Monday, January 5, 2015

Blog Tour and Review: After Us by Amber Hart


About AFTER US: 
"Beautiful, lyrical writing and a dangerously suspenseful plot. . .an unforgettable novel that readers will love." --Lucy Connors, author of The Lonesome Young

Sometimes secrets kill. Maybe slowly, maybe painfully. Maybe all at once.

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.

Add it to Goodreads here!



My Review!
I don't think I was totally in the mood for this book, because I felt like I was making myself push through just because I had to review it for the tour. Don't get me wrong, I still really liked it and thought the author did a great job of tying up loose ends from Before You. But I wanted a bit more with the romance.

I've wanted to read this one after finishing the first book in the series. They all star different characters, but they intertwine. And this one happened both before and after the ending of the first book. But that also made this one kind of hard to stand on its own, because it almost seemed more focused on what happened in Before You and how those events affected everyone than about these characters in this story.


Speaking of characters, I really liked them both. Melissa, who is headstrong, friendly, a girl who just loves to have fun and live her life. But she's hiding secrets from everyone; she's hiding the bad parts of herself behind her smiles. I feel for her, in what she was going through and the fact that she didn't have her best friend to help. She also didn't want to focus on that and instead wanted to just enjoy her life without the constant worry and concern from her family. She had such wonderful character development, even when I felt that she was spending way too much time worried about how the truth would affect everyone around her.


But she needn't have worried about Javier and how he felt about her. I really liked him, though it was harder to connect with him because much of his thoughts and feelings revolved around his cousin, Diego, and what happened to him. He was also so hell-bent on rage that he almost didn't realize that life is about worth more than exacting revenge. But he still had great growth as a character.


Their romance was sweet, and they had such great chemistry (which was apparent in the first book too). But I wanted a bit more from it, because I thought the I love yous were a little fast and I didn't totally believe in forever for them. But they were a good match, and I loved that they helped each other through everything, even when they were both keeping secrets. Those secrets just made their relationship stronger, because it brought them even closer once they shared them.

I also adored the secondary characters. Some of my favorite parts of the book were when Javier and his family were all together. I especially loved Javier's relationship with his brothers and friends; they were hilarious together. I also loved it when Melissa was hanging out with her sisters and mom. They both had such tightknit families and strong bonds. It was those bonds that also helped the two of them move on from what had happened.


The plot was the weak point for me, as I said above that I felt the focus was more on the events of Before You than it was on these two characters and their developing relationship. And I think my mood was affecting the reading, because I found myself bored quite a few times throughout the story. Though, I think that was more me than in what was happening. But I did love that ending; it showcased their romance beautifully.


I'm not exactly sure what the third book is going to be about or even who the main characters are, but I want to read it. I loved the first book in this series and so enjoyed After Us and I want to continue it! :)

RATING:
3 Paw Prints!

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About the Author:
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.