Book rec: 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.

I had heard a lot of good buzz about this book, so I picked it up the last time I was at the bookstore and adding it to my entirely-too-long book queue. Sunday night I went to grab the next book in the queue but found myself reaching for IMAGINARY GIRLS instead. I like to read books in the order in which I get them (weird, I know), so I told myself I’d read only the first couple pages. Two hundred-odd pages and several hours later I passed out on the couch. I woke up early the next morning to finish it, and … wow. That’s all I can say.

This book is creepy. And good. And creepy. The cover copy makes it almost sound like a straight contemporary story, but you should know that it’s not. It definitely has elements of fantasy. It’s also layered with hauntingly beautiful prose, frustratingly complex characters and more twists and turns than should be possible. It’s quite a journey from start to finish, and Nova Ren Suma takes you on a wild ride to get there. Fair warning: If you’re the type of person who likes your endings tied up with pretty, little bows in pretty, little packages, this might not be the book for you. There’s a lot that’s left to the reader to puzzle through, but, IMO, that’s part of the genius of IMAGINARY GIRLS.

What about you? Have you read IMAGINARY GIRLS yet? Plan on it? What did you think?

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4 Responses

  1. have not read this- an amazing cover! I will definitely check it out.

  2. Holly says:

    Oh, oh! This is one I’ve been really looking forward to. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it. Can’t wait to get my hands on it now!

  3. I haven’t read this either. The cover creeps me out too much!

  4. Karen Strong says:

    I’m reading this book right now! I love that it does sound contemporary even though it’s creepy and has paranormal/fantasy elements. Of course, I haven’t gotten to those parts yet — but looking forward to it. The prose is on point!

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