The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma: Book review

The Walls Around Us
Book title/Author: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
Publisher/Year: March 24th 2015 Algonquin Young Readers
Genre: YA Paranormal
Pages: 336
Source/Format: e-arc | NetGalley
(Thanks NetGalley/Algonquin Young Readers!)
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion.

*This review may contain spoilers!*


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 centre, 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?

My review

Before I read this book, I had heard good things about Nova's writing, and so when I saw this up for request on NetGalley, I couldn't resist it. I went into this book purposely not really knowing what it was going to be about, and I liked that, despite the book being quite confusing at times.

I liked the small part that ballet played in this novel, and how it wasn't a major part of the story but it still meant something. The world of ballet is portrayed as dangerous and twisted, full of backstabbers and rivalries, and how that obviously got to Violet.

This book was a hard one to categorise, as while I am certain it's YA, I couldn't determine what sub-genre it fell under. It has elements of both mystery and paranormal, and even more, but I decided on paranormal as there is a haunting vibe to this book. 

I really enjoyed the two perspectives we get in this book, and how they are seemingly so different. It was my first time reading a book set in a prison, or juvie, or anything like that, and possibly also a ballet dancer, although I have seen a lot of dance TV shows/films. However, it's not really their story, they both just play a part of a bigger picture. I would like to say that I liked both Amber and Violet equally, but I have to be honest and say that Amber's story was easier to read about, though that doesn't necessarily mean I liked her more. I think it was because Violet had a stronger connection to Orianna and I felt it was harder to read from a person struggling, although Amber was too, but in a different way.

What I really got out of this book was the beautiful writing from Suma, making me want to pick up one of her older books and see if it's always been there.

This book messes with your brain in the best way possible, and I think everyone should read it.



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