Posts Tagged: Nova Ren Suma

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Review: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

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I received this book for free from Algonquin Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren SumaThe Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
Published by Algonquin Young Readers on March 24th 2015
Genres: Mystery, YA
Source: Algonquin Books
Buy on Amazon

“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.

Another fabulously strange book from Nova Ren Suma! The writing is brilliant, the way the story is told is mesmerizing and deeply disturbing. I just loved it!

First I have to say that the blurb reveals too much. I went into this without re-reading it, and I personally think that if I had known more than I did, the story would have lost the extra bit of magic that the unknown allows us to have. While this revelation is not exactly a twist – there’s no real “aha” moment – it does become an unsettling fact that you simply can’t ignore anymore, and discovering this through your own deductions makes the reading experience all the better – an experience that the blurb takes away. So my advice is to go into this one blind. If you enjoy thrillers, mind-f*cks, books that are outside the box, this one is for you, and that’s all you need to know!

We get a story told to us through two different voices: one is in juvenile detention center, the other is a dancer with a bright future. The two are complete strangers with nothing in common whatsoever – or so it seems, at least. However, this is not their story. This is the story of a girl with a promising life full of dazzle and fame. A girl whose life was turned upside down one tragic afternoon. A girl who is finally given a voice, if indirectly. Her story is unraveled through Violet and Amber’s perspectives, ambiguously at first, until we get the full picture and learn how everyone is connected. Their stories vacillate between innocence an evil, making us question who really deserves our sympathy. In Amber’s perspective we get a vibe that’s very Orange-is-the-New-Black-ish. There’s a tense atmosphere, a wavering group dynamic, a human instinct of self-preservation, but at the end of the day these girls are a family, and together they stand. Amber’s story is full of longing and despair, yet she’s the easiest to root for. Then we have Violet, whose perspective is infused with determination and energy, yet seem to be oozing this… darkness. I wasn’t as compelled by Violet’s POV, though this could be due my wanting to get back to Amber. Still, she’s intriguing and it’s curious how their stories intertwine.

As is usual for Nova Ren Suma, the writing is wonderfully cryptic, highly atmospheric, with a touch of strange. You can’t help but become compelled – spellbound, even – by her words. She paces the mystery perfectly, giving us hints that seem to only play with our minds until everything starts interconnecting, making brilliant sense, finally. The ending is very… final, if a little bit shocking. I’m still unsure how I feel about how it ended, but I was satisfied nonetheless. Unique and unforgettable, The Walls Around Us is not to be missed!


4 Hot Espressos

Review: Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

Review: Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

Posted by on 10/29/2014 • 8 Comments

I had heard that this was a strange book, but whoa! I do love weird, though. In a world where we get the same-old, same-old when it comes to books and movies, it’s refreshing to get a truly original idea. Something that breaks the mould and isn’t afraid to stand on its own.

Imaginary Girls is all about Ruby. Ruby is the girl no one seems to be able to say no to. She gets what she wants, when she wants it, no matter what. She has everyone tried around her fingers, and every boy stumbling over their feet to do her bidding. While this sounds like it could be a fairly annoying character – and to be honest it was at first – it’s also kind of fascinating. It’s…

Review: 17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma

Posted by on 03/11/2013 • 29 Comments

17 & GoneNova Ren Suma Publication date: March 21st 2013by Dutton Juvenile

Seventeen-year-old Lauren is having visions of girls who have gone missing. And all these girls have just one thing in common—they are 17 and gone without a trace. As Lauren struggles to shake these waking nightmares, impossible questions demand urgent answers: Why are the girls speaking to Lauren? How can she help them? And… is she next? As Lauren searches for clues, everything begins to unravel, and when a brush with death lands her in the hospital, a shocking truth emerges, changing everything.

With complexity and richness, Nova Ren Suma serves up a beautiful, visual, fresh interpretation of what it means to be lost.

-A copy was provided by Penguin Canada for review-  Girls go missing…