Orion Books October 2019
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.
Coming back a totally different person. Thinking you’re going crazy – or being the only one who knows what’s coming.
Something that will change everything… And having to save everyone you love.
This book was the Goldsboro Books October Book of the Month and it was on that basis that I bought it. I mention this because this was a book that I would not have otherwise picked up. A genre mix of horror and fantasy best describes it as we follow the life of Christopher a young boy who hears voices and sees a face in a cloud. He goes missing for 6 days, unable to recall any events from that period except for a ‘nice man’ showing him the way home, out of the Mission Street Woods where much of the plot revolves.
What follows is a detailed plot with Christopher occupying both the ‘real’ world and an imaginary parallel world. This is undoubtedly action packed with plenty of twists along the way and I have seen many rating this book very highly. I am not a huge fan of fantasy however and this book, as it progressed tipped further into fantasy and I found myself disengaging, never one to DNF a book I persevered and finished this 704 page tome, but honestly it wasn’t for me and I was left unsure whether to write this review.
So, positively, this book started well, I felt much more comfortable in the ‘real’ world and it was as the book progressed that the imaginary world became much more dominant. I liked the dominant theme in this book, specifically relating to the fight between good and evil played out essentially between God and the Devil as the Good Man and the Hissing Lady.
Commencing this book I knew it was a big book at over 700 pages and I had seen some comments on Instagram suggesting it was too long. I whole heartedly agree with this and as the story progressed I found it increasingly repetitive and feel it could have been 200 pages shorter. The writing was good, insofar as I found it accessible and engaging and the chapters were short which encouraged me to carry on reading.
I don’t like to write negative reviews which is why I made the point of explaining this was a book of the month purchase and the reason for me buying and reading it. It wasn’t for me and that wasn’t a huge surprise to me, so if you are a fan of fantasy / horror and you like the sound of this book then do pick it up because for fans of this genre I think this book is hugely popular.
About the Author
Stephen Chbosky is a novelist, screenwriter and director. His debut novel, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is a much-loved multi-million-copy global bestseller.
Since then Chbosky has worked in Hollywood, writing and directing the film adaptation of his debut novel, as well as co-creating the television series Jericho, writing the script for the live action Beauty and the Beast, and directing the acclaimed film Wonder.
Imaginary Friend is his long awaited second novel.