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The Walls Around Us

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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.

319 pages, Hardcover

First published March 24, 2015

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About the author

Nova Ren Suma

16 books819 followers
Nova Ren Suma is the author of the YA novels THE WALLS AROUND US as well as the YA novels IMAGINARY GIRLS and 17 & GONE, which were both named 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound by YALSA. Her middle-grade novel, DANI NOIR, was reissued for a YA audience under the title FADE OUT. She has a BA in writing & photography from Antioch College and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and has been awarded fiction fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Millay Colony, and an NEA fellowship for a residency at the Hambidge Center. She worked for years behind the scenes in publishing, at places such as HarperCollins, Penguin, Marvel Comics, and RAW Books, and now she teaches writing workshops. She is from various small towns across the Hudson Valley and lives and writes in New York City.

Find Nova online at novaren.com and on her blog distraction99.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,050 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews294k followers
April 16, 2015
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.

What a beautifully-written little mind fuck. I finished The Walls Around Us and spent a few minutes in silence, just wondering how it's possible for an author to dream up such a strange, dark, disturbing tale. I've always found Nova Ren Suma's style not to my liking, but there is something about this story, the characters and the bleak setting that really just... works.

Was the world of ballet always a twisted, creepy, demented little bubble or did Black Swan change things forever? I'd really like to know. Because this story paints a dark, weird picture of the friendships, rivalries and backstabbing that goes on between the ballet dancers. The vicious nature of the competition; the anxiety that you'll never be good enough. It's about intense female friendships and the deepest, darkest aspects of human nature.

Ori would have seen through my once white, now red-stained leotard and the white, now red-spattered froof of my tutu, to what’s inside. Not the second leotard under the first one, but deeper, under my skin. The gross parts of the person I really am, the blood and guts, the ugliness, the slimy secrets, the liar I’m hiding in there, the true person I am, tangled up with the worms and the rot.

It's a really odd novel, straddling the line between contemporary thriller and paranormal mystery. Told from the alternating perspectives of Violet - a dancer about to see all of her dreams come true - and Amber - an inmate in a juvenile detention centre, we hear how Violet and Ori were friends since they were seven years old, until it was torn apart by a brutal murder that Ori was convicted of.

Maybe, long ago, we used to be good. Maybe all little girls are good in the beginning.

It's a very psychological story. The reveal of the mystery itself comes far behind the strength of exploring the mindset of teenage girls who commit the worst kind of crimes. What happens when something bad happens to your best friend and this opens a world of good for you? You should probably feel guilty... but what if you don't?

The ending is very strange, a little stranger than I would usually like, but this is a powerful book about what teenage girls are capable of - the good and the bad. Can you separate the lies from the truth?

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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Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,465 reviews9,619 followers
February 26, 2017
At first I wasn't sure about this book because I kept getting really confused! BUT, the author set it up just perfectly, in my opinion at any rate.

On this night, the first Saturday of that now-infamous August, there were forty-one girls locked up in the Aurora Hills Secure Juvenile Detention Center in the far northern reaches of the state, which meant we were one shy of full capacity. We weren't yet forty-two.

Amber, Violet & Orianna - they are all three connected. But how are they connected . . . .

As I watched, a gust of wind blew what appeared to be a bundle of loose twigs and leaves across the grimy floor. It looked like no one had cleaned the floor in years.

I didn't think, not consciously, about what I did next. I started down the stairs, straight for the intruder. She was connected to this, somehow. She'd made this happen. I reached flat ground and went running. I sped up so much that I couldn't get my feet to stop and almost rammed into her, and I wanted her to fall, wanted her flat on her back doing some explaining.

Except there was no her.
I rammed through air.


Violet and Orianna (Ori) were close friends. They were ballerina's. They wanted to go on and become the best they could be, but something happened. What broke these two girls apart. Why did one go away and one stay.


All of the answers slowing come to light at the Aurora Hills Detention Center.


This book is part ghost story, part revenge and a whole lot of cray. I FREAKING loved it! ❤

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Chantal .
337 reviews825 followers
May 24, 2016
What a phenomenal book this was. So unique, so different, so suspenseful. This is my first book by Nova Ren Suma but it won’t be by last. I gained so much respect for this author and I’m hoping she’ll be a new favorite.

This novel is frightening in every sense: both because of outer events and the inner thoughts of the characters. It’s a spooky novel that tells a twisted tale, but is also highly psychological. I loved it. Every second.
We were alive. I remember it that way. We were still alive, and we couldn't see how close we were to the end.

The Walls Around Us is the most perfect title for this book: It’s about walls, about what it means to be trapped; not only physically but also trapped inside your own head. Living every day with terrible thoughts swirling around your mind, your own guilty conscience making your life hell. To me, this is the scariest thing of all because I am my own biggest critic. I am the one person I can never get away from.

This book contains so many things: jealousy, madness, friendships and rivalries, ambition, guilt, self-preservation. Nova Ren Suma managed to take all these elements and create something eerie and dark that was amazingly addictive. I read this book in two days because I just couldn’t put it down. I needed to know, I needed to understand.

The story is told in two voices – Amber and Violet – the former locked up in the Aurora Hills juvenile detention center for a crime she may or may not have committed, the latter an aspiring ballet dancer who is about to have all her dreams come true. These two girls are seemingly unconnected, except for one thing: They both know the girl named Orianna. Orianna – a girl locked up for having murdered two innocent girls.

The Walls Around Us was utterly captivating, but also very strange. It’s part psychological thriller, part paranormal mystery and for most of the time you aren’t actually sure what is real, what is someone’s unreliable narration and what is simply supernatural. It’s one of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read and I mean that in the best possible way. Not even because of the plot – of which this book has very little – but because of the way the characters think, their seemingly emotionless state.
We were gasoline rushing for a lit match. We bared our teeth. Balled fists.

