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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

Publication Date: 6-14-2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 348
Format: Format
Source: Library

Goodreads Summary:
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.


Chloe and Ruby are best friends and half-sisters.  Their mother hasn't been around much, but is known throughout the town as an alcoholic.  Chloe and Ruby are at a party when Ruby convinces Chloe to swim across the reservoir.  As she's swimming, she discovers a dead body of a classmate.  After this discover, Chloe leaves town to live with her biological father and his new family.  She needs the time away, but when Ruby comes to take her home...Chloe gladly goes back.  

Ruby has always talked about the town of Oliver that was buried deep beneath the reservoir when it was built a long time ago.  She talks about the people who lived there and those that never left.  Chloe has never quite believed these tales, but when she comes back to live with Ruby things are strange.  Everyone acts like nothing ever happened and there are weird things happening all over.  Ruby won't explain it all to Chloe, but as she starts to discover the truth things get worse.

I couldn't believe how this book ended.  All I kept thinking, was REALLY!?  It was such a strange book to begin with, but Nova Ren Suma does a great job of drawing her readers in from the first page and keeping them engaged throughout the story, no matter how weird things got.  I was as curious as Chloe to find out what exactly was going on in this small town and why things were so weird.  Of course, I'm sure Chloe was more surprised than I was to discover the truth, but the truth isn't always the best.  I wonder what would have happened if Ruby was able to keep it all together and keep it secret.  Secrets are all around us, but Ruby seems to be a mastermind at keeping them.

The writing of this novel was thrilling and entertaining.  The bond between these two sisters is strong and one that was formed after years of parental neglect.  The sisters will do anything for each other, and Chloe finds out just how far Ruby is willing to go for her favorite younger sister.

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