Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Joint Review: The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cook

by:  Carolyn Jess-Cook 
published by:  Delacorte Press
publish date:  August 13, 2013

Alex Connolly is ten years old and likes onions on toast. His best friend is a 9000-year-old demon called Ruen. When his depressive mother attempts suicide yet again, Alex meets child psychiatrist Anya. Still bearing the scars of her own daughter’s battle with schizophrenia, Anya fears for Alex’s mental health and attempts to convince him that Ruen doesn’t exist. But as she runs out of medical proof for many of Alex’s claims, she is faced with a question: does Alex suffer from schizophrenia, or can he really see demons?

This book wasn't even on my radar until Kari mentioned she was going to listen to the audiobook.  It sounded pretty interesting so I thought I'd give it a go myself.   Throughout the book there was the constant question, was Alex sick the way Anya thought he was or was Alex really seeing demons.  Personally, when I was reading the book, I was on the side that Alex was really seeing the demons.  I'm a supernatural person though.

I liked the characters in this book.  Alex was an interesting kid, even though his onions on toast obsession was weird and kind of grossed me out.  I liked Ruen, he was a demon and evil, but I liked his sophistication.  While I wasn't particularly wowed by Anya, I was intrigued by her relationship with her daughter Poppy.  I would have liked a little more detail about Poppy and her psychosis.  

Overall, I liked this book.  I could have maybe started nitpicking about the end, but I decided to leave it alone and suspend disbelief.  Sometimes, the reader just has to do that for the sake of the book.  

Ultimately, I enjoyed the book. The one thing that I loved were the jokes that Alex tells in the beginning of each of his sections.  I found myself giggling at them.  It definitely lightened the mood in the story.  I was the opposite of Autumn.  I was more inclined to think that Alex was schizophrenic and couldn't really see the demons.  I couldn't explain how he knew certain personal details about Anya, but I didn't really buy it.  

I loved the ending.  It was a great twist that thinking back, I probably could have seen coming had I been paying better attention.  The audiobook was well done.  I thought the author did a good job of narrating her own story.  I have found that to be a rare thing.  This is definitely a book I would recommend giving a try.

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