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Review: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma


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?

My thoughts

Nova’s writing is fabulous. With Imaginary Girls she made me fall in love with magical realism and every new book by her since that one was even better than the previous one. The Walls Around Us is an amazing read that blew my mind and is my current favorite of hers.
If you love magical realism, read this one, it’s one of the best. If you don’t, read it anyway, because this just might change your mind and make you fall in love with the genre.

Nova Ren Suma has such a unique way of telling a story, it’s remarkable. I loved this one right from the start. The narration style is glorious. Not only the use of “we” (which didn’t even take me time to get used to because it just felt right) but also the back and forth between different POVs. I loved slowly getting to know how these are connected.  I especially loved Vee’s POV as it felt like you were right there in her head. It’s kind of a chaotic narrative, not telling much but her thoughts, jumping around between events. It really felt like you have a look at someones thoughts, completely unfiltered.

This is a story about life, about life not always being fair, showing that bad things can happen to good people all the time and it felt so dam real that it made me angry all the time. Once I got that first glimpse behind the curtain and learned what happened, I felt so much rage, I wanted to hit something.

The Walls Around Us is one of those books that’s just one constant “WTH is going on?”. I had absolutely no idea where she was going with all this. Nova plays with your head, turns around your thoughts again and again, always making you come to new conclusions but never seeing the whole picture until the end.

And then there is that mind blowing ending. WHAT A TWIST! I can’t put into words how much I loved it. So unexpected and just perfect. When it all comes together in such a beautiful way, it feels like you’re getting rewarded. It’s one of those endings that makes you want to start the whole book right over again because you want to know how it is to read about all this while knowing what happened and how it ends.

Nova Ren Suma has a gift. It’s like she can do magic with words. She creates something so remarkable with them. If you haven’t read any of her books yet and want something truly unique, go for this one.

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  • I haven’t had a lot of luck with magical realism ( I could not finish 100 Years of Solitude), but I have heard about how well this author writes so I feel I should give it a shot!

  • Wow, thank you – you have made me more than just curious … I will definetely add this one to my TBR pile!

    Cheers, Kati

  • I am glad you enjoyed this one. I loved it! The ending was a bit confusing, but somehow I still enjoyed it. Ha. This was my first book by this author, but I must read more.

Mar 20, 2015