The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren SumaThe Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

The Walls Around Us

byNova Ren Suma

Hardcover | March 24, 2015

Pricing and Purchase Info

$18.41 online 
$26.95 list price save 31%
Earn 92 plum® points

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores

about

A #1 New York Times Bestseller

“With evocative language, a shifting timeline and more than one unreliable narrator, Suma subtly explores the balance of power between the talented and the mediocre, the rich and the poor, the brave and the cowardly . . . To reveal more would be to uncover the bloody heart that beats beneath the floorboards of this urban-legend-tinged tale.” —The New York Times

 
The Walls Around Us is a ghostly story of suspense told in two voices--one still living and one dead. On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old ballerina 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 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?

PRAISE FOR THE WALLS AROUND US:

“A gorgeously written, spellbinding ghost story.” Chicago Tribune

"Unputdownable . . . the well-paced plot reveals guilt, innocence, and dark truths that will not stay hidden." The Boston Globe

“Suma excels in creating surreal, unsettling stories with vivid language, and this psychological thriller is no exception. Along the way, Suma also makes a powerful statement about the ease with which guilt can be assumed and innocence awarded, not only in the criminal justice system, but in our hearts--in the stories we tell ourselves. A fabulous, frightening read.”Booklist, starred review
 

“The wholly realistic view of adolescents meeting the criminal justice system is touched at first with the slimmest twist of an otherworldly creepiness, escalating finally to the truly hair-raising and macabre. Eerie, painful and beautifully spine-chilling.”Kirkus Reviews, starred review
 
“This haunting and evocative tale of magical realism immerses readers in two settings that seem worlds apart . . . Suma’s unflinchingly honest depiction of the potentially destructive force of female friendship and skillful blending of gritty realism with supernatural elements is reminiscent of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls, and the eerie mood she evokes is unnervingly potent.” School Library Journal, starred review
 
“In lyrical, authoritative prose, Suma weaves the disparate lives of [the] three girls into a single, spellbinding narrative that explores guilt, privilege, and complicity with fearless acuity. . . The twisting, ghostly tale of Ori’s life, death, and redemption is unsettling and entirely engrossing.” The Horn Book Magazine, starred review
 
“Gratifyingly disturbing . . . Suma craftily sets the two stories against one another, moving between Violet’s fiercely grounded account and Amber’s hauntingly destabilized one, enticing readers to figure out how the pieces go together.” Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

“Powerful . . . The compelling narrative, written in scintillating prose and featuring incredibly real characters, brings the two stories together in an explosive finale with a supernatural twist that results in a satisfying resolution.” VOYA, starred review
 
“Gripping . . . Just try to put this down.” Shelf Awareness for Readers, starred review
 
“A suspenseful tour de force, a ghost story of the best sort, the kind that creeps into your soul and haunts you.” —Libba Bray, author of The Diviners and A Great and Terrible Beauty  
 
“Fearlessly imagined and deliciously sinister, The Walls Around Us is hypnotic, luring the reader deeper and deeper into its original, shocking narrative.” —Michelle Hodkin, author of the Mara Dyer Trilogy
 
“Written in luscious and deliciously creepy prose not easy to forget . . . This is a story about guilt and innocence, about secrets and how deep we let people into those places within us, and it’s a story about how the past can define our present, even if we try desperately to keep that past under wraps. Put it on your radars now; this is an outstanding literary young adult novel more than worth the wait.” Book Riot
 
#1 Spring 2015 Kids’ Indie Next List Pick
A Junior Library Guild Selection

 
Nova Ren Suma has an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and a BA in writing and photography from Antioch College and has been awarded a fiction fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She is the author of Imaginary Girls, Fade Out, and 17 & Gone. She lives in New York City. Find Nova online at novaren.com or follow h...
Imaginary Girls
Imaginary Girls

by Nova Ren Suma

$9.99

In stock online

Not available in stores

17 & Gone
17 & Gone

by Nova Ren Suma

$10.99

In stock online

Available in stores

Fade Out
Fade Out

by Nova Ren Suma

$11.99

Ships within 1-3 weeks

Not available in stores

Shop this author
Title:The Walls Around UsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.13 inPublished:March 24, 2015Publisher:Algonquin BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1616203722

