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October 13, 2018 • Cee • Reviews

A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma • September 4, 2018 • Algonquin Young Readers
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Bina has never forgotten the time she and her mother ran away from home. Her mother promised they would hitchhike to the city to escape Bina’s cruel father and start over. But before they could even leave town, Bina had a new stepfather and two new stepsisters, and a humming sense of betrayal pulling apart the bond with her mother—a bond Bina thought was unbreakable.

Eight years later, after too many lies and with trouble on her heels, Bina finds herself on the side of the road again, the city of her dreams calling for her. She has an old suitcase, a fresh black eye, and a room waiting for her at Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, a vow of confidentiality, and dark, magical secrets. There, Bina is drawn to her enigmatic downstairs neighbor Monet, a girl who is equal parts intriguing and dangerous. As Bina’s lease begins to run out, and nightmare and memory get tangled, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will cost for her to leave . . .

myreview

I received this book for free from Algonquin Young Readers for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “When the girl who lived in the room below mine disappeared into the darkness, she gave no warning, she showed no twitch of fear. “

When Bina is forced out of the home because of her new stepfather and two new stepsisters, she turns to the only place that she knows she’ll be safe at—the Catherine House in New York City. This place served as a safe haven for her mother once upon a time ago, so why not of her as well? Bina enters the mysterious Catherine House where she’s met with a tragic history of the founder, girls with secrets hidden in their sleeves, and possibly magic.

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October 15, 2014 • Cee • Letters

Dear Nova Ren Suma and The Walls Around Us,

Oh boy, love at first sight! It screams at me to see what’s it about, and well, I want to read it.

“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.Goodreads

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