There´s something to be said about the justice system and the “rehabilitation” centers in general. We -as citizens that have never experience the missfourtune of ending up in jail- know that everyday thousand -if not more- people are convicted for crimes that they didn´t commit or a receive punishment far worse than the crime, but since it doesn´t affect us, we don´t really care that much.
Still… there´s something about the life on prison and convicts that fascinates us, and that´s why we can not help but love the films, series, book, etc., about it.
In Inside Out, Jack Kearney presents us a story that at this point we´re all pretty familiar with, the one of a man that´s wrongly accussed of a crime he didn´t commint -although if his wrongly accussed or not depends of how you see it- and to whom the system has failed.
As I mentioned before this premise is hardly new but luckly for Kearney the story works beyond this and can be read in different levels. It´s common to see the story of the innocent man that at the end proves his innocence and it´s able to survive the horrors of prison, where he finds out there´s good people and bad people on the same boat, paying the same for very different crimes.
At first glace Inside Out it´s just that story, until.. it isn´t and you get to see first hand how prison changes people -and not necessarily for the best- and why ex convicts more often than not go back time and time again thank´s to a system that isn´t really doing it´s best to rehabilitate people.
Once again, I had the oportunity to read this book thank´s to @ who put me in contact with the author and let me read this book for free in exchange of a honest review; and that was the difficult part.
Inside Out has a great concept. A working actor by the name Dany Benson who has worked his ass off to finally be able to make his living as what he is, an actor; it´s finally seeing the fruit of his years of effort when suddenly…he´s hit by a disaster that costs him no just his freedom but might as well take the career he has worked so hard to make from him.
Throughout the book, we´re able to see not just life on prison and how it can turn a decent person into a jaded one at best, but we´re also presented with the life of a struggling actor and how hard it can be to really make it on Hollywood; something important to keep in mind if you dream about doing it big as an actor ´cause regardless of what Hollywood wouyld like you to think, it isn´t easy to have a break through when you´re pretty much and unkwon.
Now.. why did I say this was a diffiult review? I struggled a lot with myself about if I could or couldn´t do this, but at the end of the day, this is a honest review so I have to say that to me Inside Out was a difficult read.
While I liked the premise and I found interesting the changes that came to the protagonist as the story moved along, and I learned way more from the Hollywood espectrum than I could have ever thought. The book could use a little proof reading and perhaps some editing.
Reading it, it´s clear that Kearney ment for this to be script first and not a novel. There were parts along the book where I felt like I was reading a movie script -specially during the first half of it- and some of the characters seeme to have scenes just because. There was a particularly scene between Dany´s lawyer and the prison´s chief that makes me say this as well as song playing while some other thing happens.
Besides this, Inside Out it´s not a long book and usually it shouldn´t have taken me more than 2 hours to finish it but… it took me way longer than that to do so. The narrative wasn´t particularly to my liking, specially in the transitions between Dany´s time before jail and his current situation and needed to be more engaging to begin with ´cause it wasn´t until after Dany´s “incident” happened, that it got me.
That being said I have to give kudos to the author for going there in matters of what happens in prison ´cause I didn´t think he would do it and that, that shows some big writing values.
At the end the matter of fact is that Inside Out it´s a great story concept but the execution didn´t completely landed for me. Then again that might just be me so while I didn´t hate the book, I can´t say that I really liked it. As far as I have read pretty much everybody seems to like it so… it might really just be me.
This is so far in my short time writing what I think about books, the one I´m most conflicted about but I wouldn´t go as far as saying this is a bad read ´cause if nothing else it´s an interesting book helped by the author´s obvious experiences and there´s a certain social commentary to it.
So… have you ever read a book that you didn´t quiet like but at the same time didn´t hate? Was it difficult to read? Was it only you or anyone else?