Thursday, January 26, 2012

Imaginary Girls

Imaginary Girls has some major hype behind it. With rumors of magic realism and an incredible cover, I was excited to read Nova Ren Suma's debut novel. All of the buzz was well-deserved: this is a book that needs to be discussed to be understood. Not a breezy beach read, this is one for the book club.

Chloe has always lived in the shadow of her older sister, Ruby. Growing up with only each other to count on, Ruby takes on mythical status with her sister. But maybe it isn't just Chloe that sees the magic. When a local girl is found dead, Chloe leaves town for two years and Ruby will do whatever it takes to get her back.

Imaginary Girls belongs to Ruby, the mysterious center of the story. As I started reading, I thought that she was just another Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Like most people, I am drawn to these characters; Alaska Young and Weetzie Bat. Still I have never met one in real life because girls like that don't really exist. When I read about "The store where she got her signature shade of wine red lipstick, how they held her color behind the counter so no one else could wear it" and "Ruby’s way of doing dishes—leaving them piled in the sink and on the stove for a week at a time until there was no other option but to crate them over to the bathtub for a good soaking", I thought I was in for another MPDG. Suma surprised me, though. As the novel progressed, I realized that there was a much darker side to Ruby's charisma.

For me, this wasn't a comfortable read. None of the characters were very likable and I felt myself dreading when everything would inevitably fall apart in the world of Ruby's creation. Despite this, I was satisfied with the eerie ending and will most likely read the novel again, picking up more in my second reading.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! My hold just come in on this at the library and I'm picking it up today :) I'll be back to read your review after I finish reading!

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