Nova Ren Suma weaves a spell of words in her compelling book Imaginary Girls. I was immediately drawn into her richly detailed story. I will admit that a healthy dose of WTF escaped my lips as I turned the pages, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Chloe and Ruby are sisters. Ruby is the type of girl who is dazzling in all that she does, drawing people in with just a grin. She exudes charisma and can get whatever she wants with just the tilt of her smile. Chloe is Ruby’s younger sister and a bit awkward. Imaginary Girls opens at a reservoir party in ‘upstate NY’, but more like the pretend upstate because everyone knows upstate is really Buffalo and beyond. Anyways, Ruby brags about Chloe and says she can swim so well she might as well be a fish, essentially challenging Chloe to swim across the reservoir. This leads to Chloe finding a drowned girl, and eventually moving away from Ruby and living with her estranged father. FYI Ruby and Chloe have the same mother, but different fathers.
Y’all something is ROTTEN in the state of Denmark. There are sinister happenings. As Chloe begins to unravel the truth of the reservoir party several years ago, she comes to some startling conclusions and questions her sanity.
Honestly, I found Chloe a bit flat, although it’s obvious that she is in awe of her sister Ruby, and quite frankly I am too. I wish I had the power to get people to do whatever I want just by tilting my head a certain way. Ruby is enigmatic and my attention was held hostage whenever she showed up. Chloe seems to just float along without too much of a backbone. And while she does exhibit growth, I’m not all that impressed with her.
What I will say is do not go into this expecting a run of the mill contemporary read about sisters. Imaginary Girls is more paranormal flavored, and thus you should adjust your expectations accordingly so you are not set up for disappointment.
Disclosure: Received for review via Library Thing’s Early Reviewers Program.