Friday, July 1, 2011

Me on Imaginary Girls

Title: Imaginary Girls
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Publisher: Dutton (Penguin imprint)

Chloe has an older sister, Ruby. Everyone looks at Ruby, longs for Ruby, but she can't be caught or caged. A night with Ruby and her friends goes wrong for Chloe when she discovers the body of her classmate London Hayes floating in the reservoir, and Chloe goes off to live with her father.

But Ruby wants her back. When Chloe returns after two years away, things in town are different. As she starts to poke at the changes in the town she's come back to, at the truth that Ruby's hidden away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn, recreated by the bonds of sisterhood.

Initially, this book just sounded like the kind of book I love reading about (and writing). Realistic characters in a realistic setting with something tweaked to be just a little unrealistic and impossible and compelling. Reality can be boring. ;) There so much suspense and intrigue in this book. And I'll fully admit to reading this book after 11pm, which totally increased the spook factor. I did the same with Dia Reeves' books, which are heavy on the spook and the creep and the horror-fun. ;)

There's something so simple about this book, but there's also so much hidden just under the surface, waiting to be exposed. On the surface, it's a book about sisters, like Dia Reeves' Slice of Cherry or Jackson Pearce's Sisters Red, but under the water there's something lurking, something dark, something mysterious and dangerous and forbidden, like Dia Reeves' Slice of Cherry or Jackson Pearce's Sisters Red.

Chloe's an interesting character. She loves her sister, wants to be with her sister, but she doesn't quite understand what Ruby does and why she does it. Something motivates her beyond sisterly love, something possibly more obsessive or possessive of Chloe.

To Ruby, Chloe is her sister, hers to take care of, hers to have fun with, hers to spend all of her days with talking and laughing and having fun. Nothing will hurt Chloe or bother Chloe, no one will touch her. Chloe will be the safest girl in town, as long as she follows Ruby's rules.

As long as she stays out of the reservoir, away from the sunken town of Olive.

This haunting and mysterious book sucked me right in. I was right there with Chloe, trying to figure out life with Ruby again, trying to understand why the town seems different. Nova Ren Suma has written such a moving book, and such a spooky book. I'm not talking about spooky in the Hallowe'en sense, but spooky as in you don't know what's going on and when you figure it out you're shocked and creeped out.

And I would so recommend you read this book in the middle of the night. It took me a little while to fall asleep after finishing. ;)

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