Imaginary Girls

Imaginary Girls

by Nova Ren Suma


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Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142421437
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 06/14/2012
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 235,204
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About 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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Imaginary Girls 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
theReader278 More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful book. It has a story that will keep you entertained for hours.
Once_and_future_librarian More than 1 year ago
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 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.
OtotheD More than 1 year ago
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)
pagese More than 1 year ago
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?
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
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!
Read_A_Book More than 1 year ago
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.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
"It sounded impossible, something no one would believe if anyone other than Ruby were the one to tell it. But Ruby was right: The body found that night wouldn't be, couldn't be mine." Chloe's older sister, Ruby, has said a lot of things over the years. She's said that Chloe would never drown. She said she was there when Chloe first opened her eyes. Sometimes she would say that Chloe was her baby when Ruby herself was only five years old. Everyone always believes Ruby. Believing her is easy. Loving her is easy. Anything Ruby wants, she can get. Until one night a party by the local reservoir goes horribly wrong and a dead girl is found floating in the water. The body of London Hayes does the unthinkable driving Ruby and Chloe apart when Chloe leaves. Returning two years after that horrible night, Chloe finds that nothing is how it used to be in town anymore. Nothing, in fact, is quite right. Soon secrets, and even some lies, stack up between Chloe and Ruby that threaten to tear them apart. But bonds like theirs--like sisters who love each other better than anyone else--are not easily broken in Imaginary Girls (2011) by Nova Ren Suma. Imaginary Girls is an eerie blend of suspense and magic realism. Suma's prose is taut and filled with tension as narrator Chloe works to unravel the lies and secrets surrounding her larger than life big sister. Suma also weaves elements of a local legend into the story as Ruby (and by extension Chloe) become fascinated by the town of Olive--a town supposedly buried underwater when the area was flooded to create a new reservoir. Filled with subtle writing that is equal parts vivid and razor sharp, Imaginary Girls is a surprising mystery that will keep readers guessing. There is a constant struggle here as Chloe works to determine what is real and what is something else. By creating a character like Ruby with so much power and charm throughout the novel, Suma offers a powerful commentary on the limits of both belief and persuasion in this story. Imaginary Girls is a sophisticated book, a slow burn of a read that will linger. It's impossible to say what, exactly, happens over the course of the novel. The entire plot lends itself to multiple interpretations and discussions. What is certain is that Imaginary Girls is filled with wit, humor and love. As much as this story can be a mystery or a thriller, what remains at the end of the novel is an ode to the enduring strength of sisterly love. Possible Pairings: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen, The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst, Golden by Jessi Kirby, Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield, Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff, Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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…, 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Dazzlamb More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quit an odd one but I enjoyed it as we'll.
NightOwl1 More than 1 year ago
Intriguing, mesmerizing, beautiful, and a little bit strange... but in the best way!
A_JJ More than 1 year ago
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. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i love this book so much!
Chloaylovesyou More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first it was really good but i only got half way throgh its really hard to follow but think you can keep. Up i think youll like it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It wsas amazing!!! And the actual book was MORE ecpensive then the ebook
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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ZiziCinto More than 1 year ago
How is the ebook more expensive than the book?
Owlmanafanatic16 More than 1 year ago
Imaginary Girls is unlike any other book I've ever read. I was asking questions as I read this book. It was amazing. An elegant nightmare.