Monday, 3 October 2011

Review: After Obsession by Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel

After Obsession by Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Released: September 5th 2011
My Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Find in on Goodreads

Aimee and Alan have secrets. Both teens have unusual pasts and abilities they prefer to keep hidden. But when they meet each other, in a cold Maine town, they can't stop their secrets from spilling out. Strange things have been happening lately, and they both feel that something-or someone- is haunting them. They're wrong. Despite their unusual history and powers, it's neither Aimee nor Alan who is truly haunted. It's Alan's cousin Courtney who, in a desperate plea to find her missing father, has invited a demon into her life-and into her body. Only together can Aimee and Alan exorcise the ghost. And they have to move quickly, before it devours not just Courtney but everything around her.

Filled with heart-pounding romance, paranormal activity, and rich teen characters to love-and introducing an exciting new YA voice, Steven Wedel-this novel is exactly what Carrie Jones fans have been waiting for. Meet your next obsession.
(from Goodreads)

Aimee Avery is not like other girls her age. When she dreams, she sees flashes of the future – horrible images that she can’t stop from coming true. No-one knows her secret, though her dad suspects that Aimee maybe hiding something – just like her mother before her, who died. Alan Parson is keeping secrets too. He has his own spirit guide, and he also sees things – like Aimee, who he recognises from his visions the first time they meet in real life. Alan and Aimee are connected by their abilities – and so when Alan’s cousin and Aimee’s best friend Courtney, a devastated girl who has just lost her father, starts acting very strange, they team up to try and help her. Because Courtney has let something very sinister take control of her, and if Alan and Aimee don’t get rid of it soon, there’s a strong possibility Courtney may end up dead.

After Obsession was a very interesting book. I really liked the concept – I thought it was fascinating, the way Courtney went through stages of possession, and the bits involving the evil being trying to take control of her were very creepy, but definitely great to read about. I liked how one minute things could be really eerie and scary, and next minute, something really funny could happen – there was a great mix of spookiness and humour. I think the dual narration was a definite plus too, as I really liked experiencing things from both Aimee and Alan’s points of view.

Aimee was generally a likeable character, but I felt I couldn’t really connect with her as much as I did with Alan. She was that kind of overly-positive person that hated negativity of any kind, and so immediately I felt distanced from her because it seemed like she was too obsessed with being optimistic all the time. She didn’t eat anything unhealthy and tried to force others to follow her diet, and she didn’t like it when anyone used the word “hate” – I just felt she wasn’t really a believable teenager. There’s nothing wrong with being optimistic, of course, but I felt she was almost a little preachy at times. I also thought the situation with Blake could have been dealt with better – I mean, okay, the guy was obviously in the wrong and never, ever should have said the things he said (clearly, on the inside he was an idiot), but he WAS being affected by an evil being’s presence. I mean, I don’t think he would have done any of that stuff had the evil being not been there, so I think he deserved some kind of explanation (even though I do not condone what he did at all). However, I really enjoyed all of the interaction between Aimee and Alan, and while I do think their relationship progressed way too quickly (whhhy did the “L” word have to come into it?) I still really liked the conversations they had and thought they were a great pair!

Alan was a character that grew on me. I didn’t know what to think of him at first, but as the story went on, he became a lot more likeable for me. He was absolutely hilarious at times, and his humour showed a lot more later on in the book, especially in the chapters from his point of view. He got on immediately with Aimee, and they seemed to connect right from the start.  Their conversations were really funny and sweet, and some of the situations they were in made me laugh so much – especially this one scene involving Alan’s mum! I was also really intrigued by Alan’s Native American heritage and while this was explored quite a bit, I do wish we could have learnt a little bit more about it, especially about his spirit guide and why he was referred to as Spirit Warrior. I think maybe learning more about Alan’s dad would have been great as well, because I was really interested to know whether Alan had inherited his abilities from his Navajo father, or whether he was born with the abilities for a different reason.

I felt the pacing of the book was a little off, and things were a bit jolty at times, but overall, I enjoyed the way the story progressed. While most things were resolved at the end, a lot was left unexplained, and I was a bit confused about certain things that had happened. The end does leave room for a sequel, so you never know, perhaps more will be explained if one is ever written.

Overall, After Obsession was an enjoyable read, but I think there was potential for it to be better than it was. The original concept was great, as I don’t think possession is something you see a lot of in YA, but I think things didn’t fit together quite as well as they could have. I would recommend this, though, as I did like it, and I would probably read a sequel if one were ever to be released.

12 comments:

  1. I've heard really mixed reviews for this book. I have it on hold at the library, I figured I should read it before I bought it. :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the book!

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  2. I really enjoyed this book but like you, I felt way more of a connection with Alan. I must admit though, it was nice to meet a female character who wasn't overly emo or brooding. For me Aimee's positive was a nice change of pace!

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  3. Like Christy I have read a few mixed reviews on this one. I think I've read enough to give it ago though but will put others before it.
    Nice review.

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  4. awesome review! i liked the dual point of view too. I understand the negatives that you pointed out too. i thought it was a little too scary :)

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  5. I keep reading mixed things about this one but I'm still really keen to read it. I also just think that the cover is gorgeous!

    Great review as always :D

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  6. You know, I haven't really read any reviews for this at all... kind of surprising. Anyways, I'm glad you liked this one, even if it wasn't quite as good as you had hoped. I feel like the super optimistic thing works better with best friends than it does with the MC, since at least then we get a little distance from it. It's pretty unrealistic, in my opinion at least, to think that a person is going to be OH SO HAPPY all the time, but whatever. Great review! :)

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  7. I think I'm getting a copy of this soon, so I've been curious to see what the blogging community thinks of it. I'm glad it was enjoyable, despite the issues you had. The whole possession thing is what first drew me in - we definitely need more books in that area! Although it sounds like Aimee may be a bit annoying :/ I'm intrigued by the combination of scary/funny! Now that I'm prepared for the downers of the book, hopefully I won't be as disappointed by them when I read.

    Great review, Liz!!

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  8. Well, I will admit that I am pretty negative so I don't know that Aimee would be likable for me either. LOL

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  9. I felt like I couldn't connect with this book at all. I felt very detached from it but then again I wasn't a fan of the Need series either. I just think that I'm done reading books by Carrie Jones.

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  10. Love the concept too. A little surprised that you say it also has a healthy dose of humour as well; that's unexpected.

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  11. Great review, pretty much agree with most of what you said! I felt it had more potential than was actualised too.

    The Cait Files

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  12. I, unfortunately, did NOT like it as much as you did. The only thing that saved it for me was the characterization for Amy. Alan bored me and so did their romance. And the plot was so slow-paced my attention began to drift. I really, really wanted to like this, but I just... couldn't. But I AM glad that someone took it better than I did.

    -Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

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