Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

Imaginary Girls

Good Reads Summary

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.

My Thoughts

Imaginary Girls leaves me feeling the way I did after seeing Donnie Darko and Virgin Suicides for the first time ever. Picture me utterly confused at times but mostly unnerved and slightly creeped out. Donnie Darko is my favorite 'WTF was that movie' while Virgin Suicides was my first 'how sad but twisted' one. That Imaginary Gilrs had me feeling both things (sometimes simultaneoulsy) is quite a feat. Needless to say, Imaginary Girls is different... and I liked it.

Who else has come across those posts on manic pixies? Ruby is almost like one of those except she's so much more. Yes, she's the beautiful, mysterious girl and has everyone enamored with her. But there's something more sinister to her. I kept waiting and waiting for the book to reveal precisely what had my skin crawling but what she was is never clearly defined. One thing is certain though, she isn't one dimensional. And if I had to label her the villain, I'd hesitate to do so. She simply loved to deeply and completely.

At it's core it's a love story but not a romantic one. It's a love between sisters that's slightly definitely skewed and a bit overly dependent... on both sides. Where Chloe is the younger sister grown used to what her older sister's decisions and whims are, Ruby, the older one is defined by her role as protector. Both of them go overboard and it was fascinating to read.

With all that, there were still boys, no men, to consider. Men who're so in love with the idea of Ruby. It was disturbing to read... but I could not tear myself from it. I think the best thing about this aspect of the story was Owen. I'd dreaded the moment when Chloe would turn out like her sister. But the minute something along those lines did happen, well it was a great moment. Because instead of a "love conquers all" thing, there's a dimming of brightness for both. What he thinks of her has changed and vice versa. Definitely, these were not simple characters.

Goodness me! I really enjoyed reading this, and I really like that I find myself struggling to define what kind of read it was. It's different and dark. With the way it started, I had no idea where I'd end up.


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