Release: June 14th, 2011
Pages: 352 (hardcover)
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
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.
Review: Imaginary Girls is a haunting tale of two sisters and the power sisterhood can have.
Chloe has always been "Ruby's sister" to everyone in her town. Ruby is magnetic and powerful there. So much so, Chloe thinks that there isn't anything her sister can't do. When Chloe comes back to town to live with her sister, she finds that things have changed. Someone who she thought was dead is alive, and no one but her seems to think it's odd. People listen to Ruby more than Chloe realized...and Ruby may have more power and deadly secrets than Chloe could ever imagine.
The pacing is slow going at first, but once the mysteries surrounding Ruby and London start being revealed, the pace picks up. Plot-wise, it's difficult to say anything more than I've already said for fear of spoilers. There's this constant eerie undertone to Nova Ren Suma's words, and I was always left with questions and enough intrigue to keep going by the end of every chapter. When it began, I thought it was entirely contemporary. Yet, it
Highlights: This book isn't about boys or romance, but instead the author focuses on sisters and family. Yes, there are a few "romance" moments, but the sisterly bond is the more important aspect of the story. Ruby herself is so magnetic, hypnotic, and very much like a firework - she sparkles, shines, she might be dangerous, but you just want to get closer. Her character was really well done. The underwater city of Olive was especially interesting to me, and I wish we could know more about it. The magical realism, the secrets, the twists, the reveals, and the surprising conclusion were all welcome highlights to Imaginary Girls.
Lowlights: The first couple chapters after the intro almost put me off the story completely. It took some time to get into the author's writing, the slow pacing and constant thought of "What is going on?", but I found it worthwhile once I made it further into the book. The focus on Ruby through Chloe's perspective could also be overwhelming at times, but I did get used to it.