After Obsession

Title: After Obession
Author: Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel
Publisher: Bloomsbury Teens
Release Date: September 13, 2011

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.

Aimee and Alan are great characters. The fact that Jones and Wedel split the characters between them and wrote the book in both points of view was amazing. I loved how their voices were so separate I didn’t have to even think about who was speaking; the values each character had, the importance of their family, and especially the importance of each other, was clear in every thought, action, and word that came through these people, and the authors have every credit in giving these characters those voices. I loved the distinct personalities, the obvious traits – good or flawed – and especially the fact that both characters struggled with accepting their sanity and the way their life was. Each fear, each worry, was personal; the authors most definitely succeeded in creating unique protagonists.

The plot was great, too. The weird fantasy/horror-like part of the book with the River Man and his creepy role in the story was good despite being slightly scary at a few points. The best aspect of the book was the supernatural and healer-qualities that both Aimee and Alan possessed. The twist that it gave the story, and the fact that they both would have died, along with a lot more people in the town, without those powers, gave the plot a lot more suspense and tension, more intrigue and more confusion as to what could possibly happen next.

My favorite thing about the book was that the ending solved everything. There’s no need for a sequel (although it there ever was one, I’d totally read it – Alan and Aimee are a great couple, and I’d definitely read about/from them again!) because of how the book ended, and I was completely satisfied. It would have been nice to have the book end with Alan and Aimee, but the ending with the dad was good too. It was different, more personal, and definitely set this story apart from most other YA books that are published today.

I highly recommend this book to ages 13 and up. There’s a creepy factor to the story with the River Man and the whole possession thing going on, but there’s very little violence, the characters are chaste (although the one scene with the two moms in the hallway cracked me up!), and the descriptions are by no means grotesque. It’s a great book, highly entertaining, and it has an amazing plotline to captivate every reader imaginable. Enjoy!

~Yours Truly

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