Friday, 16 August 2013
The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke
I first met my demon the morning that Mum said Dad had gone.
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?
I was sent this to review by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
What a refreshing story this is. Told in alternating chapters from the perspective of Alex a 10 year old boy who's got enough family problems of his own without his ability to see demons or is this his way of coping with life and from the perspective of Anya his therapist who has her own problems too.
The story prediominantly deals with mental illness and associated problems. We never know what is going on in someone else's head and it's Anya's job to try and find out what is happening in Alex's head.
Alex's Mum has attempted to commit suicide and it would appear that Alex has taken over the position of Parent or responsible person in this family. Alex is worried that he will be taken in to care and split up from his Mum. Anya does all she can to try and prevent this from happening.
At times the story is dark and the demons do appear to be quite menacing in their hold over Alex and in particular Ruen, who can be very persuasive when getting Alex to do his bidding.
You are drawn in by the characters and as the story moves along you eagerly read each page and in turn each chapter wanting to find out what is going on. Despite the subject matter of mental illness this story is very easy to read, at times a little humourous and is very well written. This is the first book I've read by this Author and I can thoroughly recommend it to others. It will definitely be in my Top 10 books of the year and I give it 10/10.