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Imaginary Girls Hardcover – June 14, 2011

3.5 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Eerie and gripping and told with lush and inviting scenes, "Imaginary Girls" will haunt its readers. An intensely vivid portrayal of love and no-choice loyalty and power that has no easy answers." - Aimee Bender, author of "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake"

"A surreal little nightmare in book form. I just loved it. Nova Ren Suma's voice is unique and riveting, and so is the indelible Ruby, who dominates the reader from the very first page. It's the book everyone will be dying to talk about." - Nancy Werlin, author of "Impossible" and "Extraordinary" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Nova Ren Suma studied writing and photography at Antioch College in Ohio and went on to receive an MFA in Creative Writing/Fiction from Columbia University. She lives in New York City.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (June 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525423389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525423386
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,271,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By O. Lisa on November 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is the first time that I've considered NOT rating a book. I felt, and still feel, like whatever number of stars I might give are not going to truly reflect my opinion nor do Imaginary Girls any justice.
So keep in mind that my rating in this case is just the result of a mathematical addition of factors, of things I liked and didn't like.

The story is, in a nutshell, a mystery. It's difficult for me to give you a synopsis of the plot, but suffice it to say it involves a mysterious reservoir, two sisters morbidly obsessed with one another, a dead girl in a rowboat and a series of unexplainable events.

This is one of the most distressing books I have read this year or, probably, ever and all I feel is that I just did not get it.
Let me make some comparisons that might help you out:
If it were an artistic movement, it would be Surrealism.
If it were a movie, it would be a David Lynch movie.
if it were music, it would be jazz.

Disturbingly creepy, oneiric, harrowing and full of suspense, it kept me on the edge until the very last pages. The word predictable does not exist in this author's dictionary, I'll give you that much.
But that the long awaited climax was, in the end, so anticlimactic distressed me very much.
For about 80% of the book I could not figure out, for the life of me, what was happening and why. I was expecting some paranormal element to give an explanation to all my questions but, in the end, there wasn't. It was just all surreal.

The strong points of this book are, objectively, the amazing writing style and characterization. The writing is exceptional and evocative and, thanks to that, some of the characters, Ruby in particular, come out well formed, palpable and yes, disturbing.
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Format: Hardcover
Wow, what a mesmerizing, ominous and eerie read that was! Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma is definitely not your typical Young Adult novel. It's dark and disquieting, and it will leave you deeply disturbed. Reading this book is like being stuck in a bad dream. Doesn't matter how hard you try, you can't make yourself wake up. And even when you finally do wake up, you still won't be able to shake off the reminiscence of it.

The story revolves around Chloe and her older half-sister, Ruby, and is told from Chloe's first-person's perspective. Ruby is the most popular girl in their small hometown. Everyone loves her, admires her, follows her and grants her every wish. It seems like she has the whole town magically wrapped around her finger. She's a free spirit that can't be caged or held down by anything or anyone. She knows what she wants from life and exactly which strings to pull to get it. The only thing Ruby truly cares about is Chloe. Being the older sister, Ruby feels responsible for Chloe and will do everything in her power to protect her. And when I say everything, I mean more than you can imagine.

Chloe looks up to her big sis. Thanks to Ruby, she gets to attend cool parties and hang out with cool people. The two girls are inseparable. Ruby is always there for Chloe, she knows exactly what to do to encourage her and make her feel happy. It seems like nothing bad could ever happen to Chloe at Ruby's watch.

One night, at a party at the local reservoir, something goes terribly wrong. Chloe, encouraged by her sister, tries swimming all the way to the other shore and back. Somewhere in the middle of the deep, dark water she comes across a floating boat.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm really kind of unsure about this one. I had heard so many wonderful things about Imaginary Girls, so I guess I was expecting a lot. I don't like writing negative reviews, but I think they also play an important role. With that said, I can say that Imaginary Girls just wasn't for me. I enjoyed Nova's writing style for the most part, but I couldn't get into the story. I also couldn't find one redeeming character, which made the whole process of trying to like the book that much harder. Unfortunately. My opinion on this novel is so confused, I don't know that any rating (or review) will be able to sufficiently depict my muddled feelings.

Other than what is stated in the synopsis and book trailer above, I knew absolutely nothing about Imaginary Girls before I jumped into it. I guess you could say it's about two sisters, a mysterious reservoir and a summer when everything changed.

As I mentioned before, I couldn't find a single likable character. I wanted to like Chloe. I wanted to like Ruby. I wanted to like the fact that they were two sisters who would do anything for one another (much like I would do anything for my sister). But I didn't. I didn't like Chloe. Her actions never seemed genuine to her character. I couldn't sympathize with or get intrigued by Ruby. Though she is described as having a magnetic personality, I could never see what was so wonderful about her. As for their sisterly relationship? Well... they were strangely obsessed with one another, to say the least. I'm extremely close with my sister, but Chloe and Ruby had a disturbing, unhealthy relationship. The secondary characters were also very unappealing. The "love interests" in the novel were anything but interesting.
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