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Imaginary Men

3.2  ·  Rating Details ·  847 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Lina Ray has a knack for pairing up perfect couples as a professional matchmaker in San Francisco, but her well-meaning, highly traditional Indian family wants her to get married. When her Auntie Kiki introduces Lina to the bachelor from hell at her sister's wedding in India, Lina panics and blurts out, "I'm engaged!" Because what
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 11th 2005 by Gallery Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Jun 28, 2007 Jen rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: those who want a mindless read
Shelves: life-wasters
I learned that I too can write a mediocre chick lit novel because all you need to get one published is:

- gutsy, accomplished, strong-minded protagonists and a dimwitted, medieval-minded, antifeminist supporting cast

- an obstacle that, even if I keep describing it as impossible, is really not an obstacle just a mere wall 6 inches from the floor that the protagonist is too lazy to step over

- a really really really good-looking (and obvious) love interest

- to really get my book published, i should
I picked this book up, loving the premise. An American Desi woman who feels pressured to get married after her younger sister gets married (almost) the traditional way. At 29, her extended family try to introduce her to suitable matches - to which American raised Lina was much too independent to handle. So she lies, starting with the creation of a fiance who is absolutely to die for, IF he existed. She even manages to name him 'Raja' after an sexy (but supposedly a traditional Indian) stranger s ...more
Jul 11, 2007 Ajoque rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: someone with nothing better to do
Shelves: chic-lit, 2007
The writing was a bit too elementary for me. And it's not a good book to read after having just finished The Tea Rose. I don't want to give it an unfair review but it was hard to grow attached to any of the characters. The entire time I kept thinking of how detached I felt from the characters and the plot. Even when she tries to be creative with her story telling she still falls short. Jumping from one situation to the next and concluding chapters or paragraphs with no resolutions. I had a feeli ...more
Aug 05, 2011 Katjusa rated it did not like it
I bought this because Amazon suggested it as a related book I might enjoy. Over and over, I found myself having to reread passages because my mind had wandered. Superficial characters, predictable plot. It has a few cute moments and good observations but overall "Imaginary Men" comes off as clueless fluff.
Dec 11, 2008 Rucha rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 27, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it
Big dumb fun. I read this last night in 3 hours, not sure why I put it on reserve at the library; it must have been in a Jane Austen tribute list or something. It was predictable, but lovable. The main character is a matchmaker in San Franscico, orginally from India. After the wedding of her sister, she dreams up the perfect fiance...a prince, and is mortified when she can't come clean to her family and they expect to meet him. Of course she ends up with a prince, really...but it's not a plot sp ...more
Jan 02, 2017 Vicki rated it really liked it
Lina makes a living by pairing up the perfect couples to be married. After losing her fiance in an accident, Lina prefers to continue being the Matchmaker instead of looking for love again. While in India for her sister's wedding she creates a little "white lie" that she is engaged to avoid marital pressures from her family. Little did she know how the lie could spiral into a big misunderstanding. Along the way, she meets Raja. Could he be the perfect man for Lina? Romantic and funny. A quick re ...more
Mar 30, 2011 shruti rated it did not like it
Most people think chick lit is bad writing but this is just badly-written chick lit. Plot points are introduced randomly, characters are never fully fleshed out...I can handle strange chick lit premises but they need to be well-written. I hate to pan someone's writing because I don't know if I could do better, but this was really hard to read.
Aug 09, 2011 Manisha rated it did not like it
Rubbish, I felt nothing for the main characters and the story is so out dated: if Lina doesn't want to get married then why doesn't she just come out straight with it, she already lives away from her parents, she isn't a virgin and is supposedly an independent woman so why does she need to invent a fiance to please her parents? This is chick lit with no soul what so ever. Avoid.
Apr 22, 2010 Anna-Lisa rated it really liked it
Recommended to Anna-Lisa by:
Shelves: romance
This was an awesome tomance novel in Bollywood style!

