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Publisher's Summary

Nova Ren Suma's novels 17 and Gone and Imaginary Girls were named YALSA 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound.

The Walls Around Us introduces Violet, a dancer on the cusp of stardom, and Amber, who's been jailed in a juvenile detention home for years. Tying them together is the home's long-dead Orianna, who holds the key to dark mysteries.

©2015 Nova Ren Suma (P)2015 Recorded Books

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Hasn't anyone else read this? Please do!

Why only one review? That's why I passed it up each time, thinking maybe it's not good. I pictured the overused cut-throat world of pretty ballerinas trying to dance the coveted role of Giselle, so ignored it until now.

Although the title character, Ori never speaks, you have a crystal clear picture of her from alternating narrators Violet (V) and Amber. From disparate worlds, V is a rich miserable, over-privileged, narcissistic sociopath hoping to dance her way into Julliard. Amber pulls the story from being a cliche by bringing us into her world as an indigent, unloved daughter who killed her abusive stepfather (or did she?) and now resides with the other 41 girls in a juvenile correction facility. There are several tragic events told superbly.

The story is haunting and gritty, yet mystical near the end. Perfect ending. The writing is superb. Suma introduces an unknown ballet as the central theme tying in the tragic heroine; color red between both narrators; playing to revenge and retribution. Who says YA stories are subpar? They obviously haven't dissected this one.

The narrators are the perfect fit. V is clipped and unapologetic and Amber is a blend of kind with a hard edge just as I would picture.

Excellent story!

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Dark and weird

Very enjoyable, creepy YAF. Orange is the new black flavour, with a bit of an otherworldly kick.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great audio book

It took me until about halfway through the book to really understand what was going on. Which I love, I love not being able to guess what’s going to happen next and being driven to continue the book. But even when I understood why we going on I was still guessing as to what would happen next. I listen to audio books on my commute to work so I don’t have a book in front of me so I would say I did have to go back a few times because I was confused, but nothing I couldn’t fix by going back and registering. That being twists and turns in every chapter, leading to the very end. It does get a bit repetitive and V’s character was a bit annoying but that’s probably the point with her character development. Highly recommend for people that enjoy tense moments and a good mystery.

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  • Lindsay
  • Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
  • 01-18-18

Beautifully written, but poorly narrated.

As always, Nova Ren Suma's prose is lyrical and gut-wrenching, but the narration was so poor, it was difficult to listen to. The narrators sound like they are doing cold readings with sub-par quality microphones, resulting in something that sounds like a high-school play instead of the poetic potential this book could bring to audio.

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Second greatest book from Nova!!!

Love love love Nova Ren Suma!!! She's my favorite author! 17 and Gone is the best book! The walls around us is just as good as 17 and gone, if not better!!!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful