The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

Usually, I like opening a book that I know almost nothing about. The one exception… the one thing that I would like to know before hand… is this.  Please, please tell me if this is a ghost story.

I’m not afraid of ghosts.  At all.  It’s just that ghost stories annoy me.  I can willing suspend my belief about almost anything.  Alternate realities, parallel universes, interstellar travel, alien life, hobbits, elves, and wizards.  All of these things I accept as they roll off the page.  But ghosts?  yeah right.  Fairies, yes. Ghosts, no.  I guess I have to draw the line somewhere and I draw it at ghosts. Now you know.

There are a lot of really good things about Nova Ren Suma’s The Walls Around Us.  It is a deftly written story told in two distinct narrative voices.  It is a reminder, if you needed one, that being a teenager (especially a teenage girl) is hellish.  It suggests that being a teenager in prison is a different hellishness that varies in substance, but not necessarily in magnitude from civilian teenage life.  It raises legitimate concerns about the juvenile criminal justice system.  The relationships between characters ring true.  It raises questions of right and wrong and good and evil and justice and it doesn’t try to answer them all for you.  I am almost talking myself into really liking this book… and then I remember the ghosts. And I just can’t.  But if you don’t mind ghosts, then it is probably worth a read.

 

I am keeping on ongoing list of all of the books I have read in 2016 here.  Always looking for suggestions!

 

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