Imaginary Friend

Imaginary Friend



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.


Something that will change everything...

And having to save everyone you love.

Our Review

When I finally got around to reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower I loved it so when I heard the author had written a new book I had to read it. I also loved Imaginary Friend but the two are very different books.

Imaginary Friend was a terrifying book and I couldn’t have put it down if I wanted. It was a cross between Stranger Things and one of Stephen King’s more character led books.

The beginning of the book takes place 50 years before the main events of the rest of the book and from the very start I found it eerie.

A young boy climbs out his bedroom window and hopes his family won’t realise he is gone.

“Don’t leave the street. They can’t get you if you don’t leave the street.”

“He looked up at the moon. It was full. The Second night it had been full in a row. A blue moon. That’s what his big brother told him. Like the song that Mom and Dad danced to sometimes. Back when they were happy. Back before David made them afraid.

Blue Moon.

I saw you standing alone.

Little David Olson heard something in the bushes. For a second, he thought it might be another one of those dreams. He forced himself to stay awake.”

The hissing lady was scary, and I almost made myself look behind me when I was reading it.

“The voice was the hissing lady. He knew it. She always had a nice voice at first. Like a substitute teacher trying too hard. But when you looked at her, she wasn’t nice anymore. She turned to teeth and a hissing mouth. Worse than a wicked witch. Worse than anything. Four legs like a dog. Or a long neck like a giraffe. Hssss.”

The hissing lady really is the stuff of nightmares.

“The hissing lady was using his mom’s voice now. No fair. But she did that. She could even look like her. The first time, it had worked. He went over to her on the lawn. And she grabbed him. He didn’t sleep for two days after that. When she took him to the house with the basement. And that oven.”

David has some kind of task he is intent on completing.

“David was terrified, but he couldn’t stop. It was all up to him. He had to finish or the hissing lady would get out. And his big brother would be the first to die.”

50 years later Christopher is in the car next to his mom. She woke him in the middle of the night to run from her abusive partner.

“She was always worried when they moved. Maybe it would be different this time. That’s what she always said since Dad died. This time it will be different. Even though it never was.”

Christopher’s relationship with his mother was one of the things that made book so good, no matter what happened she was always there for him and I felt it helped the reader become more invested in both characters.

“He always called her Mom now. She told him to stop calling her Mommy three years earlier. She said it made him small, and she never wanted her son to be small.”  

Even though Christopher is only seven and a half years old he feels an intense desire to protect his mum. He never wants her to be hurt again like her ex Jerry hurt her.

When Christopher’s mum finally stopped driving, they were in a little town called Mill Grove. She wants Christopher to go to a good school, so she lies on an application form for the school and put their address as her employers as she didn’t want to put the motel because it was out of the catchment area.

“Christopher’s mother said she chose the little town of Mill Grove because it was small and safe and had a great elementary school. But deep down Christopher thought maybe she picked it because it seemed tucked away from the rest of the world. One highway in. One highway out. Surrounded by trees. They didn’t know anyone there. And if no one knew them, Jerry couldn’t find them.”

I was invested in Christopher and his mother’s story from the start because the author did a good job creating a sense of empathy for them. It was four years since his mother found his mentally ill dad dead in a bathtub full of blood with no note. Since then they were in a lot of debt and his mother had had a string of bad relationships. In Mill Grove Christopher’s mom is determined to change that.

“A parent with a job is a hero to someone. Even if it was cleaning up after old people in a retirement home.”

She starts working at Shady Pines and quickly finds her feet, but the owner is a mean lady who makes like difficult for everyone.

“Everything about Kathleen Collins was perfect. From her tight brown hair to her elegant suit to her polite contempt for ‘those people’ Jesus would have actually loved. The Collins family always sat up front. The Collins family was always first in line for Holy Communion. And if her husband’s hair slipped out of place, her finger would be there instantly to put it right back like a raven’s claw with a tasteful manicure.

As for their son Brady, the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.”

Before long Christopher starts seeing strange things around town, like a cloud with a human face.

“Normally, Christopher wouldn’t have thought much about it. Clouds were normal. But every day when his mother drove him to school. Every time they drove past the Mission Street woods. Every sunset they drove to CCD. The cloud face was there. And it was always the same face…”

One day Christopher follows the cloud face into the Mission Street woods and doesn’t return for six days. When he returns, he remembers nothing until he starts talking about a Nice Man who helped him. On his return Christopher is changed, he does better in school, and he knows things about people.

Christopher’s changes aren’t all for the good. He begins to experience blinding headaches; incredibly high fevers and he sees terrifying imaginary people.

Soon everyone in town begins to develop flu-like symptoms and becomes increasingly violent and an old woman starts telling everyone that they will all die on Christmas day.

In hindsight I should have seen the major twists coming but I had no clue. The book was one of the best horror books I have read for a long time and I will certainly never look at deer the same way again.


Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 5/5

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