Finally! In The Walls Around Us, Suma has delivered the book I wanted back when I first read Imaginary Girls. It’s got the good stuff I knew to expect — her wordsmithing really is excellent (my notes use the effusive words “lush” and “sensual”), she slides between fantasy and reality with a slippery grace — and those qualities works together perfectly with the complicated plot and seriously broken characters.
In short, I was blown away by this one.
However, within a few weeks of finishing the book I felt this vague sense of distaste and wasn’t really singing its praises very loudly, because we have here a book that is excellently written but (much like The Tightrope Walkers) not entirely likeable.
I blame Violet. I hated her with a depth characters can’t often evoke, because she’s written that well.
The again, and luckily, likeability isn’t at all an issue for the Printz, while good writing is, which makes this one a serious contender.