The Good Demon by Jimmy CajoleasThe Good Demon by Jimmy Cajoleas

The Good Demon

byJimmy Cajoleas

Hardcover | September 18, 2018

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It wasn’t technically an exorcism, what they did to Clare. When the reverend and his son ripped her demon from her, they called it a “deliverance.” But they didn’t understand that Clare and her demon—known simply as Her—were like sisters. She comforted Clare, made her feel brave, helped to ease her loneliness. They were each other’s Only.
Now, Clare’s only comforts are the three clues that She left behind:
Be nice to him
June 20
Remember the stories
Clare will do anything to get Her back, even if it means teaming up with the reverend’s son and scouring every inch of her small, Southern town for answers. But if she sacrifices everything to bring back her demon, what will be left of Clare? 
Jimmy Cajoleas grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. He earned his MFA from the University of Mississippi and now lives in Brooklyn.
Title:The Good DemonFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:320 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1 inShipping dimensions:8.25 × 5.5 × 1 inPublished:September 18, 2018Publisher:Amulet BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1419731270

ISBN - 13:9781419731273

Appropriate for ages: 14


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Gothic & Creepy If you want dark, broody teenage angst this is your book. There is magic in the air and most of it is ominous in Jimmy Cajoleas novel The Good Demon. If you take the idea of being at one with yourself and by representing all your emotions (including the bad ones) as yourself, plus a demon that lives inside of you, then this will intrigue you. Two questions then come to mind: What happens when someone takes that demon away? And what would you do to get that part of yourself back? Comparisons There are some very good metaphors and comparisons in the context of The Good Demon that relate directly to what I recall it being like to be a teenager. There are also moments where I feel like the demon is displaying what I want to even do today (like smack someone for being a jerk). This unique take on our extreme emotions being acted out by a demon that controls our body (when it chooses to) is a great example of what things like rage, anxiety, stress and other mental health issues can cause. Where it's really no longer us as the person making a rationale decision to act. Instead it's the disorder itself taking over. I loved the parallels that could be found in Cajoleas Gothic story. The ending really is the icing on the cake here to all the comparisons, moments and struggles throughout The Good Demon. Dark and Creepy There is no doubt this is a young adult horror novel. We meet demons (of course) and magical occult figures that are likely not out to make your life better per say. Easily my favourite part of the book is the One Wish Man. I imagine Doug Jones playing this role (were this a movie) where the One Wish Man has long, unnatural fingers, is lanky in height and overall just seems a bit too odd to be entirely human. As I adore the work of Jones in many TV shows and movies this really enhanced my experience of the One Wish Man. I so rarely see characters as real life people but this one was just so distinctly described that I knew it couldn't be anyone other than Jones. Friendship It's difficult to have friends when you are in a dark, foreboding space. We've all seen this either first hand or witnessed someone else do it. Someone sabotages the friendship for no real reason other than they need to lash out at someone. Cajoleas does a good job of setting up our lead gal with the preacher's son in an unlikely, yet perfect, friendship. It also opens the door for each of our main teens to react to one another as both friends, possible romantic partners and as diametric opposites of good and evil. There is also a final test to this friendship that has no bearing on 'love' or romance that I really liked the spin of. Overall If you'd like to read a Gothic teen book this definitely fits the bill. Just know that there is a lot of implied, and obvious, mental health disorders addressed including: depression, anxiety and expectation stress. There is a 'first time' sex scene in it but it's nothing graphic in my opinion. While perhaps not a five star book I would say that Cajoleas has brought us a unique teen perspective to looking at our inner voices and determining if they are our own or those of a demon. Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
Date published: 2019-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this left of centre book 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 ourselves in, and the main character's obsession with getting her demon back after she has been exocised. It examines young friendships, blossoming love, complex relationships, and what we're willing to sacrifice for someone we love (but may not know as well as we'd hoped). Part mystery, part suspense, part fantasy, and full of the occult, I didn't expect to love this book as much as I did, but I'm glad I requested it as I want to recommend it to everyone.
Date published: 2018-12-05

Editorial Reviews

"Cajoleas pulls off an impressive feat here, initially presenting Clare as a highly unreliable narrator and then making it very clear that it’s the people around her who are living in their twisted version of reality. . . . Blood and violence meet a crisis of identity in a compelling story for lovers of disturbing, resonant fantasy."