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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

(ARC review) Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma


Genre:Young Adult, Paranormal 
Publication.Date  June 14th 2011
Pages:352
Published By:  Philomel (Penguin)
WebsiteNova Ren Suma 
Imaginary Girls - Goodreads
My review copy:ARC provided by the publisher *Thank you!!*
Where to get: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Book Depository




     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.
(goodreads.com)


"When you forget how bad it hurts, you feel so free"
     "This is how I know blood is meaningless; family connections are a lot like old gum -- you don't have to keep chewing. You can always spit it out and stick it under the table. You can walk away."
     "She was acting like she could forbid me from having an emotion. She could shove a hand down my throat and wiggle her fingers as far as they'd go, plucking out stuff she didn't want in there, like she did when we got up the courage to clean out last season's moldy takeout containers from the fridge. She'd do it fast, and didn't even hold her nose."
 

A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves - a special kind of double.  ~Toni Morrison
  
      Wow, what a mesmerizing, ominous and eerie read that was! Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma is definitely not your typical Young Adult novel. It’s dark and disquieting, and it will leave you deeply disturbed. Reading this book is like being stuck in a bad dream. Doesn’t matter how hard you try, you can’t make yourself wake up. And even when you finally do wake up, you still won’t be able to shake off the reminiscence of it.

     The story revolves around Chloe and her older half-sister, Ruby, and is told from Chloe’s first-person’s perspective. Ruby is the most popular girl in their small hometown. Everyone loves her, admires her, follows her and grants her every wish. It seems like she has the whole town magically wrapped around her finger. She’s a free spirit that can’t be caged or held down by anything or anyone. She knows what she wants from life and exactly which strings to pull to get it. The only thing Ruby truly cares about is Chloe. Being the older sister, Ruby feels responsible for Chloe and will do everything in her power to protect her.  And when I say everything, I mean more than you can imagine.

     Chloe looks up to her big sis.  Thanks to Ruby, she gets to attend cool parties and hang out with cool people. The two girls are inseparable. Ruby is always there for Chloe, she knows exactly what to do to encourage her and make her feel happy. It seems like nothing bad could ever happen to Chloe at Ruby’s watch.  

     One night, at a party at the local reservoir, something goes terribly wrong. Chloe, encouraged by her sister, tries swimming all the way to the other shore and back. Somewhere in the middle of the deep, dark water she comes across a floating boat. She grabs onto the edge of it, grateful that she can catch her breath and rest a bit, and then she feels something very cold.. something with fingers… It turns out it was her classmate's dead body. This discovery will change Chloe’s life forever and it will be the beginning of a series of bizarre and horrifying events.

     The truth is, many authors can set up suspenseful and mystifying situations, but there are very few of them whose prose and dialogue is simplistic and absolutely beautiful at the same time. This intersection between vaguely supernatural and the fantastically enthralling is what makes Nova Ren Suma’s book so masterful. It’s a spectacular page turner that you won’t be able to cast aside. It’s truly a magnificent example of craftsmanship and storytelling that will keep you frantically turning the pages long past bedtime. 

     For about 250 pages or so you won’t even begin to understand what’s going on. Yes, you will probably get frustrated and the never-ending “Ruby this, Ruby that” might annoy you, but trust me when I say, every word of this book accounts for something. The last 100 pages are truly frightening and the conclusion of the story left me shivering. All of a sudden I lost any enthusiasm for swimming in deep, dark lakes and other bodies of water. Throughout most of the story I was totally clueless and baffled. I couldn’t tell where the story was going and it only added to the overall eerie atmosphere of the book. I don’t think I ever read a novel that would keep me guessing for so long.

     The exceptionally strong bond between Ruby and Chloe was deeply touching and perhaps even slightly disturbing at times.  Their love so powerful, it could bend the reality and reach beyond the borders of this world. Beautiful, touching, magical.

