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63 pages 2 hours read

Anna Todd

After We Collided

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2013

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Themes

Offering and Accepting Forgiveness

Tessa and Hardin break up a half dozen times in the novel. These fights and reconciliations follow a set pattern that mirrors the structure of the first breakup, which begins when Tessa learns about the bet Hardin had with Zed Evans about her virginity. In the wake of the betrayal, Tessa packs her bags and leaves the apartment they share together. Although Hardin and Tessa share a night of intimacy a week or so after this breakup, they continue to be estranged until they have a long talk, during which Tessa offers Hardin her forgiveness for his betrayal. Hardin expresses contrition and remorse, and they reconnect by having sex—always the primary way that they express their love for one another.

As the novel continues, this becomes a routine: Tessa learns a new truth about Hardin’s wildly inappropriate actions—something bad about his past or a violent outburst in the present—at which point, she either leaves their apartment or throws him out, waits for him to beg forgiveness or undertake a half-romantic half-overbearing gesture, and then takes him back. The roles reverse a few times: When Tessa kisses someone else out of frustration with Hardin, his jealous rages and terrifying violence prompt her to apologize instead.

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By Anna Todd