Date Read: 27th October, 2011
Blurb: 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.
Review: Imaginary Girls had such an eerie atmosphere to it that at some points the hairs on my arms stood up and it unsettled me a little. The style of writing Nova Ren Suma has is beautiful and it got under my skin. This is her YA debut and her second novel and it’s as though she has been doing this for years.
The story centres on Chloe and her older sister, Ruby. Ruby has everyone who lives in their town wrapped around her little finger. The girls want to be just like her, the boys will do anything to gain her love and everything happens for Ruby in a way that makes you wonder about what’s really going on. She pays no attention to anyone in town and acts spontaneously but with Chloe she is grounded. She has reason and Ruby will do anything for her. Anything. Everything revolves around Ruby and no one else.
But after an unsettling disturbance of the towns peace, Chloe goes away and doesn’t go home for two years. But when Ruby shows up, she has no choice but to go back. And when she does, there is a surprise waiting like no other...
I loved this book so much. Even though it confused the hell out of me – and trust me, it did – it was still an amazing and compelling read. I’ve never really read a book quite like this. I’ve read books where the younger sister lives in the older sister’s shadow but it was nothing like this. Their bond was so strong and it was easy to see why Chloe looks up to her and treasures her. But I found myself feeling a little sad as the story progressed and Ruby loosened her hold on Chloe.
The plot wasn’t fast paced and that was the great thing about it. As the plot progressed the suspense built up until it was over flowing and so many times I had to stop myself from skipping ahead to try and release the tension and to see if everything was okay. The imagery of this book created a vivid mental picture in my mind and I could see everything as if it were a movie.
I like that we still don’t know what is happening at the end of the book and it’s almost as if Suma wants to leave the ending up to us and leave it to play on our minds which it has definitely done with me. The supernatural element to this novel was threaded into it so quietly and creepily that it isn’t obvious until a lot later in the novel and you will find yourself waiting for it to show through. Even after finishing this book you will be wondering what actually happened.
The ending to this book was perfect and made sure the eerie atmosphere stayed with us all the way, even when we closed the book. I won’t be forgetting this one anytime soon.
Imaginary Girls was an amazing, thrilling, haunting and creep story about sisterhood that has no boundaries, where they will do anything for each other, no matter the consequences. 5 stars!!