I will admit that I may be slightly biased when it comes to Violet’s and Orianna’s passion. They train to be professional ballet dancers. I think that most readers will probably prefer Amber’s perspective to Violet’s because of the intimate look it gives into a correctional facility. The group dynamic inside the walls of Aurora Hills is portrayed brilliantly. As much as I loved Amber’s voice however, I couldn’t help but be drawn to Violet. As awful and horrible as it sounds (and if you’ve read the book you know what I mean), I could identify with Violet. She’s mean, self-absorbed and incredibly jealous (all things I hope I am not) but when she described the way she felt dancing next to Ori and being on stage, I understood her. I got where she was coming from. That scene where Violet goes to cry in another room after the dance teacher told Ori she could start dancing en pointe but Violet wasn’t ready yet… I nearly started crying too because I know that feeling so well (and I’ve never even wanted to be a professional!). I don’t know if others can understand this, but the constant comparisons, the look in the mirror, the desire to be perfect and knowing you’re never good enough…it does change the way you think about certain things.

The writing is absolutely stunning. It is beautiful and haunting and Nova Ren Suma establishes an atmosphere that sucks you in and compels you to read on. The prose gets under your skin.
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?

The ending is very odd and might not answer all of the reader’s questions, but is ultimately satisfying.

As much as I loved it, I know this book isn’t for everyone. In fact, I don’t even know to whom I would recommend it. So I’ll say this: If this review has made you even remotely interested, then please give this book a try. Even if you don’t love it, it will give you a reading experience quite unlike anything else. It messes with your mind, takes hold of you and doesn’t let you go until the end.

The Walls Around Us is highly atmospheric and creepy, beautifully written, intimate and tragic and filled with intriguing characters. I adored it!
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,447 reviews7,540 followers
April 15, 2015
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

2.5 Stars

The only thing scarier than a teenage girl is a teenage girl ballerina . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

Ori and Violet were BFFs from the time they were wee little girls. As they grew, so did their love (and talent) for ballet, as well as their bond with each other. Now 18, Violet is on her way to Julliard and a chance of fulfilling her dream as a prima ballerina . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

Ori, on the other hand, isn’t quite so fortunate. She’s been convicted of a horrific crime and is on her way to a juvenile detention center. The Walls Around Us unravels the truth behind everything that happened, and how sometimes a girl will do whatever it takes in order to make things right . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

First things first, don’t let my low rating talk you out of reading this one. This was most definitely a case of “it’s not you, it’s me.” If I would have paid any attention to the blurb I would have noticed that it clearly says it is a “ghostly story,” taking some of the weight out of my complaints of not enjoying the ghostly aspects of this book. I did, however, have those gripes and it’s because I think things just got muddled down. The main storyline was excellent - it didn’t need any more bells and whistles.

This is one of those novels where the less said the better, so I’m pretty much going to say squat. If you are looking for a very different “mean girl” type of story that has some seriously gorgeous writing, this might be the one for you.

“We regretted the blades in our hands and the guns in our waistbands and the lies that dripped from our mouths. We regretted things like hitting our grandmother. Like lifting that baseball bat. Like breaking that window. We regretted a cold winter’s day in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven when we made a decision that would lead to a whole new world of regrets.”

I’ll definitely be interested in reading more from Nova Ren Suma.

This completes this week’s hat trick of “books I requested (and was denied) from NetGalley that I was sure I would love but ended up kind of hating.”
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,364 followers
February 25, 2015
Another fabulously strange book from Nova Ren Suma! The writing is brilliant, the way the story is told is mesmerizing and deeply disturbing. I just loved it!

First I have to say that the blurb reveals too much. I went into this without re-reading it, and I personally think that if I had known more than I did, the story would have lost the extra bit of magic that the unknown allows us to have. While this revelation is not exactly a twist - there's no real "aha" moment - it does become an unsettling fact that you simply can't ignore anymore, and discovering this through your own deductions makes the reading experience all the better - an experience that the blurb takes away. So my advice is to go into this one blind. If you enjoy thrillers, mind-f*cks, books that are outside the box, this one is for you, and that's all you need to know!

We get a story told to us through two different voices: one is in juvenile detention center, the other is a dancer with a bright future. The two are complete strangers with nothing in common whatsoever - or so it seems, at least. However, this is not their story. This is the story of a girl with a promising life full of dazzle and fame. A girl whose life was turned upside down one tragic afternoon. A girl who is finally given a voice, if indirectly. Her story is unraveled through Violet and Amber's perspectives, ambiguously at first, until we get the full picture and learn how everyone is connected. Their stories vacillate between innocence an evil, making us question who really deserves our sympathy. In Amber's perspective we get a vibe that's very Orange-is-the-New-Black-ish. There's a tense atmosphere, a wavering group dynamic, a human instinct of self-preservation, but at the end of the day these girls are a family, and together they stand. Amber's story is full of longing and despair, yet she's the easiest to root for. Then we have Violet, whose perspective is infused with determination and energy, yet seem to be oozing this… darkness. I wasn't as compelled by Violet's POV, though this could be due my wanting to get back to Amber. Still, she's intriguing and it's curious how their stories intertwine.

As is usual for Nova Ren Suma, the writing is wonderfully cryptic, highly atmospheric, with a touch of strange. You can't help but become compelled - spellbound, even - by her words. She paces the mystery perfectly, giving us hints that seem to only play with our minds until everything starts interconnecting, making brilliant sense, finally. The ending is very... final, if a little bit shocking. I'm still unsure how I feel about how it ended, but I was satisfied nonetheless. Unique and unforgettable, The Walls Around Us is not to be missed!

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,574 reviews5,904 followers
October 26, 2014
Let's start with this:

The story is told about 3 different teenage girls.
You have Amber who is in a girl's detention center for killing her stepdad.
Then Violet, she is the dancer that is "living her dream" as she is about to start Julliard but needs to put the past to rest.
Then you have Ori..you almost don't like this girl..because even though she is heading to that detention center she just seems too good to be true.

Teenage girls are the masters of twisting stories to fit their scheme of things and this book does a brilliant job of showcasing just that.

Crap- I want to say more but it's hard without spoiling..damn it!

I would have lot's of hate by the way.

The only pick I have with the story is the whole ghostie angle..that part could have been much better. It did seem like the book was just trying to hard with that angle.

This one is a hard one for me to rate. I'm going with 3.5 stars.

