The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
Published by Algonquin Books
Published on March 24th 2015
Genres: Law & Crime, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Paranormal, Young Adult
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“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.”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 the Aurora Hills juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom.Tying their two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries . . . What really happened on the night Orianna stepped between Violet and her tormentors? What really happened on two strange nights at Aurora Hills? Will Amber and Violet and Orianna ever get the justice they deserve—in this life or in another one? In prose that sings from line to line,Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and of innocence, and of what happens when one is mistaken for the other. “A suspenseful tour de force, a ghost story of the best sort, the kind that creeps into your soul and haunts you.” —Libba Bray, author of The Diviners and A Great and Terrible Beauty
I saw the publisher use the hashtag “OrangeIsTheNewBlackSwan” on Instagram and that really hits the nail on the head. You’ve got an inmate in an all girl juvenile detention facility, and a narcissistic prima ballerina with serious jealousy issues narrating. The way their pieces come together makes for a deliciously dark, unique story.
This book is really beautifully written. It is the type of book that gives you bits of information you don’t know what to do with, so you hold on to them and eventually find that they are the key to the big picture. The characters are flawed and slightly disturbing, but it fits the tone.
In one hand is a bouquet of drooping carnations that we bought at a supermarket on the way over, and in the other hand, clutched in my fist, is the feather from Ori’s last-ever costume. Something tells me she wants me to leave it here.
She’ll see it, somehow, this gesture I’m making. She’s looking down from high up on that hill, and she’ll understand. She’ll see it and she’ll let go. Of me. And we’ll move on to our two different futures. Mine involves the sparkle and lights of the city, and Julliard, and the big stage, and fame and recognition and everything I’ve ever wanted. Hers involves eternity in a dark hole.
The mood of this book in one word: Eerie. You may not always know exactly what is going on because of the slow, calculated pace of big revelations, but you know whatever it is, it’s not good. I’ll admit the end confused me. It wasn’t spelled out, which is something you could say about the story as a whole- you have to pick up on the nuances and make some inferences for yourself- but I was so confused I actually had to read it several times.
Okay fine, I googled it. But there weren’t any results yet so it didn’t help at all.
A Solid Four Stars to The Walls Around Us.
It was eloquent and dark, just how I like my horror. While parts were certainly confusing, I think much of that was done on purpose to keep the reader as much in the dark as the narrators were. It was clever, and not predictable or cliche, which is really saying something for this genre. While it is set in August, which would make it fun to read right now, it definitely would do you just as well in the Halloween season if you like your fall reads creepy.
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