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Imaginary Things

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  379 ratings  ·  104 reviews
Watching children play and invent whimsical games of fantasy is one of life's great joys. But what if you could actually see your child's imagination as it unfolded? And what would you do if your child's imagination suddenly became dark and threatening?

Burned-out and broke, twenty-two-year-old single mother Anna Jennings moves to her grandparents' rural home for the summe
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 1st 2015 by Astor + Blue Editions
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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  379 ratings  ·  104 reviews

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Jeanne Adamek
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
If I didn't love the authors Versions of Her so much I probably would have never picked this book up. It just didn't sound like my type. And I have to admit that it was a bit slower to get into, mainly because I couldn't warm up to the main character (I am definitely a character driven reader and I never read books where reviewers mention that main character or even all the characters are unlikeable) in the beginning.

BUT with that said, if I didn't pick up this novel I would have lost a special
This book was written by a local author in a fictious local setting and as a reader, I strive to support both. For me personally, I rate this book 2 stars, but for readers of the genre, I rate it at 3 to 3.5 stars. I read this book as well as Lochen's The Repeat Year and I very much encourage readers interested in Imaginary Things to read The Repeat Year as it is a book that fits solidly well into its genre. If you are interested in reading this book, due note that it doesn't exactly fit into th ...more
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review:

The original review is posted here:

Normally, when I write a review of a book, I start off by giving you pointers on why I loved/hated it and a breakdown of those parts. This time I would like to start out by saying FIVE STARS! As you all know, I do not give five stars lightly. Andrea Lochen deserved it with "Imaginary Things".

When I first read the synopsis of this book I wa
Susan Peterson
Oct 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a captivating and heartfelt story about a single mother and her young son. I loved the relationships in this story—they were all complicated and genuine. The characters were compelling and complex.
Shannon Rogers
Jul 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-arc
When I first started reading this book, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. I thought it would be too different for me. It didn't take long, however, before I was completely sucked into this book and enjoying every page of it. I loved the grandparents so much!! But I'm getting ahead of myself.

At first, I thought it would be hard to relate to Anna in the sense that, although I'm a mother, my children never had any imaginary friends, and neither did I. That disconnect was something I thought
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book 4 days ago and it is still swirling around in my head! A child's imaginary friends are the cornerstone and something I had never read about before. A beautiful, heart-rending story, I fell into this book and hated to see it end, that doesn't happen often to me. Difficult to believe that this is only the author's second book, so well written. I might add that the paper quality is A-1 and the cover art as well as the feel of the cover are beautiful. Now I am sounding a bit lik ...more
Sara Ann
From the moment I purchased this novel I was hooked and could not put it down. While I was a little weary on the plot, Lochen's creative and captivating writing style and likable characters kept me reading until the last page. I still want more!
I would highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a laid back story with a plot that will keep you guessing.
Outstanding, Mrs. Lochen
Oct 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Part mystical, romance, and mystery. A single Mom takes her 4 year old son back home to her grandparents house where she begins to see his imaginary friends, which are dinosaurs. It was an easy read but parts of the story seemed rushed and haphazard.
Kathie Giorgio
Aug 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Well, overall, this was a charming book. The main character, Anna, is an admirable and strong single parent mom who is adamant about not being like her own mother, who was also a single parent mom, but neither admirable or strong. Lochen caught what it's like to be four years old in Anna's young son. He reads so real and fun.

The situation - a boy whose imaginary friends (dinosaurs) come to life and his mom can see them - is unique and thought-provoking. I love magical realism - the mixing in of
Jenny Belk
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
What an enjoyable book. This book is about a 22 year old single Mom who moves to Wisconsin to live with her grandparents to try and make a new life for herself and her young son David. Her past involved an unstable ex and her neglectful mother. Living next door to the grandparents is Anna's all grown up childhood best friend, Jamie. Jamie cares for his invalid mother and has a questionable past as well.

