18044277“And what’s a girl to do with her first free night in years? The most violent among us – the daddy killers, the slitters of stranger’s throats, the point-blank shooters of pleading gas-station attendants – would later admit to finding a sense of peace in the plush darkness, a kind of justice not offered by the juvenile court.”

What is this book about?

Ballerinas turning murderous and then ending up in a supernatural all girls prison. The story follows Violet and Amber who are connected by BFF Ori. Ori and Violet were best friends on the outside, going to ballet classes together, performing in ballet recitals together and doing a whole bunch of other ballet related stuff. But the bitches from the ballet class won’t leave Violet alone, which leads to them being stabbed to death with a box cutter. Ori takes the fall for it, but is she really the one to blame? Amber is in prison for killing her mother’s boyfriend and although there is something strange happening at the prison, it all gets even stranger when Ori finally arrives there.

Why is it boring?

The themes in this book, about female friendship, jealousy and ambition, aren’t very new. You might even liken it to Black Swan, including weird hallucinations and a super natural drama. The Walls Around Us might not be the most interesting exploration of these ideas, but it is definitely a page turner. So don’t read it if you are looking for new insights into a girls mind, which sounds kind of creepy anyway.

Who would you recommend it to?

Lovers of Bunheads and Orange is the New Black. I just love giving cross-media recommendations. But definitely read this if you are interested in how mean girls can be to one another and how jealousy often plays a big role in that. It’s a very interesting (but definitely exaggerated) view on problematic young girls who have trouble dealing with their feelings and ambitions.

Why should I read it if it’s boring?!

It’s exciting! You will wonder from the start who was the one that killed those bitchy ballerinas and who was the one that deserved to go to prison. At the start I did get a bit mixed up with all the female main characters, thinking who is who and trying to outsmart the author by trying to predict how it was going to end. The book does a great job with keeping you on the edge of your seat, making you read on and on until the mystery gets solved. When it does get solved and the supernatural part of the story gets to run amok, the book does lose a little of its steam. The supernatural elements in the story might not be completely necessary, but it’s used sparingly so it never becomes a real issue. The first scene of the book shows a prison suddenly being opened to girls being locked up for ages and it will immediately pull you in. The mixed emotions of these girls and the visceral response to their unexpected freedom is very well written and promising of what lies ahead in the book. It’s a good YA read, touching on emotions and struggles that are familiar for any teen. The book is definitely not afraid to draw blood and the mixed morality in the story will keep you thinking about it long after you’ve put it down.

Rating: 3,5/5

Review Copy attained through Netgalley with special thanks to the publisher Algonquin Young Readers. Expected publication date March 2015.


Esmée de Heer is head honcho over at the Bored to Death book club website, writing the daily content and making sure the site stays up and running. She's one of the founding sisters of the book club and enjoys reading and giving unsolicited love advice.

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