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Imaginary Friend

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  1,060 ratings  ·  463 reviews
Christopher is seven years old. Christopher is the new kid in town. Christopher has an imaginary friend.

Single mother Kate Reese is on the run. Determined to improve life for her and her son, Christopher, she flees an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with Christopher at her side. Together, they find themselves drawn to the tight-knit community of Mill Grov
Hardcover, 720 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Grand Central Publishing
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Tory Absolutely not, because it's hard to be suspenseful over 800 damn pages. And it isn't. It should be half that length. You will be bored to tears.

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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  1,060 ratings  ·  463 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Now available as a BOTM add on starting in October!

Long ago, books stopped terrifying me in the way that people search out from the likes of gory, graphic horror films. Somewhere upon entering adulthood, the paranormal took a backseat to the chills provided by child abuse, sexual assault, and the murder of members of minority groups who never gain an ounce of justice, but this book terrified me in ways that I haven't experienced in over a decade, mainly due to combining paranormal AND realistic
Nilufer Ozmekik
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was so afraid of my contact lens numbers were going to be bigger than my irises after I finished this book (Give me a biggest Chardonnay break, my dear friends, this month I read “Institution”, “Gold Finch” and still working on “Priory of Orange Tree” which has also 800 pages. My red eyed image is still giving creeps to neighborhood kids and their mothers which is fine with me, I can eat trick or treat candies I’ve bough to serve them and I could also steal their M&M- only the red ones, th ...more
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
how in the world did stephen chbosky go from writing 'we accept the love we think we deserve' to an entire book dedicated to a child haunted by horrifying imaginary people?!

i guess 20 years between books is enough time for an author to change. and in this case, 20 years to plan stephen kings demise. because holy crap. this is the creepiest thing ive ever read, in the most bizarre way possible.

this actually reminded me a lot of ‘stranger things’ - strange things happen, its a little spooky and im not sure i e
Aug 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
"We can swallow our fear or let our fear swallow us."

Imaginary Friend feels very much like a classic horror novel which is both a good and a bad thing. To begin with, we have a group of young kids, an unknown evil that fills them with fear and despair, a small town on the brink of chaos, and missing dead children from 50 years ago. And it is terribly creepy. When I first read The Perks of Being a Wallflower I remember feeling underwhelmed. I didn’t get why people loved this story so much. Neither writing nor plot man/>Imaginary
May 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Perks of Being a Wallflower was not part of my adolescence and I’m not much of a horror reader although I do enjoy it every once in a great while. So, I’m not quite the right reader for this ambitious novel. Needless to say twenty years after the publication of Perks, Imaginary Friend is quite a departure for Chbosky. As is fairly typical of horror novels, the main conflict is good vs. evil, God vs. the devil and so on and so forth. The kids-in-jeopardy trope is in full swing which echoes King b ...more
Whitney Atkinson
I'll be first to admit that I never read horror, nor do I have the interest, but I wanted to give Stephen Chbosky a try just because he was an iconic author of my teenage years. But this..... wasn't it. Even from the objective perspective of someone not into horror, especially paranormal/fantastical horror, this was a longwinded mess.

This book started out strong to trick you to read on, but the ending was catastrophically terrible. The first 25% is basically what the synopsis describ
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

3.5 Stars

“A nightmare is nothing but a dream gone sick.”

Where do I even begin when it comes to the release of this (20 year) long awaited tome? I guess the easiest thing to do is address the obvious. For those of you who have been anticipating a new Perks to fall in love with, I have some bad news . . . .

There is no Charlie to be had here. Instead, there is a Christopher. A little boy who recently moved to small-town Pennsylvania with his mother when she escaped from an abusive relaStars
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
News articles are saying to expect this in 2019, which makes Stephen Chbosky's second novel a full TWENTY YEARS after Perks. Holy shit, I am so hyped.

update - may 10th, 2019:
I... holy hell, y'all. It's HAPPENING!

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
"A nightmare is nothing more than a dream gone sick."

This book.... THIS BOOK. I never read Perks of Being a Wallflower but what I do know is that this author went to a completely different genre with this young adult horror fiction read. Is it worth every 700+ page? You bet your ass it is.

To begin with, the main character's name is Christopher Reese - this made it somewhat sentimental to me because my family became very close with the Reese family when we lived in Italy. Their young
✨    jamieson   ✨



Liz Barnsley
Aug 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
This morning I FINALLY managed to finish Imaginary Friend. I started this book and was immediately hooked. It was uber creepy, really well written, I was loving it.

Sadly it was all downhill from there. 700+ pages of which maybe half ended up being relevant/adding to the story. Now I love a tome. I recently read Wanderers which was longer than this one but had zero wasted scenes or words and was an epic that read fast. So it's not the length itself that was an issue. I read King and T
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Dennis by: Chelsea Humphrey
Wow, this book. THIS BIZARRE AND HAUNTING BOOK. When I was in high school, Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower really helped me get a grip on my own inner demons, and it helped me accept myself and my differences with my other classmates in school. That being said, when I heard Chbosky was releasing a book 20 years later, I was curious about it's conception. After reading the synopsis; seeing it as a literary horror/supernatural tale of epic proportions, I knew I needed to get my hands on it!

Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Jul 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
Okay dear readers, gather around for a segment called "Unpopular Opinion Time".

Imaginary Friend was THE most highly anticipated novel of 2019 for me .  I have waited t w e n t y years for a new novel from Stephen Chbosky!  His debut novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower is my favorite book of all time so of course I've been looking forward to what he would write next.  I was thrilled to learn last year that Chbosky had penned an epic 700 page horror story.

I finished Imaginary Friend yesterday and ... I didn't lovemost/>Imaginary
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Review coming soon.
Jade Melody
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Received an arc from NetGalley for an honest review.

