Rating: 5/5 stars.
Have you ever watched a movie where you knew how it was going to end right from the beginning, but you still cried when the ending came anyway? That’s what happened to me with Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend.
Budo is Max’s imaginary friend. He looks more human than most imaginary friends, can pass through doors and windows, and he loves Max. The bad part is that if Max stops believing in him, Budo will disappear. Max’s life moves as smoothly as it can for a child with a mental disability until one of his teachers does something that endangers his life. Now it’s up to Budo to rescue him, even if the costs him his own existence.
The best part of Matthew Dicks’ third novel was its voice. The writing style stayed fresh and consistent; it never felt fake or gimmicky. Dicks kept Budo in character and impressed me tremendously with the execution of this unique story.
What this book constantly made me think of was this quote from My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult: Kids think with their brains cracked wide open; becoming an adult, I’ve decided, is only a slow sewing shut. Children keep their minds wide open, and it’s adults who force themselves into corners because they have to deal with the harshness of reality. Just an interesting thought that Dicks incorporated into the book.
Overall, I highly recommend Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend to those searching for a different story with a touch of magical realism. It’ll make you question what you think about imaginary friends – perhaps I should get one of my own…
*also, here’s a clip from the audiobook of Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend kindly provided to me by Macmillan Audio if you’re interested in checking it out