Review: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

Title: The Walls Around Us
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Published: March 24th, 2015 by Algonquin Young Readers
read in: April, 2015

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young adult • paranormal • mystery • thriller

Each of us had our own monster, distinct to us. We were all different, on girl to the next, like snowflakes.

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.


First of all this book was UTTERLY AND UNBELIEVABLY WELL WRITTEN! I just can’t believe I’ve never read any of Suma’s book before. From the first chapter ’till the very end, the writing was so so good and beyond madness. The first chapter was one of the best I-have-to-keep-reading first chapter I’ve ever read.

The story was written in two teenagers point of view. Amber’s POV was the most interesting part to read. How she described the juvenille detention center and what the life of teenagers inside the cage was making the story really intriguing and interesting. Vee —as supposed to not be the likeable character— was probably really relatable for a teenager being bullied and lived behind the shadow of the so called “perfect” friend. Here’s the real problem, I could basically approve the fact of ghosts being something existent in this book but not Ori. I mean, really? She was just too perfect, too nice, too talented, and pretty much everyone loves her. What has Vee done that end up people hating her? We all know people would choose to hate the one that shines brighter. Than why not Ori? She’s basically just a teenager and the way the story described her with the angel-like personality bla bla unrealistic. I could probably find her more reliable if there were a point of view of hers in the story. Maybe she did has more darker side that she kept hidden inside.

The ending was also a bit off for me. The part that the plot is somewhat nonexistent is pretty much okay for me until it came to the end. This was not the best interest of what an ending should be like for me, I just found it a too rushed and out of nowhere. I was so confused for the lack of explanation and the book kind of left me hanging. I mean, was that really it? I was really disappointed with that end.

This book had done a really good job revealing the darkest part of the human mind which was portrayed in the mind of teenagers that sometimes were dominated by hatred, jealousy, rage, manipulation, and how certain things popped in our head to cope to the loneliness we felt that even the slightest things of “ifs” could brought back all the hopes that we needed to feel freedom, freedom from what caging us outside, and the inferiority we felt caging from the inside.

When a dancer finds herself onstage, before an audience, and comes upon that dreaded moment that can happen even to the best of us, when her mind empties of her choreography in a flood of panic, there are three different reactions she can have. In each one, she’s like a wild animal in the headlights, but the question is, which animal will she be tonight?




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