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Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Imaginary Friend

by Stephen Chbosky

Quick take

From the author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a horror that'll suck you in with genuinely creepy scenes. Yikes.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_WellKnownAuthor

    Famous author

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Creepy


  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Buzzy



We can swallow our fear or let our fear swallow us.

Single mother Kate Reese is on the run. Determined to improve life for her and her son, Christopher, she flees an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with Christopher at her side. Together, they find themselves drawn to the tight-knit community of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. It's as far off the beaten track as they can get. Just one highway in, one highway out.

At first, it seems like the perfect place to finally settle down. Then Christopher vanishes. For six awful days, no one can find him. Until Christopher emerges from the woods at the edge of town, unharmed but not unchanged. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete: Build a tree house in the woods by Christmas, or his mother and everyone in the town will never be the same again.

Soon Kate and Christopher find themselves in the fight of their lives, caught in the middle of a war playing out between good and evil, with their small town as the battleground.

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Member thoughts

All (900)
All (900)
Love (332)
Like (362)
Dislike (206)
961 ratings
  • 35% Love
  • 38% Like
  • 21% Dislike
  • Dunmore, PA

    WOW! This was hands down one of my favorite horror books I’ve ever read. It’s quite a large novel so I didn’t expect to get through it so fast, but I couldn’t put it down! A beautiful, haunting story.

  • Shady Side, MD

    ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK!! Best book I’ve read in a long time by far! There are a bunch of twists and surprises perfectly put together and I thought it was an absolutely magnificent book!!!❤️❤️

  • Woodstock, GA

    WOW!! Was not at all expecting to like this so much but it’s easily in my top 5 books this year! I’m usually hesitant to read longer books but I absolutely loved this and didn’t want it to ever end.

  • Philadelphia, PA

    The size of this book was a bit intimidating at 1st glance, so i was hesitant to start reading it. However, i was hooked after the 1st chapter & couldn't put it down. Was finished in 2 days & loved it

  • Colusa, CA

    The size of this book was daunting at first but once I started, I couldn't put it down until I finished! I caught many clues even on the first page and I was still surprised many times! Enthralling.


    Such a fabulous read. Excellently executed. A great take on good versus evil and how mankind deals with it. Kids have an excellent way of figuring out stuff if we give them the chance. A must read!

  • Saginaw , MI

    I really enjoyed this because it was so different from anything I've ever read. This book is creepy, which I love. I couldn't wait to figure things out, but I loved the world building along the way.

  • Upper Darby , PA

    Had me hooked me from page 1. I did find it a little slow in the middle but I still enjoyed the book. Must have an imagination while reading the book. It seems daunting being 700 pages but worth it.

  • Middle Village, NY

    This book was incredible! Definitely some parts were drawn on, but the overall story was great. Such an interesting storyline with religion intertwined. This book had me captivated the entire read!

  • Oakland, ME

    Interesting genre for Chbosky after perks, however it was a good read! For being 700 pages and some change he was able to keep the pace relatively quick and the plot entertaining. Would read again!

  • Hershey, PA

    Thrilling, entertaining, thought provoking. Wonderfully done! If you like trying to piece together a story with multiple story lines/characters and like scary/creepy, this is the book for you.

  • Port Clinton, OH

    What an epic, atmospheric, super-duper-awesome, ode-to-Stephen-King, creepy book! Super long, but worth it! The audio book version is equally amazing! This is going to make one heck of a movie!

  • Claremore, OK

    At first I didn't know if I could finish this book because it was 705 pages. I couldn't and wouldn't put it down. I would recommend this book. I haven't read anything by this author before now.

  • Lemoore, CA

    This was a big book but also a big page Turner. It kept me interested and on the edge of my seat. I was a bit turned of by the turn it took towards the end but it was still a really good book.

  • Elkhorn, WI

    Just the best book I read all year! I could not put it down. This book took me all kinds of places. It also ended exactly how I love...thinking about it well after I read the last word.

  • Tujunga, CA

    This book was so nightmarishly creepy I couldn’t put it down! It was really long but necessary because the content was heavy. I really enjoyed it! I will definitely recommend it to others!

  • Toledo, OH

    Slow paced but even when I would set the book aside I couldn’t stop thinking about it and would have to pick it up again. Strange but fascinating, weird but heartfelt, scary but beautiful.

  • Olmsted Falls, OH

    I loved this book, I only downside it that it was really long and you really don't understand why until you get to the end, it all becomes very clear. Stick with it, it's well worth it.

  • Bountiful, UT

    The most unique book I’ve ever read! The first half was definitely spooky, but then the second half got a little weird. The book could have been 50ish pages shorter in my opinion

  • Bellport, NY

    Dark, creepy, thrilling, mysterious, fantastical. This book reminded me of a Stephen King novel, which is the highest praise I can give. Very well written and interesting story.

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