Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I was tempted to give this a 3, but the fact that I know the town in which this book takes place quite well (it's Woodstock NY) and the author seriously changed some of the places (Olive, which does/did exist, is on the other side of the Ashokan Reservoir, not part of Woodstock), which really bothered me. Arbitrary? Definitely. But that's what all ratings are.
As for the story, Ruby's power over the town and the people in it seemed extreme. At first I thought that this was how Chloe saw her older sister: able to get what she wanted (like the lipstick that no one else was allowed to wear) and do what she wanted (for example, always being late to work). Then I started to wonder, but I think my first impression was correct. Chloe's hurt over the way Ruby turns to London in Chloe's absence, for example, or the way that others manage to talk about Ruby when she's not there point to it all being Chloe's vision. And as they get older, Chloe becomes more of her own person - with secrets (like Owen) and the ability to question Ruby's decisions.
There's supposed to be a creep factor here, with What Really Happened to London as the central element. Chloe's cell phone is, I suppose, the second Big Clue (although it's really not clear what happened with the phone). And, of course, the ending is open to interpretation. However, it wasn't really creepy in the way that I think the author wanted it to be, it was just sad.
ARC provided by publisher.
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