Title: Imaginary Things
Author: Andrea Lochen
Date finished: 8/10/15
Genre: Fiction, Magical realism
Publisher: Astor + Blue Editions
Publication Date: April 27, 2015 (How funny, that’s my wedding anniversary)
Pages in book: 312
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Author/Publisher NOTE: I received this book for free from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
Blurb from the cover:
Burned-out and completely broke, twenty-two-year-old single mother Anna Jennings moves to her grandparents’ rural Wisconsin home for the summer―her four-year-old, David, in tow. Returning to Salsburg reminds Anna of simpler times―fireflies, picnics, Neapolitan ice cream―long before she met her unstable ex and everything changed. But the sudden appearance of shadowy dinosaurs awakens Anna from this small-town spell, and forces her to believe she has either lost her mind or can somehow see her son’s active imagination. Frightened, Anna struggles to learn the rules of this bizarre phenomenon, but what she uncovers along the way is completely unexpected: revelations about what her son’s imaginary friends truly represent and hidden secrets about her own childhood.
My rating: 4.25 stars out of a scale of 5
My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for ARC August reading challenge, it is #5 on list from my sign up post. I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book is about Anna Jennings, a twenty-two year old woman and the mother of four year old David. You find out about David’s father in pieces throughout the story, but suffice it to say he has not been involved in David’s life. Anna has just lost her job in Milwaukee and is moving two hours away to her grandparent’s home in Salsburg until she can get back on her feet. Her grandparents have taken her in from time to time throughout her life, the last time being when she was pregnant with David. Anna’s mother, Kimberly, is a hard woman who never seemed to care much for Anna, so Anna is determined to never be that kind of mother to David. I thought it was truly touching how devoted she is to David as a parent. And though I’m not a parent myself, I’ve heard that many first time parents have numerous moments of self-doubt, whether they’re making the best decisions for their child or not. I could hear through Anna’s narration the thoughts that many first time parents must have. I thought her character was well developed and portrayed perfectly.
While staying with her grandparents, Anna begins to notice that David has some unusual play pals. The first time she almost sees them she thinks it is just a big dog, but when she begins to see them clearly she realizes that they are dinosaurs. That’s right, dinosaurs. And no one else can see them except her and David. She shouldn’t even really be able to see them because in actuality they’re just figments of David’s imagination. But they seem real as day to her, she can even feel and smell their hot breath while playing hide and seek one day. At first she’s worried about whether they’re going to hurt her son but she slowly starts to calm down when she realizes that the dinosaurs are protecting David. But what is it that David needs protecting from?
I don’t want to say too much else because I don’t want to give good plot points away. And the reason I’m not doing that is because everyone should go read it for themselves. Now. Go buy the book! This book was fantastic, I honestly just couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. I thought the idea of Anna being able to see David’s imaginary friends was just so creative and unlike anything I had ever read before. Also the plot of this book was just captivating. Every time I thought we were about to come up on a slow part of the book, something else would happen that kept me on my toes. I was literally on the edge of my seat for the last 50 pages at least. Great story line and great characters, I will definitely be reading Lochen’s previous book and anything in the future. Everyone go read this book!
And be sure to check out my other post from today, I got to chat a little with the author, Andrea Lochen, about this book and her other books.
The bottom line: I loved this book, I definitely recommend reading it! Especially if you are a women’s fiction or magical realism fan! Great read!