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The Walls Around Us

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  9,256 ratings  ·  1,948 reviews
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
Hardcover, 319 pages
Published March 24th 2015 by Algonquin Young Readers
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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Emily May
Sep 24, 2014 rated it really liked 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.

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... w
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
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
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
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This had a promising start, but honestly everything just kind of fell apart for me after the halfway mark. Big womp.
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, arc
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 unsettli
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

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 ho
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
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 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 schem
Vanessa J.

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 comm
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
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.

*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 a ...more
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 trut
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, ...more
Rashika (is tired)
***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
Mar 24, 2015 rated it liked it
“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 w
Jul 30, 2017 rated it liked it
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.
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
Book Riot Community
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 ...more
Sarah DiMento
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.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Jul 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
i'm pretty sure.....i loved this???? wow ow wow wow wo ...more
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
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
merina rey
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m only slightly confused by the ending. However, it was such an interesting read!
It was beautifully written!
Tori (InToriLex)
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
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
Mel (Daily Prophecy)
Aug 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, read-2014

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

I can describe this book with one word: Haunting.
Explaining the plot is quite challenging, even thought it’s not that complicated at first glance.
We follow two completely different teenage girls. Violet is an ambitious ballet dancer while Amber is in a juvenile detention center. They do have something in common: Orianna.
Is she real or is she a ghost?

The walls around us is a story
Larry H
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Full disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Violet ("Vee") has wanted to be a prima ballerina for as long as she can remember. And as a girl from a wealthy family, she can dream whatever she wants to and achieve her dreams. When she meets Ori, whose family life is less than stable but whose talent is greater, Ori becomes Vee's strongest advocate and biggest fan, protecting her from self-doubt and those who seek to tear her down. But
Therin Knite
Sep 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, literary
(view spoiler) ...more
(This book is available now! Thank you Netgalley for this ARC.)

This book is most likely not what you expect.

It alternates between two narratives, one is Violet, an 18-year-old ballet dancer headed for fame, and the other is Amber, a prisoner in a juvenile detention center. At the center of both their stories is another young girl and two terrible tragedies that won’t be forgotten.

There’s a slow unravelling and simultaneous escalation of both narratives, until they collide in the end, brought t
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FYA Book Club of ...: October 2018 - The Walls Around Us 1 4 Jan 06, 2019 01:55PM  
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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 ...more

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