Series: After #3, After #4
Published by Simon & Schuster, Limited Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Source: Bought for Myself
It’s never been all rainbows and sunshine for Tessa and Hardin, but each new challenge they’ve faced has only made their passionate bond stronger and stronger. But when a revelation about the past shakes Hardin’s inpenetrable façade to the core—and then Tessa suffers a tragedy—will they stick together again, or be torn apart?
As the shocking truth about each of their families emerges, it’s clear the two lovers are not so different from each other. Tessa is no longer the sweet, simple, good girl she was when she met Hardin—any more than he is the cruel, moody boy she fell so hard for. Tessa understands all the troubling emotions brewing beneath Hardin’s exterior, and she knows she’s the only one who can calm him when he erupts. He needs her.
But the more layers of his past come to light, the darker he grows, and the harder he pushes Tessa—and everyone else in his life—away. Tessa’s not sure if she really can save him—not without sacrificing herself. She refuses to go down without a fight. But who is she fighting for—Hardin or herself?
After We Fell & After Ever Happy by Anna Todd
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The After series by Anna Todd is addictive. There is something about these books which made me come back and finish the series after not entirely loving the first two books. The drama surrounding main characters Hardin and Tessa (aka #Hessa) is compelling and there is never a boring moment for these two.
In the third and fourth instalments, After We Fell & After Ever Happy, Hardin and Tessa face more obstacles before they can be together. Their parents have secrets which threaten to emotionally destroy the two and it seems as if Hardin and Tessa can be their own worse enemies.
IF you enjoyed the first two books because you liked the roller-coaster of emotions, Hardin’s bad boy antics and Tessa’s inability to save herself – you will love how the After series concludes. The Hessa drama cycle continues and they get trapped into old behaviour patterns. But there is hope. Because despite their pasts, Hardin and Tessa do show some signs of change. Their relationship matures and they characters learn from their mistakes together. The downside is this only happens three-quarters of the way into the final books. It may have come late but I did like the author’s attempt to rationalize how all the drama, break-ups and breakdowns could turn into a functional relationship which could potentially stand the test of time.
I will count the After series as one of my guilty pleasures. I’m not quite sure why I read the series but there was something unputdownable about the books despite my issues with the characters, relationships and my frustrations with how these people kept making the same mistakes over and over again. Hardin and Tessa’s story is compelling. I didn’t like either character but I wanted to see what was going to happen next. And I was not disappointed. The final two books had all the ups and downs I was expecting yet with the added bonus of the characters wising up to the destructive power of their relationships.
The families played a bigger role in these books than the previous two with the pasts of the parents coming back to haunt them. There were times when certain plot points were revealed and I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. It all felt just a little too high drama soap opera. But that said, the author managed to incorporate her plot twists in a way which didn’t feel as ridiculous as I expected.
After We Fell and After Ever Happy are books which if you loved the first two – you will not want to miss how the story ends. But for those who were left cold by the start of the series, it is probably a good idea to give these two a miss.