The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

the walls around us

“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. (Goodreads)

So, I want to thank Alongquin Books for giving me an ARC of this book in return for an honest review. I am going to attempt to explain how I feel… WOW! I absolutely loved this book! I felt gripped from the very beginning.

The story is told from two perspectives, Amber, who is a long dead member of Aurora Hills and Violet, still living and pursuing her dreams. Through these two, we get the story of Ori – a wrongly convicted teenage girl. Despite having committed her crime, I felt like I could relate to Amber. I felt sorry for her, in a way, having to go through what she did in Aurora Hills, whilst with other girls, I felt like they had earned it. I felt quite proud of Ori because she took what came her way, despite the fact that it wasn’t her fault. She had nothing to do with what happened in the tunnel that day. I had already figured out what had happened, but this didn’t distract from the story itself. I felt like the more I read about these girls, the more I wanted to know about their lives.

Violet, for me, was a character that you love to hate. She is mean and nasty and the reason that Ori is in the detention center to begin with. Throughout the book, you hope, as a reader, that justice will come around and bite her in the bum. I would have liked to have read more about her life on the outside, but I was equally happy with reading what life is like on the other side.

What I also liked about this book is the mystery surrounding the circumstances of the death of all 42 inmates at the detention center. We find out what it was that killed them, but we are not sure how or why this actually happened. I also like the idea of the ghosts of the girls haunting the detention center that they began to call home – almost like living in purgatory because they relive the same moments over and over again.

The end was the best. Now, obviously I cannot say too much about it, other than that it was brilliant! I really felt like the ending brought everything together and brought the book to a close! The only downside is that I would have liked to have seen more from Violet’s side – but even that doesn’t bring the star count down!! I gave this book 5/5 stars! 🙂

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4 thoughts on “The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

  1. Kirst Jack O'Lantern (@KirstyMStudio) says:

    YES! So can’t wait to read this now, I’ve only read one of hers, 17 & Gone which was so freaking amazing and weird, while being realistic, with an eerie atmosphere (she totally does eerie well.) I’ll probably dislike Violet, haha, but still, sounds like all of it was written well. So glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

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