Review: The Boy Who Could See Demons, Carolyn Jess-Cooke

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book on Netgalley from the publisher in return for an honest review*
The Boy Who Could See Demons Caroly Jess-Cooke cover
Alex Connolly is ten years old, likes onions on toast, and can balance on the back legs of his chair for fourteen minutes. 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?

Carolyn Jess-Cooke was born in 1978 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She started writing as a child, producing first a book of illustrated short stories at the age of seven, then a series of novels and poetry collections. After years of pestering publishers she finally saw her work in print at the age of seventeen.
Following a first class honours degree in English Literature and Classical Studies at the Queen’s University of Belfast, Carolyn received a scholarship to study for a Masters degree in Creative Writing, during which she developed the first drafts of what would later become her debut poetry collection, INROADS. Working as a piano tutor, pianist, photographer, and the occasional acting stint, Carolyn travelled the world during this time and lived for several years in Sydney, Australia. Later completing a PhD in Shakespeare on film, Carolyn took up an academic post in film studies at the University of Sunderland in 2005 followed by a senior post in Creative Writing at the University of Northumbria in 2009. She gave up tenure in 2011 to write full time.
Carolyn moved to the north east of England in January 2005 and met her husband-to-be, Jared Jess-Cooke, twenty-four hours later. She and Jared live beside the beach in Whitley Bay with their four children.

I did not see that coming... Warning the end of this book is a surprise.
I really loved Alex. He is a really sensitive kid. One of those you want to take in your arms and hide form all the harm in one go. He obviously has been trough a lot in his young life and now with the demon Ruen taking a hold of his life it is easy to want to save him. Anya has had her share of grief too and the two of them are so lovely together. I really loved the differences between the parts told by Alex and those told by Anya. Carolyn Jess-Cooke really managed to approach the style of a 10 year old.
The story itself is pretty but very emotional, it sounds wrong to call it a joy to read but it actually is. The attention there is for the generation growing up with the stories about all the bad times in Dublin is really great. Usually people get the feeling that because the problems are over the situation automatically gets better but there are whole generations influenced by the violence and I really appreciated that view. And as said the end was a total surprise though I hate I do not get a 'the end' for all the story lines.

The Boy Who Could See Demons
Author: Carolyn Jess-Cooke
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 288
Format: eGalley
ISBN-10: 0345536533 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 9780345536532 (Hardcover)
Publisher: eBook | Hardcover | AudioBook
The Boy Who Could See Demons

4 star review

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3 reacties

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10 August, 2013 delete

Glad to hear you liked it! Great review Ciska (:

Shona Wood
10 August, 2013 delete

Thanks for the review Ciska, it's not the sort of thing I'd usually go for but you've made it sound very tempting!

Shushkat x

12 August, 2013 delete

Nice review! I also hate it when you feel not all the stories ends' have tied up. Reminds me of how I felt when reading The Angel's Game...