Title: Imaginary Enemy
Author: Julie Gonzalez
Release Date: March 11, 2008
Publisher: Laurel-Leaf Books
Cover Designer: Vikki Sheatsley (dinosaur designed by Julie Gonzalez)
Age Audience: YA
Summary: Jane White has been writing to Bubba, her "imaginary enemy", since second grade, blaming him every time something in her life goes wrong. And now that she’s a teenager, Jane exudes an I-don’t-care attitude. But Jane does care. She cares about fitting in at school; she cares that Sharp deMichael and his brothers next door think of her as normal and start excluding her from their offbeat plans; and she definitely cares the day she receives a letter from Bubba. How can an imaginary enemy write back? Just as the time comes for Jane to face her lifelong foe, she must also decide whether or not to assume responsibility for her actions.
Imaginary Enemy was the kind of light story perfect for after you've read something dark and heavy. Although many elements of the story were pretty generic, the concept of an imaginary enemy was unique and interesting.
The main character, Jane, was smart-alecky and a bit of a troublemaker, but despite her flaws (or maybe because of them), she was such a lovable character. I loved how she was an admitting slacker and took being called "normal" as an insult (reminded me of quite a few people I know). The book starts when Jane is in second grade and ends when she's in eleventh grade, so you get to see her grow up and the problems she write to Bubba about mature.
This was one of the most predictable books I have ever read, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. From the beginning of the book, you can predict that she will stop writing to her imaginary enemy, and you know who the person who writes back will turn out to be.
Overall, this was a fun and simple reading experience that you'll probably race through in two hours.