12 December 2011
Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
Release Date: June 14th 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Add it: Goodreads
Sweeping statement: I don't think I've ever read a book like Imaginary Girls.
Chloe believes her sister Ruby is capable of controlling anything and anyone, and she pretty much can. After discovering the death of classmate London Hayes, Chloe moves away from Ruby only to be bought back by her two years later to find that some things weren't the way they originally were. All because of Ruby.
Imaginary Girls doesn't have much action (in fact, it has pretty much none), nothing much happens throughout the book except for some creepy and eerie stories told by Ruby about the reservoir and the town that was swallowed up to extend the reservoir, Olive.
So why did I give this 5 stars if it didn't have much action?
Well, Chloe's voice is incredibly easy and interesting to read. Nova Ren Suma's (I'm using her full name because it's awesome) writing is beautiful. The writing flows through the pages and tells the story effortlessly. None of it feels overdone or forced. It was clear from page one that this was going to a difficult review to write.
As far as characterisation goes, I felt disturbed and creeped out by both Chloe and Ruby. The relationship they have is dysfunctional (in my opinion) but loving. It's a disturbing mixture. I personally got the impression that the two sister's were a bit not-right in the head and reading from Chloe's perspective and about what Ruby was capable of proved to be an uncomfortable reading experience. Although it was uncomfortable, I feel that was Nova Ren Suma's intention and it really set the tone of the entire novel.
I don't know what to define this book as... I don't think it's contemporary, fantasy, paranormal or anything like that. I think it's a strange combination of possibly all three. Upon finishing, I still had many questions I wanted answers to but they were questions that weren't necessarily going to advance the plot and were left open to interpretation. **SPOILER** Like, I want to know more about the story of the sisters and whether it has anything to do with Chloe/Ruby and WTF is Ruby? But I'll just let my imagination run free instead :) **SPOILER END**
Imaginary Girls is not a light read. It sucks you in, freaks you out and makes your head spin. It's intense and haunting and is a stand-out in the YA genre. Imaginary Girls has you begging for more, yet satisfied at the same time.
It's truly a compelling and eerie read and I'll be on the look out for anything else Nova Ren Suma writes