Monday, September 26, 2011

After Obsession by Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel

After Obsession

Author: Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel

Publisher: Bloomsbury

4 out of 5 stars

Your bedroom door slams shut with such force that it rattles the doorframe.  You jump, wondering how it could have closed when you’re all the way across the room at your desk.  The lock clicks, and suddenly, you know that he’s here.  An ominous shadow starts to form in the corner of your room.  It takes the shape of a towering man, and as he grows, it seems to suck all of the light out of your room.  You try to get out of your chair, but it feels as if a ton of bricks is pressing down on you.  You can’t move, and your eyes dart around the room in search of anything you could use as a weapon.  But it’s too late.  He’s reaching towards you, and that’s when the cold fear sets in.  You’re his now.

Aimee’s life is going good at the moment.  She has a sweet boyfriend, great friends, and a loving family.  Life has never been better, and the only thing she wishes that she could change would be her best friend Courtney’s father dying.  Courtney hasn’t been the same since, but she’s pulling through it somehow. Oh, and the dreams.  Aimee would give anything to get rid of the dreams that plague her sleep and sometimes come true.  Alan is about to change all of that.

Alan is Courtney’s half-Navajo cousin from Oklahoma.  He was a football star there, and he had a good life back home.  But since Courtney’s father passed away, Alan and his mother had to move to Maine to help Courtney and her mom keep the house.  Maine is nothing like Alan’s beloved Oklahoma.  They don’t even have football, for goodness sake!  But Alan is about to find out just how strange Maine can get.

Courtney is being controlled by a demon known as the River Man who is trying to possess her.  He constantly haunts her, and even dares to inhabit her body, draining her of her own energy and strength.  Alan and Aimee know that they have to do something, and soon.  There are four stages to possession: Invitation, Infestation, Obsession, and Possession.  Courtney is almost at the stage of Possession, and if it gets that far, not only her life, but everyone else’s, will be lost as well.  Will Alan and Aimee be able to save Courtney before it’s too late?  Or will they be drawn into the River man’s consuming clutches as well?  All is revealed in Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel’s demonic story of two teen’s struggle to save all that they love in, After Obsession!

After Obsession was a gripping adventure full of demons, Navajo rituals, prophetic dreams, and Marilyn Monroe shaped Cheetoes.   There was the perfect balance of humor and somberness in this novel that really tied it all together.  Aimee and Alan felt like real teens and they fit each other perfectly.  I received After Obsession as an advanced reader’s copy from YA in Bloom.* Thank you so much to Bloomsbury and everyone at the YA in Bloom event for providing me with a copy!  I suggest this book for teens thirteen and up, as it may prove to be a bit too sinister for younger readers.

After Obsession was told from both Aimee and Alan’s perspective, and I really enjoyed getting to read about both of their experiences and how they felt about one another.  Their love for one another was almost instantaneous, but it wasn’t so much love at first sight, but more-so that they felt like they had finally found someone they could put their absolute trust in.  They were each of their missing halves.  Alan and Aimee’s chemistry with one another was so sweet, and it really moved the story along nicely.

Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel did a fantastic job of making the characters in their story feel like actual teens.  There was always a healthy dose of humor mixed in with the gravity of the situation, giving this book a light feel to it.  Things such as Aimee’s little brother Benji’s Marilyn Monroe shaped Cheeto for sale on eBay, and jokes thrown in balanced out the equally frightening and creepy scenes filled with menacing warnings and intense dreams.  I couldn’t tell where Jones writing ended and Wedel’s began.  Their writing flowed seamlessly with one another, and it was beautiful and tender at just the right moments.

It was also very interesting to read about demonic possession and how both Alan and Aimee dealt with it.  Both teens took the situation in stride, and didn’t miss a beat.  They were both on it immediately, and set about ways to purge Courtney of the River Man.  It was intriguing to get to see how both Aimee and Alan’s unique backgrounds played a role in their fight against the River Man, and how it gave them an edge that helped assist them in their quest.

I would have liked to have seen more of a focus on certain aspects of the book, such as Aimee’s dreams, demonic possession, Alan’s mysterious past, and how Courtney came to be troubled by the demon in the first place.  I felt like each of these subjects was only touched on slightly, and could have been elaborated on to have given the reader more of an all-around immersive experience.  I felt that everything that was going on in After Obsession was also trying to share the stage with Alan and Aimee’s relationship, which is a large chunk of the book.  Being a stand-alone novel, I’ll just have to wonder at what could have been.

After Obsession is sure to send chills up your spine as you dive into the world of possession, demons, and spirits.  Join Alan and Aimee, as they fight with everything they’ve got in order to survive in, After Obsession!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

*I received this novel from the YA in Bloom event.  I received After Obsession as an advanced reader's copy in exchange for my honest review.  Thank you so much to Bloomsbury and everyone at the YA in Bloom event for providing me with a copy!

Check out Carrie Jones' website at
Check out Steven E. Wedel's website at


  1. I loved the balance of funny and serious, too! The bits about the cheeto were the best! I definitely loved Alan and Aimee's love story, but you're right about the possibility for a more developed back story. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Tessa!

  2. I had to re-read the Cheeto line again and kept giggling at how silly and awesome it was. Love it! This book sounds REALLY interesting - a different take for sure.

  3. I have not yet read a book about possession. I kind of love that you mention that there's a fair amount of humour. I would imagine that would help keep the tone not too dark.

  4. I think it is really cool to have four stages of possession in the book. I don't think I've ever heard of that before. Thanks for the review!


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