[REVIEW] The Walls Around Us

Series: N/A
 Nova Ren Suma
 young adult, paranormal, fantasy, ghost, horror, mystery
 March 24, 2015
 Algonquin Young Readers

“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 Vee, 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: What really happened when 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? 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. 
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.

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Sometimes it could be the smallest thing that could topple over a whole life and, in the end, destroy it. 
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The Walls Around Us is a book that kept me interested all throughout. It's a story about guilt wrapped around a very beautiful writing. It's a story of a girl whose story is told by other people she spent a lot of time with.

I've never read anything by Nova Ren Suma but I'm definitely more than willing to read more of her books. The first time I picked up The Walls Around Us, I was a bit confused on what's happening but I just let things happen until I see the bigger the picture. Until I see where things are heading. Until Ori was introduced.

The Walls Around Us tells the story of Ori, what she's like, why she was sent to Aurora Hills, and how she took the fact of being sent there. Ori's this very nice girl with great talent and very bright future ahead of her. I loved her all throughout. It really made me wonder what brought her there - what really happened to her and Violent and the murder she was being accused of.

What I really love about The Walls Around Us are its characters and how it was written. Ori's story is written in two POVs. One is Amber, a dead girl who lived with Ori while she's inside the Aurora Hills. And the other is Violet, a girl who lived with Ori before she was sent to Aurora Hills. Amber's POV shows the inside of Aurora Hills and I really like delving into her life inside the walls. I find Amber the character that is quite easy to sympathize with. She's not the personality-perfect like Ori and she's not guilty-to-the-bones like Violet. Amber's voice is very easy to like get into. She lets you live the inside of the wall and at the same time tell Ori's story in the best way she can - full of questions.

Violet's side of the story is very intriguing. She's the one who holds the full story - the one who knows everything but never let it out. There's this part of me that wanted to sympathize with Violet yet at the same time, at the back of my mind, I know she did something. I was sure of it. She was so guilty the moment she spoke.

I feel that Nova Ren Suma written both girls well. They both had their flaws yet they're both sympathetic in some ways although it's far easier to get into Amber, honestly. My issue perhaps with characterization is Ori's perfection. I mean sure, Ori isn't freaking rich as Violet, but from the way the two girls talked about Ori, it seems that she just takes in everything that comes into her. She takes everything positively. She doesn't show anything negative to other people which is pretty odd.

The story as a whole was quite a rollercoaster. I get confused at times. The lives of the two girls are very interesting. And as Violet go through the walls and experience odd things, it set the book into quite a thrilling ride. The ending made me smile in some ways. It made me want to go back pages and read them again. I cheered for Amber a lot. I cheered for Violet sometimes. But most of all, I cheered for Ori who deserves a better future.

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What I Like: (1) the dual-POV, (2) Amber and Violet's voices, (3) how two girls tell the story of just one girl, (4) how it was generally written, (5) the unraveling of Ori's story, (6) that ending, so simple yet so beautiful

What I Didn’t Like: (1) at times (especially in the beginning), it feels confusing, (2) Ori's personality-perfection which bytheway is pretty. odd.

~this book was provided in exchange for an honest review~

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