Title: Imaginary Girls
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Magical Realism
Star Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
Sisters. They love to push your buttons, but they're always there for you. (You know the old saying. 'No one gets to pick on my siblings but me!'. Lol.) They drive you crazy, but you love them. Who wouldn't love their sister? It's like you've basically got a built-in, God-given best bud. And sometimes, the love between sisters is so strong that it transcends almost everything.
I was first introduced to Nova Ren Suma's work when I received a copy of her latest book, The Walls Around Us, to review for Edelweiss, and I loved it, so when I started ordering library books again, I ordered it. I really quite enjoyed Imaginary Girls, but I liked The Walls Around Us better. Regardless, though, Imaginary Girls is told with her signature flair for all things creepy, terrifying, and really, really confusing.
Imaginary Girls begins with Chloe and her older, brighter, magnetic sister, Ruby, and.. wait for it! A dead body! (Did you guess a dead body?) Chloe begins to realize, as the book goes on, that despite Ruby raising her, loving her, being her best friend, her mischievous, adoring sister is hiding some dark, terrifying secrets, and, as deep as she begins to dig, some could shatter the already delicate foundation on which their relationship rests..
This book really spoke to me in a lot of ways. It was creepy, dark, more than a little scary, at times. But it was also tender, sharp, observant, and full of love, especially between Chloe and Ruby. Chloe is the quiet, almost passive narrator, standing in her older sister's gigantic shadow. And then, of course, there's Ruby herself: magnetic, charismatic, beautiful, unattainable, and strangely compelling, even when there were times that she scared the bajesus out of me.
I really enjoyed most of this book: the pacing, the plot and concept, the characters, the creepy, Gothic feel. But unfortunately, at times, in the muddle of Ruby's secrets, hiding behind closed doors, it got a little hard to follow. The bottom line: Nova Ren Suma's debut novel, Imaginary Girls is a dark, Gothic treat full of beautiful prose and frightening secrets--wonderful! Next on deck: Violent Ends by Schaun Hutchinson!