I received an arc copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,401 reviews11.7k followers
March 28, 2016
I'd been very hesitant to read this novel for a long time (and resistant to Suma's books in general - have no idea why), but this is a pretty great psychological thriller with a touch of paranormal.
Profile Image for Vanessa J..
347 reviews598 followers
August 31, 2015

Maybe, long ago, we used to be good. Maybe all little girls are good in the beginning.

This book… I can’t even begin to describe how utterly weird but also captivating it was. Nova Ren Suma, you have messed with my head.

This is a tale of innocence, jealousy, darkness, obsession, madness, etc. It’s told from the perspective of two girls: Amber and Violet, but their stories are linked by Orianna, a ballet dancer convicted to Aurora Hills juvenile detention after a crime she may or may not have committed.

Amber is already within the walls of Aurora Hills when a new prisoner comes: Orianna. Ori is different than the rest. People outside the walls say she’s innocent and that she shouldn’t be there. But surely someone is responsible for the cold-blooded murder of two teenage girls, ain’t that true?

Violet, on the other hand, is another ballet dancer and Ori’s bestfriend. She’s openly jealous of Ori’s dancing skills, loves to be the center of attention, and is obsessed with being perfect on stage. She tells us about her life before and after Ori left to Aurora Hills.

I knew that just because people on the outside were free and clean, it didn’t mean they were the good ones.

The Walls Around Us starts slow and it’s quite difficult to follow the story because it’s really confusing, and the more I read, the more blurry and disturbing it got.

The mystery is not revealed until halfway through the book, but when it does, it will shock you and make you suspicious of everyone, even of the narrators, which are hard to trust, but equally intriguing.

The writing only added a darker and more disturbing touch to the story. It flows effortlessly, and even when I never connected with neither of the narrators, I couldn’t stop myself from reading.

Throughout the book, you have to question yourself what is true and what is not. Sometimes things got a little creepy and almost supernatural, so believing the words told to us was really hard. In the end, things, if anything, got even more unsettling than how they were at the beginning, but I think there’s a better understanding of the situation.

Teenage girls are capable of anything. Remember this while reading the book. They (at 17 I am still considered a teenager, am I not?) can be responsible for the most horrible things you can imagine… and this book has them all.

This was my first book by Nova Ren Suma and it will definitely not be my last. I already have 17 & Gone sitting on my shelves and I cannot wait to start it.

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.
589 reviews1,031 followers
June 24, 2015
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

I was actually not aware that Suma was publishing another book so when I saw this one popping up on Netgalley, I nearly fell out of my seat. No exaggeration, peoples. Seventeen & Gone was when the author stole my heart, and tucked it away some place where I'll never find it again. And while The Walls Around Us did not deliver the same effect, I am still amazed by Suma's amazing writer-abilities. Her books are castles, and you'd be mad not to see it that way.

Nova Ren Suma writes with a certain flare, and admittedly, her style isn't made for every reader. (Yeah, that's right, her writing is too brilliant for some of you - kidding...) This book has a little bit of everything thrown into it, but at it's very heart, this is the story of three girls; Amber, Violet and Ori. But, we only get two perspectives - Amber, who killed her step-father and is now trapped in a Juvenile Detention Centre, and Violet, a ballerina with a bright future at Juilliard. These two girls have no links, yet, throughout the story we see how these two girls' stories are entwined; and how they connect to tell the story of Ori, who is arguably the main character of this tale. I'm sure many other readers are going to agree with me on this; I was much more interested in Amber's chapters as opposed to Violet's. Ballerinas? Blah... But a jail filled with juvenile criminals? That's more like it!

Unfortunately, though, I couldn't connect with the characters all too well. Particularly Ori, who was meant to be the centre of the show. I think that it was the hugest downside to not giving her a POV in the novel - because as the readers, we can't fully established a link with her.
We were alive. I remember it that way. We were still alive, and we couldn't make heads or tails of the darkness, so we couldn't see how close we were to the end.

If I were to describe this book to someone, I'd say it was the most unhinging, disturbing and strangest book I've ever picked up. Amber's POV is told mostly with "we". Suma aimed to creep us out with the refreshing albeit creepy use of inclusive pronoun, and she totally succeeded. It did actually remind me of that time I read Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan, which also had perspectives using inclusive pronouns. So if you found that to be your jam, read no further, this book will be something you might enjoy. Despite this book being creepy as hell (though I would argue that's not necessarily a bad thing), this book was insanely atmospheric. Some books just lull you in with it's strong atmosphere, and like Seventeen & Gone, this novel was the case. This story isn't a fairy-tale - the atmosphere is thick, tense and well, like I've mentioned millions of times before, strange. BUT good strange. Interesting strange. Unique strange.
They say nothing, do nothing. I can hear them all breathe.

I did feel that this story lacked a plot. I don't want to elaborate because then I'd be spoiling, but this book constantly felt like it was missing something. A real backbone, a strong sense of direction... which this story was obviously lacking. I like the idea of reading between the lines to connect the dots of Ori's story, but at the same time, it draaaaagged. I did get bored, and I sometimes had a strong temptation to skim Violet's chapters because Amber's just interested me so much more.

In all, The Walls Around Us was a unique and heavily atmospheric read infused with elegant prose and intricate characters. While this was not my favourite book of hers due to some qualms, I still recommend checking Suma's work out.

~Thank you Algonquin Books for sending me this copy!~

Profile Image for Lotte.
546 reviews1,106 followers
March 15, 2017
*4.25 stars! This book has been described as "Orange is the New Black Swan" and I think that sums it up pretty well. It mostly deals with female friendships and rivalries both in prison and in the world of ballet. For someone like me who prefers reading about the slightly disturbed and twisted minds so much more than reading about the sane ones, this was a great pick! It wasn’t perfect by any means, but it was definitely my kind of book. A few unreliable narrators, a very mysterious atmosphere and a pinch of magic realism mixed with an absolutely beautiful writing style. I’m not totally sold on the ending though and I also wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to everyone, since I think you have to be a certain kind of reader to enjoy this. I'd say that if you like narrators/stories à la Shirley Jackson and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, then I would definitely give this book a try!
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 5 books1,211 followers
August 16, 2014
There is no one writing books like this in YA. Suma is the YA equivalent of Shirley Jackson, and I don't think it's as clear and amazing as it is in this book.

