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…
Praise for A ROOM AWAY FROM THE WOLVES
“Terrific . . . a Gothic love letter to secret places of New York City and the runaway girls who find them.” —Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble, 2016 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Fiction
“Suma drapes her dark, enigmatic novel in a gauzy, supernatural veil, under which readers will observe a runaway teen’s search for safety and an understanding of her mother’s past . . . Suma’s surreal writing examines the blurred edges of life, lies, freedom, and mother-daughter relationships, leaving the reader with questions and a tangled sense of wonder.” —Julia Smith for Booklist
“Nova Ren Suma surpasses herself with this gorgeously-told, mesmerizing, tense and twisted story about the ways in which mothers fail their daughters, the lies that daughters tell their mothers, and the love that girls show one another when all the wolves are closing in.” —Laura Ruby, National Book Award Finalist and Printz-Winning author of Bone Gap
“Eerie and atmospheric as only Nova Ren Suma can write, A Room Away From the Wolves is a page-turning thrill. Its unforgettable protagonist is cut from the sharpest sentences and the achiest pieces of life—I couldn’t tear my eyes away. Gulp this one down and prepare to be left shivery and spooked and a little bit heartbroken.” —Emily X.R. Pan, New York Times bestselling author of The Astonishing Color of After
Before I start my review, I want to say that I received this book for an honest review. There was no compensation in the making of this review. Everything below is my opinion and mine alone.
A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma is an odd book. It’s not odd in the way you would expect. It’s not like reading a book about a teenager falling for a pterodactyl. This book is odd in that you can’t exactly pinpoint where you’re at or where you’re going.
Bina is a teenager runaway. She’s run to the one place she believes will keep her safe; the house her mother went to as a young woman. This house has secrets though. Secrets that seem to open up something hidden within Bina.
This book grapples you and keeps you down until your head is rushing with vertigo. You aren’t sure what is right or what is wrong and are just along for the ride.
That’s what I mean by odd.
The writing is easy to pull you in. It’s descriptive, but vague enough to keep you wondering what it is you are trying to find. And this happens right off the bat when something happens that you never expected to see.
I will definitely be reading Nova Ren Suma again. This book had me thinking. But, this book shouldn’t be read when your mind is wandering about other things. It deserves your full attention.
Final Rating: 4/5
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nova Ren Suma is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling The Walls Around Us, a finalist for an Edgar Award. Her new novel A Room Away from the Wolves is forthcoming September 4, 2018, from Algonquin. She also wrote Imaginary Girls and 17 & Gone and is co-creator of FORESHADOW: A Serial YA Anthology. She has an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She grew up in the Hudson Valley, spent most of her adult life in New York City, and now lives in Philadelphia.
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