Ok...forgive me but I'm still kind of reeling from that ending. That was about as far from what I was expecting when I picked this book up than I can imagine. I'm left with a some mixed feelings, quite honestly. And I think it was mostly Destiny that was doing the mixing. Even after that whole story, I still don't know what to think about her. I knew she was going to be rough around the edges, but apparently on a whole different level than I was anticipating.
I had a hard time picturing this being the girl for Topher. Topher who has already walked through hell and back. I get he was kind of a jerk in the beginning of the first book, Learning to Live, but he was also a spoiled teenage boy, who started maturing and mending his jerky ways. I felt like he was somehow atoning for those sins in this book by so fully involving himself with Destiny and her many troubles, and that bummed me out a little.
On the flip side of all that, I was really happy to see Topher still the sweet guy that we left him as in Learning to Live. It was nice to see how much he learned from his harsh experiences. I loved that he still maintained relationships with his father and his partner, and also Ciera's family. I was grateful for those glimpses of them, to know that they were carrying on and starting to flourish even. I felt like that brought a sense of closure to Ciera's story that I didn't even know I needed.
As much as I was not impressed by Destiny, I also pitied her. I felt sorry for the life that she never really got a chance to enjoy, and the childhood that she lost. Hers was a sad story, and one that you don't recover from overnight. So in that sense, I understood why she was the way she was. It was just hard for me to really see what Topher was seeing. I could see that he felt he failed Ciera in certain ways but I do believe that he might have been overcompensating for that in his relationship with Destiny.
I can also say with damn near 100% certainty that the last few chapters will surprise the hell out of you. That's not always the easiest task to pull off, so hats off to you Adams! The bottom line is, if you read and loved Learning to Live, like I did, than Life After is an absolute must read. You have to see how Topher's tale turns out, because you truly never could have guessed!
I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.