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The Boy Who Could See Demons

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3.87  ·  Rating details ·  3,869 ratings  ·  617 reviews
"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'
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Paperback, 400 pages
Published May 10th 2012 by Piatkus/Little Brown
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Izzy Two different endings for two versions: the British edition and the American edition.
From what I recall the American publishers asked the author to…more
Two different endings for two versions: the British edition and the American edition.
From what I recall the American publishers asked the author to change the ending so that it would "fit" the American market or something like that.(less)

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3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,869 ratings  ·  617 reviews


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karen
Jun 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
There's an Irishman, an Englishman, and a Scottish bloke washing the side of a skyscraper. Every day at lunchtime they sit on their balcony overlooking the city and eat their sandwiches. One day the Englishman opens his lunchbox and gets really angry. "Ham again!" he says. "If my wife packs me one more ham sandwich I'm going to throw myself off this balcony." The Scottish bloke opens his lunchbox and finds a cheese sandwich. "Cheese sarnies again!" he says. "If my wife packs me one more cheese s
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This is an easy read about a difficult topic. It explores the demons of the mind rather than the demons of fantasy and horror novels. Make no mistake, these demons are terrifyingly real to those suffering from mental illness. Using the alternating voices of a ten-year-old boy and a middle-aged child psychiatrist, author Carolyn Jess-Cooke touches on issues of schizophrenia, dissociative identity disorder, and the burden of trauma that continues to weigh on those who grew up in Northern Ireland d ...more
Scarlet
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, uk, netgalley
3.5

Though structured and paced like a thriller, what this book really is, is a finely sketched portrait of pain. And I don't mean the passive kind, where you feel for characters because they have tragic back-stories. No, this pain is personal; it's deeper, more penetrating and quietly horrifying. When the finale played out, I swear my heart skipped a beat because I was so shocked, and then it just broke.

The Boy Who Could See Demons was a book I requested on a whim. I had no major expectations go
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Mansuriah Hassan
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a refreshing story this is! The Boy Who Could See Demons is told in alternating chapters from the perspective of Alex Broccoli, a 10 year old boy who speaks maturely for his age and of Dr. Anya Molokova, a child psychologist who is grieving over the death of her daughter, Poppy, who killed herself because she was suffering from schizophrenia.

Alex lives with his mother, Cindy in Belfast who has attempted suicide few times. I would say that Alex seemed like an intriguing character. He is mat
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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
This book was more of an 3.5 stars.

Alex is a young boy who lives with his mom in not the greatest of environments. She has tried to commit suicide several times and they are dirt poor. Alex is such an unusual boy though. He is way smarter than his years and there is the fact that he sees demons. In particular one demon named Ruen. Ruen appears to him mostly as a old man.


Ruen says he is helping Alex and I do see that he does that somethings but all in all-he is a shit. Being a demon allows that
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~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
This is a nuanced, deeply disturbing book, one that's difficult to review, precisely because it's brilliant. It's like peeling an onion: the more you peel, the more you realize there's always another layer.

Set in Northern Ireland in 2007, the book alternates between the point of view of Anya, a 43-year-old child psychiatrist grieving the suicide of her young daughter, and Alex, a 10-year-old boy living in the slums of Belfast with a depressed, suicidal mother, an absent father who disappeared a
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Robert
May 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Demons propagate this novel to the point of a psychological nightmare, creating suspense and tension with every turn of the page. But it’s not always the demons on the outside, the ones that are clearly evil and visible, that we need to try to eradicate. Many times the demons on the inside, the ones that appear when we look in the mirror, are just as bad, if not worse than the fiends who tear through society with more force than a tornado.

Every time I sit down at my laptop computer in a writing
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Amber
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
I don’t think the combination of words exist for me to explain how much I love this book.

To start with I immediately love how the main character is a 10 year old because we often forget that young children can have mental disorders as well as adults and teenagers. I loved how the reader gets to really know Alex; as the boy who loves onions on toast and acting and not just as the boy who sees demons. I observed him as a boy with 2 distinct personalities, the independent boy who wants to protect
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Diane S ☔
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anya, a respected psychiatrist, returns to Belfast in an effort to change the very real problem of the lack of psychiatric care available to treat the very real problems those who have lived through The Troubles and their children are experiencing. Cindy, a young mother, has tried to commit suicide and not for the first time. Her young son, Alex has tried to hurt a teacher and claims to see a demon named Ruen, who is telling him to do these things. Anya is assigned to the case of Alex.

Alex quick
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Tania
May 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
One in five Northern Irish children will experience major mental health problems before their eighteenth birthday, with case studies flagging self-harm as a response to confrontation and shame for family involvement in violence.

