Hello, and welcome to Rhea’s Neon Journal! Today I’m talking about After Us by Amber Hart. I loved this book and I can’t wait to share my thoughts about this book with you guys. Read my review, enter the giveaway and have fun!
Melissa smiles. She flirts. She jokes. But she never shows her scars. Eight months after tragedy ripped her from her closest friend, Melissa is broken. Inside her grows a tumor, fed by grief, rage, and the painful memory of a single forbidden kiss.
Javier has scars of his own: a bullet wound, and the memory of a cousin shot in the heart. Life in the States was supposed to be a new beginning, but a boy obsessed by vengeance has no time for the American dream. To honor his familia, Javier joins the gang who set up his cousin’s murder. The entrance price is blood. Death is the only escape.
These two broken souls could make each other whole again–or be shattered forever.
Our time will come. And we’ll be ready.
I have a knack for starting books in the middle of a series and then cribbing about not having read the first book first. (Because I’m a total failure, btw)
After Us is the second book in the Before & After series and after reading it…dayum. I totally want to read Before Us.
On first glance, Melisa looks like just another teenager at the beach; she’s a waitress so she smiles and she flirts and she laughs and she looks normal. But she’s far from it. Along the course of After Us, Amber Hart skillfully dodges and jumps over details about Melissa, giving just the right amount of information and then when you think you have it all, she withdraws and you’re left wondering again. I loved the whole push and pull territory that came with Melissa. As a character too, she was smart and capable of standing up for herself. She didn’t take any shit from anyone and even in the face of danger, she made the right decisions for herself. She misses her best friend, Faith, like hell and she doesn’t once give up. Not once.
On the other hand, playing Melissa’s love interest is Javier. Now, Javier is on what I’d like to call “self-destruct mode.” He’s understandably angry about the murder of his cousin, Diego, and decides to do something about the murderers who seem to be roaming about unpunished. His plan for revenge includes joining the same gang that killed his brother and rupturing them from within.
Melissa and Javier together were beautiful. They understood where the other came from, having gone through a lot of pain themselves. Javier lost his brother and Melissa’s friend Faith won’t talk to anyone, preferring to grieve alone. So where it came to kind of, you know, “getting” each other…they did.
As far as their chemistry goes, there were times I really wanted to shake these two and show them how good they could be for each other. But of course, with Javier and Melissa both keeping secrets, it was close to impossible for them to really give themselves to each other. There was a lot of angst, with them both wanting so bad to just tell each other but they couldn’t. It was disheartening to read but it was so well-written that I just kept on going.
Without the deeper understanding that would have no doubt come had I read Before You, I’d like to still say that Miss Hart did a great job providing enough information about Diego and Faith’s story too. I didn’t know anything about them in the beginning AT ALL, but by the end of After Us, I knew enough about them to know that had I read their story, I’d have loved them as much as I do Melissa and Javier 🙂
Reading After Us has made me a fan of a completely different style of writing than I’m usually used to. In the first chapters of the book, I thought of Amber Hart’s writing as maybe stilted and slow. But it really suited the pace of the story itself and she deserves a big, big thumbs up for her writing in After Us.
I’d recommend After Us to everyone who likes secrets and angst and protective, alpha-male heroes!
- Open to US ONLY.
- Please do not try to game the system. Cheaters never prosper.
Up for Grabs!
- PRIZE #1–> “After Us” paperback (2 winners)
- PRIZE #2–> “Before You” paperback, “After Us” paperback, and pencil ring
- PRIZE #3–> GRAND PRIZE of Coach purse, “Before You” paperback, and “After Us” paperback
Amber Hart grew up in Orlando, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. She now resides on the Florida coastline with family. When unable to find a book, she can be found writing, daydreaming, or with her toes in the sand. She’s the author of BEFORE YOU, AFTER US, UNTIL YOU FIND ME, and sequel to UNTIL YOU FIND ME (untitled as of yet). Represented by Beth Miller of Writers House.