I was shelf-reading yesterday afternoon in the adult fiction section and this title caught my eye: The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke. Shelfari says I read it in August 2013. Wow. As soon as I saw it I thought, Oh yeah! That book!
And then I said to myself, “Self, you big stupid, you spent an hour and a half writing that blog post about Oculus and you didn’t mention this novel! How could you do that? It’s so obviously the perfect book companion to that movie! You loved it and it didn’t even occur to you to mention! You should feel bad about yourself.”
Shelf-reading makes me surly. Keep that in mind if you ever see me loose in the stacks.
Anyway! The Boy Who Could See Demons. It’s the story of a young boy named Alex who has his own personal demon, a creature named Ruen that only he can see. Ruen is trying to convince him to kill someone. Alex begins to harm himself and others during blackouts, always believing that Ruen is responsible. Enter Dr. Anya Molokova, a child psychiatrist whose own daughter suffered from severe schizophrenia.
It’s taut, gripping, suspenseful and moving, with a twist at the end that’s both surprising and sad. The storytelling is intricate, and there’s a lot of discussion of dealing with mental illness–either your own or that of someone you love. You never quite know what’s real in this story until the very end. It’s a great ride that’s a nice choice for readers who like a lot of suspense and dark fiction over straight-up Horror. And, of course, a nice read for people who enjoy twisty-turny movies like Oculus.