The Boy Who Could See Demons
- Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date:
- 10 May 2012
- Modern & Contemporary
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This book was a psychological look into one boy's demons and the psychiatrist called in to help him. What a fast paced page turner.It takes place in Northern Ireland. One chapter is told from the point of view of Alex, the young 10 year old boy who claims to see a demon named Ruen.Dr. Anya Molokova is Alex's psychiatrist. As Anya begins treating Alex, she can't help but notice how similar his behavior was to her own daughter, Poppy, who suffered from schizophrenia.The author does a great job building suspense and tension regarding Alex's relationship with Ruen, a scary demonic presence that only he can see. The characters are very well written. I thought Alex was a wonderful, loveable boy.The ending wrapped up a bit quickly for me, but the writing pulled you along the pages so fast. It was that good a read for me.This book is a gripping drama of mental illness and it's affect on those around us. Wonderful book and highly recommend to anyone.I received a copy as part of the Librarything Early reviewers in exchange for a review.
My rating: 4 of 5 starsThe 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. He tells Anya that he has an imaginary friend named Ruen, who is actually a demon. Only to Alex, Ruen is very real. Anya becomes convinced that Alex is in the early stages of mental illness and should be placed in an institution. However, the board and Alex's social worker, Michael, are opposed to that idea and so, Anya continues to treat Alex the best she can. She keeps in touch with Cindy, and with Alex's aunt, as well as interviewing Alex's teachers and talking things out with Michael. Anya and Michael often agree to disagree, but they are also on the same side. Helplessly, we watch Alex sink deeper and deeper. He has a great many conflicts concerning his father and some very disturbing memories. Ruen is with Alex at every turn, manipulating him into doing things he wouldn't ordinarily do. Anya is also at Ruen's mercy it seems. Alex relays messages to Anya from Ruen. These messages send chills down your spine. While struggling against the system and fighting for what she thinks is the best treatment for Alex, Anya herself begins to have some disturbing episodes with fainting spells. Throughout the book it feels like there is something just on the periphery that know is there, but can't figure out what exactly it is. A strong sense of foreboding follows you and increases as you learn more about Alex and Ruen. Alex is a delightful child that tells jokes and loves his mother despite her flaws. Alex's jokes, although corny, provides much needed comic relief. The novel is moody, dark and atmospheric. At times you feel like you are walking through dense fog, hoping that it will eventually burn off and you will be able to see things more clearly. There are never any real pat answers when dealing with mental illness and this book doesn't attempt to tie everything up in neat bow for the sake of a happy ever after. Naturally, we hope the breakthrough will be a good beginning to restoring lives to some semblance of normalcy. But, there are no guarantees in real life or in this novel, although we hope for the best. This was a very absorbing read. Mental illness is always a difficult topic. So, this book does have a melancholy tone. But, it's also a psychological suspense novel that mystery lovers might like as well. It's hard to place this book in any particular genre. So, if you like thought provoking novels with a little spine tingle and suspense, you should check this one out. You will think about it for awhile after you have read the last page. Overall I give this one an A. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the DRC copy of this book.
Alex is a boy with a suicidal mother and his own psychological issues. He sees Demons. One in particular named Ruen seems to have a strong influence on him. Anya his new psychiatrist suspects he may have early onset schizophrenia. Anya has some personal experience as her daughter had a similar diagnosis that ultimately led to her death. Anya sets out on a mission to treat and save Alex since she was not able to help her own child.Maybe I am too trusting of a reader but I always tend to side with the patient and refuse to believe they are actually schizophrenic. This novel was no exception. Oblivious as a result the twist threw me for a loop. This was well thought out and looking back the ground work was nicely set. I did think that the conclusion wrapped up a bit too quickly. Some of the stats regarding mental health in Northern Ireland were unknown to me and surprising and made me want to learn more about this political strife.
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 that is similar to one I've encountered in a few other books and maybe a movie. This time, though, the resolution left me feeling edgy, because I wanted to know how the original story would play out (being careful hear, trying not to get into spoiler territory.) It was a perfectly acceptable ending, a good plot arc, but I was left wanting. Even so, I highly recommend this book. It is a sensitive and illuminating look at mental illness, family love, and healing. And demons.
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