The publisher has been calling this "Orange is the New Black Swan," and that description is on point(e). There's not a lot that can be said without spoiling this book, but it's a gorgeously-written and haunting story about innocence and guilt, about being locked up and being on the outside, and about the lies we tell ourselves and the truths other people can see, even if we try to hide them. It's about girls and how girls treat one another -- how they can turn against and how they can turn toward fast, how those shifts do and do not make sense.

More, much much more, to come. An outstanding read.
Profile Image for Rashika (is tired).
976 reviews712 followers
March 15, 2015
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

I want to start off by saying that in the hands of the right reader, this will be one well loved book but it seems I wasn’t the right reader. I started off this book being so so sure it would be a 5 star read for me. It had the right amount of mindfuckery and just made me really excited because I adore creepy/bizarre books. If you think I am going to say that this got too creepy or bizarre for me, you would be wrong. I think what went wrong with this book, at least for me as a reader, was that I stopped liking the story.

It’s not that the author doesn’t have absolutely gorgeous writing or that the book is incredibly atmospheric, because both of those things are true, it’s just that I didn’t care for the story itself. It didn’t work because it didn’t make sense to me. I, by nature, am an incredibly curious person so being left with so many questions and so many things that didn’t add up made me feel incredibly disappointed when  I finished this book.

Vee and Amber are the two narrators of the story and both are incredibly relatable. One of the problems, for me, at least was that Vee wasn’t really supposed to be likeable and yet I liked her because I could relate to her. Everything that happens, all of her actions, seem to be a result of her being bullied and yet everything points at her being a terrible person. It made me sad because while I didn’t condone anything that Vee did, I felt like there was more to the picture.

Her friend, Ori, was a character we were meant to like but I never liked her. Ori is this picture perfect character. Super nice, loyal, popular(ish), fantastic dancer, and obviously, she is perfect without thinking she is (because of her past and her low self-esteem). Such perfectness made it hard for me to emphatize with her. I could relate to Vee but not to Ori and I think that was also one of the reasons why I had a hard time completely getting behind the story.

Amber’s storyline on the other hand though... That is where all the awesome was. It was told in the point of view of ‘we’ (for the most part) and we get to see what life was like at this juvenile detention center. The way all of this is set up, the dynamics between the girls and the center itself, it’s incredible. It’s fantastic and it really makes this book so atmospheric.

Right off the bat, there is something weird about the way Amber tells her side of the story that makes you think she is unreliable. She may seem perfectly normal but the more you dig deeper, the more truths come crawling out from underneath.

This is where the supernatural aspect of the story comes in and it’s one of the other reasons why the story didn’t work for me. I wasn’t surprised but I wasn’t expecting it. That sounds weird, I know, but I don’t know how else to put it. I guess it would be more appropriate to say that I didn’t *want* it. I didn’t want this story to have a supernatural aspect. I just wanted it to be mundane off the chart creepiness, not influenced by some outside source. The lack of explanations also made it harder for me to adjust to the supernatural aspect. It almost seemed like the supernatural aspect was natural and I wish it was either done differently or I don’t know. It’s so hard to explain!!

One of my major problems, the last straw for me, was the ending (ha!). The ending was not what I expected at all. It was definitely creepy but the way things turn around afterwards, the way certain things were changed without any explanations, the way there was no real build up to it, bothered me. I was so confused by it and so thrown off and so disappointed. I had been counting on the ending to be the factor that would redeem the book for me. Obviously that didn’t happen because right now, I am sitting here, forcing myself to write this sad review and trying not to gorge on my bag of kit kat minis.

If you’re curious about this book though and fell put off by my review, go look at some positive reviews before making a final decision. This book may not have been for me but it could be for you so don’t just miss out on the awesome creeptastic atmosphere of this book because some girl you follow said it didn’t work out for her!
Profile Image for Evie.
711 reviews925 followers
December 7, 2014
It took me a long time to finish this book. Not because it was bad or boring or particularly slow-moving. No, not at all. It took me so long (almost a week) because it was so dark, thick, kind of depressing and also kind of confusing (in that "what in the world is going on here?" kind of way). I had to take it in small doses, otherwise I would've gone nuts. The plot line was so mysterious, so murky and fuzzy and all kinds of messed up, I just couldn't wrap my mind around it. Don't get me wrong, I loved it. I love well devised plots filled with secrets and darkness and twists, but Nova Ren Suma's stuff can really mess with your head in ways that are both addictive and lethal. You just have to pace yourself.

The story is told from two different perspectives, alternating between two girls. First we have Amber, a girl convicted for killing her stepfather. Then there's also Vee, an aspiring ballet star with too much ambition and too little real talent. Both girls have stories to tell and through their stories we also get to know Orianna, known by the public as "Bloody Ballerina" accused of killing two girls, and we find out what happened to her.

This book is incredibly taunt and mysterious. There's murder, dead bodies, blood, correctional facilities, unreliable narrators, guilt, desperation, deadly ambition, betrayal, mental illness and a whole lot of top-shelf mind-fuckery. To say more about it, would be to spoil all the fun, so I'm zipping my mouth shut - read it and find out for yourself what's at the core of this beautiful mess.

This book is part psychological thriller, part magical realism, and for a very long time you really can't tell what's real, what's a lie, and what's a by-product of someone's sick and twisted imagination. That's actually big part of the fun here. If you can handle the pressure, that is.

The plot line is not the easiest one to follow, not by a long shot. Not only do we jump between the two girls and their version of the story, but we also meet them at different points in time (or so it seems?), and we have to figure it all out ourselves, because nothing is spelled out or even marked with a date. It's a big blur to begin with and if you don't pay (really close) attention, you'll find yourself confused and going back to re-read whole passages. It's a challenging and demanding read, but also one worth the sweat. Once you put the puzzles together and see the whole picture, you can't help but admire Nova Ren Suma's plotting skills.