     Nova Ren Suma has a sharp eye for detail. Thanks to her smooth storytelling you can visualize the creepy setting of the novel and almost taste the surreal world she created.  Chloe’s narrative voice was very genuine and real. I could almost imagine her sitting very close to me and whispering her secrets in my ear, in a monotone, creepy voice.  And honestly, I get goose bumps just thinking about it! The characters were weird, but I guess that’s exactly how they were meant to be, because they blend really well with this story.

     Overall, I had a blast reading this book. In a genre where everything has been done a thousand times already, it’s really nice to see original ideas surface. I’m a huge fan of everything dark and twisted, and this book was just a perfect treat for me. I loved it. I simply loved it. 

55 comments:

A Story Untold said...

I liked Imaginary Girls, too. I still can't tell if it's YA or not though...
Great review!

Elleira said...

That was a great review!
This is going on my TBR list for sure :)

Shelagh said...

This is a great review Evie - thorough without giving too much away. :) I can see I'll have to be adding this to my TBR list.

Shelagh
The Word Fiend

Bonnie said...

Awesome review Evie! I am really, really excited to read this book now! I agree with you its nice to find a unique story line when so many of the YA concepts have been done over and over again!

April X said...

Great review, I loved this book too! I agree it's not like any YA book I've ever read before and I was surprised at how I couldn't even tell what genre it was lol.

laurakatewriting said...

I am dying to read this book now! I love everything about it; the plot, the title, the cover, the genre (duh!), but I also love how you mentioned that it "is definitely not your typical Young Adult novel." Can't wait to read this one!

Scribal Goddess said...

Thanks for a great review! I have this on my "wishlist", and I was afraid it wasn't going to be as good as it sounded. Great to know that it is, now I can't wait to read it.

Miss Page-Turner said...

That sounds really intense! I've got the egalley of Imaginary Girls, but I haven't read it yet. I like mysterious reads and stories that aren't too obvious so it sounds like I am going to like this story as much as you did.

Jasprit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jasprit said...

Great review! I've had this on my tbr pile a while now I'm glad you enjoyed it. Can't wait to read it! :)

TheReadingOwl said...

Wow. I'm adding this to my to-read list!

Stormy said...

It sound very good :) Quetes from book are so beautiful :) I have to read this! :) Your review is perfect, I am really glad for it :)

Em @ Sash & Em said...

I have definitely been wanting to read this, but I wasn't quite sure it would be my sort of book to get into. Thanks for the review. I'm still a little undecided, but I'll probably grab it for my Kindle and give it a "go" at some point!

I love your blog, seriously.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

-Em

Ronyka7 said...

Grat Review. At first I just wanted to buy this book for the cover, but now I want to read it, is in mi wish list.

Felicia said...

I can't wait to read this book. Even the title sounds interesting!

Brittany said...

This sounds like something I would love! I have had y eye on this book for a while now...

Andra said...

I will definitely have to check this out. I LOVE dark and disturbing (hence my obsession with Stephen King) It sounds like a good read and I'll have to see if I can find it somewhere

Jennifer said...

I love the cover! This book is definitely on my to read list. Can't wait.

IdentitySeeker said...

Great review! This is the firs review I've come across that explained the book so well. I look forward to reading it now:)

Miss Lauren said...

Thanks for the review. I read this not too long ago and I honestly can't figure out what I thought about it. Haha.

featherlyhearts- said...

A great review. Makes me want to read this book even more :)

Seesen said...

Imaginary Girls have been on my TBR pile for a long time. Unfortunately I wasn´t given the galley, but I still hope I´ll get my hands on it soon. Thanks for the review. (I just LOVE the cover, so dreamy :))

Bekka said...

Imaginary Girls was one of my favorite books this year. The writing was absolutely beautiful; my heart was pounding from the first page. Great review!

Valia Lind said...

Great review! I cant wait to read this book!!!

Paper Cut Reviewer said...

I love creepy stories! Fabulous review! I was just thinking I need a good book to read;)

Thanks!
Steph

Janinay said...

Oooo. This is interesting! :D

Janine said...

