So last week I was lucky enough to read an ARC for a book I’ve been wanting to read since it was announced. I’m a huge fan of Nova Ren Suma’s and when she read from the opening chapter of The Walls Around Us at my Djerassi retreat/workshop, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. So when ARCs went up on NetGalley, I politely begged the publisher, Algonquin Young Readers, for one on Twitter. And they said yes! Just let me say that you NEED to read this book when it comes out next March. So. Damn. Good.
“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.
The Walls Around Us is a gorgeous, haunting read. In true Nova Ren Suma fashion, this book is lyrical and magical and full of complex layers that peel themselves away, revealing a story that is not at all what it seemed on the surface. And that makes it absolutely unputdownable. Amber and Violet and Ori are all at turns sympathetic and calculating, loyal and lethal. Their stories are captivating and twisted and will keep you guessing about what really happened right until the end.
*I received this ARC from Algonquin Young Readers and NetGalley for an honest review.*