The ending is beyond mind-blowing. It's ghostly and tragic and heartbreaking, but also hopeful and devilishly satisfying. Very Asian-horror-movie-like. Very atmosphering. Very powerful and affecting. I really savored the ending of this book, it's one of the best, most flawlessly executed endings ever.

If you're into books that are dark and eerie, twisted and convoluted, mysterious and disturbing well, this is just the perfect book for you. It's a murder mystery with a supernatural twist and lots of grittiness. It's a beautifully written, incredibly compelling story of lies, misplaced trust, cold-blooded betrayals, justice that really isn't just at all and lives wasted, lives lost... And the moral of this story? Karma's a b**ch.
Profile Image for Aditi.
920 reviews1,333 followers
March 26, 2015
“Welcome to the wonderful world of jealousy, he thought. For the price of admission, you get a splitting headache, a nearly irresistible urge to commit murder, and an inferiority complex. Yippee.”

----J.R. Ward, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels

Nova Ren Suma, an American YA author, pens her latest paranormal thriller called, The Walls Around Us that spins around the lives of two girls one dead and one alive whose voices channel the story of the primary character who was convicted of murder.


“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.

Before receiving an ARC of this book, honestly, I never heard of Nova Ren Suma, so I can't compare this YA author based on her previous books! And frankly, after reading The Walls Around Us, I believe this YA author has a lot of potential in her writing style, but I won't conclude by saying she is a brilliant writer, she just has the talent to spin and twist her words and has a way with devising complicated plots, and maybe that's the trap for the readers to fall in love with her irrevocably.

The synopsis of the book, I guess, reveals a bit too much about the storyline, it is just one story about one normal girl with bigger dreams to be a famous ballerina but the story is concocted through two stories so that we can finally contemplate with the main storyline/character. The story begins with Amber convicted of murdering her stepfather at the age of thirteen and is spending her sentence at the Aurora Hills Secure Juvenile Detention Center. And this is where we meet our main character, Ori, who was convicted of murdering two ballerinas and has been sent to Aurora Hills Secure Juvenile Detention Center to serve her sentence. Trust me when I say this, Amber and Ori's part was the only thing to fall for in the whole book. This is where the author steals away my heart with their friendship, Ori's back story, the truth, love and passion. Violent is the second character, with whom, we once again get to see and meet Ori. Violet is a ballet dancer without any perfection but Violet feels guilty for her friend Ori's death. Violet has everything to hate her, she is the definition of the "bitch"- filthy rich, pompous and drama queen. But Vee opens up with her past about Ori's conviction. And thus after the two stories, we can see the end of this puzzling mystery about Ori and her conviction of a bloody crime.

Sounds complicated isn't it?! But it's a sad and disturbing story, where the plot twists like anything leaving us panting and begging for the complicity to stop. As I said, the writing is okay nothing too glamorous or brilliant, instead the author diverted all her attention toward her plot-building. The story evolves from how friendship can happen between two lonely girls in a detention center, and on the other hand, how the strongest of friendships could be shattered by lies, back-stabbing and jealously. The author made sure that the mystery is tightly wrapped under layers of twists and turns and no matter how hard the readers try, they wouldn't be able to unravel it, moreover, she chooses to peel the mystery layer-by-layer and by that time, our minds would be completely messed up with knots and hidden agendas.

Through the narrative, we get to see each and every character from their depth. Unfortunately, that is what marred the book. The narration is undoubtedly extremely catchy, but the way the author have put it makes it difficult for us too see past the million layers of each character. The characters are believable but not profound enough to connect with them emotionally.

The author lets us see the darkest side of a human nature and how sometimes our minds are dominated by jealously, inferiority complex and rage and how sometimes when there's no hope to survive the loneliness, even a flicker of light is enough to bring us back the hope onto our hearts. In fact, the author focuses her storyline on the fact that how teenage girls mind are the most vulnerable thing in the world, manipulation, impulsiveness, jealousy, hatred are some of the few qualities that posses them like a ghost and that makes it difficult to see past through their hazy judgements. The aspect of the book is really nice- freedom and jealously projected side by side. The book is not highly engrossing yet it is interesting enough to keep on going till it's very end.

Verdict: A nice book for YA fans!

Courtesy: Thanks to the author's publicist for giving me an opportunity to read and review the book.
Profile Image for Tsvetelina.
Author 4 books612 followers
March 17, 2019
"Стените около нас" е една неподражаема смесица от магически реализъм и нещо като трилър със зловещ отзвук, но не съвсем. Защото не е трилър, а призрачна история за вината и изкуплението, съвременна история за капана, в който могат да попаднат телата и душите ни, за всичко сиво и всичко ярко, кое��о може да бележи пътя към безвъзвратното падение. Книгата разказва историята през погледа на две напълно различни момичета, Вайълет и Амбър, които обаче се оказва, че споделят много общо помежду си и Ори е само част от това. Вайълет произлиза от т.нар. добри семейства с възможности и очаквания и въпреки своята неувереност и чувство за малоценност, се бори със зъби и нокти да докаже, че заслужава мястото си, заслужава да бъде това, за което е мечтала, откакто се помни. Амбър, от друга страна, се опитва да си спомни какво е да бъде на свобода, в света извън стените ��а центъра за задържане на малолетни престъпници, кога за последно е била наистина добро момиче, кога всичко се е объркало и всички, дори собствената й майка, са се извърнали от нея. Романът на Нова Рен Сума проследява обърканите обстоятелства, при които няколко живота могат да бъдат безвъзвратно променени и откраднати, и последствията, с които се сблъскват виновниците за престъпленията си. Книгата кара читателя да сглобява зловещата картина на историята им парче по парче, прескачайки от гледната точка на Амбър към Вайълет, които ще останат неразривно свързани от момичето, което срещат в различни моменти от живота си - Ориана Спийрлинг. Невъзможно е читателят да не се постави на мястото на главните герои, дори когато пред очите му се разкрива цялата грозота на решенията и действията им и макар мотивите за греховете им да не заличават жестокостта на действията им, всяка част от историята им звучи познато, твърде реално и като нещо, което би могло да се случи на всекиго. Нова Рен Сума поставя важни въпроси пред читателя. Способни ли сме да изпитваме съжаление за собствените си престъпления? Колко бихме жертвали, за да се спасим от наказанието си? Бихме ли променили нещо, ако не трябва да плащаме за грешките си? Има ли добро в хората, които вършат зло? Съществува ли изкупление или веднъж прекрачил границата, оставаш завинаги затворен със злото в спомените и в душата си?
"Стените около нас" излиза извън рамките на жанровете, обърква представите ни за реализъм и паранормално, отеква през страниците зловещо и прокобно и не те оставя дори за миг са затвориш книгата преди да откриеш и последното парче от пъзела.
Profile Image for Maureen.
507 reviews4,200 followers
July 31, 2017
Booktubeathon book number SIX!

