The Walls Around Us
by Nova Ren Suma
“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.
Nova Ren Suma took the high road and proved her worth to all her followers and readers how great a storyteller she is. Masterfully and meticulously written, The Walls Around Us would change your perspective about ghosts, friends, betrayals, guilt, life and death. To be honest, I just caught a glimpse of this book’s synopsis and didn’t really cared too much about it at first. When I started reading & indulging in Amber & Violet’s points of views, I soon found myself being pulled in to the book, absorbed and overwhelmed, with this feeling of creepiness and paranormal seeping through my senses.
Orianna’s presence is felt throughout the book, through Amber’s and Violet’s respective POVs. Amber, having spent some time in detention center, was a hard shell to crack. Violet, a complete stranger to Amber but was once Orianna’s best pal, was the high and mighty queen bee who thinks she’s better than everybody else. Two completely different characters, separated by distance yet bound by an oh-so-inexplicable-and-creepy connection, together they give light to the disturbing shadow that lurks behind them, the shadow that is called Orianna.
I’m not good in writing a spoiler-free kind of review, but this time, I chose to be cryptic with the ins and outs of The Walls Around Us. I’ve heard and read so much about Nova Ren Suma, although I have yet to read her other book, Imaginary Girls. My initial reaction after I’ve finally finished this book, I was enthralled, beguiled and mesmerized. The words used were descriptive and full of emotion. This is the kind of writing that would have you sweating cold and palpitating as you anticipate the next page, chapter, cliffhanger, twist and ending. Yes, the ending, which is not quite what it seemed, was delivered with great care and power.