June 1, 2011

Review: Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

So, because I struggle with reviewing contemporary books (it's not that I don't like them, I really do, I just never know what to say for them) I almost passed up on this book.  And I'm soooooo glad I didn't.  Because even though a lot of is contemporary, there are some eerie supernatural aspects of if that made this completely enjoyable for me.  If the paranormal genre and the contemporary genre had a secret love child, it would be this book.

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: June 14th 2011 by Dutton Juvenile

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.

My Personal Ramblings:
I'd just first like to say Nova Ren Suma is SUCH an AMAZING writer.  And she has a pretty awesome name.  Which is slightly irrelevant. *cough* Anyways... I'm going to sound like a nerd but I love her use of diction, symbolism, metaphors, etc. all that boring stuff you learn in English class and you thought you would never have to use!  Or maybe that's just me... *cough*  But in all seriousness, even though I believe this is her 2nd book, and her first book in the YA genre, her writing is expertly FLAWLESS and flows so easily.  Without trying, I easily read this book in one sitting, and then was surprised at how quickly I got through it.  

Remember what I said about this book being the love child of paranormal and contemporary books? Yeah, that becomes pretty apparent throughout this book.  Even from the very beginning of the book, you can see how Chloe and the majority of the town views Ruby as almost god-like.  As the book goes on, secrets are revealed about Ruby, and how her power in the town isn't completely all from her.  However the paranormal aspects of the book blended in with the realistic world so well, it's almost as if it was an illusion.  There is no direct explanation about Ruby's power, and it almost seems fantastical at times, but there is definitely supernatural at work.  The lines between reality and fantasy are so blurred that sometimes you question the characters' sanity.  But I thought it was a perfect way if one wanted to incorporate paranormal into a book with many contemporary themes.  

Ruby is one of those strange characters that I would hate to meet in real life, and yet she completely intrigues me as a book character.  She completely walks over people, especially boys, and claims to not care about anyone, except Chloe.  Chloe's development did not happen the way I thought it would and wanted it too, but I definitely like the way it ended.  I wanted Chloe to stand up for herself, and break out of her sister's shadow.  Which she does... but not at all how I expected it.  This is relevant, but seems completely irrelevant now, but I love the chapter titles.  Each chapter is titled with the first two or three words of the chapter, which sounds weird, but the titles of the book show an almost perfect progression of the internal conflict of the story.  

What I love about the ending is that it makes you realize this book is about the bond of sisterhood and how unbreakable that bond is.  The book was filled with other issues like love, family, individualism, etc. but the ending really brought it all together back to the main purpose.  I liked how the ending had an opening, and there was not a complete resolution because there is no ending to Chloe's love and loyalty to her sister despite everything that happens in the book.  I've read some reviews that said they wished that there was more action in this book overall, and my argument to that is there is no need for more action.  The tension, the suspense, the internal conflict IS the action of the novel, and in my opinion, it works.  Based off the ending, I believe Imaginary Girls is a standalone, but I will definitely be reading whatever Nova Ren Suma will be writing in the future. 

4.5 out of 5 stars :) Haunting and eerie, this book will suck you in and won't let go.  (I've just realized how strange and creepy that sounds.  But it's meant to be a good thing lol).  Definitely worth checking out on June 14th!

No comments:

Post a Comment