Title: Imaginary Girls
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Publisher: Dutton (Penguin)
Genre: Supernatural
Release Date: 14 June 2011

This book is stunning to look at - there are no sparkles to the finish, but something about colors, contrast, etc.  It's a trade sized paperback (the ARC is, anyway), which I've decided is the perfect format for most books; there's a heft to it that just isn't there in a pocket paperback, and yet it isn't as unwieldy as a full hardcover would be.  But all that's just aesthetics and while they're important?  They aren't necessary to carry the book as they can be sometimes.

In the about the author, it mentions that Ms. Suma studied photography and it shows in the way she writes; there's a visual in every scene, every movement, and I feel like the phrasing she's using is as much a frame for the image as it is anything else.  In an age where so much YA fiction reads like it's intended to be edited into a screen play, this doesn't and yet it still screams to be presented in a visual medium.  I can see shots, I think, or at least how I'd do them; I have a general idea of who I'd cast in most of the parts.  (This, I think, is a trouble with literature getting made into movies - if there's a strong description of a character, it's distracting to not have said character look as s/he does in type.  But that's me.)  More than that, though, I feel as if I'm sitting with Chloe and Ruby on the bench in the Village Greene, or with London, Owen and the crowd on the rec field.  This book reaches out and twirls itself through your hair, into your clothes, like a fog and you don't realize you're in the thick of it until you've been reading for two hours and you're half way through it.  You don't realize that you're creeped out until you come up for air and your heart is beating a bit faster than it should be and you're looking over your shoulder to make sure no one's watching you.

It's not the story that's something new - it's supernatural fare, complete with ghosts and strong willed not-quite-witches - but the way of executing it.  It's the rich history of the Hudson River valley and how it's been incorporated and made a part of everything.  But mostly?  Above and beyond all that?

It's how I'm still half afraid of Ruby, and I look for balloons trailing red ribbons out of the corner of my eye.



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