Thursday, June 30, 2011
Blog Tour- Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
"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."- summary from Amazon
This was an intriguing book and really interesting to read. There isn't a whole lot of characterization with the secondary characters though. It's mainly about Chloe and Ruby and everything else is kinda background. Suma has a wonderful way of writing and it really compelled me through the book, which was a good thing because I absolutely hated the character Ruby who gets pretty much all the screentime.
It seems odd, I'm sure, to like a book yet hate one of the main characters especially when there are essentially only two of them. But it's true. Ruby was insane and creepy and almost everything she did made me hate her more. I know what she did was for Chloe and to bring her back, but it just came out creepy and she was so rude to everyone else (and even Chloe at times). She was manipulative. But the need to find out what exactly was going on prevailed and I finished the book. I enjoyed Suma's touch of magic in the book; it's really subtle and not all about it yet at the same time, it is all about it and just out there.
The book is mainly about the sisters' relationship and Suma nails the dynamic really well, considering these two characters' personalities. They spend a lot of time together and Chloe does a lot of reminiscing too, so the reader gets a peek into their past a bit. The ending is pretty perfect, though it's not a happily ever after. It's perfect though for this story.
Overall, a book to definitely check out, though be prepared to hate Ruby. This book is atmospheric, lyrical, mysterious, and has that touch of magic that makes it a compelling read.
and here's a guest post from Nova:
I’m here spilling secrets about my book Imaginary Girls. As the cover says, “Secrets never stay below the surface.” I guess not, because here’s another one bubbling up now…
Secret #9: I didn’t read YA novels as a teen, even though I write them now.
I wish I could share a list of the YA novels that spoke to me as a teenager and inspired me to write YA today. The truth is, I didn’t read YA novels when I was a teen. Early on in middle school, I quickly tore through many books in the Sweet Valley High series and the Flowers in the Attic series, but I just as quickly moved on to my mom’s bookshelf. So at thirteen and fourteen and beyond I was reading Margaret Atwood, Marge Piercy, Erica Jong, and other women novelists I grew to admire. I read pretty much anything in the house—including my stepfather’s Stephen King novels, and a book I found on my parents’ shelf that gave me nightmares, a psychological case study called Sybil—and then I discovered poetry, especially Anne Sexton. One book I did read when I was fourteen or so—and I read this one again and again and again—was the so-called anonymous diary Go Ask Alice, but I didn’t think of it as a novel. I thought it was all true.
It’s not that I was ignoring YA, it’s that when I was growing up, we didn’t have the books teens have today. If these novels had existed when I was a teenager, I know I would have connected with them: Beautiful by Amy Reed, Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers, Good Girls by Laura Ruby, Hold Still by Nina LaCour, Lessons from a Dead Girl by Jo Knowles, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr, and more. I really wish I’d had them. Truth is, back then I could have used them.
So even though I didn’t read YA when I was a teen, I wonder if that’s why I gravitated toward writing it now, actually. It was something missing from my life—a huge, giant hole—and maybe it’s never too late to fill it.
Thanks, Nova! For more info on Nova, you can visit her website and also follow her on Twitter. Click here to read an excerpt from Imaginary Girls.
Now, Penguin has been kind enough to offer a signed copy of Imaginary Girls to a lucky reader. US residents only! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post by Friday, July 8 at 9pm EST.
FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.