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4.19  ·  Rating details ·  171 ratings  ·  119 reviews
The Proof of the Outside follows the story of Ele, who is held captive in a small room by a man known as ‘Him’. Ele is determined to prove there is a world Outside. And when she finds a hole in the wall, the proof starts leaking in. In this dark and compelling debut novel, Ele's strong and heartbreakingly optimistic voice shines through, revealing an important lesson about ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 3rd 2019 by Penguin Random House Children's UK
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Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a story where the less you know before you read it the better so while I’d usually provide content warnings before my review they’ll be at the end of this one, so it’s up to you if you want to read them or not.

Ele lives Inside a Tower with the Others and collects Proofs of the Outside. She dreams of being an Outside Person instead of an Other but knows there are Dragons, Giants and Ogres Outside. Inside is anything but a fairytale because of Him but Inside is all she knows.

Ele is one of
Julie Parks
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller, ya
This was such an authentic read. I can only hope this wasn't based on any real experiences.

The story feels so real and heartfelt. Even the language is very subject appropriate. Sarah Ann Juckes' prose is so lyrical and addictive.

And because of the main narrator Ele's imagination, the story reads almost more like a sci-fi than horror.

It is more of a character development rather than an action plot, though. So don't expect the usual Hollywood chase down the road at the end.

Thank you NetGalley fo
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
uckes's debut novel, is a young adult story of inspiration and thriving despite adversity, and although these type of books usually very much appeal to me this was tough to get through, so tough that I almost gave up on more than one occasion. Ele's narrative was quite confusing and difficult to absorb, but I do understand the authors desire to create something original. Sometimes it works, others it doesn't - this wasn't quite executed well enough for me. It also starts very slowly and descript ...more
Anna 'Bookbuyer' call me bookbuyer. ^-^
First I would like to thank Netgalley for the opportunity to review this book and also to apologize for it being late.

Now on to the review.

This book ultimately was a three star for me. I found some issues with the formatting which was probably because it was an ARC. Also, it was a bit confusing.

I like Ele. I found her story inspiring and sad. It took me a really long time to figure out who the others were. I won't explain who they are as I'm trying for spoiler free but it's ultimately sad and a
Outside is a captivating debut novel from UKYA author Sarah Ann Juckes. It is fast-paced, full of layered and wonderful characters and comes together in a shocking and emotional finale.

It’s hard to review this story without spoilers, so I’ll be keeping it fairly brief. This is the kind of book where the less you know, the better the reading experience.

Outside tells the story of Ele and the Others. From the outset we know there is something different about Ele. The way she describes the world aro
Evie Braithwaite
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Outside follows the story of Ele, who is held captive in a small room by a man known as ‘Him’. Ele is determined to prove there is a world Outside. And when she finds a hole in the wall, the proof starts leaking in.

I had mixed feelings about this novel for the first few chapters. The language was difficult to navigate and I didn’t know what I’d let myself in for. However, I stuck with it and was soon swept up in Ele's mission and her distinctive childish vernacular.

It's down to the perspective
Adele Shea
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an absolute gem of a book this is!

A modern day fairytale of escaping the evil witch. Except the evil witch is a male captor who has no intentions of letting his prisoners go. That is until the day Ele finally finds the courage to escape, run and never look back.

Loved this book so much I read it within a couple of hours. Thank you Sarah Ann Juckes.
Sarah Juckes
Mar 29, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Hi everyone! I'm so excited for you all to meet Ele in January 2019.

Ele is held captive in a small room by a man known as ‘Him’. She is determined to prove there is a world Outside, and when she finds a hole in the wall, the proof starts leaking in.

She has a weird, striking voice. Although she's trapped Inside, she has the kind of resilience and tenacity that I hope I'd have if ever faced with real danger. Ele's experience of the world is coloured by the fairytale books she has Inside with her.
Dec 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Blog Post:


*I was provided with an ARC of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest opinion. All quotes used may be subject to change upon publication.

