Book Review: Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend

Book:  Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks

Rating: ♦♦♦◊◊

Synopsis Snippet: Budo is lucky as imaginary friends go. He’s been alive for more than five years, which is positively ancient in the world of imaginary friends. But Budo feels his age, and thinks constantly of the day when eight-year-old Max Delaney will stop believing in him. When that happens, Budo will disappear.

The Cast:  Rather an interesting mix of various Imaginary Friends of differing levels of imagining.  From specks on walls that only blink to feisty fairies who fly and scold to nearly completely humanoid characters missing only a few aspects such as eyebrows or legs.  Budo has seen many an imaginary friend in his day!  Budo’s imaginer: Max, is a young boy on the Autism spectrum whose social interactions are rather limited.  Budo explores more and sees a few characters of slight diversity.

Romance Aspects: None to speak of, though Budo seems to have an almost crush on one of the women he observes on his nightly jaunts to a local gas station.

Language: The writing was a simple and a bit juvenile in places; as though listening to Budo who, while more intelligent than the boy who imagined him, is still rather young in mind.

Fat treatment: Nothing great but no epic moments of failure come to mind.

Review: The premise is great; a story about one boy as seen through his imaginary friend Budo. Humor, learning about Max’s difficulties in navigating his world and need for his imaginary friend and the actual suspenseful plot bits were great. However, there was a lot of repetition and extra bits that just dragged the pace down for me. I had to push through the last 1/3 of the book despite that being where the plot all started to wrap up because I was pretty sick of Budo whining by that point.

Great Quotes: Some awesome tidbits that might get your curiosity going.

“I wish there was a Heaven. If I knew there was a Heaven for me, then I would save Max for sure. I wouldn’t be afraid because there would be a place to go after this place. Another place. But I don’t think there is a Heaven, and I definitely don’t think there is a Heaven for imaginary friends. Heaven is only supposed to be for people who God made, and God didn’t make me. Max made me.”

“You have to be the bravest person in the world to go out everyday being yourself when no one likes who you are.”

Final Verdict: If you liked Room you will find much to love in Matthew Dicks’ novel.  While I did feel that some of the repetition was over-kill by the end the endearing qualities and down-to-earth reflections Budo makes throughout will get you thinking and, if you find someone else to read it, give you lots to discuss!

So, have you read this yet?  Would you now want to? Would you suggest it to someone else?

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