Imaginary Girls [NOOK Book]

Overview

A beautiful and chilling story for fans of Lauren Oliver and Lisa McMann

Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be contained or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the 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 ...
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Imaginary Girls

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Overview

A beautiful and chilling story for fans of Lauren Oliver and Lisa McMann

Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be contained or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the 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 deeply hidden away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.
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  • Imaginary Girls
    Imaginary Girls  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In her first YA novel, Suma creates a surreal and dreamy world where magical thinking is carried to a chilling extreme. Fourteen-year-old Chloe idolizes her older sister, Ruby, a boy magnet who runs wild in their New York upstate town and is denied nothing. At a drunken party, Chloe accepts Ruby's challenge to swim across the local reservoir and finds a drifting rowboat holding the body of London, a girl from school. Afterward, Chloe is forced to move in with her father in another state; two years later, Ruby fetches Chloe back, and everything's different. Or nothing is. Chloe can't tell for sure. Ruby still has the run of the town, but there's London, alive and well. Chloe begins to recognize that things work differently in her sister's world; events bend to accommodate Ruby, and reality itself seems to take its shape from her desires. Suma (Dani Noir) uses the story's supernatural, horror movie–ready elements in the best of ways; beneath all the strangeness lies beauty, along with a powerful statement about the devotion between sisters. Not your average paranormal novel. Ages 14–up. (June)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—After discovering the body of a classmate while swimming in the local reservoir, Chloe, 14, is sent away to live with her father, instead of with the older sister who raised her. Two years later, Ruby comes to get her back. When she returns to town, London is no longer dead and Chloe starts to see the true nature of the mysterious power her sister holds. What begins as a fairly straightforward story twists and turns its way into something far more sinister and dark. Ruby's hold on the town initially seems to be the hold that all popular, beautiful girls have, especially when seen through the lens of a younger sister. As the story progresses, Chloe sees that Ruby's power is something else entirely, and not entirely natural. Despite this, Ruby will go to any means necessary to protect Chloe, and the teen starts to question the bonds of family and loyalty as she realizes exactly what that means. The creepy intensity grows slowly, building an atmospheric piece that draws readers in and holds them through unexpected developments. Some readers may want more explanation of the fantastical elements, but the unsettled feeling of the ending fits perfectly with the tone and mood of the rest of the narrative.—Jennifer Rothschild, Prince George's County Memorial Library System, Oxon Hill, MD
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Chloe has been raised by her half-sister Ruby—the girl all the other girls want to be like and all the boys want to hook up with. Ruby seems to have an uncanny ability to get whatever she wants—except on a summer night at the reservoir, when Ruby dares Chloe to swim across the huge body of dark water. Nearly drowning, Chloe clings to a floating rowboat and discovers the dead body of her classmate, London. After this disaster, Chloe is sent to live with her father, far away from the magnetic Ruby. Two years later, Chloe returns to live with Ruby. But things aren't as they should be—people who are supposed to be dead are mysteriously alive, and Chloe suspects that Ruby is somehow responsible. Or is she? Nova Ren Suma's eerie novel (Dutton, 2011) blends the paranormal with contemporary realistic fiction in an atmospheric tale of life, death, friendship, and the unbreakable bonds between sisters. Many of the plot elements are hard to believe, even within the paranormal genre, and the character of Ruby—a fickle, selfish girl who cares for no one except Chloe—is difficult to like. Emma Galvin does a fine, if not particularly memorable, job of voicing the teenage characters in this creepy tale.—Margo Tanenbaum, Rancho Cucamonga Public Library
Kirkus Reviews

A sexy, surreal and touching exploration of the outer limits of sisterly love's power.

In upstate New York, Ruby and Chloe have reared themselves after being abandoned by their useless drunk of a mother, and they nearly own their idyllic town. Ruby is a casually sultry beauty whose magnetic appeal allows her to get her way in matters of fashion, finance and affection. Ferociously protective of Chloe, who feels she's "a pencil drawing of a photocopy of a Polaroid" of her sister, Ruby Makes Things Happen. When a fellow teen dies during a summer party at the town's reservoir, where an entire neighboring town lies, silent and drowned, Chloe exiles herself to Pennsylvania to live with her father. But two years later, Ruby calls her home to discover that London, the girl who died at the party, is alive, and nobody remembers she was dead. Ruby is full of even more odd stories and rules, and Chloe is torn between a dreadful curiosity—how are Ruby, London and the reservoir connected?—and relief at being back in her sister's fierce, loving orbit.

