Review: A Room Away From The Wolves by Nova Ren Suma


Publication: July 31st 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages:  384 pages
Source: Library
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Young Adult, Thriller, Contemporary
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤

“But when there’s one speck of truth in the lie, no matter how tiny, it can make all of it seem real,” (Suma, Nova Ren 233).

I had a lot of hopes for this book and I wouldn’t say I’m exactly disappointed by it, but I’m not all that satisfied with it either.

A Room Away From The Wolves follows Bina who’s on her way to New York City and the strange all girl’s boarding house, or Catherine House as it is called, to get away from her mother. Bina and her mother used to get along better than any mother daughter duo out there, and Bina’s mother always promised they would escape to New York City, the city that never sleeps, the city that helped and protected her when she most needed it. But then she lied and married a man keeping Bina stuck in the suburbs with two wicked stepsisters and a mother who forgot her dreams and packed her daughter a suitcase away from her old life. So instead of going to where her mother wants her to Bina heads to other mother’s old refuge, Catherine House in New York City, a strange place with even stranger girls and a mysterious history. As Bina tries to call the old house home and the new girl’s family, she begins to wonder what kind of history Catherine House holds, and what she’ll have to do to escape from it.

I took a peak at some of Suma’s reviews for this book and while not all of them are good not all of them are bad, which perfectly encapsulates my feelings for this book. For the most part I was interested in reading this book, and enjoyed it to some extent, but at the same time I was also confused while reading and instead of getting answers was left more and more confused the further I read.

I’m currently a part of a playwriting unit and recently in the unit we’ve been talking about breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs are when you leave little pieces in the story for your readers to follow so that once they come to a revelation or the end of a story they can look back at and see how everything from the beginning ties together.

Suma doesn’t do this.

Instead she makes the story vague. There is no clear answer about what Bina was doing at the party, no explanation on Catherine House, who the tenants were, or even who Catherine herself was and why she had a bond with Bina. Suma gives readers no clear answers except to explain what happened in the woods which she needed to do to end the novel which put some things into focus. The ending is clear, or at least it’s clearer than the rest of the book, but there are still so many foggy things about it.

It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t good.

A Room Away From The Wolves is definitely a unique read but it isn’t for everyone. If you like books that are clear, books that you can figure out, books with breadcrumbs then this book is not for you.

Favourite Quotes:

“I don’t get art sometimes… I mean, why’s it always got to be naked girls? Are we so special they can’t be satisfied painting a tree?” (Suma, Nova Ren 188).

“Summer is the time for reinvention and release. Summer is when the electricity is most charged, the night has the most potential, the roads lead in every direction, and the skies are mostly clear,” (Suma, Nova Ren 306).


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