STARRED REVIEW
March 24, 2015

Dark mysteries locked away

By Nova Ren Suma
Review by

Amber, Vee and Orianna aren’t necessarily the girls next door. Well, they might have been at one time, but now these teens find their lives inextricably linked through the common denominator of Aurora Hills Secure Juvenile Detention Center.

Share this Article:

Amber, Vee and Orianna aren’t necessarily the girls next door. Well, they might have been at one time, but now these teens find their lives inextricably linked through the common denominator of Aurora Hills Secure Juvenile Detention Center.

Amber’s doing time for killing her stepfather; Vee is an aspiring, yet tormented, ballet dancer; and Orianna is the curious link that binds them. As Amber notes, “Each of us had our own monster, distinct to us.” And indeed, the girls must deal with their own demons as well as those of the other inmates who share their dismal fate. Author Nova Ren Suma uses highly refined and eloquent prose to unveil—slowly—how these tragic lives intersect, as each girl's alternating story dips back and forth through time.

Unexplained phenomena, dark back stories, bloody flashbacks, creepy characters and a shocking denouement are enough to keep the sinister suspense going, much to the thrill of today’s YA readers. The female characters are well drawn, compelling and complex, and things aren’t always as they seem, but sharp readers will want to unravel their complicated connections.

Suma shares in the book’s publicity materials that “this book haunted me like one of the ghosts found in its pages.” The Walls Around Us will certainly haunt readers as well, but the journey will be well worth the scares. This is an intense, hypnotic and absorbing read. A movie can’t be far behind.

Trending Reviews

Get the Book

The Walls Around Us

The Walls Around Us

By Nova Ren Suma
Algonquin
ISBN 9781616203726

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres every Tuesday.