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Imaginary Enemy by Julie Gonzalez
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Imaginary Enemy

by Julie Gonzalez

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I loved the idea of the imaginary enemy--I thought this was quite an original concept. I also loved the quirky family next door with their passion for music, and I loved Jane's friend Emma. I think Jane's character could have been more fully developed, and some of the plotting seemed a bit contrived, but overall it was a fun read. ( )
  Sandra305 | Aug 10, 2010 |
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

Looking for a fun book? This one is for you. Many people grow up having had at least one imaginary friend. Jane White has an imaginary enemy.

It all started in second grade when Jane began writing to Bubba. Whenever life would throw her a curve ball to upset her or embarrass her, she would sit down and write Bubba a letter to complain. Bubba was always there to collect the blame or abuse Jane tossed in his direction. Imagine her surprise when one day she received a letter addressed to her from Bubba.

Named after an eccentric aunt, Jane hates her name, and finds herself constantly battling her strange family and friends. There is the half-brother who suddenly decides to leave his mother's house and move in with Jane's family. There are younger siblings who constantly annoy Jane. The family's father figure suffers a mid-life meltdown only to quit his job and begin a new career. Add to all that a bunch of odd neighbors who home-school their children and “collect” sounds. Jane's problems are actually quite typical, but her creative way of dealing with them makes her story well worth reading.

Author Julie Gonzalez expertly combines all this in a fast-paced story that will hold the attention of middle grade and teen readers, as well as any grownup who remembers their own roller-coaster ride to adulthood. This comic novel is a fine addition to any individual or library collection. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 11, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385735529, Hardcover)

Jane White goes by the pen name Gabriel when she writes letters to Bubba, her imaginary enemy. She’s been writing to Bubba (short for Beelzebub) since second grade, blaming him every time something in her life goes wrong. It’s never her fault! She doesn’t want to admit that her impetuous behavior and smart-mouthed comments often land her in trouble. And now that she’s a teenager, Jane’s slacker ways exude an I-don’tcare 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:32 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Although her impetuous behavior, smart-mouthed comments, and slacker ways have landed her in trouble over the years, sixteen-year-old Jane has always put the blame on her "imaginary enemy," until a new development forces her to decide whether or not to assume responsibility for her actions.… (more)

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