Nova Ren Suma's The Walls Around Us is a time-slip story, alternately narrated by Amber and Violet. Amber, a prisoner at an all-girls correctional institution, narrates using collective nouns. She conveys the distinction between each of the girls at the facility, but continually reminds the reader that to the guards, to the law, and possibly to us, none of these girls is considered an individual. Instead they are criminals, part of the system, a 'we' and not an 'I.'
Conversely Violet is wholly unique, a prima ballerina. She is not part of the chorus, but stands in the spotlight, the main performer. Reminiscent of the questions that infuse Antigone and the story of Cain and Abel, The Walls Around Us is a haunting, terrifying, and unflinching examination of the conflict between society and individuality.— From Holiday Picks 2015
An NPR Best Book of 2015
A Boston Globe Best Book of 2015
A Chicago Public Library Best Teen Fiction of 2015
A BookRiot Best Book of 2015
A 2016 YALSA Best Book for Young Adults
A Horn Book Fanfare Best Books of 2015
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2015
A 2015 Edgar Award Nominee for Best Young Adult
"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."
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.
"A suspenseful tour de force, a ghost story of the best sort, the kind that creeps into your soul and haunts you." --Libba Bray, author of The Diviners and A Great and Terrible Beauty