Book Review: Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks
Posted June 2, 2012on:
Let me say up front that based on the title and cover alone, I probably never would have picked this book up – it’s not my typical reading fare. But after reading an excerpt from this book online, I was completely hooked and wanted to keep reading immediately. So much so, that I was willing to read it online using the Kindle app on my iPad – the first book I’ve ever read using the app.
Budo is Max’s imaginary friend – and because Max imagined him as a human boy, he can walk and talk much like you and me. Except that only Max (and other imaginary friends) can hear and see him. Max is in 3rd grade, and is most likely on the autism spectrum (this is never explicitly stated). Which is why Budo has “lived” much longer than most imaginary friends.
Budo looks out for Max and helps him cope with the stress of life. However, when something terrible happens (don’t want to give away too much here), it is up to Budo to save Max, even if that means sacrificing himself.
The story is told completely from Budo’s point of view, in first person. It is this that makes this book so interesting, because we are seeing the world through the child-like eyes of someone who is on the outside looking in. Budo’s observations and somewhat skewed understanding of the world he and Max lives in, are both funny and sometimes sad. Budo’s descriptions of the other imaginary friends he runs into are one of the best parts of this book – not every child imagines his friend as a human. Some are just a hair bow, or a paper doll (complete with wrinkles and rips and folds from being in the bottom of a backpack), or a bobblehead.
This was a really original story, that suprised me with how much it drew me in and made me care about Budo and Max. And I was sad when it was over. I highly recommend giving this book a try.