Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Review: The Walls Around Us

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Source: Netgalley
Date Read: 3/19/15 to 3/22/15
336 pages
Rating: 1/2

“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 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 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.

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.

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Hm. I received this eARC such a long time ago, at a time that I was slightly more excited for it. The Walls Around Us is a hard one to review, because even though it had a solid beginning and middle, all with exceptional writing, the end completely fell apart. And when I mean fell apart, I mean I no longer had a clue what was going on. I would've forgave it if it happened somewhere in the middle, but no. The ending is utterly confusing and I am not happy with it.

The Walls Around Us features three characters, except one is told in the perspectives of Violet and Amber. Basically, we have to piece together the personality and character of Orianna through her best friend, Violet, and her inmate, Amber. This, I did not have a problem with. I didn't necessarily care for the characters themselves, but I did pity Ori and Amber since they are in juvie. Although I do like reading about ballet, I didn't care for Violet's POV. I do have to say that if you do pick this up, time is structured differently between the two POVs. Just keep in mind that Violet's POV is after Ori dies, and Amber's is before meeting Ori. 

What exactly is the plot anyways? Well, it's kind of a mystery, in that we're not exactly sure what Orianna is in for. So throughout the whole novel, everything is revealed one by one, and we eventually see the true nature of the characters.

THIS COULD HAVE BEEN GREAT. But why did there have to be ghosts? And paranormal activity! And how did everyone die? (Don't worry this has been revealed in the beginning, hence the confusing time gap). Seriously, I think the author made this much more complex than it should've been.

Spoilers! Highlight to read!

Someone needs to explain this to me because I'm sure I did not miss anything. What is with that ending? First off, how did everyone get poisoned? Second, and more importantly, how did Orianna and Violet switch places? That was really confusing and not what I was expecting at all. I don't want the "Ghosts can do anything BS" because no.

And there you have it. The Walls Around Us is a beautifully written story, but sadly it did not work for me, when I really wanted it to. The plot moved very slowly, AND THAT ENDING was a huge problem because I don't know if I'm missing something or it's just like that. It needed to be explained more.