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Thursday, 28 November 2019

Blog Tour: Guest Post by Author Natalie Hibberd; Inside Out


Inside Out 
by Natalie Hibberd
Release Date: November 30th, 2019
Publishers: Matador
Genre: YA, Dystopia 
Pages: 192
Amazon: Purchase
 
In a divisive world of mistrust and murder, there's only one thing that matters growing up: you're either in The Inside or The Outside.

While the Insiders appear pampered and privileged, the Outsiders know only harsh realities. Believing themselves to be needlessly deprived of everything the Insiders have, the younger generation channel their rage into a terrorist group called The Freedom Fighters, a group intent on overthrowing the Inside at any cost. Now the Insiders must watch as the world they love collapses around them while the government resort to increasingly desperate tactics to try and contain the Outside threat. When the latest initiative catapults one of the young into the heart of the war, everything is pushed to breaking point.

Loyalties will be tested. Lives will be risked. Their worlds will change forever.

My Top 5 YA Books
It’s so hard to narrow down my favourite YA books, as this is a genre teaming with wonderful and inventive voices. My ‘favourite’ books fluctuate all the time but here - in no particular order - are some fantastic reads that have stuck in my head (and my heart): 

Only Ever Yours (Louise O’Neill)  
22913648Set in a world where women are artificially grown and brainwashed by the state to believe that their only purpose is to serve the needs of men, this book was so acerbic it actually made me wince. Unlike most dystopian heroines, O’Neill’s Freida is not a defiant ‘chosen one’, but a girl who is abused, repressed and indoctrinated just as much as her fellow ‘eves.’ Never have I been introduced to a protagonist whose behaviour made me veer so dramatically between pity, empathy and frustration. Fiercely feminist and not for the fainthearted – this novel is not to be missed. 

The Declaration (Gemma Malley) 
Another haunting dystopia, The Declaration takes place in a world where, as a result of humans becoming immortal, almost all children are illegal. Known as ‘Surpluses’ these children are stolen from their parents and raised in prisonlike ‘Surplus Halls’ to atone for the sin of their existence by serving the legal population. I have poured over this intricate, multi-layered masterpiece so many times that my original copy has literally fallen to pieces. I come back to The Declaration again and again – and every single time something new leaps out at me from these disintegrating pages. 

17451795. sy475 Every Day (David Leviathan) 
Reading this book is like sitting in an orchestral pit, with Leviathan’s melodic prose leading you through the life of protagonist A – a soul that spends every day in the body of a different person – in this emotional rollercoaster of a novel. Although the central romance is utterly swoon-worthy, the thing that makes this book so remarkable is the diversity and inclusivity which powers the story like a beating heart. In this world, there is no ‘us’ and ‘them’ (a central theme of Inside Out.) There are just people and that is vitally important. 

Noughts and Crosses (Malorie Blackman) 
This romantic, gritty and devastating story was the first ever YA book I read (nine years ago as part of my secondary school English class) and I have been wedded to the genre ever since. Like Inside Out, this is a book that discusses the colossal damage that can be done to our fellow human beings by the rampant application of labels. So moved was I by the plight of star-crossed lovers Sephy and Callum that I accidentally spoiled the ending for my twin sister Lorna – something about which I still feel guilty.  

Meat Market (Juno Dawson)  
Part social realism, part twisted fairy tale, the story of teenage supermodel Jana had me gripped from the first page. This book contains all the things that make me angry (sexism, dishonesty and damaging, arbitrary labels) but still somehow left me feeling hopeful. An essential read for the #MeToo era. 

About the author:
Natalie Hibberd was born in Portsmouth and has wanted to be an author since she was two years old. She is publishing her debut novel Inside Out, independently with Matador, aged 21. Natalie was born with cerebral palsy. When she isn’t writing and reading, she enjoys singing, amateur dramatics and listening to podcasts. Natalie lives in Petersfield, Hampshire, with her parents and her assistance dog, Cleo. 

Follow Natalie on Twitter @NatalieHibberd 

Inside Out is available in paperback and e-book on 30 November. 

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