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The Good Demon

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  429 ratings  ·  150 reviews
True Detective meets The Exorcist in this gripping YA mystery debut about one girl’s exorcism—and her desperate quest to reunite with her demon

Clare has been miserable since her exorcism. The preacher that rid her of evil didn’t understand that her demon—simply known as Her—was like a sister to Clare. Now, Clare will do almost anything to get Her back. After a chance encou
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Amulet Books
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destiny ♎ [howling libraries]
As a life-long horror fan, possession stories have always been some of my favorites. There’s just something so classic and iconic about the idea of a child or teen being taken over by some sort of dark entity, and even though the trope is typically filled to the brim with religious overtones and misrepresentation of many belief sects, they’re just fun. When I heard about this story’s twist—that the girl wants to be possessed and mourns the loss of her demon—I knew I had to read it. I just had to ...more
May 14, 2018 marked it as to-read
I was sort of hoping this would be a weird romance where the demon exercised was a him, and they sort of fell in love, and she must go through hell to get him back...

Too weird?
Jennifer Gaarder
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read my reviews at

The Good Demon By Jimmy Cajoleas

Amulet Books, September 18, 2018

320 Pages, Hardcover Edition

Teen Fiction

"True Detective meets The Exorcist in this gripping YA mystery debut about one girl’s exorcism—and her desperate quest to reunite with her demon

Clare has been miserable since her exorcism. The preacher that rid her of evil didn’t understand that her demon—simply known as Her—was like a sister to Clare. Now, Clare will do almost anything to get H
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Clare hasn't been the same since her exorcism.  Her demon wasn't evil; she protected Clare from all the things that have hurt her:  her father's death by overdose, her stepdad's drunken belligerence, and even the guy from school who wouldn't take no for an answer.

Her unnamed demon left behind a cryptic note:  
-Be nice to him

-June 20

-Remember the stories

Before long, Clare is falling in love with the son of the preacher who performed her exorcism and realizing there may be more demons than her own
I adored this book. I actually wanted to cry at the end. Such a refreshing take on the possession trope. I love Clare, and while I can't identify with being possessed and wanting my demon back, I CAN identify with coping with family trauma, and coping with loss, and first love, and all the ways people you love can disappoint you, and learning that people can be both good and bad, and finding strength in yourself. Such a great story for adolescence.
The Library Ladies
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
(originally reviewed at )

I want to extend a special thank you to both NetGalley and Amulet books for sending me an eARC and a print ARC of this book.

I know that Halloween Season isn’t QUITE here yet (though honestly, once Labor Day hits I’m thinking about ghosts and ghouls and all things horror), but I just couldn’t wait for Horrorpalooza to pick up “The Good Demon” by Jimmy Cajoleas. I was fortunate enough to get approved for a copy on NetGalley, but then imagine my extra
Max Baker
Thank you Netgalley for providing me a free review copy in exchange for an honest review

Holy. Motherloving. Shirtballs. I loved this book. Like full on, no holds bar loved it. A black, gothic tale of possession and power that just oozes a dark sort of charm from start to finish. Cajoleas really hit a home run with this one and I can't wait to see what he does next. The Good Demon is just so compelling that once I started there was no way in hell I was stopping until the end.

Possession stories ar
What happens when you have been part of an exorcism but you want your demon back? The answer is you enlist the help of the son of the preacher who did the exorcism to help you find her and get her back.

The voice in this book is what makes it stand out, though (view spoiler).

Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V.
I won this book through a goodreads giveaway and was extremely excited to pick it up. We’ve all read books and heard stories about possession, but a story about the exorcised trying to get their demon back? That was new to me and sounded extremely intriguing.

The novel opens up with teenager Clare, who has recently been exorcised of her demon. Who is only referred to as “Her”. Clare is depressed and angry and feels like she has been stripped of the only person who truly understood her, and cared
Tasya Dita
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018-release, e-arc, ghost
I received an e-ARC through Edelweiss Plus in exchange for an honest review

This.... was a strange book, in a bad way. The story was hard to get into until 48% and by then I think it was kinda too late for me to change my opinion. It was not creepy at all, and the main characters really annoyed me. The female mc was so pretentious and bitter (the latter quality understandable) and the male mc was very naive and gullible. I quite enjoyed the mystery reveal though.
This was one of the strangest books I've ever read. I was expecting it to be scary, because it's marketed as being similar to The Exorcism, but really the story was just lovable. THE SMALL TOWN AESTHETIC WAS TREMENDOUS.

