The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke
|The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke|
|Reviewer: Loralei Haylock|
|Summary: A superb book that will leave you questioning and discussing events long after you've closed the final pages. A harrowing, but beautiful book.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 400||Date: May 2012|
|External links: Author's website|
Alex can see demons. He's been able to ever since his dad left when he was five years old. Some demons are hideous, some are frightening, and some just lurk in corners doing not much at all. One is called Ruen, and he's Alex's best friend.
Ruen has promised Alex things, but only if Alex does something bad. Alex doesn't want to be bad, but when Ruen says something needs doing, he's usually right. And he's always been there for Alex, even though he can frighten him sometimes.
Anya is a child psychiatrist, trying to banish some demons of her own through her work. Ever since she lost her daughter, Poppy, Anya has been trying to find answers, and she thinks she might find them if she can help Alex. But is Alex crazy, or is there something more to his 'demons' than Anya is able to comprehend?
This book has garnered comparisons to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon, and they are well deserved, though the books aren't entirely similar. They both deal with mental disorders, but really, that's as far as it goes. However, both are completely compelling and utterly brilliant.
Alex's demon, Ruen is a horrible creation - equal parts horrific and manipulative and just caring enough that you can't help but empathise with his relationship with Alex.
What makes the book truly unsettling, though, is the fact that Jess-Cooke never gives an easy explanation for which is reality - Anya's world or Alex's. Just when you think Anya's right about Alex's demon being a symptom of Early Onset Schizophrenia, something happens to give you cause to doubt. And, I think very bravely, there is no real resolution on this matter - leaving the reader free to decide what they think was real or not. While this may seem unsatisfying to some, it's what made the book linger in my thoughts long after I finished reading, and hankering to pass the book on to friends to see what they thought.
My thanks to the publisher for sending a copy.
If you haven't already read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon then definitely take a look.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke at Amazon.com.
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