Today I am so excited to present to you my review of A Room Away from the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma. A million thanks to Fantastic Flying Book Club for letting be a part of this book tour. You can check out the schedule here.
Title: A Room Away from the Wolves
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Magical Realism, Mystery
Source: Received an advanced copy from the publisher and Fantastic Flying Book Club for the purpose of this book tour
Rating: 4 stars
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 take for her to leave…
“Somtimes a person can’t tell you what you already know,” she said. “Somestimes you have to see it for yourself. Then you’ll believe.”
Bina has had a pretty complicated upbrining. Leaving her crap father with her mother and hitchhiking only to be thrust into this new step-family where her step-sisters are basically scum of the earth. So many things happened, including getting a massive black eye the night before she left to go to Catherine House. She was a fun character to read about. I enjoyed her personality and reading through her adventures while living in Catherine House.
All of the other characters added to the mystery of the novel. Their half-answers and weird stares only made things even more haunting. Monet was an interesting character. I was definitely as captivated by her and what she was up to as Bina was.
Nova Ren Suma is an incredible writer. Everything about this book was so dark and atmospheric and I loved it. I could imagine all the haunting this being presented to me as a reader and I enjoyed it.
My smallest issue was the plot. I felt like for a lot of the book I was questioning where it was supposed to be going and what I was supposed to be expecting. The one good thing is that it wasn’t predictable. I had a strong sense of what the ending was going to be concercing what was going on with Bina, and I was glad to be wrong. Everything did tie together at the end, but I still had a lot of questions. To be fair, this is my first time diving into magical realism, so maybe it’s because it’s a new genre to me that I’m not used to how things are supposed to go.
The pacing of the novel was great. It took place over the course of a month and all of the events flowed together so well. Nothing was rushed and nothing was slow. The pacing definitely added to the dark atmosphere of the novel in the most positive way.
A Room Away from the Wolves is the perfect dark book to settle in with on a cold autumn evening. Get a warm blanket, light a couple candles, make a latte, and immerse yourself in this wonderfully haunting novel.
Enter Nova Ren Suma’s giveaway here:
- 1 copy of A Room Away from the Wolves, US only
- Ends September 5, 2018
About Nova Ren Suma:
Nova Ren Suma is the author of the YA novels THE WALLS AROUND US as well as the YA novels IMAGINARY GIRLS and 17 & GONE, which were both named 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound by YALSA. Her middle-grade novel, DANI NOIR, was reissued for a YA audience under the title FADE OUT. She has a BA in writing & photography from Antioch College and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and has been awarded fiction fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Millay Colony, and an NEA fellowship for a residency at the Hambidge Center. She worked for years behind the scenes in publishing, at places such as HarperCollins, Penguin, Marvel Comics, and RAW Books, and now she teaches writing workshops. She is from various small towns across the Hudson Valley and lives and writes in New York City.