Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: The Walls Around Us

The Walls Around Us By Nova Ren Suma
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date:  March 24th, 2015
Source: Library
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages 
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
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.
I have to admit, that at first I thought I wasn't going to like this book. The book is told in dual perspectives from very unreliable narrators so I think that's what made me unsure, but now having finished it I can say that I really enjoyed this one.

The book is told in the perspectives of Violet, a dancer on her way to Juilliard whom is haunted by her past and her friend Ori going to a Juvenile Detention Center for something that happened three years ago that was her fault.  It takes awhile for us to figure out what the means, so that did annoy me at times. I also found her to be very annoying, and it was clear she was way too used to her privilege. Her self-centered attitude made me want to punch her. 

The other narrator is a girl named Amber in the Detention Center for killing her stepdad. Having finished this novel I'm still not sure if Amber actually did it or not. In the beginning she says how innocent she is, but then her story starts to change at the end. I think Suma left this up to the reader, and I like to think she was innocent and maybe it was her mother that killed him and let her daughter take the fall for her. Although I did want a clear answer on this, I think I'm okay with the author leaving it up for the reader to decide. 

I liked that this book brings in race and how the justice system is so flawed. I think it was really important part to the plot and the ending of this book.  I have read some reviews where some people didn't get the ending, but it made sense to me. I don't want to give it away, but just really think about the supernatural elements and concepts about afterlife.

This book was a surprise for me, and I'm really glad that I stuck with it because I was really satisfied with the ending. 

Happy Reads Everyone!