A huge thank you to Jean Book Nerd for organizing this tour and giving me the opportunity to participate! I received an Advance Reader’s Edition at BookCon (thanks Algonquin!) and my review reflects that edition; however, this did not in any way affect my opinion of the book.
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release date: September 4th, 2018
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ / 5 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…
A Room Away from the Wolves is a strange little book, but in the most beautiful way. As a fan of Nova Ren Suma’s The Walls Around Us, I went in knowing that she was an amazing writer and this book definitely proved that.
This book is part mystery, part supernatural, and part coming-of-age, and fans of any of those three genres will definitely enjoy it. Bina, our main character gets swept up in the mystery of the Catherine House, where she is staying to avoid the confines of her stepfamily. Her story is incredibly fascinating as it is revealed to the reader bit by bit throughout the book.
I was instantly entranced by Nova Ren Suma’s prose. Her writing is incredibly lyrical and atmospheric and sucks the reader deep into the narrative. The Catherine House is described in such vivid detail that I was transported every time I opened the book, and the way the mystery is slowly unraveled throughout the story is so well-crafted. It’s not a reveal that hits you all at once, but one that creeps up on you until you’re thinking: “Wait a minute…” And it is so clever.
I don’t want to say much else about this book – I truly think it’s best going in knowing next to nothing. But trust me, this isn’t one you want to miss!
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.
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