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“Every wolf ‘s and lion’s howl / Raises from Hell a human soul.”

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

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.

So let me give you a play by play of my reactions while reading Invisible Sisters

"Okay..."
"Good imagery"
"That's a really good line!" *doggy ears the page*
"Exceptional writing, this is gonna be good!"
"Nnnnnnuuh I don't wanna go to bed, one more chapter"
"Where is this going?"
"I don't get it"
"I bet you..."
"Yup..."
"She did it."
"Well that was obvious"
"What the hell!"
"Wait"
"What"
"Ok."

And that is pretty much what I was thinking as I read the book. As you may have deduced from my play by play above, the best part of the novel was the beginning.  It was filled with fulfilling writing, beautiful lines and very much potential to be the next great YA book.  But as the novel progressed, the plot didn't.  I understood that Nova Ren Suma was taking her time to give the reader a clear view of Ruby, even though no one had a clear view of her.  Ruby was the character who was always blurring, lurking in a shadow but always in the spotlight. I loved that!  But my fondness for Ruby's character soon faded after the half way turn of the novel.  And although I ended up hating Ruby near the end of the novel, she still remained my favourite character, and in this book it's most likely either Chloe or Ruby.

It took too long for anything to actually happen, and once something did happen...it wasn't that great.  Imaginary Girls had so much potential to be a great story, but the end was predictable.  Something I would imagine happening at the season finale of Ghost Whisperer or some other paranormal related show.  It just didn't cut it for me.  Imaginary Girls...had a forgettable plot and quite a few plot holes.  I kept asking myself, "Why doesn't Chloe just ask Ruby to tell her?"  which probably would have saved quite a few chapters.
The solved mystery wasn't actually completely explained, which I didn't mind but once again it brought me back to the fact that it just wasn't worth the wait.

The few reviews of Imaginary Girls that I did read were either "hate it" or "bash it".  Although I won't bash it, I wasn't exactly amazed with it.  With Imaginary Girls, Nova Ren Suma has proved she has excellent writing qualities and has much success ahead of her.

 Haunting, creepy, beautiful, but predictable, Imaginary Girls did in fact leave an impression.  Her name is Ruby.  And Ruby gets the silver.

22 comments:

  1. Great review. We have mixed feelings about this book over here -- one of us adores it, while two of us felt more like you. That it had potential, but didn't fully live up. We read in another review that it seems like a short story that had been pointlessly expanded, and we can see why that reviewer thought that. The writing was incredible, but the plot lacked. We love Nova's blog though, and we would definitely read more by her.

    ReplyDelete
  2. AAAAAAH " We read in another review that it seems like a short story that had been pointlessly expanded" THAT sums up all of my feelings.

    I really do hope Nova comes out with some new YA, I'm sure she's got something up her sleeve! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, what a mesmerizing, ominous and eerie read that was! Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma is definitely not your typical Young Adult novel. It's dark and disquieting, and it will leave you deeply disturbed. Reading this book is like being stuck in a bad dream. Doesn't matter how hard you try, you can't make yourself wake up. And even when you finally do wake up, you still won't be able to shake off the reminiscence of it.

    The story revolves around Chloe and her older half-sister, Ruby, and is told from Chloe's first-person's perspective. Ruby is the most popular girl in their small hometown. Everyone loves her, admires her, follows her and grants her every wish. It seems like she has the whole town magically wrapped around her finger. She's a free spirit that can't be caged or held down by anything or anyone. She knows what she wants from life and exactly which strings to pull to get it. The only thing Ruby truly cares about is Chloe. Being the older sister, Ruby feels responsible for Chloe and will do everything in her power to protect her. And when I say everything, I mean more than you can imagine.

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