Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Imaginary GirlsTitle:  Imaginary Girls
Author:  Nova Ren Suma
Series:  n/a
Publisher:  Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date:  June 14, 2011
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Rating:  Photobucket

From Goodreads:

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'm not sure how I feel about this book.  On the one hand, I adored the author's writing style.  It flowed seamlessly.  The story was unusual and intriguing.  But on the other hand,  it left me with so many questions that I felt were never truly answered in the text or implied otherwise.  And I never actually felt drawn to the story itself, never felt the need to read late into the night to find out what happened next.

That said, Imaginary Girls definitely wasn't my usual two-night read.  It took awhile for the story to reel me in, and I never really felt connected to the characters, though I have two sisters of my own and know that there is no bond like that of sisterhood.  Still, I did enjoy the realistic way the author portrayed the relationships outside of the sisters, how each sister was seen through others' eyes.  It really did remind me of the stories shared between me and my own sisters throughout life.  The crush that leads to something more (finally) and then to nothing at all.  The friends who are only friends because of your relation to someone else.  The feigned ignorance of manipulation when it suits.
It's weird how much I identified with this novel but at the same time just couldn't connect with it at all.  Honestly, maybe that's the sign that this was a really great novel, the fact that I can't stop thinking about it, what made it real and what made it awful.  I liked it.  I wanted to love it.  But I think the actual relationship between the sisters kept me from doing so.  Just the fact that Chloe seemed like such a smart girl, but she never even thought to question Ruby's actions.  Chloe believed in her older sister, and even when the horrible reality of Ruby's actions were right before her eyes, she still deluded herself. 

I don't need my protagonist to be perfect, but they have to at least possess a reasonable amount of morality, enough sense to question motives and not follow blindly.  No one's interested in the sheep's story, only the shephard's.  And yet, I still don't know Ruby any better in the end than I did when she first told everyone that Chloe could swim across the reservoir.  But I do know Chloe now, and I've come to discover that I don't know her as well as I thought I did.  Isn't that always the way with sisters, though?

Next up for review:  Spellbound


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