I read a hardback edition of Imaginary Friend.
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Originally published: October 1st, 2019
Pages: 720 (hardback)
Audiobook length: 24 hrs and 32 mins
Synopsis by the publisher:
Leaving your house in the middle of the night.
Knowing your mother is doing her best, but she’s just as scared as you.
Starting a new school, making friends.
Seeing how happy it makes your mother.
Hearing a voice, calling out to you.
Following the signs, into the woods.
Going missing for six days.
Remembering nothing about what happened.
Something that will change everything…
And having to save everyone you love.
It’s been five years since I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and to be completely honest, even though I really enjoyed that novel, I haven’t read anything else by Chbosky.
But then all of a sudden, Imaginary Friend started to pop up in my feed and was recommended to me a few times. It sounded like something that was up my alley. I then stumbled across a signed copy while I was in London last year and so it ended up traveling back to Oslo with me (adding quite a bit of weight to my luggage).
Imaginary Friend is a chunker of a book, coming in at 720 pages! So, if you’re not reading it on a Kindle or listening to it as an audiobook, be prepared for some heavy lifting.
I’m not really sure what I was expecting going into this one, but what I didn’t expect was forgetting several times throughout the book which Stephen had written this book. Because the truth is that it felt like reading a Stephen King novel!
This book is filled with interesting characters, and quite a few twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. And even though there’s much focus on the “monsters” and mystery of this imaginary friend that Christopher encounters, what really gives this story depth is the people and the horrors and evil that lives in them. This is what makes it feel like an early King novel. At one point I was almost certain that it must’ve been a prank of the Stephens, and at the end, Stephen King would jump out and reveal himself as the one with pen in hand.
I get the frustration that many readers might feel if they jumped into this novel with their utter love for the writing in Perks of Being a Wallflower, and what they got was a haunting horror story with a completely different writing style. But my horror-loving heart absolutely loved it and found it to be a pleasant surprise.
I (like so many others) struggled a bit with Christopher’s age. He’s supposed to be 7-8 years old, but he reads like a character of 10-12 years. Some of it does make sense though when you know what it is that Christopher goes through in this story. There are many ways of forcing kids to grow up too fast.
It is rare that I read books of this size and don’t find myself bored at any moment. Imaginary Friend definitely grabbed my attention and kept it from beginning to end. That being said, it still felt like the book could have been 100 pages shorter. Some parts of it felt just a tiny bit repetitive and unnecessary. That, and the vast amount of biblical references was the thing that made it into a 4.5 rating instead of a 5.
If you love your Stephen King novels, and you like to get lost in horror stories, I would definitely recommend giving Imaginary Friend a go! It’s dark, twisted, mysterious and haunting!
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