I loved the funny and so realistic characters and the fact that this wasn't a love story with kitsch. It was cute, a fast read and touching. It was a book which made me sigh in the end. :)
Oct 02, 2009 Dorothy rated it it was amazing
An excellent combination of cross cultural travels and comedy. I was touched by the innocent and loving side of the lead. She tries to find Mr Right for herself and for her family while keeping one food in America and one in India.
Dec 08, 2008 aarthi rated it did not like it
Shelves: desi, didn-t-finish
This book is terrible. Don't waste a moment of your life reading it. I got the idea from others that it would be amusing to see what desi chick lit is, but having dipped a millimeter of my toe into it, I ran away screaming. It's the brown equivalent of shuffling.
Feb 22, 2008 Karina rated it really liked it
Cute multi-cultural chick lit that any forward-thinking woman can relate to. It also has a bit of Elizabeth/Darcy flavoring thrown in as well...and real princes :).
Marisa Gonzalez
Feb 16, 2017 Marisa Gonzalez rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit
A young woman goes to her sister's wedding in India. Feeling pressure from the family to marry she lies by stating that she is engaged to a handsome rich man only to meet a handsome rich man that evening who she is interested in. Her dilemma, finding a rich man to get engaged to before the family discovers her lie and whether or not she should pursue a long distance relationship with the man she met that evening. This book follows a basic formula for chick lit. It was very silly with little conf ...more
May 25, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it
The problem with putting books aside to journal later, is that you often forget what you wanted to say about them. I'm at a point in my life, when do to circumstances and responsibilities, I only seem to be able to tolerate light, semi-frivolous reads; ones that entertain and amuse and don't demand much thought or concentration.