This was an easy-reading book about a very interesting topic. It shows just how thin the line between reality and psychosis is. As a mom I can't imagine watching your child struggle with schizophrenia, there must be few things that would make you feel more helpless than
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Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
Pop your demons, burn your cookies and gather round the fire!

This is a very strange novel and a hard one to review, because everything I say might come out as a spoiler, now that I've read the ending and I know things for what they are.

The book swings between the narratives of Alex, the boy who could see demons, and Anya, the psychiatrist assigned to his case. While the issue at the crux of the novel is demons(or mental illness, if you aren't given to fantasies), from schizophrenia and depressi
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Patrice Hoffman
The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke is one of the most profound novels I've read in a while. Because of its protagonists, a deeply troubled ten-year old who can see demons and Anya, a psychiatrist who has her own demons to contend with. The Boy Who Could See Demons explores the affects of living in Northern Ireland during its political/religious conflict, PTSD, childhood schizophrenia, suicide, psychosis, and other supernatural occurances.

The voice of this novel alternates between
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Bel Murphy
Aug 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013, to-revisit
Having mulled this over, it's a 4.5 star rather than a 5.

This was a wake up call for me as an Irish person, albeit of the southern variety. The 1998 peace agreement brought to an uneasy conclusion 29 years of conflict in Northern Ireland, a period in which countless people on both sides of the divide lost their lives and where families were torn apart. The ceasefire was heralded as a new chapter in the province, filled with hope for an end to terror and violence.

That's the fairy story.

The rea
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bookczuk
How did I get through this whole book without realizing that Alex's last name was Broccoli?

I've come across children with different special abilities, but never one who saw demons, so the premise of this book interested me. There have been friends and family, who have deep troubles and debilitating mental illness, which, especially when talking to others, I refer to as so-and-so's demons. I was curious to see how this would play out.

Well written, captivating, heartbreaking, with a major twist th
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Adriana
Jul 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, favorites
4.5/5 Stars

E-ARC contributed by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

You know, this was my first really awesome experience with an ARC; I requested this title because of the gorgeous cover and because of the captivating descriptive blurb, but I got so much more than I thought I would. I got an amazingly engaging read that pulled me in one-hundred percent and beguiled me so much that I actually lost sleep over it. It's so rewarding as a reader to be treated to a true psychological thriller
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Julie
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The Boy Who Could See Demons is a Delacorte Press publication. The book was released in 2012.
Anya is a therapist that has dealt with mental illnesses her whole life, beginning with her mother, then with her daughter, Poppy. Sadly, Poppy lost her battle and died.
Now Anya has been given the case of ten year old Alex. Alex has witnessed his mother, Cindy, attempt suicide. Cindy has attempted suicide numerous times. Alex is above average in intelligence and vocabulary. But, he is deeply troubled. H
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Thomas Edmund
Apr 28, 2013 rated it liked it
SPOILER ALERT (throughout whole review)

The Boy Who Could See Demons intriguingly weaves together two narratives, that of the determined psychiatrist, and that of the supernaturally visioned boy. To say that this book was inspired by the sixth sense would be an understatement (although I note the end twist is NOT that the shrink is a demon.)

The novel has some real strengths throwing the two perspectives together as it does. The key tension of the novel is the question of whether the demons are re
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Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
A fascinating read! I was totally engaged in this story, a story that charts a passage through an alien landscape (Ireland, “The Troubles” and mental illness), territories that are painted in the grim shades of reality yet this is a picture that offers an optimism that speaks of healing and better times ahead.

The characters depicted in this book are both realistic and empathetic. Alex’s mother is depressed, self destructive and cries out for help and yet amongst this gloom her light shines on t
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Candice
Nov 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Boy Who Could See Demons is a deeply moving, yet charmingly insightful, tale of a young boy in Belfast. It’s more topical than the title suggests as the author delicately dances around the topics of: mental health (its treatment and cultural perceptions), the abilities of the social service system, and the ramifications of The Troubles. Though the issues seem serious, Alex’s witty and innocent nature keeps the story more light-hearted and hopeful. Carolyn Jess-Cooke has created a new type of ...more
JSou
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
IlovethisbookIlovethisbookIlovethisbookIlovethisbook. I already want them to make it into a movie so I can buy it on Blu-Ray.

I couldn't stop reading this once I started. It was a light, yet entertaining/disturbing read--perfect for reading straight through on a long car ride. (Side note: I have discovered reading on my Nook while in a moving car DOES NOT make me carsick! Woot!) This book + a kid that can drive = Good Road Trip.
Jenbebookish
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013

I picked this book up because I saw it on GR's Karen's bookshelf with a high rating and a good review. The premise seemed interesting, and then the cover was particularly appealing. After I bought it I was super excited to read it solely because of that cover! So when I was deciding on a book to take with me on a trip to Maui, I chose this one despite my misgivings about it's weight and bulk in my carry on bag! ( I purchased this in hardcover, which is a rare thing for me. Because I carry whatev
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Shahirah Loqman
For more book reviews, visit my blog: https://booklovesreviews.wordpress.com/

“I feel the human mind is a jigsaw puzzle that I will never be able to solve.”

