When I first saw that After We Fell was 834 pages long, my immediate thought was "what is Anna Todd going to do to me now?" 834 pages to mess with my heart and to screw with my head. But you know what? I was so ready for it, because these books, this series, has completely gotten it's claws into me nice and deep and I'm one hundred percent obsessed and addicted!!
After We Fell picks up right where After We Collided finishes, and takes you on a ride of heart racing and mind blowing angst, drama, growth and love. For the first third of this book I was so frustrated with Tessa and Hardin. They were constantly bickering and making dumb choices. It seemed that they never seemed to learn anything from the mistakes of their past and just continued to repeat everything over and over. I wanted to bang their heads together and knock some sense into them. Hardin especially made me angry. He's such an expert at sabotaging the good things that come his way. And while there's part of me that can understand it, the bigger part was so angry over his actions.
Then it was Tessa's turn to get under my skin. I couldn't help but shake my head at the decisions she made. But then something happened. Something big. Something huge. Something that completely blew my mind. It was so out of the blue and I was so shocked that I had to put the book down and walk away. I couldn't believe what I'd just read. And then afterwards I was angry. I was angry over what happened and I was furious that the actions seemed to go unpunished.
The growth of the characters in this book is what I loved the most. It's what I'd been waiting for and anticipating from the beginning. Both characters really change so much, but ultimately it comes down to Hardin and his choices that have the biggest impact. His maturity and his love and his willingness to make changes not only affects himself, but also those around him. It allowed Tessa to be much more secure in that love and she became the most wonderful tower of support for him. I finally feel like Hardin and Tessa are understanding what it means to love and have respect for someone else.
"I'll always love only you."
...not one single girl, has ever gotten to hear him say "I love you." They haven't had, and will never have, the privilege of knowing him, the real him, the way that I do. They have no idea how wonderful and incredibly brilliant he is. They don't get to hear him laugh and watch his eyes screw shut and his dimples pop. They'll never get to hear the snippets of his life or hear the conviction in his voice when he swears that he loves me more than breathing. And for that, I pity them. "
After We Fell is by far the best in the series so far. I loved Hardin and Tessa previously, despite all the frustrations they gave me, but this was the book that I think I fell in love completely. Hardin has my heart. He owned me. I love the passionate way that he loves Tessa. I love his dirty mouth and his dirty words. I love his willingness to make changes for love. What also really shone through in After We Fell was Hardin's wicked sense of humour. I'd never picked up on it before, but he really cracked me up. He's so incredibly witty.
Anna Todd messes with my emotions like no other. I experience them all. I went from excitement to frustration to shock and anger to sadness to giddiness to swooning and happy and in love and then wanting to get down and worship at her feet. She does it with such pace it's a wonder I don't end up with whiplash! I love it!!
I said in my review for After We Collided that Anna Todd is the queen of 'oh my God' endings. And she's done it again. She always leaves us right at that exact point where we are in desperate need to know what comes next. I'm so anxious about how Hardin is going to react to what's just been revealed. He's come so far and worked so hard to get to this point that I just pray that this revelation doesn't set him back.
And now the countdown for After Ever Happy. I think it will be the longest I've had to wait between books, and each day will be a little bit of torture.
"Functional is highly overrated, baby."
5/5 Hardin Owns My Heart Stars!!
A huge, huge thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with this book and introducing me to this series.