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Imaginary Things Paperback – April 27, 2015

4.5 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Cleverly written with a perfect touch of magic, Imaginary Things will take you on a journey of the unexpected, and leave you contemplating the power of your own mind. (Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke, authors of Your Perfect Life)

Rarely does a book surprise me. But Imaginary Things caught me completely off-guard! Andrea Lochen writes another beautiful book, filled with vivid scenes, unforgettable characters, and oodles of heart. With a page-turning plot and an utterly unique concept, Imaginary Things entertains, inspires, and provokes thought--a perfect book club pick. (Lori Nelson Spielman, author of The Life List)

If it's possible to write a witty modern fairy tale about a down-on-her-luck young mother, her erratic ex, and her charming four-year-old boy, Andrea Lochen has done it. Anna is not your typical overwhelmed mom, but her story feels like a friend's. Imaginary Things reminded me again and again that the act of raising a child is a love story, a test of strength, and a thrill ride. (Susanna Daniel, author of Sea Creatures)


An intriguing premise and some surprising twists make this an engaging, satisfying read that explores friendship, love and who we really are when it truly matters. A debut novel that offers a fascinating glimpse into one woman’s opportunity to rewrite her past and change her future. (Kirkus Reviews)

Lochen's debut novel takes deja vu to an extreme as 26-year-old Olive Watson wakes up on New Year's Day to find herself a year younger, still in bed with her ex-boyfriend, and faced with the sudden realization that she is being forced to take a second stab at the year 2011…Lochen's twist on the theme, with relationships taking center stage, makes this a perfect light summer read for chick lit lovers and book clubs. (Library Journal)

Lochen offers readers a nuanced message: although we do not fully control the outcome of events, we must figure out our best course of action and pursue it wholeheartedly. In a sense, The Repeat Year is about knowing what matters most to you and living your life with no regrets the first time around… the novel’s premise has a certain appeal for anyone who has wished for moments—if not years—they could do over again. (Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters)

The Repeat Year is a clever meditation on time travel. In Lochen’s hands, it’s far more than a plot gimmick—it’s about the myriad ways we second-guess and sabotage ourselves in the name of finding happiness. Her characters must find ways to let go of regrets and cherish the small moments of love in life, right now. I enjoyed this a lot. (Margaret Dilloway, author of How to Be An American Housewife)

The Repeat Year is a magical, fairy tale-like debut, and I will certainly be on the lookout for Andrea Lochen’s future releases. This book is for anyone who believes in second chances, fate, and the power of true love. (Luxury Reading)

The Repeat Year is warm, touching, and a thoroughly enjoyable read. Andrea Lochen has taken a comfortingly familiar idea and given it a fresh and unique spin. Her heroine, Olive, is complex and endearing, a fun character to spend a 'do-over year' with, even as she struggles to right her wrongs and earn redemption. Anyone who has dreamed of getting a second chance at love will not be able to resist this book. (Janis Thomas, author of Sweet Nothings)

A magical realist rom-com of great charm, The Repeat Year reflects with lively wit (and a surprising undertow of poignancy) on questions of fate and karma, chance and choice. (Peter Ho Davies, author of The Welsh Girl)

This quirky story about tough decisions and second chances will capture the heart and give hope to those who feel lost. The main character is relatable in her struggle to break free of past habits and find happiness through honesty with herself and those she loves. For anyone who has ever needed a ‘do over,’ this novel gives hope for change and redemption. (RT Reviews)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: HighLine Editions; New edition edition (April 27, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1941286119
  • ISBN-13: 978-1941286111
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #889,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Normally, when I write a review of a book, I start off by giving you pointers on why I loved/hated it and a breakdown of those parts. This time I would like to start out by saying FIVE STARS! As you all know, I do not give five stars lightly. Andrea Lochen deserved it with "Imaginary Things".