This book blew me away.

If you're looking for a mild cross-over between Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend and Gone Girl, The Boy Who Could See Demons is something worth checking out.I found a hardback copy of this book at a local bookstore called BookXcess, and after remembering someone recommending it to me on Instagram, I picked it up.

And man w
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Fuka-chan
Dec 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I feel like there's a lot that I wanted to say about this book. Just a second a go I was reading about Ruen and Alex and I feel their emotions, as if it was talking to me directly. How shall I start?
The beginning of this book was intriguing. Now I can honestly say that I really love when a story started with some random explanation made by kids. Alex started talking to you as he was writing to his diary. He started by telling he saw demons. All kinds of them. The precision of the description was
...more
мєℓ
Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The Boy Who could See Demons is a really good surprise find. I stumbled across it at Waterstone's Tottenham a few months ago and the sound of it really appealed to my random reading muse.

description

One chapter, one character. Alex’s story and Anya’s (him:10 years old and her: Alex Psy).

- Alex’s chapters chronicle him struggling to deal with his mother’s issues and upholding his relationship with a demon.
- Anya’s chapters follow as she investigates and diagnoses Alex’s illness while continuing to deal wit
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Emma Kerry
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am struggling to review this as it is so amazing that I cannot find the words to summarise it effectively. The demons referred to are not demons in the physical sense, but emotional. This is a fast-paced psychological thriller of the best kind. I read it in one sitting, unable to put it down. I kept telling myself ‘just one more page’ until I finally reached the end around 3am. Even after I had finished, I found myself thinking about it. It is a completely disturbing story with so many layers, ...more
Becky
Sep 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
Not sure why this book is getting so much love. I read it to the end, not because it was particularly well-written but because the author did come up with a lot of compelling imagery that I'd hoped would culminate into something interesting at the end. Instead I got to the absolutely ridiculous "twist" that frankly insulted me as a reader and made me wonder why I even bothered to read through to the end. Thank God it was a relatively short book.

tl;dr Poorly written and researched story has some
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Saar The Book owl
So, I seriously don't know what to say after reading this book and not in a bad way at all. I had this book for a couple of years on my tbr - pile, buit for some reason never picked it up. Untill now...
I started reading with the expectation of being it an YA fantasy, horror of somethin like that - book, but I ended with open mouth and grabbed by my throat. It wasn't what I expected at all: if you're looking for a book about demonical possesion, the history of 'The Throubles' in Northern Ireland,
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Alexandra
sigh.

i was absolutely enthralled with this book for the first half. didn't want to put it down, it creeped me out, i had to know just what the hell was going on, i was forming hypotheses, etc.

this book was on its way to being something pretty freaking mind blowing. a boy who saw demons, who had a demon named ruen that was his best friend. ruen knew all kinds of things about certain people and what tempted them and what made them tick. he appeared in the form of an old man with a deeply wrinkled
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MyGoodBookshelf
I began this novel convinced that it would be a majorly exciting read, drawn in completely by the powerful, imaginative opening. It read like nothing I’d ever read before. I fell instantly in love with the characters and the authors writing style and it’s safe to say that I enjoyed the first half of the storyline immensely. It seemed to be a very easy read on a somewhat dark subject matter.

The story explores the complexities of mental illness within children. We meet ten-year-old Alex whose best
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Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day)
Ten-year old Alex Connolly's best friend is a demon. A 9000-year old demon called Ruen. He sees other demons too, occasionally, and sometimes they laugh at him or his mom but he ignores them. He only speaks to Ruen, who sometimes controls or bribes him to do things he doesn't want to do. Like hurt or kill people. When Alex's mom attempts suicide and is taken to a psychiatric facility to be treated, Alex's social worker, Michael, tries to arrange a suitable alternative for Alex. Unfortunately for ...more
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Letras Macabras: Mi amigo el Demonio, de Carolyn Jess-Cooke 12 78 Dec 04, 2017 06:32PM  
North East Readers: The Boy Who Could See Demons 25 34 Dec 07, 2013 10:22PM  

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I'm the author of the award-winning poetry collection INROADS (Seren, 2010) and THE GUARDIAN ANGEL'S JOURNAL, published by Little, Brown in the UK and Guideposts Books in the US, as well as 22 other languages. My second novel, THE BOY WHO COULD SEE DEMONS, was released in May 2012. I have also written/co-edited four academic books in the fields of Shakespeare and film. The US version of THE BOY WH ...more
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