I finished this book at the end of last week and I have been slow to write about it because it was just weird. Don't get me wrong the book hooked me and I wanted to know the solution to the mystery and what was going to happen next- it was just weird in the process.
The book revolves around a girl, Chloe, who finds a classmate's (London's) dead body floating in a boat on a lake. This discovery disturbs her enough that she moves away from her hometown where she lives with her barely adult and somewhat irresponsible sister, Ruby, and go live with her father. Ruby then invites her back to their hometown a few summers later so that everything can be "just like it was before".
I am fine with fantasy or magic coming into play in a book as long as it is used consistently, but usually it is nice to somehow be told early on that this is the norm for the world the book is set in- although that was part of the mystery I suppose.
One last part I feel obligated to comment upon. My wife, an English teacher, believes a book should have a moral or some deeper meaning beyond just entertainment and that good morality should be a part of the book. Mostly this revolves around the notion of evil being punished in the end or there at least being consequences to bad action. That is only ind of here. I don't know whether the author intended a deeper meaning or for the main character to have a naïve view of her sister and their relationship, but otherwise the consequences for Ruby's actions are minimal.
I'm reminded of when I read A Wrinkle in Time last school year and was thoroughly unimpressed and my wife pointed out to me that there are some books that are so well geared towards youth that adults truly cannot enjoy them. I say that because I can imagine if I had given myself the chance I would have enjoyed that book and this one if only I was younger. The idea of these kinds of travels [Wrinkle] or fantasies [Imaginary Girls] would have hooked me when I was younger, but now I just have a hard time believing in them. And not it the "it must be real sense" or I can't enjoy fantasy either, because I enjoyed Harry Potter, I loved the start, but hated the end of the Inheritance Cycle, and my favorite series (right now, although I long to read the series A Song of Fire and Ice) is the fantasy series Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. The book was enjoyable and engaging, just weird.