Category Archives: nova ren suma

The Walls Around Us



There is a thin line between fact and fiction. The lies we tell ourselves easily become an undeniable truth. Letting us make sense of situations and move on from our faults. These lies let us place the blame on others so that we can continue to live our lives freely with only glimmers of doubt. The Walls Around Us beautifully explores the grey line between fact and fiction, morality, and denial.

Told in two different perspectives, The Walls Around Us surreptitiously makes it’s way around a crime, trying to explain what really happened to two murdered ballerinas in snippets and bits. First there is Amber, an inmate at the Aurora Hills Juvenile Detention Center committed of killing her abusive step father. In the detention center, she’s almost a ghost. Choosing to stay on the outskirts of conversations instead of jumping right in. This allows her a unique perspective on the life inside the detention center. The other voice we hear from is Violet, an eighteen year old ballerina intended for Juilliard. Through Amber and Violet we learn about another girl, the heart of the story, Orianna Speerling, convicted of murdering those two ballerinas. Ori is magnetic, drawing people to her because of her goodness and charisma. She sees the best in everything, a trait that ultimately leads to her downfall. Violet and Ori were best friends since childhood, bound by ballet, and Amber was Ori’s cellmate at Aurora Hills. The plot moves on hypnotically, pulling the reader down a dark and dangerous path to the denouement.

I don’t want to give to much away. This is one book you must read. The prose is magnetic, the characters achingly fleshed out. Neither of them is a reliable narrator, which makes the reader delve into their psyches trying to pull the truth from the lies. And let me tell you, the ending is a doozy. A Shirley Jacksonesque macabre envelopes the whole plot line. This is my favorite Nova Ren Suma book thus far. She is really a voice to be reckoned with. The story will stay with you long after you turn the last page. I was thinking about this one for a good 30 minutes after I finished it trying to piece together all of the clues. I wasn’t quite ready to leave these characters on the page.

Rating: 5/5 Please go out and read this Indie pick. You won’t be sorry you picked it up.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Book Battle 2015. Happy reading!

High School Confidential

High School Confidential

Next up in Book Battle 2015 is a novel set in high school. When I started looking for a novel to fit this category I was immediately overwhelmed with how many books out there that take place in a high school. I’ve gone back and forth on this category more than any other category so far. I kept changing my mind. I would start with one thing and then find something else and immediately flit over to that new novel. It was getting a little bit ridiculous. And ultimately the novel I decided to read doesn’t exactly fit the rules of the category.

For this category, I bent the rules a little. There’s no way around it. I chose Nova Ren Suma’s newest book The Walls Around Us, which takes place, from the sounds of it, in a youth correctional facility. I thought that basically it fits the boundaries of the category. There’s a group of teenagers contained in one place and, from the excerpt, a good portion of the book is set in that location.

Even if the book doesn’t quite fit, I just had to choose it. Nova Ren Suma has become one of my favorite YA authors. I read her novel Imaginary Girls by chance and have been hooked every since. Her writing is so beautiful and lyrical it’s almost like falling under and spell. She takes you on a journey and manages to keep you guessing until the very end. She also goes to great lengths to fully develop and enhance her characters making them wonderfully nuanced. If you haven’t read one of her novels you must do so immediately. She’s a wonderful talent.

Stay tuned for the review of The Walls Around Us. Happy reading!