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Happy Booker

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Review - The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke

The Boy Who Could See Demons: A Novel - Carolyn Jess-Cooke

The Boy Who Could See Demons introduces the reader to Alex, a 10 year old boy who can talk to demons. He has one particular demon who is with him all the time, whispering secrets and possibly lies. Alex has witnessed several of his mother's suicide attempts as well as a traumatizing event involving his father which has put him under the psychiatric care of Anya. Anya has her own painful past that she struggles with, barely holding it together as the anniversary of her own ordeal approaches. She tries to set aside her own pain to try to bond with Alex and understand his situation while finding it difficult separating his circumstances from her own. 

I found The Boy Who Could See Demons to be very slow paced yet the story was utterly compelling. I questioned throughout the entire story whether or not Alex was actually talking to a demon or whether it was schizophrenia as Anya suggested. The story certainly takes the reader through layers of pain as it explores the suffering of a child losing a parent and a parent losing a child. 

The dialog between the characters was beautifully written and very readable. Alex and Anya's interactions showed their bond forming and how they came to view one another. It wasn't difficult to understand how Anya found it difficult to maintain a professional distance from Alex's circumstances and how she became so very emotionally entrenched in his story. 

The ending is where this story completely lost me. I understand that it was an extreme twist and that it could have made some sort of crazy sense, but to me it felt like a throwaway ending. An ending that neatly explained away all the questions that were posed throughout the book and I was left feeling disappointed rather than satisfied with a fully resolved ending of a story I had, up until then, been enjoying.

Source: http://happy-booker.blogspot.com/2013/09/review-boy-who-could-see-demons-by.html