Nova Ren Suma’s work is hard to find. I started with the library, because I’m broke and I need to stop spending so much money when I could just walk down the street and rent a book for a few weeks for free. But none of her stuff popped up in the database of the entirety of the Luzerne County library system…so that was out.
I grew curious about this book (and of the author, because, like, that name) because an author I enjoy (Gayle Forman) had mentioned her. If you’re an author I like and you think there’s another author out there I would like…well, duh, I’m going to seek them out!
Eventually, I had to suck it up and buy it on Amazon…I bought a used copy, hence the beat-up look in the picture above.
I don’t even know how to explain Imaginary Girls. I’ll try. After finishing it, it’s harder to summarize.
Chloe has spent her entire life (14 years of it) in the care of her beautiful, powerful older (19) sister Ruby’s care (they are actually half-sisters, sharing the same alcoholic mother and runaway fathers). Ruby is the kind of girl who asks anyone for anything and gets it. Most of all, she cares about the safety of her sister, Chloe. The book begins with a party by the reservoir in their hometown. The place is actually a
No Trespassing zone, but Ruby and her crew love to have parties there. That night, Ruby talks up Chloe, saying she could swim the entire length of the reservoir, and Chloe does it. Midway, she begins to lose breath and stops at a rowboat on the water. That’s when she finds the dead body of her classmate London. Needless to say, finding the dead body of anyone, especially someone who is 14 years old and shared the same classes as you, would be upsetting. So Chloe ends up moving to Pennsylvania with her father to escape the heaviness that has engulfed her life since the discovery and for two years, she lives a pretty dull life until Ruby enters again, desperate to get her sister back.
Chloe runs away to be with Ruby once again and that’s when she discovers that, as Ruby promised, everything is like it was before.
As in, London is somehow alive.
As I read this book, I kept waiting for a real discovery, a breakthrough, an explanation.
I never got it. Sometimes this is a good thing, I suppose, but in this case I was left wanting more.
Maybe I missed something?
I gave this 1 star on Goodreads because it let me down at the end. As I was reading it, I wanted to recommend it to people as a creepy and intriguing beach read, a dark book that would be enjoyable with your toes in the sand, sucking you into a whole other world.
And I suppose some people would like this, but it wasn’t for me.
I do have a tendency, though, to dislike something but then continue to think about it, puzzle pieces coming together, and that just might happen with this. Who knows? Still, it most certainly wasn’t a favorite and I had much higher expectations, even as I was nearing the end.
Edit: The more I think about it, the more I realize I did sort of miss the point with this book. I kept ignoring one of the underlying stories in the book, and it kind of ended up being very important to the story. It’s strange, I guess, because the book was never written to be or specified as a science-fiction or fantasy, and so it’s hard to accept (for me, anyway) when things go a little…out-of-the-norm. I kept looking for a solid and believable answer for all problems. I guess that, as it can happen in life as well, there isn’t always an explanation.