After Obsession (Review)

Book cover for "After Obsession" by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel.Title: After Obsession

Authors: Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel

Publication Year: 2011

Pages: 336

Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy

Source: E-book version borrowed from the public library

From the cover:

Although they’ve only just met, Aimee and Alan have a history together. They’ve been in each other’s dreams. They’re bound by something they can’t quite name. Something that rattles the windows, haunts the waters . . . and threatens to tear them apart before they get a chance to find out what their connection means.

There were things that I both loved and hated in this book.

Let’s start with the positive. I loved the alternating narrators, switching off between Aimee and Alan’s points of view. It was cool to get inside both of their heads and see the events of the story from more than one perspective, especially since so much of the conflict is internal. I also really liked the concept of the story, the attention to detail in the background of the setup – like the pieces about Aimee’s mother – and the inclusion of Native American culture. It’s really rare for YA books to include any kind of diversity, and this wasn’t just a token mention: Alan’s spirituality is a key element in After Obsession.

I wasn’t so keen on the unnecessary focus on the romance. I understood why the part about Aimee and her initial boyfriend, Blake, was important to include, and their messy breakup played an integral part in showing the damage that is being caused to their town, especially in terms of people’s moods and behaviour. What I wasn’t so happy with, though, was the way that Aimee and Alan became so close so very fast, even going so far as to say “I love you” to each other mere days after meeting. Even in the kind of crazy circumstances that happen in this book, that’s pushing it. I don’t think it’s realistic to imply to young readers that this kind of thing can – or should – happen. In all honesty, I actually feel like it’s a bit irresponsible to show that kind of relationship in a book that otherwise does a great job of bringing important issues to light.

Overall, After Obsession was a good read, but a bit problematic for me in some ways. If you’re okay with the things that bothered me, then you’ll probably really enjoy it!


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