Book Review: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
Number of Pages: 336
Date Published: March 24, 2015
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
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.
I had no expectations when I started reading this book. I just wanted to finish a standalone because the exam I scheduled persistently sends me notifications, as if I was not already well aware of its existence. I delved into this book wondering what in the world was wrong with this portion of the plot:
…a supernatural tale of guilt and of innocence, and of what happens when one is mistaken for the other.
I thought it was such an unnecessary reveal that I wondered whether this novel even carried any element of surprise.
I thought wrong. It’s not so much a thriller as it is a mishmash of paranormal and mindfuckery (I’ll let you know when I come up with a more decent term). As for the writing, well, everyone knows I’m a sucker for prose, and the writing is as everyone says it is – haunting (to the extent where one may even consider horrid disturbing deaths as peaceful).
Not one of us was truly innocent, not when we were made to stand in the light, our bits and cavities and cavity fillings exposed.
There’s so much probing around the inner workings of a girl’s mind which is both pretty interesting and unsettling if you ask me. I also liked how the author paced the entire story, the alternating POVs, and the all-powerful narratives. I found myself drawn to Ori, and I kept wondering whether such a person exists and how I would love to drink tea and just talk with a person of such character.
Reading this book feels so much like watching Inception andBlack Swan all over again, but don’t fret. This isn’t some drama involving self-harm brought about by psychological distress, although it does come pretty close. Regardless, the feeling of being brain blotched becomes all too familiar as the novel draws to a close.
And I’ll have you know that the best parts of the story are not those detailed exploration of thoughts, or the more-than-decent characterizations. The ending (the last three chapters to be specific) after all, is the best part. It was a thrilling and satisfying end to an intricately designed piece. Look forward to it.
So if you want to read something incredibly freaky yet disturbingly beautiful, go forth and read this book.
Well, this is just me trying to express my thoughts more coherently. My actual reaction after finishing this book was: Oh dear. I underestimated this book, and look where that got me. It is almost 1 in the morning, but how am I supposed to sleep when this book just freaked the hell out of me. WHAT. JUST. HAPPENED.
Favorite Quotes from The Walls Around Us
No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.
Our private tastes in books showed a hint of our secret selves.
Sometimes it could be the smallest thing that could topple over a whole life, and, in the end, destroy it.
I knew that just because people on the outside were free and clean, it didn’t mean they were the good ones.