The Imaginary

Finished The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold.  I received a copy from the publisher.

Summary (from Goodreads):

“Rudger is Amanda’s best friend. He doesn’t exist, but nobody’s perfect.

Only Amanda can see her imaginary friend – until the sinister Mr Bunting arrives at Amanda’s door. Mr Bunting hunts imaginaries. Rumour says that he eats them. And he’s sniffed out Rudger. Soon Rudger is alone, and running for his imaginary life. But can a boy who isn’t there survive without a friend to dream him up?

A brilliantly funny, scary and moving read from the unique imagination of A.F. Harrold, this beautiful book is astoundingly illustrated with integrated art and colour spreads by the award-winning Emily Gravett.”

This book reminded me a lot of Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks.  The difference, though, is that this one is a middlegrade book (recommended for fans of Coraline).

It’s definitely an interesting book, although I’m not sure that it’s going to be that appreciated by kids.  It’s something I think would appeal to a lot of adults, however.  (It’s a little dark, for one thing, and there’s also really not a lot that happens, per se.  People who want a lot of adventure may be disappointed, but this book made me think about how quickly childhood is over.  (I promise it’s not depressing, though!)

The synopsis says it’s scary, but I think it’s more creepy than anything.  There are unsettling parts, but nothing worse than what you’d find in Roald Dahl (think The Witches especially).

I very much enjoyed reading this and while I doubt there will be a sequel, I would like to check in on Amanda again (preferably with Rudger).


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