Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Imagination Inundation

* Received from NetGalley for Review

4 gnomes and a gnome hat out of 5 gnomes

At first I wasn't sure that I wanted to read this book but it just draws you in and doesn't let go, using an imaginary friend as the narrator is brilliant. I thought of the show Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends before reading this, it's one of the reasons I requested to read this book. The concept of imaginary friends is intriguing and I find myself wondering what my imaginary friend would have been like if I had one.

This is an extremely cool book. I like the books concept because it's told kind of in a childlike way but not from a child's point of view. This is great because you're not limited to just what the kid knows because more outside information is provided. As the title of the story implies, the main character in this book is Budo, an imaginary friend created by a boy named Max.

Budo is extraordinary in the world of imaginary friends because he looks just like a regular person and is six years old. It turns out that most imaginary friends don't last that long, according to him most of them die in kindergarten. Through Budo you see the wide variety of friends out there and can just imagine the wide variety of imaginary friends that could be imagined.

Max is a special kid and that's at least one of the reasons why Budo has been around so long. No actual diagnosis is given to Max but with all of his habits it would seem like he falls somewhere in the wide range of autism spectrum disorders. This causes him plenty of problems at school and home because people aren't sure how to interact with him and sometimes they push him too far.

The action and events in the story are easy to picture and if done right would make for a quite interesting movie. There's just the right amount of humor and tension as the story offers some funny scenes along with all the serious. One of the funniest scenes takes place in a bathroom, it looks like something horrible is about to happen but then instead something pretty darn hilarious happens.

The story looks at both how Budo and Max need each other but also how they both need to grow up and understand the world more. They make a great team but sometimes there are just things that an imaginary friend can't do.

I dare you not to shed a tear or at least tear up a little at the end of this book. The story looks at life and death and really makes you think. The epilogue was very fitting and I think could be interpreted two ways, I'm still trying to decide what it means. Either way though it's a pretty picture perfect ending to the story.  I love that everything ends on a hopeful note.

* If you're a fan of audio books check out a clip of the audiobook (provided by Macmillan Audio):

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