Book Review: Murder, Stalking and Singaporean Snacks in "The Obsession"

The Fiction Addiction

The Obsession by Jesse Q. Sutanto (no, not the Nora Roberts book) is a suspense novel about a twisted high school romance. The story is told in alternating chapters, by Logan and Delilah, almost like the book is laughing at the YA romance style.

Logan gets a little too obsessed with the girls he's interested in, starting with social media stalking and ending with... well, it makes a detailed Instagram investigation seem innocent. Logan is completely convinced that all the stalking and manipulation is romance, but he keeps hinting at a deeply disturbing relationship with his former crush. This is the good kind of unreliable narrator in a thriller, because he recounts completely messed-up activities, while certain that he's the one in the right and Delilah will come around, not the annoying kind of unreliable narrator where the big reveal is "oh, that guy was just lying the whole time. TWIST!"

Logan's creepy stalking, I mean, his pure undying love for Delilah gets him evidence of her doing something very, very illegal.  It's our first sign that sweet Delilah might have her own secrets and motivations, and sets the rest of the suspense and revenge in motion. I loved how this story used some of the familiar YA moments (Logan coming to meet Delilah after her part-time library job, for example, or driving her to school) to make a twisted, manipulative relationship, and develop the page-turning cat-and-mouse suspense.

Oh, and Delilah's dad was from Singapore, so in the middle of all the obsession, stalking, murder and vengeance, there's still time to talk about delicious Singaporean foods.

For more stories with Singaporean foods, check out Sarong Party Girls and Crazy Rich Asians, for more twisted friendships and shocking suspense novels, check out Social Creature, The Girls Are All So Nice Here, Beware That Girl, or geez, most of what I've read since pandemic isolation started.

The Obsession is written by Jesse Q. Sutanto and will be published by Sourcebooks Fire on February 2, 2021.

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