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10 March 2015

Book review | The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma



The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma | March 2015 | Algonquin Young Readers | Hardcover $17.95

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I was impressed by the tension and darkness of The Walls Around Us. I received an ARC of this book from a giveaway managed by Lisa Schroeder.


A reviewer from Oblong Books & Music, an indie bookshop in New York, said of this book:

Orange is the New Black Swan


And that is really rather accurate. This book is part ballerina-cum-psycho, part prison personality parade – except, of course, starring high schoolers instead of adult women. It’s also part ghost story and part “teen girls can be the absolute worst to each other” story.

I wouldn't really say this is a realistic tale, though the ghost-y elements aren’t even really the focus of the plot up until the very end so I’m not sure I’d categorize it as paranormal, either. It tastes more like magical realism, almost? The focus is on the messed-up mind of a dancer, the consequences of her actions for the person who was her only real friend, and the life (or loss of life) of teen girls in a juvenile detention facility.

 Here are the first few lines:
We went wild that hot night. We howled; we raged; we screamed. We were girls  some of us fourteen and fifteen; some sixteen, seventeen – but when the locks came undone, the doors of our cells gaping open and no one to shove us back in, we made the noise of savage animals, of men.
Nova Ren Suma does an amazing job keeping the tension tight throughout the book. I’m not just talking about the pacing – though there is never a dull moment, which is another point in its favor. I’m thinking of the sort of creepy, something ain’t right feeling that permeates every scene.

The conclusion isn’t hard to guess at if you’re paying attention, but you’ll still want to stay up late reading this all the way to the end anyway.

 Also, I have to say – I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cover. The cover artist is Connie Gabbert.

If you're interested in learning more about this book or the author, check out the official website of Nova Ren Suma.

This book comes out in 2 weeks, on March 24th.

Publication information:
Suma, Nova Ren. The Walls Around Us. New York: Algonquin, 2015. Print.

Source:
ARC provided via giveaway.

Disclaimer:
I am not compensated, monetarily or otherwise, for reviews of books or other products.

2 comments:

jen mullen said...

A new author! This sounds really good--I'm all for ballerinas and ghosts and psychos!

Louise said...

I think this one could be successful as a movie someday, too. I hope you get a chance to read it! :)

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