Imaginary Friend

Imaginary Friend We Can Swallow Our Fear Or Let Our Fear Swallow UsSingle Mother Kate Reese Is On The Run Determined To Improve Life For Her And Her Son, Christopher, She Flees An Abusive Relationship In The Middle Of The Night With Christopher At Her Side Together, They Find Themselves Drawn To The Tight Knit Community Of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania It S As Far Off The Beaten Track As They Can Get Just One Highway In, One Highway OutAt First, It Seems Like The Perfect Place To Finally Settle Down Then Christopher Vanishes For Six Awful Days, No One Can Find Him Until Christopher Emerges From The Woods At The Edge Of Town, Unharmed But Not Unchanged He Returns With A Voice In His Head Only He Can Hear, With A Mission Only He Can Complete Build A Tree House In The Woods By Christmas, Or His Mother And Everyone In The Town Will Never Be The Same AgainSoon Kate And Christopher Find Themselves In The Fight Of Their Lives, Caught In The Middle Of A War Playing Out Between Good And Evil, With Their Small Town As The BattlegroundChristopher Is Seven Years Old Christopher Is The New Kid In Town Christopher Has An Imaginary Friend The Epic Work Of Literary Horror From The Bestselling Author Of THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER

Stephen Chbosky grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Southern California s Filmic Writing Program His first film, The Four Corners of Nowhere, premiered at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win Best Narrative Feature honors at the Chicago Underground Film Festival He is the recipient of the Abraham Polonsky Screenwriting Award for his screenplay

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  • Hardcover
  • 720 pages
  • Imaginary Friend
  • Stephen Chbosky
  • 04 June 2017
  • 9781538731338

10 thoughts on “Imaginary Friend

  1. says:

    Long ago, books stopped terrifying me in the way that people search out from the likes of gory, graphic horror films Somewhere upon entering adulthood, the paranormal took a backseat to the chills provided by child abuse, sexual assault, and the murder of members of minority groups who never gain an ounce of justice, but this book terrified me in ways that I haven t experienced in over a decade, mainly due to combining paranormal AND realistic horror I ll go into detail at the end, complete with spoiler tags, but this book contained the one horror element that still manages to give me nightmares, no matter how many times I read a book that includes it If you want to go into Imaginary Friend completely blind, I recommend stopping here, and not reading anything else surrounding the story until you ve had a chance to pick it up for yourself If you re the type of reader, like me, who enjoys knowing a bit about a cryptically vague book to see if you re compatible with it, keep going Either way, please take my thoughts lightly as the cause behind the commotion in this novel will be very polarizing, and most folks will love it or hate it Don t leave the street They can t get you if you don t leave the street The most common question I ve received surrounding this novel is about the page length Was it really necessary for the story to be over 700 pages long Who does this guy think he is, Stephen King Honestly Yes I had my doubts going in, but I almost immediately found myself entranced by the author s writing, and what would be described as a slow burning introduction to our characters became an unputdownable saga There s a reason why Chbosky is a bestselling author, and while he did wait almost 2 decades to publish his second novel, it shows his incredible range of storytelling capabilities and otherworldly talent The average rating is considerably lower than most popular books on Goodreads at the time of this writing, but I do think the page length is something that is possibly affecting this If you re the type of reader that doesn t enjoy a meaty doorstop, you probably won t appreciate what this book has to offer The page count will be a dealbreaker for about half of the readers out there, and that s ok, big books aren t for everyone If you re still with me, let s continue on Oh please don t let it be the hissing lady Please don t let me be asleep While I hate comparing authors various works amongst each other, I think it s helpful to note why this book is being pitched to fans of Stephen King and his older horror novels This book appears to be set in the 90 s, and it very strongly has the kids battle evil entity vibe that is so prevalent in many of King s past bestsellers, which automatically appealed to me The beginning has a similar feel where, we get many details into a multitude of characters lives, and after the foundation is set, the creepy instances start It begins slowly, and almost seems to tip toe around the horror aspect until well into the book, but it is beautifully done so As a reader, I became invested in Kate and Christopher as humans, and the bond they created through shared experiences with poverty, abuse, and trauma was so necessary in transforming Imaginary Friend from a B rated horror romp into a full scale terrifying masterpiece Hisssssss Hisssssss Alright, here s the meat of it I m going to put this next paragraph in a spoiler tag, and while there are no specific spoilers, I do discuss the theme of the reveal, and I don t want this to affect those readers wishing to go in blind view spoiler Bottom line This is what I like to refer to as religious horror Sure, it s very much fictionalized, and stretches the canon of good vs evil heaven vs hell quite a bit, but it should be noted that I did not feel that this book was preachy if anything, the author chose to use these themes in a way that is meant for nothing but sheer entertainment value I mention it because this form of storytelling may be received as sacrilegious or offensive to some religious groups hide spoiler