The synopsis for Outside greatly intrigued me as it reminded me of the book Room by Emma Donoghue, which I read and quite enjoyed. As well as the protagonist being held captive, like in Room, Outside is also told in a very unique point of view,
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
The first thing I'll say is there are going to be obvious comparisons here with Emma Donoghoe's Room and that is simply because it's a similar subject matter and not many books are written like this. Ele is held captive and it is through her eyes we see the world, 'inside' is quite confusing at times but that is because it is told through Ele are we are meant to be confused as she is. There is child abuse, neglect and violence, it is never graphic or overtly mentioned, but the images the author ...more
“Truths are like people, see. They don’t like being shut up tight. They shrivel slowly, and they rot with lies, creating something mighty ugly.”

Wow! What can I say about this book?! Like Emma Donoghue’s Room it is both disturbing and redeeming at the same time. Ele’s language and immature outlook on life gives us an indication on her age, but also demonstrates just how long she has been held captive. It makes for difficult reading at the beginning, but I got the hang of it after a few chapters.
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very difficult book to read, but amazingly done. Heartfelt, real and it makes you think. What more do you need? Can I sit in a corner and cry now? Howly crap this was harrowing.
Dannielle Potts
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Thank You Netgalley & Publishers For Granting My Request To Review This Book: If You’ve Enjoyed “Room”, This Is The Book For You!

Having Read “Room” Myself, Once I Was A Few Pages In, I Fell Into A Rythym With The Language Which Is Similar. The Descriptive Language Fits Perfectly With The Image The Author Portrays Of The “Girl In The Tower”.

Although This Is A YA Novel, It Deals With Issues Very Relevant To All Age Groups, Predominantly Mental Health And Is A Great Medium To Raise Awareness.
Christine -  LifeWithAllTheBooks
Outside was actually a really pleasant surprise for me. I hadn’t heard of it until I saw it on Netgalley and thought it looked intriguing. I can see it being likened to Room as it deals with a similar harrowing theme of being imprisoned. However I think Outside stands up really well entirely on it’s own merits.

Outside follows a young girl, Ele, on her quest to escape her captivity and get to the ‘outside’ world. The book is written in a way that takes some getting used to. The reader is thrown i
Kate (Reading Through Infinity)
3.5 stars

TWs for mentions of physical assault and sexual abuse, captivity, emotional abuse.

This novel is about a young girl, Ele, who has lived most of her life inside, but finally gets to experience the outside. The story is told through first person, and I was struck by how strong Ele's narrative voice was. We experience everything she experiences through her vivid descriptions of the world around her. At times, her views and descriptions are childish, but having grown up with no parents or sc
Jemima Pett
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The blurb intrigued me, and the book continues the intrigue.  The reader is continually trying to work out what is going on, who the other people are, where Ele is.  Eventually her location came as a surprise to me.  Then the type of establishment sent changing ideas through my brain.  The answer was very different from the thoughts I'd had.

The book is a conundrum, wrapped in a riddle.  The outcome is an enigma in many ways.  The power of the author's voice keeps you turning the pages, full of h
Gayle Noble
Ele and the Others have been trapped inside by Him for as long as she can remember. Ele knows there is a world Outside, but can she ever get there?

This book was a quick read for me. I found that after a very slow start, the story began to pick up about a third of the way in, and by then I definitely wanted to know what had happened to Ele. The language used took a little getting used to, but it was understandable when you consider Ele and the Others had no other frames of reference apart from so
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a difficult book to read- at least to start with. It took a long while to get into the style of writing & the strange story. However before long I realised that this was a book where I really wanted to find out what it was all about.

I have never read 'Room' but from reviews I gather the premise is similar so I did not have any preconceived expectations. Normally I give a short precis of the plot but with this one I suggest you read it for yourself. I'm glad I did as it will be a whi
Jan 06, 2019 rated it liked it
First book of 2019! This was an intense read with very mature content but i’m glad it didnt go into too much detail. It was very hard to wrap my head around the talking style and it did kind of just throw you in with no context so it took me a little while to work out the situation. Once I was into it though it was a great read. This book was actually a free gift with a dymocks purchase in their sale period so it was a nice surprise!
Jodie- Readthewriteact
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was sent to me by the publisher for my honest review.