Anna soon discovers her son has imaginary friends in the form of dinosaurs. Oddly enough Anna
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read the author's first book, "The Repeat Year", which I thoroughly enjoyed,and I was really looking forward to "Imaginary Things". I was not disappointed! I loved the premise - one of my favorite movies is "Drop Dead Fred - and she did an excellent job making the imaginary friends come to life in this reader's imagination! I loved how the mood of the "friends" changed as the story built to it's climax. The author does a great job bringing a scene to life - how the feel of a carnival changes a ...more
Mrs Mommy Booknerd
4.5 stars
I love reading something so original and fun...Imaginary Things is one of those great reads that takes you on a journey through the world of a mother, her son and some imaginary friends. This book was so original, the characters well developed and plot was twisty and turny. What I loved about this book was not only the things I previously stated, but the touch a magic, which made this reading experience so fun. There were so many times I said to myself "What if this was me....what would
Apr 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, 2015-reads
Love, love, LOVE this book. I might be slightly biased in that my favorite movie growing up was "Pete's Dragon" and so an imaginary T-Rex was right up my alley, but even so, I am in love with this tale of a boy and his imagination and his mom who is striving to do right by him. My only remaining question is how long do I have to wait for this to be made into a movie? ...more
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was one of the few people who got to read an advance copy of this amazing book. Please take the time to read because you will love it.
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Try to picture a young single mother, moving to live at her grandparents’ place in small-town Wisconsin with her just-about-ready-to-start-Kindergarten son. The young boy invents some imaginary friends – 2 dinosaurs, to be more precise. So far, there’s nothing especially surprising, unusual – or eye-catching – in that description.

Now, try to picture the mother’s reaction when she discovers that she can see the imaginary dinosaurs, as well. And hear them. And smell them. And touch them. Then, to
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
After turning that final page, I was very impressed with the journey the author had just taken me on and how much I had enjoyed the story. The description on the back of the book does not do the story justice; it does not capture the fascinating drama that makes up Anna's life, the budding romance, or the interesting dynamic between Anna, her son, and his imaginary friends that are more than just a whimsical addition to the story. I don't want to give anything away, but there were so many parts ...more
Charlotte Lynn
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My children never had imaginary friends. I never thought about why they would have or didn’t have these friends. Yet, I started Imaginary Things and was instantly intrigued. I loved the idea of a little boy, David, with an imaginary friend or two and that these friends were dinosaurs. When the story continued and Anna, the boy’s mother, could see these imaginary friend I was hooked.

Andrea Lochen as an amazing imagination and a way with words. She is able to described the characters and their fe
Susan (The Book Bag)
This book had me from the synopsis. Children have such great imaginations and probably most of us had an imaginary friend at some point in our youth. Then the thought of someone else being able to see those imaginary friends? That is an awesome idea for a story.

'If King Rex was David’s imaginary friend, and I could see King Rex, that meant I could see David's imagination. I could see as clear as day the things he was inventing in his mind. And apparently he had inherited his over-active imagina
Jessica Bronder
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Anna is a single mother and has just lost her job. She decides to move back home with her grandparents since they were the rock in her younger life and she figures that her son David could use the same calm. But things take an interesting turn when she can start seeing David’s imaginary friends, two dinosaurs. While trying to figure out what this means for David, Anna realizes this also has something to do with her own childhood and her relationship with her mother.

Then her childhood friend Jami
Julie Failla Earhart
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Every parent, at one time or another, wishes they could read their child’s mind. If that were possible, life would be so much easier. For Anna Jennings, this wish almost comes true. Although she cannot read four-year-old David’s mind, she can see his imagination, and it scares the bejeezus out of her.
Anna and David have returned to her grandparents’ rural Salsburg, Wisconsin, home. Anna spent several summers and one school year with Duffy and Winston, when she was too much to handle. Seems like
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, romance
***NOTE: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review***

Normally, books categorized as women’s fiction aren’t my favorites. The premise for this one sounded so intriguing though, that I wanted to give it a try as soon as I’d read the description. After losing her job in Milwaukee, Anna Jennings and her four-year old son, David, return to her grandparents home in the rural Wisconsin town of Salsburg to make a new start. As they settle into their new home
Nancy Baker
Apr 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Who hasn't had an imaginary friend? Five year old David has two imaginery friends -- and they are dinosaurs, King Rex and Weeble. The only problem is that his mother can see them too. And then something else imaginary appears, but it doesn't look or act like a friend.