When I first read the synopsis of this book I was intrigued. I thought I was going to read a slighty supernatural story with some fun ups and downs. I mean, a book about a single, young mom who can see her kids imaginations come to life? This book is so much more than that, though. I have never read anything like it.

Lochen developed characters that so many people can relate to. I found myself comparing my life to that of Anna's, being a single mom myself, and there were so many things I found myself encouraging her through or shaking my head because I'd made the same mistake. This is a story of life. Simple as that. 'Imaginary Things' is a glimpse of reality mixed with imagination, the ups and downs, and the awesome adventure we call life. This book is the perfect description of a parent connecting with their child, the urge to keep them safe at all costs (even from... wait for it... imaginary things), falling in love, and moving on from the past. A tale of letting go and things falling into place.

'Imaginary Things' is such a magical book with a great lesson intertwined in the pages that I encourage everyone, young and old, to take the time to read this book. It is going on my favorites shelf and will probably be re-read sometime in the future (most likely multiple times). Have I mentioned the cover art is incredible too? It fits it so perfectly. I do not have enough hands to clap or hats to take off to let Andrea Lochen know how incredible her book was. If I could, I'd scream it from the rooftops. FIVE STARS!
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Format: Kindle Edition
This novel has all the qualities of what makes great women's literature: a strong and likable heroine with relatable struggles, a cast of quirky small-town characters, and a heartfelt love story between two childhood sweethearts and also between mother and son. Add the wonderful magical twists and you have a pensive, complex, and whimsical story that will appeal to lovers of Kristin Hannah as well as lovers of Neil Gaiman. I especially love how Andrea Lochen made all the warm, fuzzy feelings of summertime jump off the page and come to life. Perfect beach read!
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Format: Paperback
This book had me from the synopsis. Children have such great imaginations and probably most of us had an imaginary friend at some point in our youth. Then the thought of someone else being able to see those imaginary friends? That is an awesome idea for a story.

'If King Rex was David’s imaginary friend, and I could see King Rex, that meant I could see David's imagination. I could see as clear as day the things he was inventing in his mind. And apparently he had inherited his over-active imagination from me.'

Imaginary Things is unlike any story I have ever read. I thought it would be a fun, whimsical story about a little boy and his make-believe friends. It was so much more than that. Anna is a young mother who is trying to do the right things for herself and her son, all while trying to protect her young child from the evil in their lives. But sometimes it's not so easy to differentiate between good and evil.

As Anna tries to understand what David's imaginary friends want and what they are trying to tell her, she has to work through what her own childhood imaginary friend meant to her. And who were the good guys in her youth? Who were the bad ones?

'There were so many things to be afraid of - some real, some imagined - and it seemed impossible to know the difference until it was too late.'

I loved Imaginary Friends. It is a very well written story and I was hooked from the first page. I was immediately comfortable with the characters and I didn't want to put the book down. I love the way Andrea tells a story and I am definitely going to be reading more of her work. She has now been added to my list of ‘must-read' authors.

And don't you just love the cover? I know I do!
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Format: Paperback
Imaginary Things is such a wonderful read. I was initially drawn in by the magic aspect — a single mother who can see her son’s imagination? Count me in! — but I quickly grew attached to the protagonist and her family and was really pulling for them throughout the book. I’m around Anna’s age, so I also found myself wondering what on earth I would do if I were in her situation: balancing a big move, a little boy, and now the sudden appearance of dinosaurs — what to do?!

Also, little David never failed to make me smile. “Dino-suss!”
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Format: Paperback
I never write book reviews, but after receiving a copy from my colleague at work I thought I should write a short review. I loved this novel, it has so many wonderful layers of imagination-- from the the little boy who can see and talk to his imaginary friends, (big extinct lizards) to his mother who also can believe in his imagination. The book is also about motherhood, returning home and how at times it is so important to be fearless-- in a very realistic and profound way. I will recommend this book to my reading group for the summer, as I also think it is a great summer beach read.
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