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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • Great for Horror story lovers

    I had high hopes for this book, and was looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately it really wasn’t my kind of story. Christopher is a seven year old boy who doesn’t have the best of lives, he is bullied at school,because he can’t read, and because his shorts are too short, his mum Kate is a very loving caring person and she does her best with the means they have to live on, but it’s not enough for fancy clothes and nutritional food. This book is 730 pages long and if you took out some of the repetitiveness it could have possibly have come in at half the pages. Things change for Christopher when he begins to see an imaginary friend. This imaginary friend leads Christopher into the woods not far from his school, where some very odd things begin to happen and not all of it makes sense. The voice tells Christopher he has to make a treehouse, this is the most important thing he is told to do. It has to completed by Christmas for the imaginary friend or else. Christopher is determined to have the treehouse built, he works both day and night to get it done, he even manages to enlist a couple of friends to give him a hand. Christopher’s life gets more and more strange as the town and imagination become entangled. There are a few reasons I didn’t enjoy this book, it’s too long as I have said earlier, lots of repetitive bits, some of the writing is very dark and disturbing. Characters being physically assaulted. There is a lot of violence, a fair bit of swearing and some sex. There are lots of deer and weird things that get mixed up in theology. The story at times can be very depressing. Classed as a horror story, so maybe my fault for choosing this as it’s not really a genre I tend to read. I am sure people who like this genre will enjoy this but for me, it just didn’t. Work. I would like to thank netgalley and Orion publishers for an ARC of this in exchange for a fair, honest and unbiased review.

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    6 person found this review helpful

    6 people found this review helpful

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  • An Extremely Fulfilling Read

    I thoroughly enjoyed Imaginary Friend, an engrossing thriller-horror story of good and evil. I have never read The Perks of Being a Wallflower but I think that this worked in my favour as I had absolutely no expectations when I first started to read this novel. Stephen Chbosky has a very appealing style of writing and the characters he created were very believable to me, giving me a great sense of apprehensiveness and foreboding. Although the book was the longest I've read this year, the chapters were short and told from varying points of view which helped to break up the story into convenient chunks, with suitable breaks. The different voices were excellently done and I found Imaginary Friend to be very readable, if at first, daunting, though there were some very dark and disturbing scenes that included physical assault. In this gripping tale of violence, strangeness and melancholia, the plot moved along at a comfortable rate for me and Stephen Chbosky wrapped everything up neatly which was rather satisfying. Dispiriting, but not ostentatiously so, this was (mostly) a pleasure to read and I devoured these pages with gusto and enthusiasm. Imaginary Friend is an extremely impressive novel and I’ll certainly be looking out for Stephen Chbosky's next book. I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Orion via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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  • Needs a lot of editing

    I must admit a book blogger’s worst nightmare with Imaginary Friend, I requested the ARC back before the hardback version came out and it’s been sat on my shelf until just before it will be published in paperback! So sorry to the publishers, I guess I was a little apprehensive at starting this 700 page tome but I’d heard some good things and wanted to get the review done before my second deadline at least! We’ll start with the positives; Imaginary Friend is written in a really engaging way. Although it’s long, the writing style kept me engaged and made me want to keep picking it up to see what happened next. I also enjoyed the split narratives in the story – although the book is very centred around Christopher, we get small snippets of story arc from pretty much everyone living in the town it is set in and it really made for a varied read. It very much reminded me of a Stephen King book – centred around a young boy and his friends fighting off bullies while the supernatural world unfurls around them. Then we get to more of the negative spectrum - at 700 pages this book could have so easily been edited down to around 350! Although I enjoyed the set up of the book and getting to know Christopher and his mother and friends, I felt it started to lose its tight pacing after they built the tree-house. After this point it all starts to get a bit muddled and repetitive. The last 30% (baring in mind that is 200 pages!) of the book could have been cut in my honest opinion as we just get the same fight over and over again. The writing style also becomes a bit abstract towards the end – whole paragraphs are intentionally repeated which really wasn’t needed. There are also phrases that are repeated a lot as well which lost their dramatic effect, such as ‘He was terrified.’ The first time this was mentioned it invoked fear in the reader as a seemingly capable character was portrayed as being scared, but after a while I just started rolling my eyes as the phrase was used more and more. I don’t normally mention formatting in an ARC copy but after I opened my original ARC and saw lots of sentences running together with no spaces I re-downloaded it in the hope they had updated it to the version that is currently being sold. I really hope this isn’t the case as the lack of spaces makes some parts very hard to read and is still very present in the version I downloaded this month. I really enjoyed a moment where the capital letters in one character’s letters ended up being important to the plot but then the formatting was used in other places to a less dramatic effect. One character speaks with random capital letters peppering their speech for example, and another with no capital letters other than at the end of words. Although I understand trying to show the characters speech patterns through emphasis of certain letters it wasn’t needed and made the whole book very difficult to read. The first half of the book shows good promise with an interesting plot but I was disappointed at where the author decided to take it. I also don’t understand why the author insisted that Christopher had to be 7 years old as it makes him as a character very unrealistic – I saw him more as 11/12 throughout. The ending didn’t feel climatic enough for me and the very last chapter I had completely guessed as soon as the character it is centred on was introduced – it wasn’t a great cliff hanger. Overall Imaginary Friends is a good enough story but needs some ruthless editing and a good format check for this reader. Thank you to NetGalley and Orion Publishing Group for a copy of the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Great thriller horror fiction

    Great book even though horror thriller fiction is not really my book style. Chbosky is a great writer anyway.

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  • Great read!

    Loved it! Great read. Had a hard time to put my book down!

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