It takes place in a minuscule Southern town, and Clare, our MC, was just so perfect????

She swears, she's assertive, direct, logical, badass, jaded. It's so hard for me to describe her voice, but to me it has that perfect rugged? thing. I adore Clare and I feel like I'm not describ
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, horror
3.5 stars
After Clare gets an exorcism, she's desperate to get the demon (referred to as Her) back because she was her only friend. Clare has a complicated life. Her mom and stepdad drink and are belligerent. Her dad passed away and she's still coping. Clare finds herself on an adventure through town while trying to get Her back.

There was an almost fairytale like quality to the story with a gothic atmosphere. I enjoyed the mix of mystery and horror throughout. My one complaint is the rushed endin
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Love and faith are put into question as the struggle to reunite with a demon leads to serious consequences.

“The Good Demon” follows Clare a young woman who recently became the subject of an exorcism and is grieving the loss of the demon known simply as Her when she reconnects with the son of the Reverend who performed the rite. As she struggles with her loss she becomes determined to get her demon back regardless of the cost and as her jour eh progresses she finds there’s more to her small town
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Well, I held off on finishing this book so it would be my first New Year's read.

I was surprised by it, and it definitely creeped me out and made my inner Catholic School Girl cringe and squirm uncomfortably a bit.

I ended up enjoying it way more than I thought I would, that is for certain. I am too tired to write up a cohesive review, ah well.

Sep 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, own-e-copy
"Like I said, passing through on a sunny afternoon, you wouldn’t see anything was wrong with this place. You have to live here to know it. You have to have spent your whole life drinking its water and breathing its air, taking all the badness and rottenness into yourself, making it a part of you, before you’d ever know anything was wrong at all."

Okay, I must admit I was a little taken aback by the turn The Good Demon took about halfway through. I'm one of those people who aggressively avoid blur
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars - I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway. I was intrigued by the concept for this story when I first read the synopsis. It is a clever and creative idea and I had high hopes for the finished product. While I wasn't totally disappointed, the story didn't quite live up to my expectations. Don't get me wrong, it is well-written and there is sufficient character development...all of the functional stuff is there. For me, the bigger issue is that it lacked a real hook, a reason to go ...more
Emily Craven
This book was fabulous. I have not read anything like it. It's got a gothic/horror kind of vibe. Considering that it's contemporary but fantasy I'd probably say closest comparable title is Holly Black's Curse Worker series, or maybe her Darkest Part of the Forest novel.

I found it incredibly engaging considering the only small amount of fantasy in the mix (more magic realism than contemporary fantasy). The author does a fabulous job of slowly revealing the intricacies of the small town we find o
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
***Big thank you to the publisher for sending me an early finished copy in exchange for a honest review***

(Trigger Warning: Attempted rape scene (very brief) and drug abuse)

I REALLY enjoyed this book. A lot. I was pulled in immediately and couldn't put it down. I loved the take on the whole demon/possession subject. I think the writing is beautiful and the author does a great job making you feel for the characters, Clare and her demon.

I will admit, I wish it had been a TAD bit more scary. I mea
Claire (bookscoffeeandrepeat)
I was able to read more than 30% of The Good Demon and realized that it wasn't for me, despite the interesting premise and fascinating illustrations that accompanied the story.

The main character, Clare, felt so alone and only the comfort of her own demon made her feel complete. After she had been exorcised, Clare tried to get "it" back. She discovered some artifacts along the way and started befriending the pastor's son (who also happened to be present during her exorcism). Clare is pretty with
Jul 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This was dark, and strange, and... gritty? awful? Neither of those last two are correct, but whatever the proper adjective is, it was all in a really good way. I mean, imagine a book about a girl who has gone through an exorcism, but will do absolutely anything to get her demon back, and that her journey to do so takes a gothic, magical-realism-type turn, and you've got this book.

That said, I didn't personally find it gripping, thus the 3 stars. I appreciated how the storyline is definitely not
Kelly Gunderman
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, favorites
Check out this, other reviews, and more fun bookish things on my young adult book blog, Here's to Happy Endings!

You know, I love books that give me the unexpected when I read them. I love books that are completely unlike anything else I've read, books that completely bend my mind into thinking other ways and give me a great story that I am hooked on from the very first chapter.

