Title: The Imaginary
Author: A. F. Harrold
Illustrator: Emily Gravett
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Genre: Graphic book, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Paranormal#
Format Read: Hardback, 224 pages
Publication Date: 23rd October 2014 by Bloomsbury Australia
Synopsis: “Rudger is Amanda’s best friend. He doesn’t exist, but nobody’s perfect.
Only Amanda can see her imaginary friend – until the sinister Mr Bunting arrives at Amanda’s door. Mr Bunting hunts imaginaries. Rumour says that he eats them. And he’s sniffed out Rudger. Soon Rudger is alone, and running for his imaginary life. But can a boy who isn’t there survive without a friend to dream him up?
A brilliantly funny, scary and moving read from the unique imagination of A.F. Harrold, this beautiful book is astoundingly illustrated with integrated art and colour spreads by the award-winning Emily Gravett.”
The Imaginary is absolutely brilliant. I would leave it there and let you experience it yourself, but I also want to gush about how amazing it is as well. BRILLIANT, I tell you, BRILLIANT.
Rudger is Amanda’s imaginary friend. He turned up in her closet one morning and has been living with her since. No one else can see Rudger – or so they assumed – until an evil man by the name of Mr Bunting turns up on Amanda’s doorstep one morning with his own imaginary friend hiding behind him. Mr Bunting is rumoured to eat ‘imaginaries’, and he’s got his eye on Rudger. When Amanda gets into an accident and falls into a coma, Rudger beings to learn that without her he may actually cease to exist.
I have not had so much fun with a middle-grade book in a long time. The Imaginary is so vivid with its characters and story-telling that they truly leapt off the page. It didn’t hurt that Emily Gravett’s drawings are so beautiful, and at times even scary. Her portrayal of the sinister Mr Bunting really helped hone his creepiness and oh man was he scary.
The imagination for this story is seriously out of this world. I really appreciated all the thought that went into this story, and everything just flowed so well. Have you ever imagined what it was like to have an imaginary friend? And what exactly happens when you cease to remember them? Well, wonder no more because Harrold’s story answers these questions in the most imaginative way possible.
I wish I could read this book for the first time again because it was truly a wonderful experience. Highly recommended for all ages even though it’s marketed to kids. Who even cares, this book is brilliant. Read it now.
Thank you to Jess @ My Reading Dress and Bookworld for a copy of this book.