The mystery unfolds a tad too incrementally, but this glittering puzzle box of a story about the exertion of one girl's will over life and death is as moving as it is creepy. (Psychological thriller. 14 & up)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101516133
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/14/2011
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 236,071
  • Age range: 14 years
  • File size: 335 KB

Meet the Author

Nova Ren Suma studied writing and photography at Antioch College in Ohio and went on to receive an MFA in creative writing/fiction from Columbia University. She lives in New York City.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 45 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 5, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Read

    This was a wonderful book. It has a story that will keep you entertained for hours.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Definitely messes with your head

    Nove Ren Suma is a wonderful writer. Her words flow effortlessly, and the book definitely takes you on an unexpected journey. The story was definitely intriguing, the characters were well-rounded and at times frustrating because they were so enamored by Ruby, but then again, that's pretty much the whole point. In fact, I found myself totally captivated by Ruby at times and then asking myself, why? The book definitely gets creepy, which I was not expecting, and that was a nice surprise. I'm still very much on the fence on whether or not I liked it as a whole. As I said before, the book is well-written and the story is engaging, I just don't know if I liked the story enough to rave about it. It left me feeling a little indifferent over all. It will definitely stay in your head for a few days. Maybe Ruby is just that powerful.

    (This review is based on an advanced copy from NetGalley)

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2011

    A very bizarre tale...

    This book was so different from what I expected. It was...bizarre. I still don't even quite know what to think about it. Let me start with the characters...

    First, there's Ruby, the older sister. She is about 21 in the story, and has pretty much raised Chloe, as their mother was a drunk. At first she is made to appear to be this beautiful, charismatic, free spirit whom EVERYONE adores. Everybody in town knows Ruby, and will do anything for her. However, as the book goes on, I really began to dislike her. She was very narcissistic, and truly used everbody she could to benefit herself. By the end of the book, we kind of see the "powers" Ruby has (I don't quite know how to describe this.) However, I was still confused at the end of the book as to exactly what Ruby was and how she got that way. I don't feel like this was every really explained.

    Then there's Chloe. She's more or less the main character, as most is told from her viewpoint. I never really felt a connection with her. She was just kind of blah. She is definitely under Ruby's spell, so I feel like she never had a chance to develop her own personality.

    For most of the book, I had no idea what was going to happen - for about 200 pages, it seems like Suma is only giving us an idea of who Ruby and Chloe were. When the action finally started to pick up, I felt confused most of the time. This isn't necessarily a bad thing...it kept me wanting to know what the heck was going on! The last 50 or so pages, I was glued to it. Just as I thought I knew what was going to happen, a new twist appeared.

    Overall, it was a pretty good story. Slow at first, but it definitely picks up. However, I feel unsettled about the ending. There were unresolved questions, and that bothers me. If you like ghost story/mysteries, you will probably like this book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2011

    Not For Me

    I always finish a book once I start it, but I have to admit, I was sorely tempted to put this book down and move onto something else more my taste. I'm not sure what it was exactly about this novel that made me dislike it, but I do know that Chloe's unhealthy worship of her older sister bored me. As I read, I felt like all Chloe did was talk about how great her sister, Ruby, was, and since I didn't agree, it sort of struck a nerve. I don't have any sisters, so maybe it's just a personal thing that I can't understand, but I found Chloe somewhat annoying and very naïve, which is not a quality I look for in my heroines. I also didn't think Ruby was a very likable character. While it seems that she is worshipped by all boys, and obviously her little sister Chloe, I didn't see any redeeming qualities in Ruby, and truth be told, I found her quite psychotic and obnoxious.

    I also spent some of the novel confused-the paranormal aspects of the novel weren't very well explained, in my opinion, and so I'm not 100% certain what really happened. The story itself was weird, and while I think it had a great premise, it just wasn't my forte, though I do think that Suma is a talented writer. The prose were superb in this novel and I plan to read other books she has written; I just don't think Imaginary Girls was meant for me. One star.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Book Review: Imaginary Girls

    In all reality, this book is really hard to describe and review. It's so much more than the description. At the end I was really left with no true idea of my thoughts on the book. I felt like it didn't have an adequate ending. I could get a firm grasp on what really happened.

    My biggest issue involved Ruby. I just couldn't wrap my mind around what she really was. She had such a control over the entire town. She could bend people to her will even when what she wanted was completely asinine. She really wasn't very nice either. Her actions really held a violent tone to them. Was she a witch, human with odd powers, or did she sell her soul to the devil himself? I really couldn't tell. And the ending left me with very few answers.

