Audiobook Review: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

ThewallsaroundusSource: Audiobook Jukebox/Recorded Books – I received this in exchange for an honest review. 
Publisher: Algonquin/Recorded Books
Series: –
Narrator: Georgina King and Sandy Rustin
Edition: Audiobook (2015), 8 hours and 45 mins
Genre: Young Adult Magical Realism/Mystery
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository  *
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5

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 the Aurora Hills juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom.

Tying their 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?

In prose that sings from line to line, Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and of innocence, and of what happens when one is mistaken for the other.

Holy hell, this was one serious mind-fuck…excuse my oh so eloquent vocabulary.

The Walls Around Us takes the theme of screwy plot lines and unreliable narrators that is looming large over the adult market and brings it to YA…but adds some little unique twists that leave this book with a rather dark, twisted and haunting vibe. The plot itself can be a bit hard to follow if you’re not paying close enough attention, and more than once I had to replay a section because it could switch so quickly that I’d be left sputtering and unsure of what I just heard. It’s also one of those books where I wouldn’t dream of telling you too much of the plot for fear of revealing something that would best be revealed in its own time, so unfortunately he details of what I thought of the people will be scant because I’d give too much away. However I loved the prose and the way this one flowed, and it worked well with the content; making it more lyrical than purple. I also really liked the choice of point of views in this one. We have Violet, a dancer and friend of Orianna, and we have Amber the girl inside the detention center that Orianna becomes the room mate of. We learn bits and pieces about who Orianna was and what she did through them, but most of the focus is on the girls themselves and through their self reflection we find out even more about the mystery. I honestly don’t know that I ‘liked’ any of the characters, though there are some I definitely respected more than others.

This is certainly not a book for those who don’t like weird, and if you don’t dig books that lead you deep into lies and twist you around so fast you’re head will spin then you might want to skip this one. The story is also a bit depressing, full of girls who are out of hope and far from innocent. Girls who have been put away for theft, murder, and being a little bit too far over the line of insane. But as someone who totally loves when a book floors me with as much crazy as possible, this was perfect!

The narrators knocked it out of the park. At first I was a bit put off at the voice of the one portraying Violet, but about have way through I thought her tone was perfect for a girl so determined and driven. It’s precise and un-rushed, just like the girl herself. But I really impressed with the Amber point of views because she not only did a great job reading, but she added in a host of different accents and voices for the other inmates and officers. They also have very different tones and cadences that really set them a part.

For me this is one to own, I have an audiobook copy but I need a hardcover as soon as possible. It’s just too good to not have a copy on my shelves.

4 stars

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2 Responses to Audiobook Review: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

  1. Oh gosh, this book sounds entirely creepy with lots of weird stuff going on definitely! It sounds like it was written in a really beautiful way and like it would hit you really hard. Really wonderful review Michelle!

  2. aentee @ read at midnight says:

    This book sounds so wonderfully complex and layered, I really look forward to reading it. Beautiful review!

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