I honestly have no idea what just happened with this book. It was alright but I also don't get it at all. What just happened. I...I don't even know.

The writing was good though. And even though the ending was so confusing it was also good? Idek man.
Profile Image for Book Riot Community.
953 reviews126k followers
March 19, 2015
Holy cats, this book is so vivid and amazing, it practically moves in your hands! I read it without knowing anything about it except that I loved the cover (IT’S GORGEOUS) so I’ll try not to spoil too much of it for you. Here’s the deal: Two teenage girls – one alive, one dead – narrate this suspenseful tale of big dreams and dashed hopes, set among two extremely cutthroat environments: ballet and prison. (I’ve nicknamed it Black Swan Mean.) Violet is a ballerina with a huge secret on the verge of stardom; Amber is a prisoner in a juvenile detention center who no longer imagines ever getting out. What ties their stories together is the truth, simmering just below the surface, waiting to explode. And what a conclusion! It will rattle your teeth. — Liberty Hardy

From The Best Books We Read in November: http://bookriot.com/2014/12/01/riot-r...
Profile Image for Bonnie.
1,371 reviews920 followers
July 14, 2017
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

‘She was coming. She was the next thing to come, after the locks. Once she was here, everything would go wrong. Of that I felt certain.’

Amber is an inmate at Aurora Hills Secure Juvenile Detention Center who hasn’t seen freedom since the age of thirteen when she was arrested for murder. One night, much like all the rest, something changed though and all the doors of the prison were open and the girls that resided there briefly tasted a freedom that they never thought they’d witness again. Violet is a successful ballet dancer headed to New York City to attend Juilliard. Her story involves her best friend Ori and how after one life altering afternoon, Ori was taken away to Aurora Hills Secure Juvenile Detention Center. Violet, Amber, and Ori are all linked together, intricately, with isolated secrets just waiting to be revealed.

The Walls Around Us is told in alternating points of view by two unreliable narrators: Amber and Violet. Amber is a convicted murderer yet her story of how she got to where she convinces us to see past straight black and white and to the gray that exists in-between. The amount of time she’s spent behind bars has caused her to lose her individuality, taking comfort in seeing herself as a piece of the consolidated unit of girls that share her fate. Violet is a pretentious prima donna; the narcissistic rich girl. Rather than feeling upset over the loss of her best friend three years past she only sees her flawed history with Ori as something that may pose as a deterrent on the road to her pristine future. The voices are vastly different and easy to keep separate, however, the stories of both girls seem they couldn’t possibly fit together. Keeping the facts straight as well as the intersecting timelines that occur can be trying, but the payoff is incredible. This is only my second Nova Ren Suma story and I must say that her stories are something remarkable. She writes characters with such conviction that you quickly lose yourself in classifications of ‘fiction’.

What was most incredible about this book was the realistic view of juvenile delinquency and the discrepancies in the criminal justice system. The harsh reality of discrimination was never more evident when one suspect is immediately excused of guilt while the multi-racial friend is immediately accused without much question. While it would be easy to remain focused on the horrible situation of the innocent victim, I found myself focused on the atrocious sort of person that could stand back and watch a friend be accused of a crime they weren’t responsible for. It should come as no surprise that a story as haunting as this could credibly pull off shades of the supernatural as well. The line between fantasy and reality is muddied turning this story of juvenile delinquency into an eerie story of guilt and innocence. Beautifully written, completely enthralling… I can’t seem to find the words to do this one justice. It’s definitely a must-read.

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Profile Image for Sarah DiMento.
187 reviews520 followers
February 20, 2017
We step out of our cages. We are free, like we sense we've been before. We're alive, or are we? At least we know she is.

Part of me adored this book, part of me is sort of confused??? Undeniably, a haunting and beautiful story.
Profile Image for Cila.
94 reviews39 followers
March 11, 2017
I had seen great reviews for this, so obviously when I first picked it up I expected something spectacular, however, I diverge from the mainstream opinion of this book, I really didn't like it. In the beginning the story showed promise, a little bit of darkness with a touch of magical realism; however, the abrupt and inexplainable ending of this book just left me befuddled, confused and a little bewildered, so sadly this just wasn't my cup of tea.
Profile Image for emily.
192 reviews501 followers
July 7, 2016
i'm pretty sure.....i loved this???? wow ow wow wow wo
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,890 followers
April 15, 2015
4.5 stars
I’ve admired Nova Ren Suma deeply ever since she published her debut, Imaginary Girls. Her books aren’t easy reads and they could never be described as entertaining, but they are, as a rule, thought provoking and brilliantly written. There’s always such quiet beauty to her narratives, an unpretentious quality of her writing, very simplistic in nature but gorgeous beyond compare. Her style is far from being decorative or lush, but she still somehow creates an atmosphere that envelops the reader completely.

Nova Ren Suma builds anxiety slowly, little by little, brick by brick, until it becomes a huge, suffocating wall. Aside from being overwhelmed and claustrophobic, the reader must also deal with the paradox of liking a convicted criminal and despising a successful young ballerina. The two girls at the center of this story, Violet and Amber, are worlds apart from each other. Life gave them very different opportunities, completely different starting points, and they each did with them what they could.

