Author: Lisa Mangum
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:
And it was a great thing to do. It totally fits with everything that is happening in my life right now, and it made me rethink a lot of things. With all the quotable quotes that can be found in this novel, it made me reflect back on the things I have done, on the things I am doing, and on the things that I plan to do. In essence, there wasn’t much in the story. It was inspiring and beautiful in a way that two damaged, different, and young people meet in a busy city like New York. It was a day that seemed normal to most people, but not to Sam and Sara.
Normally, I hate insta-love, and this one seemed like it. I also don’t really believe in concepts like fate. But this one? I was surprisingly okay with the both of it. For me, what Sam and Sara had wasn’t just some insta-love or love at first sight. It was a deep connection that is envied by many. After all, how many can find someone that can make them feel like they know each other since forever? The concept of fate was so beautiful, that it was like as if there was some unseen force that pushed the two of them together.
Not to mention, it’s a dual POV! I got to hear Sam and Sara’s thoughts, which was amazing. This whole novel was just jaw-dropping. From the beginning to the end, I was hooked. That ending? Especially that ending. It was bittersweet, but it was perfect. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It seemed the most realistic ending, which made it perfect.
Right now, my thoughts are all over the place, and I cannot even fathom how I’ll be able to pick up another book. After Hello is just entirely, absolutely, utterly, perfectly, completely beautiful. I have no words for it. Throughout the entire time I was reading this, all I can think of was: THIS IS SUPER DUPER ULTRA MEGA HYPER SOOOOO DAMN AWESOME. Please please please, if you haven’t read this book, GO READ IT NOW. I totally recommend this to everyone because it’s such a wonderful story about the important things in life.
I’ll start with the characters. Sara and Sam are two people who are clearly damaged by their pasts, and I like that the novel focuses on this instead of glossing over it. I find it unbelievable that two people who’ve known each other for mere hours can already open up so much, but I suppose that kind of connection was crucial to get the story going. It’s nice that they were able to learn more about themselves through their experience together, no matter how short it was.
The plot is hardly complicated, but I find its simplicity suitable. Although the ending is a bit sad, I agree with Pauline that it’s pretty realistic, and I’d prefer that over the usual happy ever after any day. The characters didn’t just magically get over their years’ worth of issues in a single day; they will always be damaged in a way, but they understand this now.
A story about love, sacrifice, and letting go, After Hello teaches its readers that, in the words of Sam, "happiness is always there. That's why we have to keep looking for it. Because we can't always see it. Because it doesn't always find us.”