    I also got a weird feeling from Chloe and Ruby's relationship. It was more than step-sister/best friends. Chloe often seemed overly devoted to Ruby, although completely blind to her faults. Ruby, on the other hand, seemed almost sinister at times. I often wondered if Ruby really hated Chloe. I was reminded of the movie The Good Son many times.

    I did like Chloe for most of the book. I understood her decision to return home after two years away. I also was happy to see that she no longer sees Ruby the same way she use to. She's grown up quite a bit, and really begins to question Ruby and her hold on people. She especially begins to question the events that led to the death of London.

    I was most disappointed in the ending. With such an intricate chain of events, I was expecting more answers. Instead, I'm left wondering if there will be a sequel. And do I want to read it?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great book!

    When I first got this book, I was super excited to read it. I knew that this book would be completely different from any other book out there, and I was right!


    Imaginary Girls is one totally creeped out book. As I began this book and read more in
    to it, I got goosebumps. The storyline is something unique that it took me by surprise. I loved how the storyline built up to something the reader never expected it to be. As the Chole discovers what Ruby did, my heart was racing! I really liked how Chole figured everything out. She was sneaky about it and even scared of her own sister at times. Heck, I was scared of Ruby!


    The story line of this book is what made this book. I really like how Ruby made such a sacrifice to save her own sister but of course at a deadly cost. As I continued to dive deeper into this book and realized what Ruby did, I think all the hair stood up on the back of my neck. But it also made me wonder why Ruby did what she did in the first place. The story line flowed well, pace well, and built up to an amazing ending. The ending of the book was shocking but I knew something had to be done in order for it to balance out.


    Imaginary Girls is a great book! As the reader, the elements in the book, spookiness, mysteries, secrets, really come out in the wonderful writing that Ms. Suma presented. It none other than grab the reader, drowning them in the reservoir of Ms. Suma's world that she created!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    Strange

    Quit an odd one but I enjoyed it as we'll.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Intriguing, mesmerizing, beautiful, and a little bit strange...

    Intriguing, mesmerizing, beautiful, and a little bit strange... but in the best way!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2013

    The book ¿Imaginary Girls¿ By Nova Ren Suma is about sixteen yea

    The book “Imaginary Girls” By Nova Ren Suma is about sixteen year old Chloe and her twenty-one year old sister Ruby. Ruby is the “it girl” of  a small town by the Hudson Valley in New York and the town revolves around her. But, a few years ago at a party by the old reservoir Ruby bets everyone Chloe can swim across it, Chloe goes down to the edge and finds a body of one of her own classmates floating in the boat. London had died. Chloe is forced to move and live with her dad and stepmom in Pennsylvania. Ruby comes to Chloe to take her back about five years after the incident happened Ruby comes to takes Chloe back to live with here. When Chloe comes back London is still alive and everything is how it used to be. As Chloe stays Ruby’s secrets slowly come out.The author Nova Ren Suma is thirty-eight now but was thirty-seven when she wrote the book in 2011. Suma graduated from Columbia University for her masters degree in fiction and got her bachelors in writing and photography from Antioch College in New York. She grew up in several small towns by the Hudson valley (where the book is based) and now lives in New York City.Imaginary Girls is a great book that captures your attention and makes you not want to put it down. It also has a part of it thats haunting in it, sometimes you can’t put it down because you’re scared for the Chloe and start to hate Ruby. But, some parts of the book is very confusing like some of Ruby’s secrets. How does she know so much about the town underneath the reservoir? is a question you will ask yourself often. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    Nova Ren Suma¿s Imaginary Girls captures the relationship betwee

