Outside by Shalini Boland

A copy of Outside was kindly sent to me by Shalini Boland in exchange for an honest review. 

I quite enjoyed reading this, some parts more than others, but it has a strong start and finish. Boland has used an interesting take on dystopian fiction, I haven’t read dystopia set in England before (although Riley’s perspective sounded very American in my head), it was definitely too firmly based in the real world for my liking, as I prefer reading things with a fantasy aspect. There were some dubious moments though; everything that happened with Fred, Jessie and the Cathedral Close seemed like a plot filler to flesh out the main story, but it was a good story overall. I liked the split narrative between Riley and Eleanor, even if I couldn’t figure out the point of Eleanor’s narratives at the beginning.*

Luc was pretty wonderful, if a bit stupid (I certainly wouldn’t be listening to a sixteen year old girl who had only ever lived within the safe walls of a her perimeter) and pretty much the only reason I could stand Riley, who was far too naïve and sheltered for my liking (me and female protagonists are not on good terms at the minute). Why she had to spend half the novel questioning her feelings for Luc is beyond me, the long running ‘I like him but I shouldn’t’ became annoying very quickly. These girls just need to get over themselves, kiss the damn guy and see what happens. I have a feeling Skye would have been a much better main character…

Outside is quite a strong start to a series, and I’m quite interested to see where Boland goes with it, the plot twist at the end has left me intrigued.

Read: July 8th-14th 2013

3/5 stars

*spoilers from Goodreads removed


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