Imaginary Girls

Reader: Sophie D
Age: 15
Title: Imaginary Girls
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Publisher: Dutton Books
Pub Date: June 2011
Galley: Yes
Annotation: Chloe and Ruby have always been closer than most sisters. Ruby practically raised Chloe, and Chloe knows she would do anything for her. But that's a big commitment, and soon it looks like there are some things Ruby can't protect Chloe from, including Ruby herself.
Recommend: No
Convince us to read the book: There really isn't anything compelling about this book. I don't care about the characters, I don't care about the plot. It is too vague and unexplained, and yet clich├ęd. I think the author was trying to go for a surreal kind of disturbing fantasy, but it just ended up confusing and pointless. She got the disturbing part though, but not, I think, in the way she intended.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: I did find the sister character slightly intriguing. If she was just a spoiled brat who everyone inexplicably loved, that would have made for a much more interesting story. That's the thing: this book could have gone in a totally different direction. It could have easily been about psychology, or coming of age and loss of innocence, but instead it's just a watered down and half baked fantasy story. The other good thing about the book was that it was pretty creepy, especially all the imagery about being dragged underwater. That's the kind of thing that really scares me, so a couple of passages and dream sequences were deliciously creepy when reading them.
Did you finish: Yes
Were you disappointed with the book at all: For one thing, the main character has no character. The only way we can find out anything about her is by what she is like compared to her sister. She is totally obsessed with her sister, as in she literally talks about nothing else throughout the entire book. The plot happens in the last thirty pages, and the rest of it is just "My sister thinks this, my sister does this" on and on and on. It gets a bit boring. Then, the author completely lacks subtlety. In the first five pages she starts talking about this imaginary city underneath the reservoir, and then you know exactly where the plot is going. Also, the magical part of it was really badly done. Her sister has some mystical influence over everyone in the town, but it is never explained why or how. She is just able to control people's minds with no explanation. Also, how does she know that Olive actually exists? Why didn't Chloe notice before that her sister was magical? And people cannot adapt to be able to breathe underwater. That's just annoying. There are too many gaping holes in the plot that need to be patched up.
Cover: There is nothing extraordinary about this cover. I do really like the color scheme, with the bright blue sharply contrasting with the white and red. I also like that it is vertical instead of horizontal, it gives the cover a little more character than most. However, this is not a cover that I would normally pick up, or be super attracted to.
Age Range: 14-17
Quality: 2Q Needs more work
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

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