  2. says:

    We can swallow our fear or let our fear swallow us Imaginary Friend feels very much like a classic horror novel which is both a good and a bad thing To begin with, we have a group of young kids, an unknown evil that fills them with fear and despair, a small town on the brink of chaos, and missing dead children from 50 years ago And it is terribly creepy When I first read The Perks of Being a Wallflower I remember feeling underwhelmed I didn t get why people loved this story so much Neither writing nor plot managed to catch my interest, but maybe I wasn t ready when I first read it Rewatching the film years later showed me what a beautiful and moving story Chbosky had created But with IF I was immediately drawn into the world of Christopher who vanishes into the woods for six whole days just to turn up again unharmed, but with a desperate need to build a treehouse in the middle of the Mission Street Woods And something else has changed his dyslexia is gone, he is suddenly the best kid in his maths class, and he seems to know what people feel and think It was creepy as hell, I had goosebumps 24 7 and no clue about what was happening Never did I think that I would devour these 700 pages in three days but that s exactly what happened The writing was compelling, the characters felt real, and I really needed to know what the fuck was going on or I would DIE So far so good, but things changed around the 500 page mark There was a big twist, which, although I didn t see it coming, didn t catch me unaware Mainly because it felt too simplified and unoriginal It wouldn t have bothered me much, though, if the story had been taken to a clean and satisfying ending But what followed were 200 pages that should have been 100 pages, or maybe 70 You know when there is a final battle with the biggest bully on the lot and you know this is it, it s live or die That didn t only happen once, it happened three times It wasn t just repetitive at this point, it was a big mess And even though I had really enjoyed loved the story until that point, it couldn t hold my attention and fascination any longer It was made even worse by Chbosky s use of redundant tropes that put female characters in over sexualised and violated roles I honestly expected better of him Chbosky is a great storyteller who proved repeatedly that he has what it takes to tell heartfelt stories with characters that feel real, that are relatable So why did he suddenly feel the need to make use of tropes such as the prude catholic girl tempted by sin, why did he have to degrade most of his central female characters by ripping off their clothes, violating their bodies, by turning them into madwomen haunted by unfeeling or violent men I m not criticising the fact that he made violence and abuse part of a female character s story Sadly, that is far from unrealistic But he exploited them and used their pain for shock value like countless male authors have done before him It s a limited and frankly antiquated way of writing female voices.Overall, this novel would have been a new favourite if it had paid attention to plotting and characterisation Find of my books on Instagram

  3. says:

    Perks of Being a Wallflower was not part of my adolescence and I m not much of a horror reader although I do enjoy it every once in a great while So, I m not quite the right reader for this ambitious novel Needless to say twenty years after the publication of Perks, Imaginary Friend is quite a departure for Chbosky As is fairly typical of horror novels, the main conflict is good vs evil, God vs the devil and so on and so forth The kids in jeopardy trope is in full swing which echoes King but with less success I found the kids to be too young at seven years old perhaps eleven years old would have made it a bit palatable This is a long novel and there is a lot that should have been cut due to an overload of repetition I was about to tear my hair if I read like baby teeth one time This is just one example In its favor, it reads fast and is action packed Will it sell in the marketplace Yes, like green wildfire.

