Book Review: Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

Title: Imaginary Girls 
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Details: Hardcover, 352 pgs.
Published: June 14th, 2011 by Dutton
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Purchased


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.

This is one of those reviews that I feel like I kind of have to pick the book apart in order to separate the love and love ‘less’ parts of it.  I’ll do my best to not pick the book apart  too much though.

First of all, Nova is a beautiful writer.  Her words come together beautifully and her imagery is spot on.  She also has a way of really describing teenagers.  I thought that the town was described perfectly and the things teenagers did for fun was exactly right.   I also never had a hard time reading the book, I think her words really sucked me in in the beginning and later on I was saying WTH?! And frantically reading because I needed to know more desperately.  But at the same time I felt incredible frustration because of the way things went.  The way the answers were put forth.  Or lack of answers in some cases.  

I never felt a connection with the characters even though they were fascinating.  I think that the way the story was put together we’re not really supposed to have that close connection where we really feel inside their heads, we’re suppose to wonder.  And I didn’t really like that.  I think that it goes with the story and that others will love it though.  

In the end I can say I’m right down the middle on how I feel about this book.  I think that it’s totally unique, it has a serious creep factor without being downright scary and it leaves things to your imagination.   It’s like nothing you’ve ever read before, or will likely ever read again. 

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  1. I enjoyed the writing,, the imagery, the mystery and suspense, but the ending came up short for me. I didn’t get all my questions answered.

    I did some research, discovering the author’s goal was to write a story using magical realism. Once I read this everything made a little more sense.

    I feel like this one held a lot of potential but just endied falling a little flat for me.

  2. I keep hearing some pretty mixed things on this one… Not sure if I’m really all that interested in picking it up, but I’m definitely intrigued… Great review! I’ll have to sit on this one, determine whether I actually want to read it or not. :)

  3. Very well put! I agree about the connection to the characters, but I liked it. I really loved the whole book but I can definitely see why you would be in the middle about it. It’s very…different.

  4. I really wanted to see this. But by the time I requested my copy, they were out. The cover really grabbed me, it is so stunning. But it is a shame you had mixed feelings over it. I will be careful with this one. Still, I am interested in the story as a whole. Great review hon, thank you :)

  5. Most of the reviews I read for this one have been beyond glowing, but I like seeing a different take on the story. Just from the synopsis, I wouldn’t think that Imaginary Girls is going to be really creepy, but I’m kind of happy it is. I have this deep love for creepy books, so I’m excited about that. Little connection to the characters, I’m less excited about. I have issues with books where I can’t connect to the characters. That’s not to say I won’t or don’t like the book, but that I enjoy it just a little less. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen to me with this one because I’ve wanted to read it forever.

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