Friday, June 19, 2015

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

Violet is a perfect ballerina.  After this summer, she's headed for Julliard and the culmination of all her dreams are coming true.  Only something violent and ugly happened in Violet's past.  Her best friend Ori went to jail for a double murder, and even though Violet has put it behind her and stepped into the spotlight, she can't get past a few lingering curiosities.

Amber is in Aurora Hills, a juvenile detention center.  The same one that Ori got sent to that summer that everything went down.  Strange things are happening here, and Amber is determined to figure out what.

Wow another book that left me questioning everything!!! Plural narration.  Mystery.  Who did what, to who, and when??  How, Why??  Not all the questions get answered.  And I haven't decided if I find that meaningful and thought-provoking, or irritating and frustrating.  Maybe it's a little (or a lot) of both.

This is the story of Orianna as told (eventually) by two people who knew her in two different settings.  Violet is the best friend that always seemed to be one step behind, and Amber is an inmate in the detention center that Orianna end up in.  I loved the different styles of the narration.  Violet's was more straight-forward and Amber's was an all-seeing "we" narration.  I SO loved Amber's parts. The writing during those chapters was so incredible and beautiful, I could have read them forever.

One highlight for me in the book is that Amber worked in the "library" and pushed a book cart around to all the prisoners.  I loved the library aspect!!  Shout out to Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.  Libba Bray (The Diviners, Beauty Queens, etc.) and Francine Pascal (Sweet Valley High series) are also mentioned!

This book is not a happy book.  Good things do not happen.  It's about tragedy and loss of life.  It's about flawed human beings.  It's about how life is not fair and people are never 100% guilty or innocent... people are much more complicated.  I loved every second of it.  And if someone could explain that head-spinning ending, I would appreciate.

OVERALL:  A true winner!!  I loved this haunting, intricate, beautiful book.  It's about so much more than what any blurb or synopsis can say.  I am now a big fan of this author and can't wait to devour all of her past (and future) books.

This Book Contains:
  • Juvenile prison
  • A cast of characters in the prison
  • Orange and green jumpsuits
  • Sex
  • Crime
  • Death
  • Court
  • Ballet
  • Maine
  • Friendship
  • Bullies
Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 4/4

Date Published: 3/24/2015
How I got this book: Purchased from B&N
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

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  1. That sounds really intriguing! The cover is just lovely, too.

    1. It is a cool cover!! And it's a really cool book :)

  2. Great review! I loved this as well. I found Amber really compelling too and the mystery was so well done. It was solveable but still had me reeling! I'm so glad you loved it too!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

    1. You'll have to tell me what that ending meant (at least what thoughts it gave you)... I'm having having a tough time knowing if what I read really happened.

  3. I’ve heard amazing things about this one and her other books and I can’t wait to get to it. And haha, I totally hate it when I can’t decide whether I hate a book (i.e. find it irritating) or love it (i.e. mesmerizing!). Glad you liked it in the end, hehe :P Great review!

  4. Ah this sounds really good. I love multiple narrators especially when the style is very easy to differentiate. Ans I kind of love crazy head spinning endings. Great review!

  5. The Walls Around Us was sooooo good :D the story, I felt, was a bit slow but the writing was a beautiful thing that took my breath away :D I'm glad you liked it!