ISBN - 13:9781616203726

Customer Reviews of The Walls Around Us

Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from A For the Lover of Books Review Number of pages: 319 Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1 Rating (out of five stars): 2 I’m reading reviews and wondering if I read the same book as anyone else. I went in expecting a dark and creepy tale with paranormal elements, but I got a story about a mean-spirited ballerina and an inmate. The atmospheric writing raved about was your standard writing style. It wasn’t flowery and metaphor filled, but it wasn’t as fantastic as I expected either. The fact that the writing made multiple murders seem dull didn’t help. Let’s talk about Violet first. You can tell from chapter one that she is a horrible person. I really didn’t need her to flash back 3 years to figure out what she did. Her chapters were mostly her whining about not getting to spend time with her best friend anymore. The crazy thing is that she was the one who got her friend convicted of murder in the first place. It’s also a good thing we don’t see much of her, since her chapters were incredibly boring. The other narrator is Amber, an inmate in a juvenile detention center. Her chapters were far more interesting, but only until we found out what she did to earn her place there. Afterwards, I couldn’t care less about her chapters. Amber’s chapters soon became convoluted once the paranormal aspect was introduced. Orianna was almost too good to be true. She had such a kind heart that it’s incredibly difficult to see why any of this even happened in the first place. The court based their conviction off of a rich girl’s hazy memory, not even taking into account the accused’s demeanor or possible motive. Those girls never bothered Orianna. There were also a few plot holes, like how on earth the ghosts knew the parameters for being able to see them, but it’s hard to get into those without spoiling people. Overall, The Walls Around Us was not the creepy book I was expecting, leaning towards the more dull side of the scale. It has therefore earned 2 stars out of 5.
Date published: 2017-07-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great Even though this book is predictable in some parts, it is a good read. I really like the ending.
Date published: 2016-12-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from She is the new and young Stephen King. Nova Ren Suma can write ugly things beautifully.
Date published: 2015-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Innocence and morality explored right The Walls Around Us was beautiful, I had a fantastic time reading it. Exploring the story and slowly having the mystery unraveled around the reader was done just right, it felt like understanding the characters was more important than the actual murders. This type of journey perfectly complements what I felt to be the theme of grey morality: what about an action or a person defines someone as guilty or innocent? I highly recommend this novel, it was fabulous. more reviews at www.katielovestoread.tumblr.com
Date published: 2015-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Atmospheric and brilliant read for teens Will be recommending this one to all my students. Just brilliant with characters that are not your norm.
Date published: 2015-06-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful, dreamy and just a little bit creepy. I can't go into too much detail about this book without revealing its secrets, but I'll try to explain it as best I can without spoilers. The Walls Around Us is told in dual points of view that switches over in every section. One is told in Violet's point of view. She is a ballerina and her best friend Ori was incarcerated for killing two people. She's very prim and proper on the outside, but like she says, underneath the tulle and beneath the skin, is something ugly and red. The other point of view is told by a ghost named Amber. She's been in the prison so long that she can't remember freedom. Nova Ren Suma writes Amber's point of view in a way that it's hard for the reader to tell that Amber is not alive and she is in fact a ghost. Though I suppose, that everything in a ghost's world, to them, is real. Ori is very central to the novel, as she is the one that ties both Amber and Violet together. There's a dreamy quality to the book that I adore. It flashes back and forward between past and present in a way that is fluid and not at all choppy. The writing is beautiful and really adds to that dreamy quality. This is my first magical realism novel (I think) and I really enjoyed this book. The plot is well structured and intriguing. It holds on tightly to its mystery and I never really knew what direction it was heading in. That didn't dissuade me from reading though. It kept me hooked onto the book, wanting to find out exactly what was going on. This book is dreamy, mysterious and a little creepy, but it is also beautiful with an ending that satisfies.
Date published: 2015-03-31

Editorial Reviews

“[An] Intricately plotted psychological horror story . . .  With evocative language, a shifting timeline, and more than one unreliable narrator, Suma subtly explores the balance of power between the talented and the mediocre, the rich and the poor, the brave and the cowardly--and the unpleasant truths that are released when these scales are upset.” —New York Times Book Review “[A] supernatural page-turner . . . In [Suma’s] story, some people are guilty and damnable, and some are innocent and good -- and the ones who fall in between are simply innocuous. This stark character classification isn’t a flaw, but rather, a demonstration of Suma’s fantastic writing. Her images, even the horrible ones, linger like dust and glitter after an epic stage performance.” —The Boston Globe “Gripping. . . Just try to put this down.” —Shelf Awareness for Readers, starred review “ [A] powerful novel . . . The compelling narrative, written in scintillating prose and featuring incredibly real characters, brings the two stories together in an explosive finale with a supernatural twist that results in a satisfying resolution to the struggle between the guilt and evil depicted here.” —VOYA “The Walls Around Us passionately testifies to the ways in which girls are walled up, held down, fenced in. It's a gorgeously written, spellbinding ghost story forged from ugly reality. . . ‘Everything I know about bombs tells me they are built to explode,’ Amber observes at one point. Nova Ren Suma's prose hums with such power and fury that when the explosions do happen, they seem unavoidable.” —Chicago Tribune “Suma excels in creating surreal unsettling stories with vivid language, and this psychological thriller is no exception. . . A fabulous, frightening read.” —Booklist, starred review “A tour-de-force packing immense emotional power . . .  Suma takes risks here that few authors are capable of, and most readers do not dare hope for.”—Locus Magazine  “Suma craftily sets the two stories against one another, moving between Violet’s fiercely grounded account and Amber’s hauntingly destabilized one, enticing readers to figure out how the pieces go together . . . Readers who loved the author’s spooky but redemptive 17 & Gone) and who are looking for something a little more vengeful will curl up happily with this.”—BCCB, starred review "A suspenseful tour de force, a ghost story of the best sort, the kind that creeps into your soul and haunts you." —Libba Bray, author of The Diviners and A Great and Terrible Beauty "Fearlessly imagined and deliciously sinister, The Walls Around Us is hypnotic, luring the reader deeper and deeper into its original, shocking narrative." —Michelle Hodkin, author of The Mara Dyer Trilogy "The wholly realistic view of adolescents meeting the criminal justice system is touched at first with the slimmest twist of an otherworldly creepiness, escalating finally to the truly hair-raising and macabre. Eerie, painful and beautifully spine-chilling." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Written in luscious and deliciously creepy prose not easy to forget . . . This is a story about guilt and innocence, about secrets and how deep we let people into those places within us, and it’s a story about how the past can define our present, even if we try desperately to keep that past under wraps. Put it on your radars now; this is an outstanding literary young adult novel more than worth the wait." —Book Riot "In lyrical, authoritative prose, Suma weaves the disparate lives of [the] three girls into a single, spellbinding narrative that explores guilt, privilege, and complicity with fearless acuity . . . The twisting, ghostly tale of Ori’s life, death, and redemption is unsettling and entirely engrossing." —The Horn Book Magaine, starred review "This haunting and evocative tale of magical realism immerses readers in two settings that seem worlds apart . . . Suma’s unflinchingly honest depiction of the potentially destructive force of female friendship and skillful blending of gritty realism with supernatural elements is reminiscent of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls, and the eerie mood she evokes is unnervingly potent." —School Library Journal, starred review