The story is told in two voices. Vee is an 18-year-old ballerina on her way to Julliard. Her future couldn't be brighter, but her dark past is catching up with her. Three years ago something horrific happened at her ballet school. As a result, her best friend, Ori, was sent to a juvenile detention center. All the inmates died of poisoning and nobody alive knows the truth. So why does Vee receive a bouquet of bleeding flowers following her final recital?
The fine writing deserves high praise, but I found the material too gruesome for my personal taste. The violence wasn't gratuitous yet it was still hard to read, especially before bed. The girls engage in psychological and physical warfare for the worst reasons. No one is spared in this cynical story about the miscarriage of justice. Most of the characters were unlikable, but they were well-developed and worthy of consideration. The mysterious plot and the gorgeous prose kept me reading to the satisfying resolution. I was well impressed.
The vivid writing speaks for itself:
I'd strongly recommend The Walls Around Us to mature teens and to adults who enjoy horror stories and literary fiction, but I wouldn't give this novel to my thirteen-year-old niece, who is a serious ballerina and a gentle soul. The goal of my reviews is to match each book to the right readers.
"It was the most private thing we had left - held even closer than our bodies, because our bodies were searched, all holes and crevices and cavities in every horrible way that could be imagined. But no one could shake the truth from inside us. They couldn't search us for that."
Reviewer's Disclosure: I received a free galley from Algonquin in exchange for an honest review. The hardcover book and ebook will be released on March 24th 2015. The shadow photos are of my daughter.
The Knife and the Butterfly by Ashley Hope Perez