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The Walls Around Us

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


“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.

Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and innocence, and what happens when one is mistaken for the other.

Praise for Imaginary Girls:
“A surreal and dreamy world where magical thinking is carried to a chilling extreme.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

Praise for 17 & Gone:
“Suma’s exquisite sentence-level writing and fine eye for creepy detail are in abundant evidence.” —Kirkus Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 16, 2015 – At first glance, Amber and Violet have nothing in common. Amber, imprisoned at Aurora Hills juvenile detention center for her role in the death of her stepfather, spends her days dreaming of the momentary freedom she and the other inmates experienced when a summer storm knocked out power to their cells. Violet, a ballet dancer on her way to Juilliard, has a long, free life ahead of her were it not for the guilt drawing her toward Aurora Hills. Their connection comes through a third girl, Ori, who became Amber's new cellmate after the storm, and who was sent to Aurora Hills because of what she did to protect Violet. Suma (17 & Gone) interweaves past and present with a haunting sense of unease, drawing readers onward with well-executed suspense and the compelling voices of her two narrators. The occasional vagaries of the plot are more than redeemed by the strength of the prose, and a startling final twist brings the three girls to a satisfying, if unorthodox, kind of justice. Ages 14 up.

Customer Reviews


Read the sample and promptly pre-ordered it. YA fiction is increasingly amazing! Can't wait to read the rest in March!!!

A downright disturbing, compelling, and deliciously entertaining read

Received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Apparently this is the tagline on the street: “Orange is the New Black Swan.” YES. Spot. On.

THE WALLS AROUND US is a downright disturbing, compelling, and deliciously entertaining read. Nova Ren Suma is a beautiful storyteller. The way she constructed the mystery made the book un-put-downable. I had to solve the puzzle–had to know what happened to these girls. The juxtaposition of two very intense and often volatile environments: prison and the ballet world–pure brilliance. Add the fact that these are teenage girls to the mix and you’re in for one hell of ride and an even more satisfying conclusion. A truly unique story. Well worth a read!

Confusingly good

This is such a great book. It's a bit hard to follow but the ending has such an amazing plot twist. Really great!

The Walls Around Us
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  • $9.99
  • Level: Grades 9-12
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Crime & Mystery
  • Published: Mar 24, 2015
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books
  • Seller: Workman Publishing Co., Inc.
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings