Wednesday, October 26, 2011
After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel- Review
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.
Alrighty, sounds spine tingling right? This was a day one book, at the BEA, first thing in the morning I ran across it and thought- Exorcism of Emily Rose!! I'm In!! So later that afternoon during the speed dating with YA and middle shool authors, when Carrie came to our table and talked about how her and Steven wrote this book in a month via email and had SO MUCH FUN, I was even more sold.
Now I tell you what an idiot I am. Seriously. Somehow I didn't realise that the Carrie Jones I met, and who's book I was excited about was the Carrie Jones who wrote Need. Then I picked After Obsession off the shelf last week and started thumbing through it, and couldn't figure out what all the "Praise for Need and Captivate" was all about inside the cover (my ARC does not say Bestselling Author of Need, obviously). Honestly, it took me a good ten minutes to put two and two together, apparently it had been a long day.
Since I was very luke warm about Need, when I read it last year, and could never be bothered to continue the series after hearing it held the status quo, I likely never would have read or picked up After Obsession if I hadn't been oddly confused or forgetful about who Carrie Jones was. But it was in my hands, and I had lugged it home from NYC so I was going to give her one more chance.
Unfortunately, all the problems I had with Need, I had with After Obsession but more so. Oh god, I really disliked it. A lot. As in it was torturous to finish, and this is a little book! I almost couldn't make myself and there was much, much groaning out loud. If you're a Carrie Jones fan, turn away now, I'm warning you.
Problem number one- Alan and Aimee have one of the most preposterous love affairs I've read in awhile. They fall all over each other almost instantly, know nothing about each other before they're proclaiming love and take courting to all new levels of stupid by officially meeting each others parents over a meal while in the middle of being pursued by a demon! TWICE!! I mean seriously, you meet a hot guy but a demons trying to kill you both, are you really going to plan a night where he comes by for dinner and meets the fam? Then when you find a dead guy are you really going to head over to the hotties house to meet his mom a few hours later?
Problem number two- You can't take a caring single mom, who you're supposed to like, and then have her say hateful things about her son to his face and still like her, let alone buy she'd say it in the first place. Alan is half native and there is a lot of talk about how his mom doesn't "like" the traditions he's tryed to adopt to understand that half of his culture. She goes so far to say he's "playing at being native" when she finds him meditating, burning incense and listening to Ojibwa chanting. Unless Carrie and Steven want to give me a reason why his mom would take issue with him embracing Native customs, IE: some sort of bad previous experience, it doesn't fit with the rest of her persona.
Problem number three- Exorcism should not be easy. Come on people, with books and movies like the Exorcist and the Exorcism of Emily Rose you know the bar has been set pretty high for demons, exorcisms and scary. So why try a fluffy version where its neatly wrapped up in a few chapters, there's no real damage outside of some furniture, and every one is A OK, 5 minutes later? I wanted to read some seriously creepy words on the page to make up for all the sickening sweety lovey doveyness, and I was not rewarded.
There were two characters I loved, Gramps and Aimees brother Benji, they were sweet, funny and had a wonderful side story going about a Marilyn Monroe shaped Cheeto they were selling on ebay. Though I thought it was unnecessary for there to be a "You know who Marilyn Monroe was right?" preface every time one of the teenagers talked about it. Anywho, they missed their opportunity for a great and funny story when they decided that Gramps, Benji and the Cheeto should be a secondary side story. I'm just saying.
After Obsession, By Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel
Published by Bloomsbury, September 2011
Buy After Obsession on Amazon