Book Review- Memoirs of An Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks

I cannot believe I have not done a book review since January! This book, as well as another, has been finished for quite some time now. I have been excited to write about this book. If you know anything about me and my reading habits, you know that my favourite books are classified as having an interesting narration. It is told from the perspective of an imaginary friend named Budo, and this book had me hooked from the start. I had been eying for it a while, but I thought it was my mom’s. She swears I bought it myself, so the origin of this book to my collection is completely unknown.  Skip to the end if you want my overall impression.

1.       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 you know they love them (9).
This quote spoke to me because it is something I completely agree with. Teaching is what I want to do with my life. But the really special teachers are the ones that make the biggest impressions through being who they are. In grade 6, Mrs. Arrowsmith gave me her passion for words and the English language. In grade 9, Ms. Coumans inspired me to go to England. In grade 11, Mrs. Goddard pointed out that something was wrong with me before I realized it myself. In grade 12, I was able to work beside Ms. Morgan as an inspiration for who I want to be as a teacher. All these teachers made an impact on my school career, and I intend to be a teacher like the best out there.

2.       Monsters are bad things, but monsters that do not walk and talk like monsters are the worst (152).
How scary is this thought? Unfortunately, this is true. As a child, the monsters under your bed are the scariest part of your world. As an adult, you realize the monsters become the faces you see every day. It’s the people you’ve known for years. It’s the girl you sit beside in class. The novel deals with this type of monster in a profound and heart-wrenching way, but this is how it applies to my life.

3.       My voice does not echo because the world cannot hear my voice. Only Max can hear my voice. But if the world could hear my voice, it would repeat now. It would echo again and again. That is how loud I yell Max’s name (169).
This quote does not make sense out of context, but it is so full of love and desperation Budo is expressing for his Max. It is part of the whole need to know why he exists in the world beyond Max. I cannot explain anything else without giving things away.

4.       I don’t know how much of Max I am allowed to lose to save myself (187).
This is similar to the last quote in that it holds so much passion and meaning in context. However, as a deeper meaning, I can see the threads of a co-dependent relationship starting to wear down. There is a fine line between figuring out who you are outside of a relationship and maintaining the relationship itself.  I think this quote emulates this sensation.

5.       Because existing is so important. It’s the most important thing (197).
This is one of the main themes in the book. Existing is one thing in the world, but how does one go about figuring out how to exist? Or why they exist? Major questions are developed here.

6.       She is driving like she has a place to go instead of a place to find (204).
I am purposely taking this quote way out of context, because I like the essential meaning of the phrase itself. One of the best qualities I find in people is direction. I love listening to people when they talk about their future plans. I certainly do have a lot of people in my life that aren’t sure where their future will take them, and there is no problem with that. I just love direction because it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a destination in mind, but you know you want to get there.

7.       Every imaginary friend can touch the world, I think (213).
I loved this quote. Kids are so stinking creative with what they come up with. There was a girl at work in the summer that would spend hours playing with her imaginary friends and be perfectly content for hours.  I’m always going to remember her. And imagine how cool it would be to be an imaginary friend who can reach out to a world completely unlike their own.

8.       “Maybe we are all somebody’s devil” (258).
I have recently come into contact with an adult bully (because yes, they exist). In the moment, it is so easy to feel diminished and victimized. However, with context, and perspective, I have changed my mindset slightly. We all need to keep in mind that at some point, we have all been the source of someone’s pain, unintentional or not. You may not even realize it. A friend once asked me if I had “beef” with anyone. I could not think of anything, but that does not mean I have not affected people in a negative way. Think about those people once in a while.

9.       “I’d rather have one good adventure than stay at that hospital forever” (263).
Again, this does not make a lot of sense, but I promise it’s not sad! It’s an incredible sense of empowerment and sheer carpe diem. It’s the moment of realization for a character named Oswald. He had to step out of the only place he knew to take part in a scary destination, but he did it because he wanted a life to be proud of.  Try it. Get out of that box.

This book has a magic quality to it. Budo’s narration is fresh and innocent and simple in ways maturity cannot express. This book touched on issues of existence and love and childhood and autism in ways I have never experienced before. Overall, my favourite part was the ways it sparked conversation about imaginary friends. Apparently, I had an imaginary bear named Boomba and a green cat with three legs named Elsie Merium named after my grandma.  I give this book 5/5 stars! It is now placed on my list of favourite books. 100% suggested.


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