The Proof of 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.
To be honest, I didn’t even remember requesting OUTSIDE on Netgalley. When I saw it had been released a month ago, I wasn’t really excited because I hadn’t seen many reviews around the blogosphere. And that was a big mistake on my part. This book should be getting way more attention.
Let me tell you guys: OUTSIDE completely amazing and of the best books I’ve read lately. I think one of my favorite feelings is when I don’t expect anything from a book and the novel ends up becoming a huge success for me. And this is exactly what happened here. I devoured this short, compelling gem in a sitting, and I was completely captivated all the way through. I can’t recommend it enough.
The book reminded me a bit of another recent favorite (Resin), although they are quite different in many aspects. For example, in OUTSIDE, our main character, Ele, doesn’t really have a family that cares for her. We meet her when she’s been locked up for ages and she’s never seen the outside world. She has a few friends with her, but they are not really like her. I won’t say much about the plot, because I believe it’s best if you discover what happens as you read it, but it was nothing like I expected.
There was a small reveal that I didn’t think was at all surprising, maybe because I thought we were supposed to have known that from the beginning. However, there was another detail at the end that made me super emotional and I loved the conclusion to this dark, sad, and ultimately uplifting story.
My favorite aspect of OUTSIDE was Ele’s voice. It was so completely captivating, just like in RESIN. You know how much I love child narrators, and even if Ele was actually a teenager, her vocabulary and behavior weren’t exactly what you would consider “normal” for her age. I loved reading about her learning process and she became an instant favorite character. The same goes for the other two characters that appear in the story later on.
I would highly recommend OUTSIDE to everyone who loved RESIN, and for those who are looking for a short and stunning book. Let me clarify that I haven’t read THE ROOM, so I don’t really know if they are similar or not. But I’m sure this will be a great choice anyway.
Have you heard of OUTSIDE? Are you excited to read it? 💙