After Ever Happy by Anna Todd (After series #4)

If there was ever a more realistic representation of where today’s passionate romances tend to go, After Ever Happy by Anna Todd illustrates it perfectly.

After Ever Happy by Anna Todd

The After series isn’t your typical feel-good love story that so many romance books tell. Rather than star-crossed lovers who have to overcome so many external conflicts (completely out of their control), to end up together, Todd’s story highlights the major issues within Hardin and Tessa. This story really isn’t about anything or anyone else—it’s about them.

In After, an innocent Tessa Young goes away to college where she meets an unlikely crew of friends and bad boy, Hardin Scott. Book one is about getting a chance to figure out who she is and what she really wants while navigating social pressures. Similarly to Hardin, she has a very strong idea of who she thinks she is, and it’s this misguided self-assurance for each of them that causes so many problems in their relationship.

In After We Collided and After We Fell, their internal issues complicate things further (hello, drama and toxicity), and this affects everyone around them.

Once again, Anna Todd left us with a cliffhanger in AWF. We’re told at the start of AEH a huge truth. SPOILERS AHEAD: Chancellor Scott isn’t Hardin’s real dad. It seems Mum had a passionate love affair with his best friend, Christian Vance. And PSA: there are still sparks between them. Even as she marries a different man. Oof.

After Ever Happy summary

I thought the third book in the series was harsh, but AEH is somehow worse. Hardin being Hardin spirals into being a dickhead again and dumps Tessa while they’re in London for his mother’s wedding. Upon hearing about his mom and Vance, he boycotts the wedding, brawls, sets his childhood home on fire, leaves Tessa, and then runs back to his ratty-ass group of friends and getting wasted.

Meanwhile, Tessa is suffering. Her spirit and sense of self have been pulverized. She’s alone and completely heartbroken. She’s coping with the painful news that she can’t have children. So after Hardin ghosts her, she leaves London solo and heads back to their shared apartment to pack things up.

And that’s when Tessa goes off the rails.

Alone, she discovers her addict father’s corpse. Hardin isn’t there, her mother isn’t there. No one is there for her. She just cuddles up beside his body and holds onto him until she comes to at her mother’s house a few days later.

After Ever Happy spans decades. Although things turn out good in the end, I spent the entire 500+ pages with a tightness in my chest and overwhelming sadness that it took so many years for their lives to turn out that way.

Book review: After Ever Happy by Anna Todd

The After series is what really happens in so many relationships like Hessa’s. People are imperfect—they’re selfish and immature, they take a long time to grow up and get their shit together, and they’re stubborn as hell. When two people continually hurt each other, they sabotage their own happiness, even if what they truly want is to be together.

Like the rest of my After reviews, I rated AEH 4 stars on Goodreads. Toward the end of the fourth book, we’re given only quick glimpses into the happiness that eventually finds Tessa and Hardin together. But the ending left me wishing I got the chance to enjoy their happiness a while longer.

It was a sweet end, abrupt, but I wasn’t ready for their story to end.

Still, I will adore this story forever.

I just started a YouTube channel! I hope to make my book reviews more fun by doing videos rather than only writing about it. I hope you watch + subscribe! Here’s my SPOILERY discussion of Sarah J Maas’s newest book in the romance-fantasy series A Court of Thorns and Roses:


22 Replies to “After Ever Happy by Anna Todd (After series #4)”

  1. Onicca kekana

    I see After series as the best movie I’ve ever watched. That teaches about love and addiction towards your partner. And also how Tessa turned Hardin I loved it. I didn’t read the novel but from the movie I’m looking forward to watching all of them.

    • Sandra Gibbons

      I agree! The After series does such a great job at illustrating how so many young relationships are. I haven’t seen the third movie yet, but I’ve read all the books. You should read them… I can’t decide which I like better!

  2. Maria

    I love how you were left wanting more. I was too. A lot of people hate this series because they do not understand it. I devoured this series in 4 days and did not sleep to finish it. I clutched my pearls during the entirety of the 4th book. I would not have given my husband a chance had I not read this book series. It means so much to me. I hurt so much for them. Lastly, Tessa changed soooooo much as a result of abuse from Steph and the relationship with Hardin. She was a shell of herself in the end. I need more of their happy. Anna Todd has said she has more of their story for us…

  3. Mackenzie Rupright

    Is one of Tessa’s baby zeds because on page 112 in after ever after Hardin sees zed and tessa and tessa is pregnant so who’s baby is it!

