I was sent this book through NetGalley in exchange for a review – Thanks to them and Penguin Random House UK for sending me a copy!
Author: Sarah Ann Juckes
Genre: Teens & Y/A
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK
Publication Date: 3rd January 2019
‘Here’s the thing about being Inside. Ain’t no one believes that they are.’
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 the power of stories to save lives.
I read Outside in a single sitting, that’s how gripping it was. Reminiscent of the incredibly moving film Room, starring Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, Outside follows the story of Ele’s journey to freedom and finding her courage.
- The book deals with issue in a sensitive way in my opinion. I read that Sarah Ann Juckes has worked with NSPCC – National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children – in order to gain an insight into trauma and issues surrounding this, so I hope that she does indeed manage to portray these both realistically and respectfully.
- Although the book deals with difficult subject matter and approaches mature topics, it still manages to retain a uniquely positive and engaging tone. This is largely due to the main character: Ele. Despite having gone through so much trauma, Ele manages to retain an innocence, largely due to the fairytales she has read and constructs an entire world in her head in order to deal with her captivity.
- Reading through Eles perspective was refreshing, as a reader you get to see the world through her eyes. All she knows of the outside world is through the fairytales she has read so it’s interesting and sometimes amusing, to see the way she describes things and just like Ele, we have to figure it all out as we go.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in a unique and impactful story, with a hopeful tone even in the midst of such a dark topic.
★★★★ – 4 Star Rating
Until next time,