Friday, May 29, 2015

Reviewing: After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel

You know that time I said I would post waaay more often? Yeah, I lied.  I'M BACK TO KEEP MY PROMISE. YAY.

Recently, I forced myself to completely focus for the first time since summer began, and I managed to read a book in about an hour. Did I miss a few details? No. (Yes).

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.

I was so pumped for this. I wanted mayhem and wreckage. I wanted powerful ghosts that draw it out and make it unbearable-- for the characters and for the reader. I wanted to feel terrified for everyone's fates. 

Spoiler: I wasn't.

Everything was much less...intense than I was hoping for. Plus, it's obvious from the second you read the blurb that Aimee and Alan are destined, so all of the drama centered on their relationship is kind of needless. They're that perfect couple-- the slender, supermodel material artist/cross-country runner and the six foot tall, dark, mysterious bad boy jock. (Yes, this was a case of insta-love, but their relationship was actually quite sweet, as they came to rely on each other so strongly). 

Also, I was really confused about their ages at first. Alan, is how old?? He felt like he was in his tweens at the beginning of the book, but he did get a lot better and more mature as the book went on. (Both him and Aimee are 17, by the way). 

Very off topic, but can I just ask-- since when is stupid a cuss word?? Whenever Alan gets legitimately angry, he drops all sorts of actual curses (and I wasn't bothered because, well, I'm used to it) and then Aimee gets ticked off and she's like I'm so angry I could curse but then she refuses to say stupid because it's a cuss word. I'm honestly wondering what else she considers to be a cuss word, because if she wants to pack a punch with her words, she might be better off not using any at all.

Which brings me to another thing: Aimee is so good. She's sweet, gentle, and caring. She's there for her best friend and tries super hard to be understanding to everyone. She doesn't hate her ex-boyfriend even though he was a jerk to her, doesn't hate everyone that calls her insane. She is so incredibly sweet, even though she'd been through a lot. She didn't have any faults that I could see, and while I do admire her, I also wonder how on earth she is so good while being treated so harshly by her father and friends. How could someone not become the slightest bit bitter?

(Also this is totally the cliche of missing parents. The dad is the one who is completely out of the loop in this one-- he sometimes even tried to avoid his children/house. The mom-- with all the answers-- is gone. The only somewhat parental figure is her grandfather [whom I loved and thought was hilarious]).

Alan... hm. Between him and Aimee, it was harder to understand what was going on with him. While he was more realistic than Aimee, (with, SHOCKER, no present dad and a workaholic mom) he was still a little... odd. He is half Navajo, and very intensely believes in the Great Spirit and having a guide. (His is called Onawa. I was a little confused about that at first). He frequently has visions and attempts to connect to the spirit world. My only question: what kind of 17 year old guy does that? What kind of 17 year old would not be freaked out by the thought that those things existed? Alan seems like nothing shocks him, even though later he'll be "rattled." Dude, you almost died. You should not be "rattled", you should be on the brink of heart failure.

I will say this: he takes care of those he loves. That gives him cookie points.

However, my biggest question is: Why is nothing ever explained??

The authors never answer the really important questions. The ones that the book runs on. I had so many questions-- from why Courtney was super secretive to Aimee, even when she knew things were going so horribly to why the heck no one in the town (not counting those who already know) thinks maybe there's something supernatural going on. URGH. No asks anything, meaning the readers don't get the information they're grasping for.

I felt bad for not liking the book because I really liked the Need series by Carrie Jones (Zara even wound up being one of my favorite characters), but I just can't get past the lack of answers and the way everyone jumped to conclusions.

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