[Review] After Always

October 13, 2018

Title: After Always

Author: Barbara J. Hancock

Genre: Young Adult, Thriller

Published: October 1, 2018

Source: Copy provided by NetGalley / YA Bound Book Tours

Quicklinks: Amazon | Goodreads



{SUMMARY}

Lydia Li’s life ended when Tristan died. At least, that’s how it felt. Sure, they had problems and he could be a little…intense…at times, but he’d loved her. He was the Romeo to her Juliet… And now he was gone.

When her parents get her to agree to a summer across the country with a music teacher who runs an inn, Lydia agrees. But it’s different than what she expected. There’s something else there. Something that feels a lot like Tristan. But that’s impossible, right?

Then there’s Michael Malone, the quiet guy who’s Tristan’s opposite in every way. And Lydia can’t help but be drawn to him…and whatever the house is hiding.
 
Content Warning: Story has mentions of previous physical abuse and manipulation.
 
I initially came across this book on NetGalley, but wasn't too sure I wanted to put this on my shelf at the time because I'm pretty much swamped at the moment, but when it came up in my e-mail as being part of a tour, I looked further into the book and browsed some other reviews I found on Goodreads. One review talked about how eerie it is and decided that since it's Spooptober, I might as well get into the spirit of Halloween with a thriller.
 
As always, let's start with Lydia. She's your average girl, nothing really stands out about her except for her past, which is pretty much the sole focus, so it's not that big of a deal. Her past clearly defines her, having been in the type of relationship she was in previous to going across the country. She's confused and in between feeling relief and guilt after everything that has happened. At first, we're not sure why she's relieved, but the more the book goes on, the more information is revealed about her past and why she feels the way she does. Much like anyone who has been through what she has, she's extremely hesitant to confide in anyone.
 
The story itself was well-written with a creepy vibe with enough details to give you a sort of chill when reading. Honestly, though, you wouldn't have really guessed it would be paranormal by just reading the summary. When I first read the summary, I thought it was just a bit of mystery and thought nothing of it potentially being a thriller/paranormal book.
 
Overall, I enjoyed the book and the story it had to offer. I was pretty much attached to the pages, but it lacked.... something. I can't really get a grasp for what it was missing, but there was just... something that made it from being a full 5 stars. Either way, this book is a great Halloween read for anyone into the paranormal / thrilling aspect of books.
 

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