Source- Review copy
Publication date- Feb, 2012
Synopsis: Budo is Max’s imaginary friend. But though only Max can see him, he is real. He and the other imaginary friends watch over their children until the day comes that the child stops imagining them. And then they’re gone. Budo has lasted a lot longer than most imaginary friends – four years – because Max needs him more. His parents argue about sending him to a special school. But Max is perfectly happy if everything is just kept the way it is, and nothing out of the ordinary happens. Unfortunately, something out of the ordinary is going to happen – and then he’ll need Budo more than ever…
Review: Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend is a fascinating story about a young boy named Max, told from the perspective of his imaginary friend, Budo. Max is eight years old and has special needs, presumably falls into the autistic disorder spectrum and has particular likes and dislikes. His only friend in the world is Budo, who knows what makes him happy and what makes him sad. Budo has his own fears, like not existing but as long as Max believes in him, Budo continues to exist. When Max disappears from school one day, Budo is the only one who can find him and save him, but he needs Max’s help to help him save himself. As a reader, I was drawn into not just the mystery of Max’s disappearance, but the internal conflicts experienced by Max’s parents and school teachers, observed from Budo’s perspective. Budo has his own personal battles to face if he is to reunite Max with his family.
I’d rather not give away too much of the plot, because the delight for me was discovering the storyline as I went along without knowing where we were heading. Told in a child-like prose, this novel is an easy, quick read with many underlying layers of complexity. For anyone who loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time you will also love Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend.
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