Well, as promised, here I am back today with a review of The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma. I had been wanting to read this one for awhile, having seen it floating around the internet book world. But, I refrained from buying it, especially since hardbacks are so expensive. Plus, I had read some mixed reviews, so I wasn’t eager to dish out my money for it. So, I was super happy when I found this one at my Library – snatching it up right away!
This book is about three main girls: Amber, Violet, and Orianna. One is a prisoner in a high-security juvenile detention center, two are ballerinas, two are murders, and none are reliable narrators. What did Amber do that landed her in prison? Will we ever know if she’s telling the truth? What did Ori do to get herself sent to such a horrible place? Did Violet get away with something she wasn’t supposed to? Will the girls locked up ever make it out? Or is it true that once you walk through the doors of the Aurora Hills Juvenile Detention Center you can never leave?
Where to begin with this book? Hmm. Well, first off I guess I’ll start with my 3-star rating. I did enjoy this book, but it was really just alright for me. I was hoping for more. Suma weaves a powerful and compelling story, but at times the story is also confusing. I found myself having to reread quite a few passages and pages because I couldn’t figure out what was happening. I understand that the reader isn’t supposed to fully know what’s going on to create the tension, but I still felt like it was, at times, too confusing for it’s own good.
Despite the story occasionally being a bit hard to follow, I really loved all the characters. I think they were Suma’s saving grace for me. These girls are horrible, and terrible, and most have done wretched things – they’re horribly unlikeable. But, they’re the characters you absolutely love to hate. But, not only did I find myself disliking most of the girls personalities, Suma also made me pity them and really feel for them because they were so multi dimensional. Most of these girls where murderers, and I was wishing their lives would get better regardless of the crimes they had committed. The characters were without a doubt the strongest part of this story.
I also loved that the narrators were unreliable. I love unreliable narrators.
Another thing that I really liked, but thought could have been executed better, was the paranormal aspect to this book. On top of this book already being about horrifying things, Suma adds even more horrifying things to the mix. She does an excellent job of giving away just enough (of that I-wish-it-wasn’t-so confusing) information to keep you second guessing what’s happening and if this could actually be reality. The paranormal aspect is subtle enough to add just the right amount of horror. If it would have been thought out better, this book would have been an easy 4-star rating for me.
The final thing I want to touch on is the ending. I actually really liked the ending. It was unique, fascinating, and haunting – one that will definitely keep you thinking long after you close this book. The ending was honestly my favorite part of this book. And, if the story had just been on that very next level it needed to be on for the 4-star rating, the ending might have persuaded me to give it that 5-star rating.
But, alas, it got that 3-star rating. Overall, I would still recommend this book. I suggest it to those looking for a mystery/thriller with that bit of a horror twist. This book will haunt you and the ending will have you questioning everything and make you want to go back and read the book all over again to connect the dots. I will be reading more by this author in the future for sure.
Get your copy from Book Depository here for $12.84.
Well, that’s it for me for the week. I hope you all have a lovely weekend deserving of the lovely people you are. I’ll be back on Sunday to catch-up and let you know all-new bookish news.
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