    Nova Ren Suma’s Imaginary Girls captures the relationship between two sisters with an unbreakable bond.  I appreciate reading the novel more now, having had a few days to reflect.  I would recommend this book to anyone interested in young adult novels and mysterious supernatural forces.  Was I happy with the novel…..no, but would I recommend it, yeah! The secrets are endless, even at the end of the novel you will be left asking questions.  If you have enjoyed any of Suma’s other novels or shorts stories you may enjoy Imaginary Girls.  
    The plot is not well-organized.  By the conclusion of the book, I still don’t feel I understood Suma’s intention.  The conflict that affects Chloe’s relationship with Ruby is not revealed for the first seventy pages. Instead you are flourished with details of how Ruby has the power to manipulate and mesmerizes everyone in town. The entire novel, I constantly found myself asking where the story was supposed to lead the reader, but this added to the novelty of suspense that Suma creates.[SPOILER!] I literally had goosebumps after Chloe dipped her foot into the reservoir.[SPOILER!] Suma keeps the reader on edge of every page.
    The reader has trouble liking Ruby, the older sister.  Suma creates a character that is demanding, manipulative, but still compelling to the reader.  As much as you may dislike her, you always want to know her next move or what the motive is for her actions.  Chloe, the younger sister, is like Ruby’s own personal puppy dog. Chloe protects and defend her sister whenever anyone tries to defame her, which is rare due to Ruby’s way of compelling the entire town.  
    I felt Imaginary Girls was an ambitious novel that Suma left for the reader to interpret how they see fit.  However, this may have been Suma’s intention.   The reader’s perspective of the events that take place in Imaginary Girls are biased through Chloe’s point of view.  The reader never gets the answers they want because Ruby tries protecting her from the truth.  The quality of Suma’s writing is good,  I had a hard time putting the book down whenever I would pick it up to read.  
    I would happily recommend this book to a friend.  Suma did something right to leave me frustrated.  I believe that readers of Imaginary Girls would like to read a sequel just so they can find more answers to questions. The on-the-edge suspense keeps the reader compelled to read more, but there is never satisfaction in the outcome.  However, it may be Suma’s intention to not satisfy the reader with questions unanswered.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    What a beautiful, nuanced book. The relationship between Chloe a

    What a beautiful, nuanced book. The relationship between Chloe and Ruby is strong, but co-dependent; loyal but with hints of betrayal. I loved the mysterious lake, which is based on a real life place called the Ashokan Reservoir, where several towns were leveled to create the reservoir. This provides a nice, creepy setting for lingering souls in a ghost town, or whatever powers might be lurking down under that water. Ruby draws strength from this water, though it's never fully explained how/why. The story maintains such a cool, creepy vibe, I never quite knew where it was heading. Definitely not your run of the mill teen powers story, this is far more nuanced and falls more under the Magical Realism category.

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  • Posted November 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Ruby and Chloe are sisters and so close nobody could ever separ

    Ruby and Chloe are sisters and so close nobody could ever separate them. They are family and best friends, until one unfortunate night in which one of Chloe's classmates is found dead in the city reservoir and Chloe leaves town and Ruby for two years. When she returns things have changed and she's beginning to see Ruby with different eyes, too.
    The reservoir, presented as a dark and mysterious power, held no fascination for me and the story around the flooded town of Olive didn’t creep me out like it creeped out other readers.
    Ruby is so bossy and too self-absorbed to be good for anyone. Chloe would be much better off without her and could have been an amiable character without her constantly admiring her sister and protecting her impossible behavior. A possible romance for Chloe was hinted at, pretty frustrating was that it was never fully carried out till the end. The story in its entirety was all kinds of hazy and the sisters' bond never felt real to me. IMGINARY GIRLS has some of the most unsympathetic characters I have ever encountered and I just didn't get it. The whole point, the story, the sisters' relationship, Ruby. I better leave it at that.

    2/5 ** IMAGINARY GIRLS – Unreal and indefinable in many ways!

    Only a few pages into IMAGINARY GIRLS and I knew this wasn’t my kind of story. I stumbled from scene to scene and sadly never felt at ease with Chloe, Ruby or the story in general. Somehow I missed the essential meaning of this story and everything felt kind of pointless and like the glue between scenes was missing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    .

    .

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2013

    i love this book so much!

    i love this book so much!

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  • Posted March 15, 2013

    This book was just wonderful. I couldnt put it down, i actually

    This book was just wonderful. I couldnt put it down, i actually going to re-read it becaus ei enjoyed it. The author uses exquiste words and leave my mouth drooling over them. She gives you just enough but no too much.  There were some very odd parts but that made me like it ore, oddness is always good. What i truly did love was the relationships of the sisters, there mom wasnt really there and the relationship was just so strong. i have to recoend this book for those who haev a open ,mind and for those who will give it a chance to get started.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    Ehhh

    At first it was really good but i only got half way throgh its really hard to follow but if.you think you can keep. Up i think youll like it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2012

    Jade the anicorn

    I was looking at a book haul on youtube,(chapterchicks) an almost all the books i got were recamended from them!thanx soo much chapterchicks! ~ bye,toodles,cherrio,bye,aloha,whatever, jade the alicorn

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2012

    Awesome

    It wsas amazing!!! And the actual book was MORE ecpensive then the ebook

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2012

    Imagenary

    Awesome book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2012

    How is the ebook more expensive than the book?

    How is the ebook more expensive than the book?

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews

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