#BookReview: Imaginary Things Andrea Lochen

Reviewer: Leah

imaginary things andrea lochenI received a review copy

Summary:

From Andrea Lochen, award-winning author of The Repeat Year, comes an enchanting tale about family, love, and the courage it takes to face your demons and start over again.
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.

Review:

            In Imaginary Things, by Andrea Lochen, single mother Anna Jennings finds herself at the end of her rope and seeking refuge once again at her grandparent’s house in small-town, rural, Wisconsin; the place she thought she would never come back to. When Anna was “too much to handle” for her mother, she would find herself dropped off at her grandparents in Wisconsin. Every time she faces trials, she ends up returning there for support from them; along with her best friend and next-door-neighbor, Jamie Presswood. When she is laid off and her bank account dries up; she packs up her few belongings and her four-year-old son, David. Once back at her grandparent’s house, she begins to appreciate the safety and security of the small town, along with trying to reconnect with the now adult and attractive Jamie Presswood. However, this bliss doesn’t last long as David’s imaginary friends, two dinosaurs, enter the picture. To Anna’s shock, she too can see the shadowy creatures and attempts to discover what they are and why David has created them.

I enjoyed this book, but I think it would have been a stronger story without the imaginary friends being alive and having the ability to interact with humans. I think that it was an interesting idea to have the imaginary creatures come to life, but the actual writing of it paired with the emotional story of Anna wasn’t a cohesive whole. If there had been some reason why Anna and David were able to have their imaginary friends come to life as it has to do with their genes or the area it occurs in; it would have made more sense. Instead, the story felt more like a good idea that wasn’t developed enough, and failed to come to complete fruitation.

In fact, the story doesn’t even need the imaginary friends being seen by Anna, as the rest of the story was very strong, well written, and extremely enjoyable. The story of the young, single mother, Anna trying to raise her son and having life’s troubles sending her back to the small town life she had always disliked and thought boring. Her having to resettle into life with her grandparents, try to find a job, and be the best parent to David possible was fascinating on its own. Not to mention dealing with the fear and broken trust left by her ex-boyfriend and David’s father. In fact this was an amazingly well done story as it was about an everyday character that all can relate to some part of. The added romance with her old best friend Jamie; who brings all the issues and insecurities she has been running from back into the open, and starts changing her life. This story was strong and powerful, and I would have preferred it (with regular imaginary friends) that way, than the mystical one that was published.

I give this four out of five stars as I loved the core story of Anna, David, Jamie, and small-town Wisconsin.

4 stars

IMAGINARY THINGS buy links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1FOikjL

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1DXghMZ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1IL8GlF

Astor + Blue: http://bit.ly/1HJ3VW9

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