This was a story of a journey between mother and son, both trying to find their way in life while searching for security and peace of mind. I didn't find it nearly as entertaining as I did "Memoirs of an Imaginery Friend" by Matthe
Steph Hundt
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Imaginary Things is the best book I have read this year! Reading this amazing novel was like eating a delectable dessert that you savor slowly so as not to miss a tiny morsel. Anna Jennings is a 22 single mother raising her 4 year old son David with the help of her amazing grandparents in the tiny town of Salsburg, Wisconsin. She and David move in with her grandparents Winston and Duffy the summer this book unfolds. To her complete surprise Anna soon learns that she can see her son's imaginary ...more
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful narrative full of creativity, love, determination, and yeah, a bit of magic. I love how well the novel displays all the different facets that make Anna such a rich and sympathetic protagonist: we watch as she struggles to be a strong, loving single parent, does her best to stay open to the possibility of romance, and pursues dreams (despite some setbacks) that will better both her life and her son's. David is neither overly precocious nor mere set-dressing, and his realistic ...more
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book sounded interesting to me . . . a mom who can see her son's imaginary friends? But it was so much more and so much better than I expected. Anna's story is rich with relationships--family, friends, and romance--as well as inner character growth. She must face forgotten events in her own past in order to help her son now and to allow herself happiness in her own future. Lochen does a good job of showing a wide tapestry of characters--each with their strengths and weaknesses, good and bad ...more
Holly's Little Book Reviews
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Andrea Lochen's newest novel! I wasn't sure exactly what to expect from a novel that includes a mom seeing her four-year-old's imaginary dinosaur friends, but I was pleasantly surprised. This novel shows the importance of the bond between mother and child so perfectly. Whether it be overcoming a mother who seemingly lacked the feelings a mother should have toward their child or a mother who is desperately trying to do everything she can to make sure her son knows he is loved, An ...more
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received this book in a Goodreads Giveaway.

I think this is the first time I've been so excited to write a review! This was written so amazingly well. The entire book felt like a conversation with a friend about a crazy summer years ago.

The struggles that Anna goes through are so real. I imagine single mothers everywhere would easily be able to relate. Almost every topic was touched on: parenting, friendships, independence, domestic problems, memories of a troubled past.

This would usually be t
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Please note that I was sent a copy for review & blog purposes. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

I will be honest and say I didn't know what to expect from this book. The synopsis made it seem more childlike than I cared for, but after a couple of chapters I was sucked in.

I devoured this book in 24 hours. I couldn't put it down. This is my first read from Andrea Lochen and I will totally be reading her other works.

I loved everything about imaginary Things - from the whimsy of her son's ima
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Anna is a young single mother with unwavering strength & hopes for her 4 year old son David when she escapes from an abusive relationship with David's father. She arrives at her grandparents home only to find that David's way of coping is to have imaginary friends. Anna strives to make sense of his world while trying to remember her own past with an uncaring mother.
This book will resonate with any mother as our hopes, dreams and love for our children keep us strong & dedicated to make their live
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
When 4 year old David starts playing with imaginary dinosaurs his mom isn't too worried but she begins to see them too it becomes more of a concern. As if losing her job, moving in with her grandparents, being a single mom and starting a new relationship isn't enough now she must figure out what's going on with David.
I loved the premise of this book. It had just the right mixture to make it hard to put down. I am looking forward to reading more by this author.

I received this book as part of a go
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Andrea Lochen is the author of three novels: VERSIONS OF HER, IMAGINARY THINGS and THE REPEAT YEAR. She earned her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan. She teaches college writing and lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two small children, and adorably fluffy dog, Maddy.

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