In her quiet way, the author addressed the prejudices we all deal with (and make) daily. How easy is it to convict a girl from a broken home, a poor, motherless girl, regardless of her own success? And how much harder is it to see the faults in a rich girl, America’s sweetheart if there ever was one? Even though they’re hidden beneath a very odd story, these issues jump at the forefront all on their own, without being thrown in our faces by the author. The prisons are filled with underprivileged, unfortunate, some of them judged for who they are, but some of them convicted for what they are. We should know better by now, but somehow we still don’t.

It’s also very interesting to see the dark side of ballet, a prestigious art form that we tend to view as pure and innocent. Ballerinas in this story are anything but, though. They’re raised to be insanely competitive, self-absorbed and mean. Of course, some take to it better than others.

I’ll admit that this book was hard for me to read. All that jealousy and resentment, the pure evil and the unfairness of it all were simply suffocating. But in the end it was more than worth it. Rarely do I find a book that leaves such a strong impression. So read this, but find something light and funny to read right after. After, that is, you take some time to untangle things and think them through.

Profile Image for merina rey.
47 reviews50 followers
September 8, 2018
I’m only slightly confused by the ending. However, it was such an interesting read!
It was beautifully written!
Profile Image for Tori (InToriLex).
460 reviews360 followers
September 22, 2015
Find this and other Reviews at InToriLex

"We kept forgetting, and we also couldn't let go."

This book took me in on a whirlwind of friendship, emotion and surprise. The characters are flawed but never one dimensional. The friendship between Orianna and Violet reminded me of all the sacred moments I had with friends while growing up, and it was refreshingly authentic. It's easy to root for young girls still trying to find themselves, during that part of adolescence when your sure you never will.

The narrative switch between Amber and Violet, was done well.The plot flowed together effortlessly describing the inside of a juvenile prison and the mind of a broken ballerina.  The great balance between describing too much and  describing too little was reached.  The books mentioned within the story, reminded me of how awesome reading them were.. While reading I was given room to make assumptions and fill in the blanks about the plot. I felt more respected and therefore more engaged because of it.

“We were alive. I remember it that way. We were still alive, and we couldn't see how close we were to the end.”

The descriptions completely immerse you into the story.so  you find yourself sympathizing with characters that are sometimes only partially described. I was surprised I enjoyed this so much. I really connected with these girls, they saw too much, but were loved too little. I felt for these characters and with them felt the same humiliation, sadness, uncertainty and fear.

List My Feels Gif, InToriLex, Book Review

Despite all of the wonderful things that work with this book, the ending didn't fully connect. It made sense within the world of the book, and it definitely surprised me but I couldn't accept it. I appreciated the magical realism described, it saved characters but also became a character itself. This is another example of Young Adult book done right when it could have gone so wrong. Definitely read this!!

I received this book, in exchange for a honest review from Netgalley.
Profile Image for Taryn.
325 reviews299 followers
May 6, 2016
3.5 Stars. Ballet drama + juvenile detention center + dark, fairytale-like atmosphere. That's all I needed to know to make me want to read this young adult novel full of secrets and betrayal! Beautifully written mystery with supernatural elements. It went a little off the deep end in the last fifteen pages, but it was worth the read for the exploration into the invisible walls that divide us.

"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." Eighteen-year-old Violet is a self-absorbed, ambitious ballet dancer, who is about to attend Julliard. Violet and Orianna have been best friends since childhood, but Violet can barely contain her resentment towards Ori. Violet has had every advantage in life and is a good dancer, but she lacks the 'spark' and natural talent of Ori, who is not as privileged. Ori has been sent to a juvenile detention center for committing a violent crime and Violet is oddly unaffected by it.

Home is where the heart is, and where the hell is, and where the hate is, and where the hopelessness is. Which made Aurora Hills pretty much like home.

Amber is an inmate at Aurora Hills juvenile detention center, home of "forty-one of the worst female juvenile offenders in the state." She was convicted of a violent crime when she was 13 years old, but everyone thinks she is the only true innocent there. She has become institutionalized and she speaks in the collective voice of the detention center. In the opening of the book, all of the doors at the detention center have become unlocked and all the guards have disappeared.

When people decide there's ugliness inside you, they'll be looking to find it on your face.

Orianna is described as selfless to a fault and an extremely talented ballet dancer. She is maybe a little too perfect! We only get to know Orianna through Violet and Amber, but she is central to the story.

People can't move on until the finger is pointed, and the gavel's come down. This is called closure, and it's also called justice, and they are not always the same thing.

I really enjoyed the mystery and the creepy atmosphere. Nova Ren Suma's prose is poetic and very lovely to read. It has a dreamy, fairytale quality to it, a similar atmosphere to We Were Liars and Wink Poppy Midnight. The Firebird, a ballet based on a Russian fairy tale, is alluded too frequently and it was weaved into the story effectively. The characters were hard for me to connect with because they felt like author constructions developed to encapsulate a message, rather than fully developed people. I tend to have this connection issue with artistically written first-person perspective, especially with multiple points-of-view. When all the characters communicate in a writerly way full of literary devices, it is hard for me to immerse myself in the story.

I knew that just because people on the outside were free and clean, it didn't mean they were the good ones. They were the worst kind of liars. They were total assholes. They were traitors. They were bitches. They were snitches. They were cowards. They claimed they had your best interests at heart, but really they were in it for themselves. They said what they wanted about us. They threw us under buses, and then they walk away. Not everything said about us by those on the outside was the truth, not even close.

My favorite part of this novel was the exploration into the divisions that separate people. Besides the physical barriers between innocent and guilty and life and death, there are also the self-created prisons of the main characters. Both Violet and Amber are very protective of their secrets and do not let people close. There are also the invisible walls that separate Violet and Ori, issues of privilege and talent. Outside appearance can also serve as a deceiving "wall" that prevents a person's true character from being revealed. It is easy to refuse to acknowledge these walls, but they are always there.

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. When we faced this truth inside ourselves, it somehow felt more ugly than the day we witnessed the judge say "guilty" and heard the coatroom cheer.