This book, which was left on a take a book, leave a book shelf that is a BookCrossing zone, seemed like it might fit the bill -- and it did. Having spent time living in
Aug 04, 2014 Anna rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
This book uses a mish-mash of many stock romance plots, the matchmaker, the faked fiance etc. and blends it with an exotic Indian background which freshens them up nicely. Lena, the female lead, had this "imaginary man" which represents her ideal and which she measures all other men by. That is not a problem in itself just another of those romance cliches I was referring to, however, she actually sees, feels, hears and talks to this imaginary man, not so much a problem in the privacy of her apar ...more
Aug 05, 2009 Erin rated it liked it
I liked this book, it was a quick read. I liked Banerjee's writing style and short chapters, made it much easier to breeze through it. The actual story was a little predictable, but it was cute. It told the story of how pretty much every girl is on a life-long search for her prince charming. Despite the predictable-ness, I still found it to be a good story. I would probably recommend it to some of my younger friends rather than say my mother or aunts. I also enjoyed that it brought the two cultu ...more
Feb 08, 2017 Payal rated it it was ok
I don't know why but it just didn't capture me like i hoped it would. but i liked that in the end all the characters had closures. but the parts of India, I didn't feel like it was really experienced with living there.
Nov 08, 2015 Lara added it
Shelves: dnf, rooooomance
I should have remembered that I loathe with a passion stories that rely on the "I made up a boyfriend/fiance that my entire family believes in wholeheartedly, how shall I ever confess to them that I lied like a rug about it?" I can never believe in relationships that start with that level of deception, and 55 pages into this one, the "hero" has appeared once for 15 minutes, during which time he told the heroine that he wants a perfect, dutiful wife who will support him, bear his children, and ta ...more
Feb 25, 2012 Robbin rated it really liked it
I love Indian fiction and this book is almost perfect! It's fast-paced, sweet, funny and quirky. It's the age-old story about a woman unexpectedly meeting her prince charming. The only flaw in the story, however, is it moved a bit too fast about two-thirds through the book. And, towards the last few chapters, this tale was moving so fast a lot of details got lost and you have to use your imagination. The story does have two cute twists to it, though, and it does make for very entertaining readin ...more
Sep 10, 2010 Wendi rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marla Martenson
Aug 13, 2012 Marla Martenson rated it it was amazing
This is the first book from Anjali Banerjee's book that I read. I picked it up at Target a few years ago. It was a sweet story about a matchmaker, Lina Ray,in San Francisco. Her highly traditional Indian family wants her to get married and when her Aunt introduces Lina to a bachelor she has no interest in at her sister's wedding in India, Lina blurts out, "I'm engaged!" She thought hey, what's the harm in a little lie? Well, that opens a can of worms and has Lina scrambling to invent a financé. ...more
Feb 21, 2014 Rrshively rated it really liked it
I have to admit to my more sophisticated friends that I really am a sucker for a well-written romantic novel, and this is one. It started out a little slow, but I soon became hooked. I especially enjoyed the overlay of Indian culture to the story. Also, the heroine, Lina, asks herself questions about people, places, and events the way I do. The silver threads and the imaginary man are quite fantastic, but they work for me. Finally, I loved her descriptions of the men in the story. It was amusing ...more
Jun 11, 2010 Phoebe rated it liked it
Lina's skills as a professional matchmaker in the States seem to do her no good in her personal life. Her fiance has been killed in a car wreck, and she begins to doubt that he was never faithful to her anyway, though she remembers him as the perfect man. Back in India for her sister's wedding, Lina invents an engagement, and a man, to avoid being betrothed to an unappealing guy. And then she bumps into Raja, who just might be the perfect guy. Funny and poignant and most certainly romantic. Raja ...more
Jul 20, 2016 Mary-Megan rated it liked it
It wasn't by any means bad, it just wasn't that memorable. It had a lot of Indian culture, which I enjoyed and was a generally cute story, but the novel was ultimately lacking something. I like to read romance and have always considered them "fluff and stuff" because they're predictable and don't take a lot of brain power. However, I feel like the fluff I generally read had more substance than this chic lit. It's a good book, but I wasn't wowed by it.
Apr 14, 2010 Marilyn rated it liked it
Anyone caught between two cultures will appreciate Lina's dilemma -- how to please her Indian family yet continue her modern American life. Even those with less dramatic clashes will recognize some of the family issues, pleasures and pains. Lina has a creative approach to her problem, and it is great fun to follow her. I learned a lot about the upper-middle-class traditions of India, especially surrounding marriage. Anjali Banerjee brings them to life with humor.
Angel Perkins
Nov 04, 2013 Angel Perkins rated it it was ok
Although the story was mildly amusing, I didn't find any of the characters to be well defined or relatable. There is a good shell here and a good premise (at least one that hasn't been done to death) but it was lacking depth. If you're just looking for something to while away some time in an airport or waiting room, it's pretty good. If you're looking for something more substantial and entertaining, this isn't it.
Aug 14, 2007 Harpreet rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
GOD where do I begin with this book! It's fast and the story keeps moving, but I found myself moving with it! I just could not put it down! And every woman can relate to it (espially those from the aranged marriage cultures) and the idea of that creepy sudden wedding prospect that you have NO intention of even being in the same room with let alone city or state. This is the second book I've read of Anjali Banerjee and I must admit I'm getting hooked to this author!
Elaine C
May 11, 2011 Elaine C rated it liked it
This was a good, fast read. I picked it up for kicks, and it was good. Fun, light and entertaining. Kind of like "Monsoon Wedding" in book version, just that this is a story about a modern matchmaking Indian woman living in San Francisco who flies to India for a wedding and then discovers a potential match for herself. Funny.
Mar 29, 2008 Elise rated it liked it
Par for the course chick lit. Could have been improved by being slightly more believable. Also, what is the deal with heroines of these books claiming they are "too skinny" and somehow trying to pretend that they are unhappy about how thin they are? Stupid! Should be made into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon, with a dye job.
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I was born in India, raised in Canada and California, and I now live in the Pacific Northwest, in a cottage in the woods, with my husband and five rescued cats.

I've always loved to write. When I was seven, I penned my first story about an abandoned puppy on a beach in Bengal. Then, inspired by my maternal grandmother—an English writer who lived in India—I wrote a mystery, The Green Secret, at the
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