Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“Yes, world, I am writing my memoir, and I have titled the first chapter simply this: EVERYONE HATES JACQUES PAPIER.”
First of all, this book is for younger readers, and could also be suitable for a parent to read to their child. The chapters are short, and the book is filled with illustrations throughout. It’s an easy-going, fun, entertaining and touching story.
I read it for two main reasons:
- I love stories about Imaginary friends
- I’m currently working on my Creative Writing Dissertation in which my main character is fictional and real at the same time.
Let’s assume that we live in a world where imaginary friends are real. There are a few books about them (more on this later) and they must have come from somewhere. Children do have imaginary friends. Even I had one. She was a dog, and I had her because I wanted a real dog, and I wanted to prove that I could take care of one and be responsible enough. I even made one of those ‘invisible dog leads’ to make it seem like she was even more real. Obviously, I couldn’t see her, but in this book, and others that I have read, imaginary friends are seen by their human friends.
This book is told from the perspective of Jacques Papier, and he thinks that everyone hates him. This is because everyone ignores him, and he never seems to get noticed. This is because he is imaginary. But he doesn’t know that. He thinks he is Fleur’s brother, and that her parents are his parents.
Parents in these kind of stories don’t like thier children having imaginary friends. They think it is somehow unhealthy, whereas I’d argue that it is a good thing. Okay, it might mean that they feel lonely, but at least they have a creative mind. As far as I know, we don’t grow into adulthood still claiming to have an imaginary friend, but the magic of them is that the idea of them never really leaves us, and this is the lasting message of this story, and one that I think young children can really benefit from reading.
Jacques goes through quite a lot of anxiety, panic, and upset, but he is determined, and he learns a lot about himself and his identity, as well as learning vital life-lessons which help to set him free to continue living and to know that he has made a difference.
In the beginning, he thinks he’s hated.
In the end, he knows he is loved.
It’s a fun, entertaining and at times amusing story, and I think that both children and adults alike will enjoy this.
“Maybe we’re made of the same things as stars, and stars are made of the same stuff as us. Made from all the things that are lost, and all the things that don’t belong.”
“I suppose it had its comforts, not existing. Like being airy, drifting along, being able to go in and out of a place, unnoticed. Having no friends, and therefore nobody to ever lose.”
Link to the book on Goodreads:
Other books about imaginary friends:
If You Could See Me Now – Cecelia Ahern
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend – Matthew Green