Michelle's Reviews > Inside

Inside by Brenda Novak
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's review
Mar 01, 2011

really liked it

Sent to prison for the murder of his stepfather Virgil Skinner joins a gang called The Crew for his own protection. Fourteen years later and recently exonerated of his crime, Skinner is a free man. But to protect his family from his own gang affiliation, Virgil agrees to go undercover in a supermax prison to help infiltrate a rapidly growing gang. Chief Deputy Warden Peyton Adams pleads with her superiors to reconsider bringing Vergil into Pelican Bay. Realizing the decision has already been made and Vergil is in, all Peyton can do now is to try and keep the man she’s attracted to safe from the dangers that lurk behind the prison walls.

I’d have to say one of my favorite things about reading, is how a book can surprise you. People pick books because something about it interests them but what is it that pushes that book beyond the boundary of mere interest and into the realm of captivation? Is it the author’s writing style, pace, character development or is it the luck of the draw? Well I’d hedge my bets on the former, but whatever it is Brenda Novak’s book ‘Inside’ compelled me from the very beginning.

I instantly knew I was reading a great—not good—great book, when the day came to an end and I‘d consumed over half of it—YIKES! While I love to get lost in a story, I usually consider it to be a glass half full, glass half empty situation. Why? Well, half full because the book has drawn me in to the point pages are whizzing by and half empty because it’ll soon come to an end and there won’t be any more pages to turn—which in this case was extremely disappointing because I was enjoying ‘Inside’ so much.

One of the most enjoyable components of Brenda Novak’s new book was the anticipation it seemed to entice from its reader—I couldn’t wait to read about Virgil’s entry into Pelican Bay. Having never read a story that takes the reader inside a prison I couldn’t wait to see what Novak had in store for Virgil’s character. Another component that I thoroughly enjoyed was how Novak gave each character their own personal struggle to overcome. This added more believability to the book, and added more depth to the main storyline, propelling it into the captivation category for me, as I couldn’t wait to read about everyone.

Being the first book of Brenda Novak’s I’ve read, ‘Inside’ did not disappoint. If all her books are written to this caliber, I can’t wait to get my hands on more.

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