Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

Posted by Cobalt | Posted in , | Posted on 5:34 PM

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Chloe has always been "Ruby's little sister" to everyone - even to herself. Ruby is a force of nature in their town, wild and alluring and capable of dragging anyone into her orbit. Especially Chloe knows that Ruby only has to proclaim something and It Is So -- no other explanation needed. Ruby's stories are legendary; she's even crafted an underwater town at the reservoir, the haunted remains of an old settlement that refused to relocate when the dam opened and the flood came to destroy them.

Chloe knows that Ruby has always been in control of the story; she'll be safe if she just follows her older sister.

Until Chloe follows Ruby to a party at the reservoir, and a girl turns up dead.

Chloe is sent away to her father's, far away from Ruby and their shared mother - but the memories of that dark night stay with her. She doesn't understand what really happened; somehow, she feels that London's death is tied to her.

And then, two years later, Ruby shows up to take Chloe back. Home, where something impossible and sinister is happening -- and Chloe thinks that Ruby is behind it all.

This was a deliciously creepy read, powered by the personality of the volatile, enigmatic Ruby throughout. Having Chloe narrate was a good choice, as she struggles to untangle her own identity in the wake of her sister's actions. Their familial closeness has a razor's edge - how much do we allow others to define us? How much control do we really have?

Suma's prose has a slow, dreamy quality that fits well with the story, as ugly shadows surface in the narrative and the atmosphere becomes more constricted - almost as if you were drowning.

An excellent choice if you want to venture into the darker sides of family and fate in YA fiction.

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