Book Review: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

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A stunning portrayal of guilt and innocence, The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma is a soaring example of modern day magic realism. With prose that sings, Suma weaves a ghost story that will leave readers haunted by beautiful imagery and the sting of justice.

walls around usThe 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 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 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.

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.

Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and innocence, and what happens when one is mistaken for the other.

Truly, The Walls Around Us is a genuine masterpiece of literature — haunting in all the best ways. Lyrical writing, deeply flawed and beautiful characters, and an intense narrative mystery interwoven with just a dash of the supernatural.

I was captivated by this book from the very first page, and the mystery of these three girls kept me eagerly turning the pages to learn more. But as quickly as I wanted to race through the book to find out the next twist of the story, I also wanted to linger on each careful turn of phrase. Suma’s writing is always so lovely, but perhaps never more so than within these pages — as this book brings together so many wonderful elements.

The Walls Around Us is a beautiful book, from start to finish (inside and out, too, as the cover is just gorgeous) — and will keep readers captivated long after finishing the last page. Thought-provoking and elegant at once, The Walls Around Us is in stores now.

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