AFTER OBSESSION By Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel [Review]
AFTER OBSESSION tells the extremely creepy story of a small town in Maine being hassled by an angry river spirit. As is the way with small towns hassled by demonic forces, only a handful of teenagers notice it’s watery wrath.
Aimee, who’s mentally ill mother drowned in the river years ago beings to notice her friend Courtney is acting strangely after the death of her father; less sad, more mean. She can’t make much sense of it until Courtney’s cousin Alan moves to town. Alan’s very committed the Navajo roots he got from a father he’s never met, and with the help of a few clues he figures out Courtney’s the victim of a demonic possession in its early stages. He and Aimee also realize if they don’t act quickly, the demon will take Courtney completely.
In a world where paranormal romance gets its own sign in the YA section of book stores, any YA author tackling the paranormal gets a ton of bonus points for any injection of originality; and After Obsession has a lot of features that stray from the beaten path.
I liked the fact the chapters went back and forth between the two points of view, Aimee’s and Alan’s, because their shared knowledge made each narrator a little more reliable; also two teens falling in love from two perspectives is more romantic than one.
I also like the description of Aimee’s family dynamics; her protective feelings towards her little brother and her affection for her father and grandfather make her a more three dimensional character, and the story line involving her Gramps and little brother selling a interestingly shaped Cheeto on eBay lends the story some much needed humor.
The demonic force was drawn well, but for such a scary subject it didn’t make for a particularly scary read, some of the tension fell slack in the face of the romance, and the high stakes scene at the end didn’t play out with the intensity it should have because of the lack of tension.
Overall After Obsession was a compelling read that left questions for the reader until the end, even if they could still read it with the lights off.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars | Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens | Pages: 320 | Source: BEA (Book Expo America) | Buy on Amazon