Reading this story was an uneven experience for me, but I am glad I read it! The beginning was slow, like there was a lot of filler for the sake of dragging out the mystery. I also dreaded Violet's chapters, because she was a boring, empty shell of a person. She is one of those characters that vaguely alludes to a secret until she suddenly decides to reveal the answers at the end. She doesn't do much and she is exhaustingly repetitive about her ambitions and resentments. Amber's chapters were by far the most compelling. Her life as an inmate and the relationships between the young women were so interesting. It was like Orange is the New Black: The Juvie Edition with a weird, dreamy feel, and I was hooked during the middle. But that end! The last fifteen pages were insane. It is one of those endings that comes completely out of left field and I have a hard time accepting it because I suddenly didn't understand the rules of this world.

Maybe, long ago, we all used to be good. maybe all little girls are good in the beginning. … But something happened to us between then and now. Something threw sand in our eyes, ground it in, and we couldn't get it out. We still can't.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and I would read more by this author, even if they all have crazy endings! The two books I thought of while reading this book are very different in regards to genre, but are similar in theme: The Library of Mount Char (dangers of letting your pain consume you and human adaptability) and Unfair (a nonfiction book about injustice in the United States justice system).

I received this book for free from Algonquin Young Readers (Goodreads giveaway) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Semi-related: Ballerina Misty Copeland to ‘Inspire the Next Generation’ With Her Own Barbie Doll (5/22/16)- Firebird costume! I get irrationally excited when I spot connections (no matter how tenuous) to my reading in the news!
Profile Image for Mel (Daily Prophecy).
1,081 reviews465 followers
March 14, 2015

The moment I started this book, I knew I was up to something good. This was one of the best beginnings I’ve read in a long time. The writing-style is gorgeous and I was immediately curious about the mystery around the juvenile detention center and Orianna. This is a story about guilt, lies and dealing with a situation that’s not in your control. Through the eyes of two girls, Amber and Violet, we get to know the story behind Ori’s conviction.

The first chapter starts with Amber’s point of view. She is locked away in the detention center after an accusation everybody believes is false. Ori becomes her new roommate and the two create a special bond. There is something about Ori and everything she does shows that she doesn’t belong there. She is one of them, but at the same time she isn’t.

I liked Amber and it was fascinating to see the center through her eyes. It sounds like a horrible place, filled with girls with different sentences according to their crime. Amber did feel a little distant, but that seemed to match with the overall feeling in the book. I liked Ori the best. She seemed like a very sweet girl who wants to see the best of everything. Her mystery kept making me turn the pages to find out what happened.

Then we switch and get to know Violet, a ballerina dancer whose life is filled with lies and guilt for the death of her friend Ori. Violet is happy she can escape from her little town to go to college, but she isn’t ready until she visits the place where the juvenile center was. Slowly we unravel what happened and how Ori ended up locked away while she had such a promising future. Violet isn’t written as a likable character, but Nova did a great job with portraying her and making her interesting enough to follow.

The paranormal approach was a nice touch to the story, but also felt underdeveloped. This made the ending a bit underwhelming, but at the same time I like how it all wraps together. The truth that comes out and the way everything is solved is satisfying. This is my first book from this author and definitely not my last one.
Profile Image for ily .
455 reviews629 followers
March 31, 2015
We were alive. I remember it that way. We were still alive, and we couldn’t make heads or tails of the darkness, so we couldn’t see how close we were to the end.

The Walls Around Us es el mejor libro que he leído en lo que va de este 2015. EL MEJOR. Este tesoro de libro me ha dejado sin palabras, con el estómago hecho un nudo y con la piel de gallina. Dark and twisted and hauntingly beautiful. Una historia que no es para todos pero que puede llegar a satisfacer tanto a jóvenes lectores como a otros ya maduros. Suma ha demostrado que es una de las voces más frescas y especiales en la literatura YA.

El libro está contado en las voces de dos chicas -Violet y Amber- con las cuales es muy fácil simpatizar aunque en el fondo oculten terribles secretos. Dos chicas que parecen ser muy diferentes en un principio pero que, al final, terminan como iguales. No sé quién me gustó más. Amber era nostálgica, depresiva y triste pero con una rabia contenida que Suma mostraba a la perfección, pero también con una magia en su narración que hacía imposible soltar el libro.

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.

Violet tenía todo lo que quería: la fama y la popularidad que el brillo de Ori le había arrebatado. Ya que su mejor amiga estaba muerta, Violet podía ser la estrella en su academia de ballet. No puedo expresar con palabras lo mucho que me gustó Violet, y eso que era la peor persona. Su enojo y celos y envidia hacia Ori no terminaron con la muerte de ésta. No, ella seguía envidiando a su mejor amiga, y sabía que, aunque ella estaba muerta, su fantasma seguiría atormentándola.

Ori would have seen through my once white, now red-stained leotard and the white, now red-spattered froof of my tutu, to what’s inside. Not the second leotard under the first one, but deeper, under my skin. The gross parts of the person I really am, the blood and guts, the ugliness, the slimy secrets, the liar I’m hiding in there, the true person I am, tangled up with the worms and the rot.

Nova Ren Suma tiene una prosa singular, no para todos pero simplemente breathtaking. Esa es la palabra clave. La calidad de su escritura es única y no creo que ningún otro libro me haya sentir tantas emociones indescriptibles al mismo tiempo. Y es que no faltaban las ganas de querer tomar el libro y abrazarlo. Eso es lo que me provocaba la prosa de Suma con sus pasajes hermosos, en donde no estaba segura de lo que es real y lo que no, en donde sus personajes me llenaban con nostalgia pura, pero también con violencia, sentimientos negativas y arrepentimiento. Pocos autores tienen un estilo tan hermoso, y mucho menos saben cómo usarlo. Suma me mostró la increíble experiencia que se obtiene con uno de sus libros en 17 & Gone, pero con The Walls Around Us ha hecho de esa experiencia algo único, inigualable y absolutamente perfecto.

The Walls Around Us es una lectura compleja, nada fácil y no para todos. Pero es increíble desde la primera página. Una maravillosa historia sobre la culpa y la inocencia y sobre lo fácil que es confundir una con la otra. Tengo un nuevo libro favorito.

Maybe, long ago, we used to be good. Maybe all little girls are good in the beginning.
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