The Walls Around Us
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Review by: Jenn
Ori’s dead because of what happened out behind the theater, in the tunnel made out of trees. She’s dead because she got sent to that place upstate, locked up with those monsters. And she got sent there because of me.
The Walls Around Us is a ghostly story of suspense told in two voices—one still living and one long dead. On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement. On the inside, within the walls of a girls’ juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom. Tying these two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries.
We hear Amber’s story and Violet’s, and through them Orianna’s, first from one angle, then from another, until gradually we begin to get the whole picture—which is not necessarily the one that either Amber or Violet wants us to see.
Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and innocence, and what happens when one is mistaken for the other.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5 stars
*I received an eARC of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way.*
The Walls Around Us truly exceeded my expectations by how utterly captivated I was when I read it. Going into the story, I was prepared for what everyone had been calling this book "Orange Meet the Black Swan." Now, I haven't watched "The Black Swan" and I've only seen one episode of "Orange Is The New Black" so I didn't really have much backstory on it. However, Nova Ren Suma had me hanging onto her every word.
The Walls Around Us follow the stories of both Amber and Violet but we learn right away of a third person whose story needs to be told, Ori's. To be honest, I don't know how to fully explain what this novel is about without spoiling the plot and that is the last thing I want to do with this book. Also, I always felt like I was being told a story and a very important detail was being withheld from me and every time I thought I was closer to finding out the truth, Nova snatched it away. All was revealed, of course, right at the perfect moment. And it was in that moment of clarity that had me so thoroughly impressed with Nova Ren Suma's story telling abilities. I'm not sure how she did it but the story lines were intricately woven together that I believe only a few authors can pull off that kind of work.
Now, while I loved Nova's writing abilities and how I hung to her every word, my only complaint was the end. I'm not exactly sure I understood what happened in the end. Well, let me clarify. I understood what happened but what I don't understand is the HOW. And what happens AFTER. Like, what is going to happened to that person? Will someone notice? How and what and I don't know are still racing through my mind as I try to piece together the ending. Nova, what have you done to me?!
If you're looking for great storytelling writing and some mindfuckery, I say pick this one up ASAP.