Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby.

But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.

With palpable drama and delicious craft, Nova Ren Suma bursts onto the YA scene with the story that everyone will be talking about.

First off, how gorgeous is the cover to this book? It is definitely one of my favorite covers ever. Just look at it! Such a beautiful image for such a dark novel. Imaginary Girls was not what I was expecting at all. Frankly, I don't know what I was expecting. While I was confused at times, and had conflicted feelings at others, ultimately this book was dark and haunting and just beautiful.

I'm not even sure what this novel is classified as. It's contemporary...but has this almost paranormal feel, and the entire book is a mystery. Sometimes I was confused and had no clue what was going on. It never really explained the WHYS behind what was happening. And sometimes this confusion took away from the story.

But oh my gah the writing! I was hooked from the beginning by Chloe's voice. It was just so compelling and different from the norm. The prose was absolutely gorgeous. I felt everything Chloe wanted me to feel, even if I didn't understand why I was feeling it. And Chloe's development throughout the novel was brilliant. 

Ruby is just...Ruby. She's one of the most complex character's I've ever read. She's so dark and her twisted logic makes you hate her at times.... but what got to me the most was how much she loved Chloe, in her own weird way. She always did what she thought was best for her sister, even though sometimes it didn't make sense at all. Normal people don't do the things that Ruby did. But Ruby isn't normal.

There wasn't much actual plot to this, but there didn't need to be. The bond between two dysfunctional sisters and the presence of a reservoir was enough. The complex characters and the gorgeous writing is what made this book so intriguing. It was just so different from most YA books today. And that was refreshing. That whatever romance was a minor subplot.

I was going back and forth between four and five stars for this book, but ultimately I decided on four. Because some things could've been clarified sooner. When something doesn't make sense to me, I spend the rest of the book focusing on that until I figure it out. And to me, that took away from my connection with the characters. But this is still a fabulous read for all you who are looking for something different.


Evie J said...

Loved this book! Probably because it's magical realism. Never makes sense. :) We studied it in school. Haha! You should try reading One Hundred Years of Solitude. One of the best magical realisms out there!