Saturday, 25 January 2014

Review: Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma.

Book: Imaginary Girls

Author: Nova Ren Suma

Pages: 365

How Long it Took Me to Read: 2 days...ish!

Plot Summary: Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby.

But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.

What I Liked: There were so many things I adored about this book. 

The writing was really good, better than so many other YA books. The quality was above and beyond a YA book. In fact, this book is not what I'd categorize as strictly YA, it has several teenage characters but the content is fairly adult and dark and grown-up. 

I also loved the sister relationship. The connection between Ruby and Chloe is remarkable and I absolutely loved reading about their bond. I love my big sister and she is my best friend and biggest supporter and mother and confidante and partner in crime all rolled into one. So I love books that talk about sibling relationships and especially books about sister. I really loved this aspect of the book. It got the love, closeness as well as  certain tricky aspects of the sisterhood were captured very well. 

This book more than anything else is a character study of Ruby. An ode to Ruby if you will. I love reading about enigmatic characters and the pull they have over everyone else. Eccentric, weird, crazy, whacky, original and intense- Ruby makes for some very good reading. 

What I Didn't Like: OK....this might be confusing but hear me out. 

The writing..yes I just said I liked it. But it was a little too stylized sometimes and the writing sometimes took over the narrative. It felt like all style and at time little substance. I said, this book was an out and out ode to her character. I am not even kidding more than half of the book is about how awesome Ruby is, how crazy and whimsy and how she is such an original. While I liked reading about Ruby earlier, after a point it got a bit much. Yeah, I get it Ruby is awesome and has done some amazing things and everyone loves her and she is magic. I didn't need it shoved down my throat every five pages. 

Chloe- I never like characters that are so meh. I get that with an enigmatic sister like Ruby, she'd take somewhat of a backseat in life but it made for some insipid reading. 

Magical Elements- strictly speaking this is not a con. Not at all. I love magical realism and magical elements in book. I just didn't think this one had magical elements in it. So needless to say it came as a huge whopping surprise and that threw me off a little bit. I didn't expect it and it really did surprise me. 

General Thoughts: This book has been on my TBR since 2011! But I could never get my hands on an affordable edition. Till I finally saw it on Amazon for Rs.245! 

I normally try to keep my review sensible and clear but with this book I really did have very mixed feelings. There were things I really appreciated and then there were things that just didn't sit well with me. 

I didn't hate this book or anything and I will recommend this book with caution, it is not for everyone. 

Will You Like It? If you like reading about intense relationships, family and character studies you will like this book. Also if you want to read a nicely written YA, this is a good book to pick. 

Rating: 3/5 

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