**********Important disclaimer! If you haven't already read After (After #1) by Anna Todd, the first book in this series, do not read this review unti**********Important disclaimer! If you haven't already read After (After #1) by Anna Todd, the first book in this series, do not read this review until after you have. This review on the second book gives away major plot points from the first book. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED********
I'm not going to lie, there were things about this book I absolutely hated, but I'll get to those in a minute. First, let me tell you what I loved about it...HARDIN! Shocker, I know. Don't worry, I'll explain.
Unlike After, After We Collided gave us so much more insight into Hardin's character. Because the chapters alternated points of view between both Tessa and Hardin, I finally feel like I understand Hardin. In fact, I understand him so well that he has become my favorite of the two. If you'd told me when I finished reading After that I'd end up empathizing with Hardin and even liking him better than Tess there's no way I would have believed you, especially given how After ended. In After, Hardin was the quintessential villain. The character you were supposed to love to hate. How could I possibly ever find a way to like the guy who placed a bet on who could take Tessa's virginity first and then used her bloody sheets as proof of his conquest over the girl he betrayed? To quote FB, it's complicated. LOL
Seeing the world through Hardin's eyes made it so much easier to empathize with him and to finally understand exactly why he does all of the messed up stuff he does. That understanding played a huge part in my change of heart. Ironically though, I think the main reason I have switched alliances, so to speak, is because I'm beginning to really despise Tessa. I can't tell you why without giving anything away, and I certainly don't want to ruin it for you. Let me know after you read it, if you're still TEAM TESSA or if you, like me, are TEAM HARDIN all the way. :-D
As an additional warning, this book is every bit as addictive as After was. No matter how annoyed, frustrated, or sad I got, I still couldn't put it down. I read this entire book (nearly 700 pages) in 2 days. Two days where I could only read on my lunch breaks and in the evening because I worked both days from 8a-5p!
I wasn't entirely sure I'd like this book. I haven't really read a lot of fan fiction (other than Fifty Shades) and the ratings on here were good butI wasn't entirely sure I'd like this book. I haven't really read a lot of fan fiction (other than Fifty Shades) and the ratings on here were good but not fabulous, but when I saw just how many people had rated I figured it must not be bad, that was a lot of readers. LOL
It actually reminded me quite a bit of Fifty Shades, without all the BDSM stuff. That was a series I hated to love. There is often something deeply satisfying about reading about a really really dysfunctional relationship of two people who are head over heels in love with one another, isn't there? I think it's because most of us (I know I have) have been in at least one really messed up relationship and we can understand the pull of it and we want to believe that even those who are the most dysfunctional might someday grow and mature and become capable of something better...something truly amazing. Because, let's be honest, if one can love that deeply and still treat your partner right, well, that's a pretty ideal relationship, isn't it?
Now, I'm not going to lie. Right now, what's going on with the main characters is definitely no where near a perfect relationship. You don't have to get 1/3 of the way in to see just how imperfect it really is. But I still couldn't help but hold out hope.
If you don't get the the same perverse pleasure about reading about really twisted relationship dynamics and don't have my innate optimism, you may want to skip this one. But, on the other hand, if you are willing to suppress that part of you that just knows that Tessa and Hardin are doomed from the get go, and can overlook his inability to stop being an asshole for more than 20 minutes, you just might enjoy this book as much as I did.
If you do pick it up, go ahead and do yourself a solid and pick up After They Collided as well or you may find yourself, like me, rushing to the library at 5 minutes to close (in your pajamas) when you realize that you're going to finish it tonight and you can't possibly sleep if you don't know what happens next. Because I'm pragmatic I went ahead and grabbed After We Fell while I was at it. If they'd had After Ever Happy I'd of grabbed it too, but it was already checked out. :-( Hopefully it will be back this week, or I may have to resort to rolling quarters just so I can snag my own copy!...more