Posted in 5 stars, Book Review, interview, YA

Review + Interview ! Inside out by Terry Trueman.


Title: Inside Out
Author: Terry Trueman
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 117
Source: Kindle
Rating: 5

I adore books that start like this.

Bam! In the middle of a busy action scene. You don’t know where you are, what you are doing or why you are there, all you know is that you like this. You like this a lot.

(Grabs popcorn and overly charged soda.)

I had already laughed out loud 5 times and I had barely reached the second page.


In a busy coffee shop, a robbery goes wrong. Two gunmen hold seven hostages, including teenager Zach Wahhsted. What nobody realizes at first is that Zach is anything but ordinary and his troubled mind is more dangerous than any weapon.

My experience:

Wow. Wow. Wow.

What an experience. If you have not read this book do yourself a favour and get your hands on it. This is such a powerful read.

This book deals with important issues juvenile crime, prejudice, but most importantly, mental illness.

Meet our main character, Zach. Zach is a bit different. His mind works a bit different from the way other people’s minds work, well that’s what his doctors and his mom say. So it’s probably true.

Zach finds himself in the middle of a bank robbery. He supposes he should be scared but he doesn’t think he is scared. Maybe he is?

This book is so hard to describe. So I will use a metaphor as I often do when I can’t express in words how this book made me feel experiencing the story through Zach’s eyes. The metaphor might be confusing but it’s the best way I can explain my journey with this book.

It felt like I was skating on a frozen ice pond. I felt like I could lose control anytime and slip and fall. But It was such a graceful journey I had no fear. It was a bit dark around, so all I could feel was the sense of skating and deciding whether I liked to skate or not. Then the light starts to grow brighter and I get to see my reflection. Yet it’s not the reflection I expected. It is someone vague sad and alone. I skate along feeling an urgency to help the reflection but the sensation of skating is so liberating and so I don’t feel too bad for the reflection. Then I start noticing people around me pointing at me. Some are laughing some are looking at me in utter disgust. The question in their faces is crystal clear.

Why is this person skating.?

Why is this person allowed outside the house?

 I can feel my stomach turning, I’m becoming upset. But then I realise, I am still having fun. They are strangers. I don’t need them to understand skating to have fun and glide. I then start seeing the cracks in the ice.  I start sensing the danger of this pond. There is no way to know how thick the ice really is nor how long I will be able to keep skating. As I start making my way to the edge. I feel the ice crack and I am plunged into the icy frozen water.

It’s hard to explain this story. It’s important to keep it hidden so you can discover it yourself.  Because only by digging and going through the effort of getting to know Zach will you understand the treasure buried in this book.


“I look around at everybody else in this place, and they all look scared, so I’m trying to look scared too.”

What I liked:

I love the character, Zach. How he is introduced to the reader and how comfortable you are reading from his point of view.

What I did not like:

I would have liked to know a bit more about the robbers and their reaction to how it all turned out in the end.

Rating for the book:

It’s the kind of book you want to have on your shelf. The kind of book you need to read and want to read again. The kind of book you have to give 5 stars to.

5 very powerful snowflakes.


Interview with Terry Trueman

1. What inspired you to write about such a difficult topic?

 I have a Masters degree in Psychology and so studied this subject before working as a therapist for some years at a mental health center, but the big inspiration was losing my beloved stepson to suicide about a year after he’d been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
I have a Masters degree in Psychology and so studied this subject before working as a therapist for some years at a mental health center, but the big inspiration was losing my beloved stepson to suicide about a year after he’d been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

2. What was the most important goal you wanted to achieve with your story?

 I wanted to make a story in which a protagonist had schizophrenia but was a heroic and lovable character, to give a positive view of people with mental illness and lower the stigma with which they live.

3. What are some the most touching or important comments that you have received from people that have read Inside out?

The book was published in 2003, 13 years ago and is still available and has recently ben optioned for a possible TV movie on Starz network. I got lots of warm reviews and many personal emails thanking me for the book, but much of that happened a decade ago. I hope the movie project comes together and gives the book a boost.

4. Did Zach teach you anything while you were writing his story? If so what?

Honestly, Zach was an amalgam of myself and my stepson Eric to whom the book is dedicated and probably a few other friends/former clients with schizophrenia from years ago.. I honestly can’t say Zach “taught me” things; when I write I try to stay in pretty tight control of what’s going on, so Zach was an ongoing creation. On second thought though, trying to make his character sympathetic, despite his confusing condition, likely taught me how difficult life must be for people who suffer from mental illness.





I am Snow.

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