63 pages 2 hours read

Anna Todd

After We Collided

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2013

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Summary and Study Guide


After We Collided is the second book in the After series by Anna Todd. Originally published as fanfiction about the band One Direction, the novel follows the romantic relationship between Tessa Young and Hardin Scott, a character inspired by One Direction band member and solo artist Harry Styles. The novel was made into a movie in 2020, and the entire series is due to be turned into graphic novels by artist Pablo Andres with the first released in May of 2022.

The guide uses the Kindle e-book published by Gallery books, a division of Simon and Schuster, Inc in 2014.

Content Warning: This guide references sexual assault and violence, sexual activity, and alcoholism, and contains some quoted profanity.

Plot Summary

Tessa Young has just learned that her boyfriend of three months, Hardin Scott, initially got involved with her because of a bet he made with his friend Zed Evans to see who could take her virginity first. Zed drives her to Hardin’s family home where her best friend Landon consoles her. Tessa’s entire life is turned upside down; she doesn’t know whom to trust or if she can even return to her internship at Vance Publishing—a job she got through Hardin and his dad, Ken. Her difficult and non-understanding mother pushes Tessa to reunite with her former boyfriend, Noah. Tessa returns to her college town and checks into a motel.

Tessa goes to a publishing conference with her boss Christian Vance, his girlfriend Kimberly, and a coworker, Trevor. At the conference, Tessa gets drunk at a club and calls Hardin. Worried for Tessa’s safety, Hardin shows up at the hotel and finds Tessa in her room with Trevor. Hardin becomes angry, but Tessa calms him down, and they have sex, which they both regret the next day. Tessa sends Hardin away, refusing to forgive him for his betrayal.

The week of Christmas, Tessa decides to return to the apartment she shares with Hardin because she believes he will be in London for the holiday. However, Hardin has changed his plans and flown his mother Trish to Washington to spend the holiday with him. When Hardin and Trish find Tessa in the apartment, Hardin convinces Tessa to stay the night so that he can put off telling his mother about their breakup. Tessa agrees, leaving the following day to stay with her mom for the holiday. However, upon arriving at home, Tessa learns that her father has returned to Washington. Angry, she turns to Hardin for comfort. Tessa and Hardin get back together.

Tessa’s mother shows up on Christmas Eve to force Tessa to go home for the holiday. During the argument that follows, Tessa’s mother reveals Hardin’s betrayal, and Trish reveals Hardin has done a similar thing before. Tessa turns on her mother for trying to control her. Hardin stops Tessa from saying things she can’t take back and escorts Tessa’s mother out of the apartment. When Tessa confronts Hardin on what his mother revealed, he confesses to making a similar bet earlier and ruining the life of a girl named Natalie by releasing a video of the two of them having sex. Tessa asks Hardin to leave. Hardin comes back that night and gives Tessa a letter admitting all the wrongs he’s done in his life. He apologizes, and Tessa forgives him again.

Hardin, Tessa, and Trish go to Hardin’s father’s house for Christmas. Hardin and his father Ken get into an argument about Ken’s alcoholism and the resulting trauma Hardin and Trish experienced. Hardin punches Ken. Tessa convinces Hardin to leave; his mother urges Hardin to resolve his anger. The following day, Tessa convinces Hardin to invite Ken and his family over for dinner. The second dinner goes well, allowing Ken and Hardin to apologize to one another.

Hardin and Tessa go to a New Year’s Eve party at Hardin’s fraternity house. Tessa gets very drunk and becomes convinced that Hardin has slept with another girl. She kisses another boy in front of Hardin, so he leaves her at the party. When Tessa gets home, she finds Hardin drunk. They argue, but finally forgive each other.

School begins again. Hardin is annoyed that he and Tessa don’t share any classes, so he joins her yoga class. Hardin goes to a hockey game with Landon. When he gets home, he finds Tessa sleeping on the couch and carries her to bed. But when she says Zed’s name in her sleep, Hardin grows jealous and goes to a bar where he drinks too much and goes home with an old acquaintance, Carly. The following day, Tessa is so worried about Hardin that she takes her eyes off the road when he finally texts her and gets into a car accident. Tessa learns that Hardin spent the night with Carly.

Tessa moves out of the apartment again. Hardin flies to London, growing more and more convinced that he’s not good for Tessa. He runs into Natalie, who is doing better after Hardin’s actions. He decides Tessa needs a second chance just like Natalie got. When he returns to Washington and sees Tessa with Trevor, Hardin decides to give her space to be with someone who is better for her. However, Tessa isn’t interested in Trevor; she’s been seeing Zed. After fighting, Hardin asks Tessa to go on a date. They attempt to go slow in their reconciliation, but quickly fall back into old habits.

Although he promised Tessa he would stay away from Zed, Hardin seeks him out, and they get into a physical fight. Hardin is arrested for the fight, for causing property damage, and for pushing a professor. Tessa convinces Zed not to press charges. Tessa and Hardin reunite again, though Hardin believes he will be expelled and forced to go back to London. He asks Tessa to go with him, not knowing that Tessa has already arranged a job transfer to Seattle. One afternoon, Tessa goes with Hardin to get a new tattoo and runs into her father, who has alcoholism, on the street.

Related Titles

By Anna Todd