Discover the Dark Side of Friendship in “The Walls Around Us”
Nova Ren Suma’s haunting young adult novel The Walls Around Us is a chilling tale told in two voices, with the ghost of a dead young woman binding them. Amber is a teenager who is locked up in a juvenile detention center while Violet is a dancer whose so-called perfect dance career is threatened when all her secrets threaten to be exposed. Suma teasingly gives details into Amber and Violet’s lives, along with their relationship with a young teen named Orianna, until the entire portrait of lies, rivalries, and the weird boundary between friendship and hate is slowly revealed.
Aside from the exploration of intense friendships and trauma wrought with vicious competition, this psychological thriller/ghost story also includes a fascinating murder mystery. Suma delves deep into the mindset of a disturbed teenaged girl who is willing to commit a violent crime and confronts the eternal question: who can you trust? Each one is an unreliable narrator and it is not clear until the very end about what truly happened between all three girls.
While the girls’ tale is disturbing, it’s not so much the gruesome crime that will give you chills, it is how emotionless and detached the characters are. Although slightly confusing at times, this novel is a light read for those looking for quick thriller to read.