  4. says:

    I ll be first to admit that I never read horror, nor do I have the interest, but I wanted to give Stephen Chbosky a try just because he was an iconic author of my teenage years But this. wasn t it Even from the objective perspective of someone not into horror, especially paranormal fantastical horror, this was a longwinded mess.This book started out strong to trick you to read on, but the ending was catastrophically terrible The first 25% is basically what the synopsis describes, and then afterward, the story truly begins Let me reiterate that this book is 700 pages long and the first quarter of the book is just exposition From 25% to 75%, this book actually had a lot of good parts It kept me guessing, it had twists and turns, it had a few creepy partys But then the ending just became overwritten, incomprehensible plot divided between two worlds and between a cast of 10 characters The writing was average at best throughout the book, but the end of the book just became totally ridiculous with all the characters screaming LIKE THIS at each other multiple times a page, aNd ThE viLLaiN oF thE boOk tAlkS liKe tHis I skim read the last 10% just in search of answers, but this book provided none I have no idea what the conflict of the book was and why any of the villains were wreaking havoc on the world The main plot twist at the end just made the entire situation confusing and everything got so muddled in the end that it s making me regret spending TWO WEEKS reading this massive book only for it to be so completely a let down because the plot doesn t actually get resolved in a way that makes sense Chbosky just kept on dragging the conflict out even though he could have ended everything 500 pages earlier, with SO much unnecessary inner monologue that dragged out the pace even .Maybe if you like fantastical thrillers with religious spiritual undertones you would enjoy this , but in my opinion, just save your time and read Stephen King or something.

  5. says:

    News articles are saying to expect this in 2019, which makes Stephen Chbosky s second novel a full TWENTY YEARS after Perks. Holy shit, I am so hyped.update may 10th, 2019 I holy hell, y all It s HAPPENING Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review

  6. says:

    A nightmare is nothing than a dream gone sick This book THIS BOOK I never read Perks of Being a Wallflower but what I do know is that this author went to a completely different genre with this young adult horror fiction read Is it worth every 700 page You bet your ass it is.To begin with, the main character s name is Christopher Reese this made it somewhat sentimental to me because my family became very close with the Reese family when we lived in Italy Their youngest was their son, Christopher who became a brother to me over the years and somehow that made this is a bit sentimental to me Both have a strong relationship with their mothers and both are the best and sweetest boys Listen, if you can find something in your real life that anchors you to the fictional life in the book you re reading, it absolutely makes a difference.There were also a couple of incidents that truly reminded me of my childhood Being pulled under a bed or that feeling that something or someone was under there was always a nightmare for me as a child and once I woke up halfway under the bed, so yeah and that creepy ice cream truck jingle UFF Both are mentioned and just grabbed that inner child within me all the Even to this day, when the many ice cream trucks roam my neighbor at the weirdest night time hours, it still makes my blood turn cold.Now, this book is just extremely engaging Even with all 700 pages, the chapters are short and I love the various tiny changes to format riddled within You ll know what I mean when you pick up your copy, and I encourage you to make sure to put this on your TBR This book is chock full of lessons A relationship between a mother and son Christopher and how he takes care of his mother while she feels guilty for not being the mother she thinks she needs to be Faith, shown especially within Mary Katherine and where we get our first hints of the religious undertones of this novel The good versus evil and how nothing is especially what it seems especially in the Imaginary World STAY ON THE STREETS The loyalty of your childhood group of friends The past coming to haunt you and how you move forward in any type of life I could go on and on and on.While I absolutely consider this my favorite of the year so far, there are a couple of things that didn t quite work for me The children being 7, made it a little bit implausible if they were just a few years older, it would ve made that slight difference Some things may feel a bit repetitive but personally I didn t mind this at all and I think that honed in on certain pieces of the story However, the baby teeth as a description definitely stuck in my head I wish that could ve been identified with something different or not described repetitively throughout the read But these are just nit picks that I can overlook because of the impact this story had on me Some people may think this could ve been shortened but I think every single page worked to tell this multifaceted story.For me, this has that NOS4A2 creepy vibe, kids group fighting evil King vibe with that Burton esque feel I would absolutely LOVE to see this adapted The hissing woman, the mailbox people and the nice man each told and described in a tone that set you on your journey with Christopher in the Imaginary World and boy oh boy, these will be anchored in my mind for quite some time And let me tell you what, I hope I don t run into deer anytime soon or ever.Basically, put this on your TBR, keep an open mind and set aside a few hours to really let this story seep into your blood stream I ll see you on the other side Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for this early release.