Thank you NetGalley for giving me the opportunity of reading this amazing book. As soon as I heard that Stephen Chbosky was writing another book I got insanely excited, without even knowing what the book was about. What I had in mind was something in the same genre as his last book, Perks of Being a Wallflower. This book is almost the complete opposite of that, and for that I am grateful.

This book was very intimidating to me. 7
Julia Sapphire
Aug 27, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 out of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this novel from BookExpo in exchange for an honest review.

“The candle flickered in the wind of the hurricane... Then, the light of one hundred billion stars burned out.”

Imaginary Friend is an adult horror novel about a young boy named Christopher. His mom, Kate Reese, just wants the best for him and they are on the run from Reese's abusive partner. They settle in a town but Reese's worst nightmare occurs and her son goes missing for s i x d a y s.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

I can't believe I didn't DNF this one. It was over 700 pages, and at least half of that could have been edited out to tighten up the plot and get to the action faster. There was a lot of repetition, and seriously, there were multiple climax points of the story. The "big final battle" happened three or four times. Much of the story never made sense, and if it was allegorical,
I enjoyed most of this humongous book a lot more than I normally enjoy what I would rate as a three star read- so I gave it an extra half star.  I don't know if I've ever said this before- I think I have my ratings broken down on my about me page, but for me: three stars is what I think of as "safe to skip".  1 or 2 stars is a recommendation to avoid and 4 and 5 stars is recommended to read.  I wouldn't necessarily recommend skipping Imaginary Friend, especially if you were looking forward to it ...more
kippen (uponthepages)
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
My Rating: stars ★★★★ out of ★★★★★ stars (4/5)

I was kindly sent a physical copy of this book by Grand Central Publishing in exchange for a review. Thank you, Grand Central Pub! Any opinion stated is my own.

This review is SPOILER FREE!

I’m just going to start this review off saying that I’m not your usual horror/thriller reader. In fact, I’ve only recently started reading more thrillers. I’ve never really read horror before. These books just scare me so I would stra
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
At it's heart this is an epic tale of good versus evil.

"Make me hit a deer"

Something lies dormant in Mills Grove until Christopher and his mother arrive. Years ago, a terrified child went missing from his own home. Nobody believed him that the monsters were real. Now Christopher has gone missing too, but he is returned.. changed...seeing more...knowing more... wise beyond his years and paying the price for his new abilities.

"We'll all die on Christmas day!" ...more
Ellen Gail
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I will be the first to admit this is not a perfect book.

But was it perfect for me? Hell. Yes.

Review to come!
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 12, 2018 marked it as to-read
my 15-year-old self is screaming brING IT
Laura G (lauralovestoread)
3.5 stars!!

I’ll start out by saying, that that I loooved the first half of this bohemoth of a book. I absolutely adored Stephen Chbosky’s novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, so you can imagine my excitement over his newest release. He has the most beautifully written, well developed characters and his writing really is amazing!

I just floundered a bit while reading, and felt myself slowly start to back out of the original feels I had for this book. It’s definitely atmospheric and
Janelle | She Reads with Cats
Thank you Grand Central Publishing for my copy.

Stephen Chbosky’s IMAGINARY FRIEND is 720 pages but I promise it is worth every single haunting page. I switched back and forth between the audiobook and physical copy which I highly recommend.

Kate Reese escapes an abusive boyfriend with her seven-year-old son Christopher in order to make a better life and ends up in a small suburban town in Pennsylvania called Mill Grove. Christopher is such a sweet, optimistic kid who conti
Jul 26, 2019 rated it liked it
I never read The Perks of Being a Wallflower. As a result, I don’t know the author’s usual style and won’t be making any comparison here.

Now, to Imaginary Friend.

I love an epic story. You know, a door stopper of a read. And at 720 pages, this counts. But, oh, it takes a long time to get through those pages. In comparison, I just read a book that topped out at 775 pages. I read it in two days. Imaginary Friend took weeks.

Chbosky builds the story at a rather gla
Feb 27, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: tbr-2019
dear friend,

love always,
Eesh. This was not what I expected.

With The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the simplified writing fits perfectly with the character and the plot. With Imaginary Friend it didn’t feel that way. This was written like a first novel and not a very good one. I DNF’ed at 22%.

The perspectives were all off, just jumping between characters with no explanation. One second we’re learning about Christopher’s day and the next we’re inside his mom’s head then we’re looking through the ey
Bex (Beckie Bookworm)

So this was a strange one for me and If I'm honest it was a tad confusing and times.
I mean I got the general gist but the style of narration was a bit long-winded.
My copy also had an issue with the formating so some of the words would run together which was somewhat irritating as well as this was throughout the whole story.
I rarely comment on the formating itself and I haven't actually taken that into account with my rating as I assume that won't be the case with the finished book itself.
My rating only reflects my enjoyment and con
Stacy Fetters
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
"A breeze tickled the hair of his neck. Like a whisper. That woman is standing right next to you, whispering in your ear, she said. Can you hear her? What is she saying, Mrs. Keizer? Mrs. Keizer smiled like the Cheshire Cat and wheeled herself down the hallway with a squeak. Squeak. Squeak.
Death is coming. Death is here. We’ll die on Christmas Day."

Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my favorite books of all time. I love it so much that I made my husband read the book and then watch the f
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Stephen Chbosky grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Southern California's Filmic Writing Program. His first film, The Four Corners of Nowhere, premiered at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win Best Narrative Feature honors at the Chicago Underground Film Festival.

He is the recipient of the Abraham Polonsky Screenwriting Award for his screenplay
“We can swallow our fear or let our fear swallow us.” 0 likes
“The candle flickered in the wind of the hurricane... Then, the light of one hundred billion stars burned out.” 0 likes
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