Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Imaginary Friend (Stephen Chbosky)

I began reading Stephen Chbosky's Imaginary Friend on January 27 and didn't finish it until April 13. I don't think it was necessarily because the book was 705 pages but because the story simply became boring and repetitive.

Imaginary Friend centers around Christopher, a little boy just seven years old. He leaves an abusive household in the middle of the night with his mother, who is hopeful they can start a new life where they can't be found. The beginning of the book when this is happening sucks you right in. Then, things start to become ridiculous. Christopher gets lost in the woods and goes missing for six days. When he returns, he is a changed boy and needs to get his friends to immediately help him build a treehouse back in the woods. This treehouse becomes central to the plot but not in an interesting way.

The story goes back and forth between an "imaginary" side and the real side and later, its religious overtones are revealed. Through all this, the only characters I really cared about were Christopher and his mother. But it's hard to stay engaged even with them when they are interacting with a white plastic bag, an army of deer, and a "hissing lady." Unfortunately, Imaginary Friend could have been half the length and still not been successful in telling an interesting story.