Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Book Review: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

Title: The Walls Around Us

Author: Nova Ren Suma

Publication date: March 2015

Pages: 336

Amber is on the inside of the Aurora Hills juvenile detention center for the murder of her stepfather. On the outside is Violet, a ballerina who is about to get everything she’s ever wanted. Stuck in the middle is Orianna, once Violet’s best friend and now on her way to rooming with Amber at Aurora Hills after she is charged with a gruesome murder. But what really happened that night?

The Walls Around Us is part mystery, part ghost story, and entirely a coming of age novel that examines human nature and what lengths we will go to in order to get what we want.

WARNING: I really, really enjoyed this book, but I can’t really describe this book without spoiling it a teeny bit. If you want to go in blind for the full experience, I suggest not reading any further.

The tale itself unravels in a slow, winding way. The reveal is entirely expected, but it’s still enjoyable to read, simply because of the people involved. Orianna almost feels too good to be true, which makes the crimes she’s accused of that much more heinous. Violet, on the other hand, feels both refreshingly realistic and horrifyingly so. The insight into her psyche is startling and mesmerizing. If you’ve seen Black Swan, the kind of morbid fascination you’ll experience is a lot like that.

Amber is probably my favorite character in the whole book. While Orianna is physically caught in the middle of the inside and outside world, Amber is caught in a more metaphorical sense. She’s the grounding, real-world character that makes a story like this work, and even though she did something terrible, you can’t blame her, and you root for her all the same.

This isn’t even touching the supernatural aspect of the story, which is off-putting for some readers. Personally, I thought it added a great touch, primarily because it’s through this aspect that the reader and characters achieve closure. I can’t say how, but by the end of the story I was almost viciously satisfied with how it turned out.

All said, this story may not be for everyone. But if you like a little mystery, a lot of suspense, and a solid ghost story, all with dynamic female characters? You should give this one a shot.

Happy reading!


Want to check out The Walls Around Us? Look it up on the CMRLS catalog and put it on hold!