Sunday, January 8, 2012

Review: Imaginary Girls

Imaginary Girls
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Rating: ✮✮✮
Book Depository | Goodreads

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.

(Originally written on Goodreads 11/01/11.)

I'm still struggling to decide how I feel about Imaginary Girls. I enjoyed it. I liked the story, the mystery was engaging enough that I had to know how it all ended, and the writing was very...let's say...poetic. It never quite reached that other P-word, but it got close.

The relationship between the sisters is an entirely different animal, despite it being central to the novel. Ruby and Chloe have the sort of co-dependent relationship that doesn't make me happy the way it does in Rob Thurman's Cal Leandros series, or in the television show Supernatural. It's the sort that made me uncomfortable, made me squirm as I read. It's unhealthy despite the love the sisters had for each other, and ultimately, my personal feelings on that matter are what's so conflicting for me about this book. I also sort of hated Ruby at times. I'm still not sure whether that was intentional or not, because despite the really shitty things Ruby does to other people (except her sister, of course) and despite Chloe being aware of them, Ruby is still a goddess in her sister's eyes. It's one thing I have to credit the author for; seeing Ruby through the eyes of a worshipful younger sister and still being incredibly uncomfortable about her (as I think was the intention) is impressive.

Impressive. That's the word I wanted. Imaginary Girls is an impressive novel. It might not have the same impression on everyone, but it does leave one.

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