societyI had an imaginary tormentor. He was made up by my parents whenever we would go on holiday to Porta Pollensa. He was `The Vampire Man’. He lived in a house with round windows, and my parents told me that, if I didn’t behave, he’d feast on my blood. When I go there now, I still cross to the other side of the road to avoid that house. I’m a 27 year-old man. – By Toby Manhire In The Internaut

My niece was around 6 years old but could talk really well. She grew quite fond of this imaginary character named Donney or Donee. She said he would only show up whenever Mommy and Daddy went to sleep. He said she would play with her and s***. Well, one night she was in the living room resting on the couch when I walked in the door. She shot right up looked at me with the most dead but evil filled stare ever and, I quote, said, “Donney, no! Don’t hurt him! No!” then went back to a comatose that would be followed by screams of horror. This is where it gets real interesting. One day I was sitting watching the television when she looked at me and said, “Sometimes, when I’m playing with Donney, we take of our clothes an jump on the bed.” I decided to ask her what Donney looks like (no, I didn’t have a clue what I was ******* doing) and this is exactly what she said, ” He’s tall, with black and red skin. He has worms crawling out of his eyes. He also has black teeth and black hair. He wears black clothes.” – An Ask Reddit reader

What is a girl to do, when her imaginary friend is plotting to kill her? When we first meet Valerie this is a very serious consideration for her – because Sanguina, the imaginary “friend” that has tracked her all her life isn’t a friend at all. And she is setting up Valerie’s foster brother, Daniel, to die. Sanguina, Valerie’s very own personal tormentor, who doctors considered proof that Valerie was truly, certifiably schizophrenic. And to make things worse, every time Sanguina shows up, Valerie has a seizure – and now, one more of these seizures and Valerie will die.

But things are about to get much worse – because Sanguina has a partner – and he is very, very real.

Pham has made me eat my words. Yep. I have said repeatedly that I am not a Young Adult' book reader. I have found that there is a lot moreteenager’ in `teenage’ books than I can handle. Well, imagine that! LOL

Really, when you think about it, excitability and end-of-the-world histrionics is what being a teenager is all about, and the proliferation of `Young Adult’ books on the market today is, in my mind, a wonderful thing. It not only encourages teens to read, but gives them an outlet, an ability for even the shyest to realize that they are not all alone, that what is happening to their minds and bodies is natural.

So, as I was saying, Pham has changed my mind about not enjoying YA with her book, The Society of Imaginary Friends. Yes, there is a YA feel overall, with it’s compliment of temper tantrums and attitude. But this is a lot more, a testament to the strength of a young girl and her friends as they begin a fight which ultimately will become a war – a war of magic and terror, of hatred and pain which will change the fate of not one world, but two – and possibly that of the universe itself.

There is much to like about Pham’s first in The Conjurors series. The characters, Valerie, Thai, Henry and Cyrus are all well written, well-developed characters. They are brave, but not too brave. Smart, but not too smart – they feel real. Through heartache and joy, they work together to do what needs to be done in order to not only survive, but to thrive. Society is a book filled with magic and wonder – and a lot of terror and madness as well.

I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. Highly recommended.

Advertisements