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. Plagued by grief, rage, and the painful memory of a single forbidden kiss.
Javier has scars of his own. 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, Diego. The entrance price is blood. Death is the only escape.
Two broken souls could make each other whole again—or be shattered forever.
Our time will come. And we'll be ready.
Goodreads AFTER US
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
This Book Nerd Says:
I read this book without reading the first book in the series. While the author did a good job about filling in the back story so I didn't feel like i was reading "blind", I did wish that I had read the first story prior to reading this one.
After Us is the love story of Melissa and Javier.
Melissa is a young seemingly easy going and flirty girl forced to postpone her dreams of college as she deals with her scars, both physical and emotional. Despite being surrounded by caring sisters and her mother, Melissa is still grieving the loss of her best friend. The one who despite Melissa's desperate attempts to reach out and hold on to seem to have failed. So yes while Melissa seems to be easy going and flirty, there's way more going on under the surface.
When she runs into the last person she expects to, old feelings come rushing back to the surface. Memories of a single kiss...
Like Melissa Javier is already deep into his own struggle. Grieving the loss of his cousin, Javier has his sights focused solely on taking down those. But then he sees her again. Melissa.
The tow of them soon give into the pull towards the desire for more than the memory of a kiss. But even as they draw closer together, the secrets they each carry threaten to break them apart. Together despite the scars they both carry, they find the safety and comfort to begin to heal.
What I liked most about this story is the blending of cultures and bringing an interracial relationship to the table. As I read so many stories I find it increasingly hard to believe that these type of stories are not as prevalent as one would think. I loved that Melissa and her family don't seem too phased by the difference. I really loved Melissa's attempts to understand his culture even when the fear of being rejected by ones he loves looms.
The things that I didn't quite love seemed to be focused on Javier's relationship with the gang. While I understood his reasoning for joining, I was a little bewildered by how "easily" it all came to resolution. I was hoping for a little more information before we got to the happily ever after, but I felt a little wanting.
In this respects I could see this book angled more to the Mature Young Adult than New Adult.
I am giving this book a rating of 3.5 solid stars!
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