarah Ellis is an extraordinary read, which I would recommend to anyone within any age bracket. It has what at first glance could be considered complete fairy-tale like attributes, until you realize that it is indeed realistic fiction, and people with the misfortunes of family problems could somewhat relate to it. The beginning was a bit confusing, since it threw you right in, and I wasn’t quite sure I’d get into the jive of the book, but soon those thoughts were dashed away. I w ...more
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Lynn would like to go with her friends on her school choir trip, but when her free-spirited mother forgets to apply for her passport, everything changes. She misses out on the trip, but she encounters a strange girl named Blossom who lives underground with her family in a bunker. Lynn was sworn to secrecy, but when her friends get back from Oregon, she finds it harder and harder to keep their secret.

I picked up this book because it was a Red Maple Nominee and the title sounded interesting. I fi
Lynn is fortunate enough to have two supportive classmates. When the actions of her free-spirited mother cause the man with whom they have been living to leave the country, Lynn becomes angry and impatient with her mother's choices. After Blossom, a girl whose family lives off the grid, saves her life on the street, Lynn becomes friends with the girl. While her other friends are on a field trip, she is drawn increasingly to the world where Blossom lives. Their friendship causes her to question w ...more
Jane Drabkin
Jul 24, 2014 rated it liked it
I started this book and quickly entered into the world of the Underlander, but life intervened and I didn't get back to the book for a few days. In the interim my mind was working on certain inconsistencies and it was much harder to suspended my disbelief. Lynn's life with her over the top mother seemed spot on, I must admit that having Shakti calling the Brownies a "para-military, post-colonial organization..." absolutely nailed the introduction to her. For me Blossom was filled with contradict ...more
April R.
Sep 18, 2014 rated it liked it

Outside In was a very interesting book. When i started to read the book it seemed to get my attention about the 3rd or 4th chapter of reading it, and really made me predict what was going to happen to the main character Lynn and her unusual friend Blossom. Its one of those books that makes you worry about the choices she was going to make,and how well they were going to react to them.I was a little concerned about her language and the way she talked to her mom and how she was very opened to her
Buried In Print
Following Amazon's purchase of GoodReads, I no longer post my reviews here.

If you would like to read my thoughts on this book, you can view them in the following places:

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Patricia J. O'Brien
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
What I really liked about Outside In is it makes the reader look at people most of us avoid looking at--the homeless, although the characters in this book have made a home of sorts off the grid in an abandoned reservoir.
Canadian author Sarah Ellis takes a teenage girl with a normal life (even though her mother is eccentric/erratic and life has been rocky) and has her meet this strange girl who talks of needing to stay invisible to citizens and calls herself an Underlander.
This story raises numer
Jan 29, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: red-maple-2015
I really did not enjoy this book. The plot really unrealistic and hard to relate to. Every chapter got more and more confusing to the point where I didn't even want to read it anymore. The book was also extremely slow moving and it didn't feel like it was even going to end. I feel like if I had bought this book I would bring it back for a refund right away because it was a waste of money. I do have to say how the charters acted and what happened to them was pretty unique.The whole idea of the wo ...more
David Polegato
Jan 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: redmaple-2015
I am deeply regretting reading this abysmal book. It is poorly written, which doesn't help the fact that the plot itself is extremely boring. The characters are dull and have little to no depth and do not have any little quirks that make characters seem human. The Underlanders are almost placed in fantasy which is a problem for a book trying to center itself in reality. In my opinion the book would have been a little bit more interesting if the author had shown how much Lynn's life would of chan ...more
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 17, 2015 rated it liked it
So there's only really one word to describe this book: strange. At the beginning I was very confused to the point where I thought it was some type of dystopian novel. It moves very slowly, but I liked this pace. However, the ending was very unsatisfying. I don't really even know what the plot was? I was waiting for something big to happen, and when nothing big happened I was waiting for the ending to bring answers. No answers were brought. Still, the book wasn't entirely bad. I enjoyed the main ...more
Jan 25, 2015 rated it did not like it
I am not going to sugar coat this... I rated this book a one star because it was just a crummy, terrible book. It was a VERY, VERY slow, moving book and the plot was just strange. If you are a slow reader, I highly recommend you DO NOT read this book because, once you stop reading, you won't ever want to pick it back up again.With this book, its better to be a fast reader because you can easily finish it. PLEASE, if you are thinking about getting this book, you might want to prepare a funeral fo ...more
Canadian Reader
Teenaged Lynn meets "Underlander" Blossom, who lives a secret life off the grid with her scavenging, cobbled-together "family": ex-physicist Fossick, autistic Larch, and fascinating, beautiful Tron. Lynn is fascinated by Blossom's secret, alternative lifestyle, which threatens to be exposed, and possibly destroyed, by Lynn's participation in an "Underlander" event which is filmed. An interesting idea, capably written about, yet somehow underwhelming.

Surely a better cover could have been designe
Jan 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
I didn't like this book one bit. It was so boring and slow. I did like the main character Lynn though. She hada way of making everything she did like an adventure. Lynn goes to a choir at school and when her school goes for a choir competion out of the country she needs a passport. She gets her mom to send out a form to get one but she forgets so Lynn has to stay back. When her school leaves for the competion she meets this new girl Blossom who is and undergrounder. Undergrounders are people tha ...more
Apr 19, 2015 rated it did not like it
Outside in was just a horrible book! The book may have been short but it took me quite some time to read. Starting off from the first page of the book I was dying to finish it, not as in it's a really good book, I mean I was literally dying to finish it, because of how bad it was!

I would not recommend this book to anyone. I wish I could at least give it two stars, but I just couldn't! I would only recommend it to someone to read it if you really have to, and if you where going for reading all t
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Writer, columnist, and librarian Sarah Ellis has become one of the best-known authors for young adults in her native Canada with titles such as The Baby Project, Pick-Up Sticks, and Back of Beyond: Stories of the Supernatural. In addition to young adult novels, Ellis has also written for younger children and has authored several books about the craft of writing. Praised by Booklist contributor Haz ...more
More about Sarah Ellis
“What if you could just invent your family, your home, your life?
You could. You could call Sunday Wednesday. Be awake and living at 3 a.m. Use T-shirts instead of sheets. Eat lettuce like an apple. Blow your nose on socks.
Take four unrelated people and make a family.”
More quotes…