  7. says:

    STEPHEN CHBOSKYAUTHOR OF THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER AKA THE BOOK THAT DEFINED MY HIGH SCHOOL YEARS AND STILL MAKES ME CRY THIS IS IT CHIEF

  8. says:

    This morning I FINALLY managed to finish Imaginary Friend I started this book and was immediately hooked It was uber creepy, really well written, I was loving it.Sadly it was all downhill from there 700 pages of which maybe half ended up being relevant adding to the story Now I love a tome I recently read Wanderers which was longer than this one but had zero wasted scenes or words and was an epic that read fast So it s not the length itself that was an issue I read King and Tolstoy Trust me I can cope with a long narrative that you need to commit to.It was the slogging through endless pages of repetitive nonsense, towards a pay off that irritated me, didn t really make sense and subjectively wasn t worth the effort It was the eventual realisation that this was one long sermon from which I am supposed to learn something And boy does the author ram that down your throat ad finitum for the last 20% It was basically In my opinion the author plugging his belief system but disguising it as a horror story Well you know what you can do with THAT shenanigans.Too long Way too long Even allowing for my very personal reaction to what this book was, and allowing that quite rightly for some readers this novel will resonate in a different way , I honestly believe it needs a HUGE edit There s so much white noise the plot, the message whether that message appeals to you or not, gets lost along the way It s probably in the woods with about a million deer and a few white plastic bags You had to be there But I really can t recommend it.

  9. says:

    700 pages by the guy who wrote one of my favorite YA books ever Here goes nothing everything .

  10. says:

    Wow, this book THIS BIZARRE AND HAUNTING BOOK When I was in high school, Stephen Chbosky s The Perks of Being a Wallflower really helped me get a grip on my own inner demons, and it helped me accept myself and my differences with my other classmates in school That being said, when I heard Chbosky was releasing a book 20 years later, I was curious about it s conception After reading the synopsis seeing it as a literary horror supernatural tale of epic proportions, I knew I needed to get my hands on it Imaginary Friend focuses on seven year old Christopher Reese and his mother Kate They are moving into a new small town in Western Pennsylvania after escaping Kate s abusive ex boyfriend As they settle into their new suburban surroundings, Christopher continues to struggle at work Christopher is dyslexic, but optimistic, so optimistic, about trying to overcome his shortcomings I really do love this protagonist so much When his mother is late to picking him up from school one day, things take a turn for the worse Christopher disappears for six days When he returns, everything is not quite what it seems What exactly happened during those six days will change Christopher and his mother s lives forever.I have never read anything original than Imaginary Friend It s clearly a vision that Chbosky held onto for awhile before being able to accurately portray it properly The imagery in Imaginary Friend is hands down some of the best I ve ever read the beautiful and vivid descriptions and story telling not only amazed me, but let my mind escape into this world I was completely engulfed and let my imagination run wild with the story I truly feel that this book has some of the best storytelling that I ever read in my entire life For 80% of the book, it proved to be one of the most interesting and compelling novels a sure way to claim the role as my favorite book ever I had to take a star off my near perfect rating because the end tends to spiral even though the ending is unexpected and still very original because it s quite difficult to follow Plus, with Christopher and his friends only being seven years old, it made me question some aspects of the story If Christopher and his friends were older, I may have not had as many questions Overall, Imaginary Friend is a phenomenal story that readers will definitely be sure to enjoy this fall I would LOVE to see this book become a movie, because I really think there s never been a story like this before When you read it, please let me know because I need someone to talk to about it This book will resonate with me for some time.

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