    • Mackenzie B.

      No, both of the babies are Hardin’s. The part of the book you are talking about is Hardin having a dream. Zed and Tessa were never together sexually, but Hardin kept having dreams of them together. Because they were so close and Hardin knew Zed was after Tessa.

  4. Shella Enrile

    I really am so confused! I really love the 3 series all in. Especially the book 3, gooosh! I’m in tears mostly in the last chapters.
    But I just want to clarify, what’s in the After Happy Ever? I mean, is it their continous love story? Because i have read so many posts that Tessa and Hardin have had 3 kids and got married?

    • Sandra Gibbons

      Hi Shella! After Happy Ever is the conclusion to Tessa and Hardin’s relationship. Most of book 4 is Tessa and Hardin split up, years after After We Fell. Only in the end part of After Happy Ever do we get to finally see their “happily ever after.” It took years for them to grow up and get back together again. 🙁 But they do end up together with kids! For me, it was so sad reading about them living separate lives… so much time lost!

  5. Arushi

    I read the book recently on Wattpad. This story of Hessa is so consuming that it keeps you on the edge and I was crying when I read the last 2 chapters. It was a like Hardin finally gave himself to Tessa but Tessa was withdrawing from everything especially Hardin. I couldn’t stop thinking that what was going on in tessa’s mind and how come Hardin also stayed away from Tessa for so many years. Though the novel was consuming but the end was for me a abrupt.
    And also after this are there any other part of Hessa which Anna Todd has written. Because honestly I can’t believe that it’s the end of Hessa 🖤

    • Sandra Gibbons

      Yes, Arushi! It was SO abrupt and sad! Literally so many years were wasted with them not being together. Sadly, I think that’s it for Hessa as far as what Anna has written. Have you read Before? I’m really, really looking forward to the second movie coming out because that’s pretty much keeping me alive right now. 🖤🖤🖤

      • arushi sinha

        Hey Sandra !
        No I haven’t read the before but I want to . This book is from the Hardin’s point of view right. And also I want to clarify that is the book After happy ever is on Wattpad? . Because I couldn’t find it on Wattpad.

        • Sandra Gibbons

          Arushi! How are you?? Yes—the last book Before is Hardin’s POV he was such a bad boy before Tessa! I’m not sure if After Ever Happy is on Wattpad. I think I heard somewhere that After Ever Happy was originally part of the third book on Wattpad instead of being a standalone book 4.

  6. Narj.

    Omg I just thought the same , I don’t know why but I feel like I want to savour every page every part of it… even though itll hurt.

    Please recommend something similar I’ve finished this I want to start something new… but I keep thinking It should have a happy ending. Please recommend something really good. I couldn’t get myself to read pride and prejudice or wuthering heights… I didnt want to be left broken for days …

    • Sandra Gibbons

      I 100% recommend A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas. It is filled with action and steamy romance, and is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. It isn’t contemporary. It’s fantasy, and the romance in it is sooooo good!

  7. Richa

    Will someone pls tell me why they don’t get legally married and second does the book have a published alternative ending ?

    • Sandra Gibbons

      🤣🤣🤣 I remember reading that part and not knowing how I felt about that. I personally don’t want to have a traditional wedding with all the frills… my idea of romance is eloping and just not telling anyone about it… maybe that’s how Hardin and Tessa felt? I have no idea. But it seemed like a Hessa thing to do when I was reading it. Maybe someone’s published some good fanfic of an alternate ending!

  8. Narj.

    I felt that ache too , I cried and it hurt to read how months and years had passed and the 2 people who couldn’t live without each other resisted each other so much. I missed how easily Hardin got used not having tessa and how tessa even considered dating someone else. It hurt everytime I read 1 year later , 2 years later.

    • Sandra Gibbons

      Yes. Exactly! It hurt SO much to read how Tessa and Hardin each go through their daily lives without the other. They wasted so much time. I need to read this series again and feel everything all over again. 🖤

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