Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is the first time that I've considered NOT rating a book. I felt, and still feel, like whatever number of stars I might give are not going to truly reflect my opinion nor do Imaginary Girls any justice.
So keep in mind that my rating in this case is just the result of a mathematical addition of factors, of things I liked and didn't like.
The story is, in a nutshell, a mystery. It's difficult for me to give you a synopsis of the plot, but suffice it to say it involves a mysterious reservoir, two sisters morbidly obsessed with one another, a dead girl in a rowboat and a series of unexplainable events.
This is one of the most distressing books I have read this year or, probably, ever and all I feel is that I just did not get it.
Let me make some comparisons that might help you out:
If it were an artistic movement, it would be Surrealism.
If it were a movie, it would be a David Lynch movie.
if it were music, it would be jazz.
Disturbingly creepy, oneiric, harrowing and full of suspense, it kept me on the edge until the very last pages. The word predictable does not exist in this author's dictionary, I'll give you that much.
But that the long awaited climax was, in the end, so anticlimactic distressed me very much.
For about 80% of the book I could not figure out, for the life of me, what was happening and why. I was expecting some paranormal element to give an explanation to all my questions but, in the end, there wasn't. It was just all surreal.
The strong points of this book are, objectively, the amazing writing style and characterization. The writing is exceptional and evocative and, thanks to that, some of the characters, Ruby in particular, come out well formed, palpable and yes, disturbing.
The fact that I could not find one likable character in this book though, really detracted from my enjoyment. Not only I could not justify the absurdity of some of the actions of the characters, but I could never, not even at the end, sympathize with any of them
The obvious deduction of all these ramblings is that this book, evidently, was really not for me. I can see why it might appeal to other readers but it really didn't happen for me. I just didn't get it. It was all over the place, and it defies logic.
Definitely recommended to people who do not recognize themselves in this review, you won't be disappointed.
*** added points for the beautiful, completely relevant cover.
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