Book Review: The Walls Around Us


ashley | The Walls Around Us by Nova Rem Suma starts off with a jail break. Forty-one of the worst juvenile offenders in the state set loose, a sense of freedom and liberation that howls through the dark night as they scramble from their cells and out through the unlocked and open gates. This is quite the opener and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was definitely hooked.

Within the walls of this book, we have two distinct voices sharing their story. We start with the unnamed narrator, the one describing the jail break. She’s an inmate, contemplating her own freedom that fateful night in August when the doors magically opened. This narrator’s voice seems wise, she’s one of the smart girls, you see. One of the few who were cautious when the doors opened, one of the many who stood by her claim of innocence. Though any further details are still to be learned.

And then there’s Violet, a Julliard hopeful who transforms when dancing on stage. She’s the best there is at what she does, but everyone in the production hates her and can’t wait for her to head off to school. Violet’s best friend, Ori, is dead and she carries around the memory of her with a little bit of flimsy guilt in every dance step she takes. These two girls in very different places are linked together and you get the impression it’s not in a very happy way.

There are a number of different characters, especially in the jail, who each have such a carefully crafted and unique personality. The more I learned about everyone, the more intriguing the story became. And there was a… paranormal, I’ll say, element to things that made it even more interesting as I read through.

The Walls Around Us wasn’t really a story, per say, it was more like a glimpse into the heads of these three very different but eternally connected girls. It was an odd read, because not a whole lot happens in the sense of plot progressing, so if you’re looking for an action packed read this isn’t it, but you learn so much about these girls as the dark secrets slowly unravel.

The pain described, the anger, the confusion and hurt, all of it is so vivid, I felt it myself as the reader. As the emotions escalated towards the end, I could see the darkness seeping in, feel the madness and anger slowly taking hold of the girl in question here. I could see the pieces slowly coming together and feel the sense of vindication as wrongs became right.

I was in love with the very detail of this. It was beautifully written and very powerful. It’s not a scary book at all, but I felt chilled by the reality of it. I don’t think everyone will enjoy it, as I said not a lot really happens, but it has a kind of twisted Black Swan psychological thriller essence to it and that’s something I always love.

4.5CityGirlScapesRatingmore information
amazongoodreads Algonquin Books

March 24, 2015

copy provided by
Net Galley