Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Imaginary Girls-- Nova Ren Suma

In rural New York there is a town that surrounds a massive reservoir. Ruby, Chloe's big sister, is the queen of this town. Not in the literal, monarch type of way, but somehow everyone bends to Ruby's every whim. Literally. Once, in the middle of the night, Ruby decided she wanted cheesecake from a bakery in Manhattan, and people were fighting over who got to be the one to fetch it for her. Ruby is idolized by all the girls in the town and lusted after by all the boys. The hold she has over all the people in the town is hypnotizing... but nobody loves her more than her little sister Chloe.

Ruby is fiercely protective of Chloe. She always warned her to never, never swim alone in the reservoir because the people of Olive would want to snatch her away. Olive was the town that once existed before it was flooded by what is now the reservoir. Ruby has a theory that the people of Olive didn't die when their town was flooded; they simply transformed and can now breath underwater.

But one day, when a seemingly innocent dare drives Chloe to take a dip in the reservoir, she comes upon the corpse of her classmate, London. And when London somehow is brought back to life months later, Chloe is the only one who remembers that she was once dead. Knowing that Ruby is somehow connected only confuses Chloe more. But as time goes on, and Ruby's mystical hold over the town falters, Chloe has to learn to be her own true self for the first time in her life... and figure out how to exist in a world where Ruby isn't the perfect and loving sister Chloe once thought she was.

This book has strong magical undertones that are wrapped up in the mysterious plot. I enjoyed the writing style of the author, and I think teen girls will like this book. It could easily be recommended to girls who request books with a slightly fantastical plot but aren't exclusively supernatural creature readers (you know, vampire-zombie-werewolf readers). Is it a book I'll remember a year from now? Naaaah. Still, I think this is better than a lot we are seeing in that genre lately.

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