I really enjoyed this book despite how dark the subject. It was very cleverly written with the concept of "Outside" meaning so much more to the protagonist. This is a sad story, so don't look here for some feel good fluff. This book makes you think and feel a lot!!!
Sara Oxton
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Outside by Sarah Ann Juckes a five-star read that will give you thought. This is one of those reads that you won’t be able to put down, it will compel you to read until the last page. I don’t know what to say without giving the plot or a twist away. its one I don’t want to spoil for any reader, I know it’s a YA genre but I really hope that it gets read by more than just that genre as it had a great cross over, once you get used to the language and the phrasing used you will get sucked in and sta ...more
Lindsay Galvin
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
To say this is a compelling read would be an understatement, I devoured it in one terrifying gulp. Ele's voice is intense, real and original, and the mystery at the centre of the plot had me guessing up to my last frantic page turns. Read this book if you are willing to invite an earthquake into your heart and experience the aftershocks for a long time after. Outside will have huge adult cross-over appeal, and I'll be recommending widely.
Madelene Waldron
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
PHENOMENAL! Such a riveting book with a really compelling voice and a fascinating story. I was drawn to Ele immediately, and was very invested in how her story would unfold. I strongly reccomend!!!
Tori Hodges
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5* Minus a few little things, this book was amazing. If you’ve read room you’ll like this, just as dark and powerful but also hopeful and full of childlike innocence. 4.5*
Aisha Bushby
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review tba
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I got a proof of this book from YALC 2018 and knew immediately that it would be a tough one to read. The main character Ele (like Elephant) is trapped inside and wants to get out. She is fed once a day, 'rained on' to wash her and there are 'sun bars' that tell her when it's night or day. Ele has reason to be terrified of the guy who keeps her there, and sometimes locks herself in her mind to go to the Outside Inside her Head. She sets up a series of proofs that the Outside exists, and that she ...more
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I remember reading 'Room' by Emma Donoghue and thinking "SOMEONE NEEDS TO WRITE A YA VERSION OF THIS". Not only has Juckes managed to do this, but she has taken it to such new heights.

Outside was an extraordinary read (I read it all in one frantic sitting, flipping the pages as fast as I could).

Firstly, the voice - SO distinct, so captivating, so engaging. I can tell how much work has been put in to both creating and maintaining that - so mega props to Juckes.

Secondly, the plot (because I am su
India McLeod Kay
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Outside is a dark and deeply disturbing book that will shake you to your core while also opening your mind to important ideas about life and its relationship with literature.

The most interesting thing about this book is the perspective from which it is written. Like the fantastic Room by Emma Donoghue, Outside is narrated by a child who knows nothing about the real world, which we inhabit. This means that, as Ele learns more about ‘Outside’ and describes what she encounters, we are able to read
Sophie Eminson
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Outside by Sarah Ann Juckes is breathtakingly deep, heartbreaking and incredibly insightful. This darkly fascinating novel considers upbringing and how it effects children, as well as the relationship between parents and children. The elements of this book where learning and language are considered are truly thought-provoking, as it causes the reader to question what they could learn if they were never taught anything. A cross between Room by Emma Donoghue and My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tall ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teens
How to be an outside person, number one – Go outside

Going outside seems simple right? Just as telling you about this book should also be simple, but it’s not, I barely know where to start. How do I tell you that this book is disturbing but redeeming, which is why I couldn’t put it down and why I want others to read it.

It had me on edge the whole time, I was confused and even frustrated, the solutions seemed so simple but they weren’t. My heart ached, I wanted Ele to be safe, to be free, to under
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My debut novel, 'Outside', will be published by Penguin Random House in January 2019.

In the past, I've worked for small publishers and public libraries, but now you can find me creating content for Jericho Writers, by day (and writing by night). I'm also a proud volunteer for the NSPCC and Board member at Creative Future.

I collect old editions of J. M. Barrie's 'Peter Pan and Wendy'; take too ma
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“But this ain't Rapunzel's story, is it? This is mine. And if there ain't no Prince running in and slaying the Witch, then that means this Princess has got to do her own damn dirty work herself.” 0 likes
“How to be an Outside person - number twelve: Read all the books.” 0 likes
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