Great review! This is going on my TBR list ^^

Asenath said...

Wow, this is definitely going on the the TBR list. I'll have to make sure I have some happy books with me to read after though! haha.

Aydrea said...

Ooh this one sounds really intriguing, can't wait to read it! I have read mixed reviews so I am you liked it, I hope I will too!

Chen Yan Chang said...

Wow, this sounds like a creepy and awesome book! I've seen the cover around different blogs, but I didn't get a chance to read the summary, but wow. Now I plan to read this!

Thao Huynh said...

Not many YA books have these types of intriguing stories inside of them, and from what I read of your review, it's definitely a different type of book. I have a sister too, but I have never thought about the sisterly bonds we have, and I'm wondering how deep Chloe & Ruby's sisterly love for each other is. This sounds like an amazing novel to read, and I'm hoping there will be more just like it! <3

landofbooks said...

This sounds like a great book to read. I will be sure to check it out soon.

aurora M. said...

Fantastic Cover! I have this one and can't wait to dug into the pages. Thanks for the review....I think I am going to start reading this one TONIGHT! Thanks

Tiffany said...

I've heard really good things about this one. I can't wake to pick it up!

Krystal said...

I liked this novel...and I didn't like it in parts. The main character was ok, but that sister really got on my nerves. And Olive? I just didn't even quite get that.

monika96 said...

I read this book certainly

_yay_ said...

I've had my eye on this book for a while now. Thanks for the review. Will definitely read it.

therainhouse said...

All this while, I've been mistaken. I thought Imaginary Girls was a YA/Paranormal book..

It does sound dark.

Does Ruby have any villainous tendencies?

Jennifer said...

I definitely want to read this book. Glad you loved it.

Sky said...

I really want to read this now! The cover totally drew me in and your review sealed the deal

Sky said...

I really want to read this now! The cover totally drew me in and your review sealed the deal

Yvonne said...

I've had this on my wishlist for a while but wasn't sure whether to get it or not. After reading your review, i am dying to read it! Great review!

therainhouse said...

Thanks for the review Evie!

I haven't read Imaginary Girls yet. Novels with sibling rivalry themes are always interesting. Those of who have siblings can really relate.

FairyWhispers said...

really want to read this!

-)

Katharyn said...

Great review! I really want to read this!

inmyshelf said...

OMG I LOVED your review! it was soo good! i really want to read this book! Thanks for the review!

Affie - the kitteh of the opera said...

I really, really, really want to read this now!

Munnaza said...

I keep seeing this book on everyone's blog and I am dying to read it, mostly because the cover is just absolutely gorgeous. This book sounds refreshing and beyond intriguing, and it is on the top of my to-rad list. (I never would have expected that the book would have an eerie feel to it though, but that only makes me want to read it more.) Thanks for the review!

Stephanie Verhaegen said...

Wow. This cover really catched the eye. Might use it for a Cover Crazy post. :)
I love the "mesmerizing, ominous and eerie read" part. Must be something then!
Thanks for sharing!

Rebecca Hipworth said...

I LOVE this book!! :D It is so deliciously creepy. I'm really looking forward to her next book 17 & Gone.

Lili said...

I've known about this book for a while, but had never had a desire to read it. I've always thought the cover was gorgeous, though! I think I'm going to give it a chance since you seem to love it!

thank you for sharing (:

Grace Lo said...

I think I'd love Imaginary Girls! I, for some reason, have never really been drawn to the book but I think I need this one! I love ominous reads, and the sibling rivalry is something I can definitely relate to. (I have four sisters; just image our to-the-death battles for shower time.)

Karina A. said...

The cover is definitely eye catching! I would love to read this, because of how you described the craftsmanship of the author. Great review!

E_V_E said...

It is very original idea and the book looks like very good raading.
Great review, I want read this book 8)

AmelArmeliana said...

The cover is amazing. Loved it. And reading your review makes me want to read this book so bad. Great review. Thanks

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