The Good Demon is one such book - it is a book that I had no idea would be written the way it was, with so many interest
Virginia McGee Butler
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
The title of the book itself is a contradiction in terms. I read The Good Demon by Jimmy Cajoleas in an advance copy furnished by Net Galley. I moved it up in my reading queue after seeing him do an excellent job as a panelist at the Mississippi Book Festival in August. It goes on sale September 18.

How could you not be tempted to read a book with a sentence on the cover that reads, “We all have demons. Clare wants hers back.”? The “deliverance” performed by Rev. Sanders leaves Clare empty of the
Oct 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
Thanks to St Martin's Press and Goodreads for the opportunity to win, read and review an ARC of "The Good Demon", by Jimmy Cajoleas... could have been worse. It could have been better. Middle ground, overall.

My main complain about this book has to do with the treatment of the plot and the mildness of the whole thing. It's recommended for young adults, 14 and older, due to the themes involved in the narrative (demonic and gory stuff, and maybe some sex too), but I didn't feel those topics re
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya
3.5 stars. This was definitely a book outside my usual genre. I ended up liking the plot, but I think I could have easily gone the other way. It gets off to a really slow start, and then picks up a lot about halfway through, but there were several things that I wished had been developed more, and the first half kind of just feels like a waste of time. I really wish we had learned more about the town earlier and that the ramifications of the past had been explored. I definitely think we could hav ...more
Elle Maruska
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was so good. Southern gothic YA with demonic possession, arcane languages, secret societies, and ritualistic sacrifice. The MC is incredibly relatable and well written; her relationships with her parents, the demon that's been with her for years, and various townspeople she encounters are all true to life and intriguing. No one in this book is all bad or all good; no one is wholly innocent or wholly guilty. The motivations driving the characters are real and oftentimes heartbreaking.

In the
Kota Jones
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Clare has been recently exorcised and unprepared to deal with the world alone, she sets off to get her demon back. Along the way we see the origin story and past stories with Clare and her demon and we also see Clare's developing friendship with the son of the Reverend who took the demon out of her. Clare uses the mysterious going-ons around the town and the hints that her demon left behind to find her demon. I am going to call this a coming of age story and despite the unique premise, I was ver ...more
Felicia Allen
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a very unique storyline. Normally when demons are involved it is the demon that is the horror aspect. In this case, it was a human! Clare becomes possessed by a demon and befriends it. Her stepfather finds out about it and has it excised out of her. From then on, Clare does anything to try to get Her back. The cast is a secret cult/coven, a demon summoner, an old, cranky used store owner, and a preachers son. There were almost like three endings to this book but the last one is definite ...more
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book. From the engaging characters to the conflicts this book brings up. The dark atmosphere was beautifully combined with the splendid illustrations. The plot twists were amazing and the main character was absolutely lovely. I can sympathise with her and fully comprehemd her while the love interest was puzzling and unpredictable. I have researched demonology years ago so the whole demon theme worked great for me. I can say with confidence that this book is one of the best reads ...more
Alyssa (Books Take You Places)
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shivers
Well, this was a very good book. The Good Demon is a tale about a girl and the demon that was taken from her. She’s willing to do anything to get Her back and this is the story of how she does just that. Dark, but not horrific, The Good Demon is one of the most unique novels I’ve ever read. It takes you down twisting paths and makes you look deep inside yourself. I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommended.
Mindy Rose
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
61 of 2018. after being possessed by a demon for most of her life, an exorcism leaves clare desolate and desperate to have her demon - the only real friend she's ever had - returned to her, and as she begins trying to fix her own situation she finds out that her town is a whole mess of evil societies, witches, and s spirits lurking in the woods. i honestly really enjoyed this right up until i read the acknowledgments and "thanks be to god" which honestly kind of ruined things for me. THAT ASIDE, ...more
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“It don’t go the way you think it should, but it goes alright.” 0 likes
“Maybe I didn’t know how to love someone. Not yet, anyhow. Maybe love’s not something you’re born knowing, it’s something you have to learn. It’s something I wanted to learn. I didn’t want to keep hurting people like I had, to keep being hurt all the time. It was too much. Something had to change, something permanent. There was no other choice. Not if all this evil was going to end. Not if life would ever get to be better for any of us.” 0 likes
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