The Good Demon by Jimmy Cajoleas is a YA Horror novel of exorcisms and mystery!
“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 encounter with the son of the preacher who exorcised her, Clare goes on an adventure through the dark underbelly of her small Southern town, discovering its deep-seated occult roots. As she searches for Her, she must question the fine lines between good and evil, love and hate, and religion and free will. Vivid and sharp, The Good Demon tells the unusual story of friendship amid dark Gothic horror.“
The Good Demon isn’t a scary book by all means, but it is instead a dark, gothic book involving a lot of the religious side of demons and how lonliness can affect a young girl’s life.
I really enjoyed this book. Going into it, I thought it was going to be more of the exorcism type of read, and while it did contain a quick “deliverance,” this isn’t our typical possession storyline. The main character is dealing with a lot of lonliness and self-doubt in herself which has been comforted by her demon that takes over her thoughts and, sometimes, body. Then she meets a boy who is kind of in the same boat but with a different upbringing, and together, they find peace with each other.
I will say that with the Roy character, I wished we got to view more inside his head at the very end. I was wishing the ending wasn’t his true nature, but sadly, I was left in the dust. And honestly, I appreciated that in this story.
This is a very dark book that does have an attempted sexual assault scene, so if you are sensitive to this material, you may want to proceed with caution. But, I will say that it isn’t a very detailed account, and in the end, nothing gets too physical in the writing. But of course, my perception will be completely different than everyone elses.
There are other dark themes such as having drug-addicted family members and emotionally abusive people in the household. The world around the main character is constantly bogging her down, and it was interesting to read as she tries to rise up in her situation and her journey to find the one true safety in her life: Her. Or, at least she think she is..
But this book also contains the puzzle in trying to find her seperated friend, and the discovery of something evil that may have been happening in her own “quiet” hometown. I really enjoyed reading all of these aspects packed into a fun, quick book.
I gave this one 4 out of 5 stars. This book is perfect for readers who want a demonic possession book without it being scary. And you really are getting that intimate, other side to the possession story that isn’t touched on in other novels. There are moments that bring out more of the creepy writing style, but overall, I wasn’t freightened while reading this book. But, I will say that my heart was racing at the end. Such a high-stakes plot twist that left me both sad and excited for her.
Again, I highly recommend this book as a quick, Fall read, especially if you want the darker book without the scary features.
Published: 18 September 2018
Publisher: Amulet Books
Genre: Young Adult Horror
How I Read It: eARC from NetGalley
*Disclaimer: I requested a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All of my reviews contain my honest opinions only and are not influenced in any way.*
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