Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (2011)
Format: Hardcover | 348 pages
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
This book is beautiful. And it's ugly, sometimes, even. And it's definitely weird.Description (GR): "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."
I was in a reading slump. I didn't feel like reading anything at all and that is a very scary feeling for a book lover as all book lovers know. I started reading Imaginary Girls in this mindset, and at first I wasn't interested. Not much really.
But then the pace of the book picked up and I wanted to know more and more and I just had to read. And I also had to stop because I wanted this book to last, if that makes sense.
Ruby and Chloe are sisters. They might as well be orphans because they have different fathers and their mother loves her bottles more than she loves them. But it's all right, because Ruby takes care of Chloe. Ruby can get anything she wants, from anyone.
And so Ruby raises Chloe and tells her stories about the town that was there before their town but was destroyed by water when New York City decided to make a reservoir. And that the townsfolk didn't leave and now live in the underwater city.
One day an accident happens. Chloe is swimming and she finds a dead girl. She is sent to live with her father but after two years, Ruby wants her back. And Ruby always gets what she wants.
Imaginary Girls was... well, I can't even say. I really liked it because it is just so... strange (but good strange). There's a main character who isn't the main character, there is love that is more obsession than love but in the end it is love and the emotions portrayed in this novel turn everything around and make us doubt our assumptions about the characters.
I can't even describe this book properly. It has that ethereal quality of otherness that so many paranormal books try to achieve but can't. It is truly compelling and beautiful, not because of the writing being poetic or anything. It's just the story, the overall subtleness of the plot and of the characters that make it so. And Chloe's unique and flawed perspective is what makes this book so magical.
Imaginary Girls is the story of two sisters that had a hard time growing up. It's about love so strong it ends up destroying instead of nurturing. The characters were spellbinding and interesting. The story was haunting and the paranormal elements were subtle and so well placed you never really know if there is something supernatural.
The plot is well constructed and keeps you guessing. But what really makes this book shine are the characters. They seem so real and at the same time so... other, so different. I must say I didn't much care for Chloe's "love interest", though.
Overall, a great read. It is a mysterious book that will keep you reading just to find out what is real and what is not. Recommended.