Wednesday, July 17, 2013

REVIEW: Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks

Memoirs of an Imaginary FriendHere is what I know:

My Name is Budo.

I have been alive for five years.

Five years is very long for someone like me to be alive.

Max gave me my name.

Max is the only human person who can see me.

Max's parents call me an imaginary friend.

I love Max's teacher, Mrs Gosk.

I do not like Max's other teacher, Mrs Patterson.

I am not imaginary.

I loved this book. It was completely unexpected and I would have never picked it up if it hadn’t been for my virtual book club picking it.   

This is Budo’s story and narrates it as someone who doesn’t understand how a lot of things work and only knows what Max – an 8 year old has told him.  Based on this you have to be in the right frame of mind as some of the wording and stories are a little childish, like taking a bonus poop (he does say the word poop a lot). But it adds something to the innocence of this story.  If you are looking for great prose here, move along.  You have to understand that it is ‘written’ by a 5 year old imaginary friend through the eyes of an 8 year old.  Matthew Dicks did an amazing job writing that way.

Budo, while he calls himself an imaginary friend- mainly for lack of a better word, he feels he is as real as can be because he sympathizes with Max and his parents (His parents fight about how come they don’t have a ‘normal’ son and what the best way is to fix him so Max can seem happier).  He also has internal debates on helping Max at the cost of him being around.

While they never come out and say it, I think it is safe to assume that Max is autistic. For example he likes everything in place, can only wear 7 articles of clothing at a time, and only eats certain things at certain restaurants, things like that. I believe Max imagined Budo to provide some sense of commonality, to have a friend that understands who he is, when Max himself cannot emote things.  Max needs someone like Budo to help him cope. That being said, Budo is the culmination of Max’s mind. Everything that Budo is and can do, it is because Max imagined it at the time.  Most imaginary friends are random shapes, animals, missing ears, etc. Budo is special in the fact that he is very human looking.  

It quickly turns into a suspense type novel when Max is kidnapped. You feel the heartbreak Budo feels because he knows exactly who did it, yet he has no way of letting anyone know.   

Other points of this book that I loved: I loved the description of the teachers.  Mrs. Gosk does seem like a great teacher that everyone wish they had the privilege of having. It's strange how teachers can go off to college for all those years to learn to become teachers, but some of them never learn the easy stuff. Like making kids laugh. And making sure they know that you love them.” 

I gave this book 5 star because it was unexpected. It was emotional.  And lastly it was different. I definitely recommend this book!  It also makes me wish I had a wicked imaginary friend.

 “You have to be the bravest person in the world to go out every day, being yourself when no one likes who you are.”

1 comment:

  1. This book sounds really unique. I've never seen this point of view done before, and it sounds like that's a good thing. I'll have to add it to my to-read list on Goodreads now. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!