Title: The Walls Around Us
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Publication: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: March 24th 2015
Spoilers: NO 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 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.” [Goodreads]
I read The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma for the Bored to Death Book Club of April. Even though it is classified as horror, I thought it was more of an thriller, since it wasn’t a really scary novel. It was an interesting novel, very confusing, but still a good read.
This novel is about three different characters that are somehow connected with each other. In the beginning of the novel it isn’t quite clear as to how they are connected, but you will learn that later on in the story. This did make the story very confusing at first and honestly, I’m still confused about a lot of things.
The characters were ok, but they didn’t really work for me. I thought Amber wasn’t very well worked out and I thought Ori was very uncomplicated. Only Violet had the potential of being an interesting character and she wasn’t as complex as she could have been, which is a shame, because with better characters it would have been a much interesting story. However, they did really intrigue me as to who they were and I was wondering why they were in the position they were in, so that did work well for the story.
The plot is very detective/thriller like. It’s supposed to be horror, but I don’t really think it should be. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered at the beginning of the novel and throughout the novel some of these are answered. This makes the story suspenseful, but not all questions are answered and as I’ve already told, the story is quite confusing and I’m still not over that. I do like it when a novel sticks in my head, but this time it actually bothers me a bit.
The writing did make up for all the confusion and the character, because it was quite well written. This novel is very beautifully written and I liked the kind of poetic sentences used in the novel. I really enjoyed reading it, because it was well written and because the story stays suspenseful until the very end.
I’m a little torn as between liking and disliking this novel. The writing was very good, but there are some weird things happening in the novel, especially in the end, which bothered me a lot and it was a very confusing novel. I‘m still not sure whether I like the choices this author made or not, but perhaps that is also a good thing, because I’m still thinking about the novel, even though I’ve finished it weeks ago.