Monday, 12 November 2012

After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel

Cover of Awesome.

Published: 2011 (2012 Paperback) 
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Websites: Carrie Jones
Steven E. Wedel

            After Obsession is about Alan and Amiee, two teens who have mysterious gifts bestowed to them from their absent parents. Courtney, Alan’s cousin and Amiee’s best friend, has lost her father to the ocean. A sinister presence begins to linger and bestows the town with violence and hate. Courtney begins to change. She becomes mean. Everyone around them begins to fight and argue. Amiee knows this evil. She lost her mother to the river. It is The River Man. Alan has just arrived, but being half Navajo, he has studied and is attuned to things beyond the rest of the town. Together, they have to save Courtney and town from something that has existed for hundreds of years.  

           My first post to this blog will be a review for the paperback edition of After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel. This was published in 2011 but the paperback was released just this month, making it kinda sorta new. I know, it’s not really new. It’s the newest thing on my shelf until I can get to the library. And I love Carrie Jones to no end. She and Wedel co-authored this book together with fantastic results. I’ve never read anything by Wedel at this point, and After Obsession is his debut into the YA world.
I’ve read some possession stories and watched a LOT of possession movies. You would think that this topic has been done to death, but the authors make it their own. What I love the most is that it stays away from the typical God and the Devil Catholic route. Alan is half Navajo and he uses the rituals from that culture to banish the evil. Yet the book does not absolutely say that the Navajo beliefs are the only true beliefs. I got the feeling that the universe is probably multifaceted with many names for everything. This aspect kept the possession angle fresh without defining exactly how the universe is run.

Appeals To
This book even appeals to boys. It has the scary and suspenseful moments. The book alternates in POV from Alan and Amiee, and Alan is a believable male teenager. He wears a lot of black, has long hair, is an athlete, and is finding his own spiritual way. He doubts himself, though he always tries to fix what is wrong. He doesn’t want to cuss out his mother, he doesn’t want to start fights in high school. But he also knows that he has to stand up for himself. He isn’t an angel, but he tries to be good. These are issues that most boys face.  

I did dislike the way that Blake and Amiee break up and Amiee dates Alan about a day or so later. They start doing the whole “OMG I LUV VU” thing a few days after that. Yes, that’s what some teens do, but we are meant to believe that this love is very real. As an adult, I am filled with doubt. Relationships that occur consecutively after a breakup are usually...not forever. In reality, yes, they sometimes work. For teens, not so much. It breaks my suspension of disbelief.    
And I hate the name Courtney. 
"...That's your name."
I know. 

I read on the internet that this book was supposed to be titled Ghost Sickness at some point. I think it’s more appropriate, or maybe River Man would have been better, with some kind of spooky noun or verb in there. The cover is absolutely stunning though. We do judge books by their cover, and this one does not disappoint. 

This is a wonderful book for boys or girls who like a scary story. There is some romance, as it is obvious that the two protagonists will end up with each other. Perfect for teen book clubs with both boys and girls. Not too much blood or gore, no melodramatic moments that aren’t tongue-in-cheek. Mention of sex, but no sex at all. As long as they are willing to get into a horror story, I highly recommend this.  


  1. I agree that Amiee jumped from Blake to Alan very quickly, even though they had a very strong connection with each other. It doesn't change the fact that they had only known each other for a few weeks. I wish that they known each other for a little longer before they started cuddling and being a couple

  2. It's almost been 2 years since you wrote this post :P