Book Review: Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Published by Hachette Australia on the 1st October 2019.

Add Imaginary Friend to your Goodreads TBR:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43522576-imaginary-friend

Purchase Links:

Booktopia:

https://www.booktopia.com.au/imaginary-friend-stephen-chbosky/book/9781409184812.html

Angus & Robertson:

http://www.angusrobertson.com.au/books/imaginary-friend-stephen-chbosky/p/9781409184812

Amazon AU:

Dymocks:

https://www.dymocks.com.au/book/imaginary-friend-by-stephen-chbosky-9781409184812

Format: Trade Paperback

Aus RRP: $32.99

Genre: Horror, Adventure, Contemporary (Adult).

Page Count: 704

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Hachette Australia

IMAGINE…

Leaving your house in the middle of the night.
Knowing your mother is doing her best,
but she’s just as scared as you.

IMAGINE…

Starting a new school, making friends.
Seeing how happy it makes your mother.
Hearing a voice, calling out to you.

IMAGINE…

Following the signs, into the woods.
Going missing for six days.
Remembering nothing about what happened.

IMAGINE…

Something that will change everything…
And having to save everyone you love.

My Review:

I received a copy of Imaginary Friend from Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

If you’re looking for a completely terrifying read, one that will make you jump, make you slightly paranoid next time you have even the slightest itch, one that will make you double take next time you see a plastic bag, or trees, let alone deer, then look no further! This book completely terrified me right from the get go, unless you enjoy being scared out of your wits then I definitely avocate that you read this during the day, though even then I’d proceed with caution and I say this only because for me, this book really had me unnerved and slightly on edge throughout the time I was reading it!

Imaginary Friend focuses on a young boy, Christopher, who goes missing for six days in the woods after following the call of what he thinks to be a guiding, reassuring voice. Christopher, who initially when we meet him would struggle with even the most basic Maths and would find it difficult to string words together, suddenly after returning from the woods he finds himself quickly being able to answer equations with a breeze and doesn’t hesitate to read a sentence straight through.

What is this all about? As excited as I was for Christopher and his newfound genius, I definitely felt myself being all the more curious and unnerved, wondering what his newfound knowledge would entail, as he found himself baring the brunt of wrathful headaches as he found himself not only advanced in his reading and arithmetic, but also being able to understand the some times dark thoughts of those around him, as well as learning of a foreboding prophecy which suggests everyone will die come Christmas Day!

The tone throughout Imaginary Friend is completely dark, unnerving and unsettling and there was honestly no way I could’ve predicted what would come next. Right from the start, I didn’t know who to pick out as the trustworthy characters, I mean I was even intermittently finding myself questioning Christopher’s sanity as he started to act on The Nice Man’s advice.

The Nice Man. Where do I start? The seemingly gentle, guiding, protective light, warmly guiding Christopher through what needs to be done to stop the world from meeting a grizzly end! Only whispering his wisdom through Christopher, I found myself speculating The Nice Man’s form (seriously, when he was communicating through to Christopher, the scenesal where he’s toiling away at the treehouse that commanded to be constructed in the Mission Street Woods, Chbosky depicts the boy talking to a white plastic bag, it’s terrifying!).

The pacing of Imaginary Friend completely kept me on my toes, wanting to know how everything would tie together, what would come next as the fated Christmas Day drew nearer, as residents of Mill Grove all found themselves succumbing to a strange illness, itching, feverish, headaches aplenty (it was also strangely unnerving reading about the characters being struck down by this plaugue like illness, especially given the Pandemic).

Throughout the book, there are constant nods towards Christmas Day being the penultimate day where the world will end, though I felt inf myself wondering how and if Christopher might just be able to save the day, especially as he learnt more about the imaginary world and how it would blue with the real world as time grew closer, which really for me made me question everyone’s agenda and true wants even more! To say Imaginary Friend is a roller coaster of being unnerved, shaken up, horrified and on edge throughout is a complete understatement!

So, why the three star rating? Whilst I was completely getting wrapped up in the unnerving, eerie, atmospheric writing and setting (honestly, the amount of times I found myself internally shreiking towards Christopher to not go into the woods, needing to know how everything would twine together, I just unfortunately found the religious metaphors that were being portrayed to be a bit much, truthfully.

At 704 pages, Imaginary Friend certainly errs on the lengthy side! But it definitely reads rapidly, the pace and intrigue and unnerving tones throughout honestly compelling me to keep turning those pages and seek those answers! I definitely recommend this because it is really the perfect read to give you all the nervous, unsettled, jumpy feelings!

Happy Reading,

Brooklyn.

4 comments

  1. I truly think this is a book that there is a lot being said that you need to reread to fully comprehend. But it’s also a stunning atmospheric read on the surface as well. I loved this review. You really put some thoughts into words for me. Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you liked my review β™₯️ I definitely feel like I’d love to reread it next October and see what I pick up on in terms of foreshadowing and everything – thank you so much lovely and to you too πŸ₯°

      Liked by 1 person

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