Saturday, September 17, 2011

After Obsession (Blog Tour)

Welcome to the blog tour for After Obsession! 

For this, I've just posted a review at the bottom, and here are some interview questions found in the back of the book that were highly entertaining to read!

Artistically speaking, what did each of you contribute to this book? How is it different than the usual novel you write?
STEVE: Well, the most obvious answer is that the book is written in alternating points of view between Carrie's character, Aimee, and my character, Alan. Carrie's writing is very much character driven and very feminine. She sees a lot of detail that I tend to gloss over. I'd say this novel is much richer in detail and tone than anything I've done previously and I blame Carrie for that.
CARRIE: it is much quicker, much more plot-driven, and has a lot more testosterone in it. Steve puts a really man energy into his chapters and he's so good at dialogue and flow. I was really lucky to write with him.
After Obsession features a girl in Maine and a boy who comes from Oklahoma. Are there other elements in the novel that mirror your lives or your relationships to your Okie or Mainiac collaborator?
CARRIE: Well, Steve is tall. Alan is tall. Steve is less politically correct than I am. Alan is like that too. Aimee and I both try to eat healthy and we both paint...
STEVE: Alan and Aimee learn a lot about each other, and that was true for me and Carrie as we worked together. I learned a lot about living in a small Maine town. Can you believe they really don't have football in most Maine high schools? I know I worked in several details gleaned from my life as a high school teacher.

After Obsession by Carrie Jones
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Pages: 305
Keywords: demons, Native American, dreams
Format Read: ARC from publisher for blog tour

Summary: Aimee has good grades, great friends, and a hot boyfriend. But she also has secrets. Like the violent dreams that are almost prophetic. Or the real reason behind her mom's death. Alan is new in town. Rugged, sexy, with a hint of Southern charm, he and Aimee connect immediately. Bye-bye boyfriend. But Alan has his own secrets. His Native American heritage gives him mystical, unlikely abilities. Not the kind of thing you show off in the cafeteria. But it's not Aimee or Alan who's in trouble. It's Courtney — Alan's cousin and Aimee's best friend. She's consumed by a strange demon. Alan says there are four stages: Invitation, then Infestation, Obsession, and finally, Possession. Aimee and Alan must figure out what to do, and quickly. Because once the demon takes full possession, there's no saving Courtney — or anyone else. 

This book was fairly interesting. It held my attention all the way through. It wasn't boring or unentertaining. But there wasn't really anything that grabbed me that made this book extraordinary. The characters were interesting enough, and I really liked Alan. However, his Native American background bothered me a little. I had no issues with the fact that he was Native American. I was very pro-that, and I LOVE the long hair thing. But the fact that he got all of his information from the internet was a little sketch for me, and I didn't like that there was no story on why his father wasn't there, or why his mother hated the fact that he wanted to practice Native American traditions. I also had an issue with how quickly Alan and Aimee fell in love. Way too fast. One look and it was happening. I was just really frustrated with that.

But I did like Aimee, and I loved her story. I loved that she had the dreams that came true, and it was all explained really well. I even liked Alan a lot, I just wish things about him were explained more because I think he could be equally interesting. There were so many open-ended things about his past that I really wanted answered but weren't.

Again, it was a little captivating, and it did hold my attention well through the end. As the book went on, it seemed to get better. Most of the things I didn't like about it were in the first half. And the demon that possesses Courtney also wasn't explained too well. It never really resolved why it was there, or how it got there, or why it possessed Courtney, and the others it did before her. I was just left wondering about a lot of things. Overall, it was pretty good, but just a one-time quick read, nothing more than that.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Carrier of the Mark

The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 342
Keywords: Ireland, natural elements, magic
Format read: ARC from publisher (thank you!)

Summary: From the moment she sets foot at her new school in Ireland, Megan is inexplicable drawn to the darkly handsome Adam DeRis. But Megan soon discovers that her feelings for Adam are tied to a supernatural fate that was sealed long ago — and that the passion and power that unites them could be their ultimate destruction. 

This is an incredibly short summary from the back of the book, so I'll try and give a little bit more information about what's going on here. Meg moves with her father to Ireland because he's been job-hopping ever since Meg's mom died. Meg actually starts to settle in in Ireland, something she hasn't done in a while. She makes friends, a lovely girl named Caitlin, who's got a whole love-mess of her own, and a few other pretty interesting but minor characters. Then, Meg is attracted to (obviously) the stunning brooding boy in the corner (Adam) that every girl has tried to obtain, but without any luck. He's apparently too good for everyone. Until Meg gets there, that is. The magical part is more interesting. Without giving too much away, it has something to do with the elements of the earth (earth, fire, water, and wind). There's also a top-secret society involved and of course, people trying to hurt Meg and Adam.

That's more of an idea of what goes on. I'll start with a tiny problem I had. I hated that within three days, Meg knew that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with Adam. She hadn't even talked to him yet. They were so clingy it made me sick. I don't really care if there was some force that pushed the bond; it was too soon and too fast. It was just SO unbelievably unreal, there was just no way it could've possibly happened like that.

Now, that's pretty much all I didn't like; the rest of the book was so interesting and unique. The whole paranormal deal with the elements of the earth — that's new. And I loved it. It was such a unique perspective on everything, and it was so original. In addition, there was a sufficient amount of explanation that went behind the magical forces that it totally made sense, and I wasn't left clueless. However, the information was spread out well, leaving just enough out that it was super suspenseful.

Aine, Adam's sister, was one of my favorite characters. I loved her spirit about everything, and she seemed truly genuine. The author seems to have put so much work into her character, which was lovely to see. I also fell in love with her...magical issues...(so I don't give too much away), which is another reason I think I felt so attached to her. She was humorous as well, behaving just like a sister should when her brother would take Meg out. I also loved Rian, Adam's older brother. He was supposed to be really intimidating, which he was, but there is so much backstory to his personality that drew me in. I'd be much more attached to him than to Adam. Generally, all the characters were extremely well-written. The only issue I had was with the extreme cliche-ness that was the love line. It just happened way too fast. Overall though, I really enjoyed this book! And LOVED that it was set in Ireland! I'M GOING THERE IN ABOUT 4 MONTHS!

And this book also gets about 1000 cool points for a badass cover.