Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Early Review - After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven E Wedel (4/5 stars)

After ObsessionReading level: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal
Size: 320 pages
Publisher:  Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: September 13, 2011
ISBN: 978-1599906812
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: ARC from BEA
Rating: 4/5 stars

I got an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher at Book Expo America.  I wasn't sure if I would like it or not given the premise on the back of the book which was a bit corny.  Ignore the premise (which includes the phrase "bye, bye boyfriend"), this was actually a very good book.  It is creepy but the mystery really drew me in.

The book is told from two alternating perspectives.  Aimee has prophetic dreams and healing powers; she also has a dark history.  Aimee's mother killed herself and now Aimee, her dad, bother, and grandpa all live together trying to move on.  Then Alan and his mother come to town to live with Aimee's best friend, Courtney.  Alan has strange powers of his own.  Courtney's dad was lost at sea and Courtney still expects him to come back.  When Courtney starts acting strangely and strange things happen in both Aimee's and Courtney's houses; Aimee and Alan team up to try to use their powers to figure out what is going on.  There are four stages of possession and it looks like Courtney might be the one possessed.

I had never read anything by Carrie Jones because her Need series just sounded like typical teen paranormal romance triangle and I've had enough of that.  I may have to reconsider though because this book was not typical anything and was actually very creative and interesting.

Both Aimee and Alan are wonderful and complex characters.  Their relationship is sweet and they both have a lot of baggage to deal with.  Their "magic" powers are subtle and interesting too.  Courtney is another wonderful character; she struggles so hard to fight possession but her need for her dad to be alive puts her in a vulnerable position.  I loved that both Aimee's and Alan's families are part of the story and become involved in the struggles that are taking place.

There is a lot of mystery in this book.  Lots of time is spent trying to solve the mystery behind the river deaths and the River Man.  This book is seriously creepy at times too; there was a knife spinning on the counter scene that seriously creeped me out.  Just the fact that Aimee and Alan are dealing with hauntings adds to the creepiness..not to mention the whole possession thing, which was really well done.  It is undeniably creepy though to have Courtney spouting craziness in evil voices.  That being said, I am a total wuss about scary books and this book never got too scary for me.  It was creepy and creative and interesting, without ever being super duper scary.

The different viewpoints of Aimee and Alan were done really well.  Each character's viewpoint has a distinct tone (maybe because of two authors writing this book).  The romance throughout the book is steamy but relatively chaste, the best kind in my opinion.  It is the kind of romance where you are desperately hoping the characters will make things work out somehow.

Overall a very well done novel.  Much better than I thought it was going to be.  The book does an excellent job of writing the story from two viewpoints; the viewpoints are distinct and yet flow together nicely.  I love the creepy mystery surrounding the hauntings in this book.  The book also did an excellent job dealing with possession, in fact one of the better books with this topic that I have read.  There is some teen high school drama in here, but not a ton; mostly the book is full of mystery, some creepy hauntings and possessions, some great action scenes, and an adorably sweet love story between the two main characters.  A great read for young adults and adults; both male and female.  Those who love ghost stories and paranormal creepiness will find a lot to love here.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:

After Obsession

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