Amy's Reviews > Outside

Outside by Shalini Boland
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's review
May 11, 2013

it was ok
bookshelves: british

I must admit to expecting a little more. I waited since May to read this & I was quite excited that I was finally reading it, so I read it quickly. You know when you think it'll pick up so you keep reading.
One thing that bugged me was how the book is told from Riley's perspective & Eleanor's. I was expecting to find out pretty soon how they were connected. Well, we found out so late in the novel & I felt disappointed; I didn't get why we'd needed to know about both of their lives. Every time it was exciting with Riley- BAM... You guessed it, Eleanor would suddenly appear. She seemed quite a flat character if I'm honest. But it's weird: it was finding out about how they were connected that sort of kept me hooked. But it turned out so "meh". I mean, you can't have one character with agency & drama you want to read about & the other just... a bit of a page filler.
Riley was the real story and she was quite a good character. I even wavered with the rating- maybe it'd have got bumped up to 2.5 & been rounded, but really... I didn't like this whole book. Just Riley a little.
Eleanor, hmm... Do you get what I think of her? She obviously had some point... she actually was living a few decades prior to Riley but for the most part she was too self-centered.
As I've said, this book is such a dramatic novel, and fairly entertaining but it could've been better. The action was so convenient, the twists were OK, but the solutions? Always seeming quite unbelievable. All the things they encounter mean it definitely has its good, and exciting, points but I don't think this was for me... It didn't seem solid enough, HOW could they just fix this, that & the other? Also, I've started to get used to dystopia novels or really, many genres besides chick flick, having more action now- it's more important than the romance. This book had romance & if I'm honest, at points it took away from the plot & made it really quite unrealistic. Riley's reactions to the boy that becomes a love interest are totally not likely to happen in real life so I felt like she lost some of reliability & for this, I actually rated Outside 1.5 stars.
I'd probably have liked it about 2-3 years ago, and then would have overlooked the fact that maybe something more than just making out was hinted at (it's subtle though, I'm not against that & honestly think my 12-year old self would have completely not noticed that element) but now... it's not my type of book. Dystopia is. Books with avid scenery are as well but unfortunately I just couldn't connect to this book, I'm sure some other readers might but I wouldn't recommend it to serious readers. Looking for something light & easy to read? Pick up Outside!

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Reading Progress

May 11, 2013 – Shelved
May 11, 2013 – Shelved as: british
May 11, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
August 12, 2013 – Started Reading
August 14, 2013 – Finished Reading

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