Tyson Preeter refuses to fail. An accident may have taken away his mobility, but he hasn't let that stop him from excelling in school, chasing after women, and living life to its fullest. He keeps the disappointments and bad days to himself, having seen his family suffer enough when he was first recovering. And he keeps his heart to himself, too, focusing instead on classes and family and fun.
Cassidy Owens is finally getting it together. Her MS diagnosis threw her for a loop, and her reckless actions following it haven't done her reputation any favors. But this is college, a new start at life somewhere that people don't know she's sick and haven't had reason to judge her, and this time, she's going to get it right.
The Verdict: I was initially surprised that this story takes place at the same time as the previous book. It makes sense, of course, since Ty and Cass were pretty much together by the end of This is Falling, but I couldn't imagine how Ginger Scott was going to keep me entertained when I already knew the basics of what would happen. But instead, I was blown away.
Ty was awesome in the first book, and getting a closer look at him was even better. He's just a smart and fun and loyal to his family as I expected, but there's a lot more depth to him. He's fought hard to reclaim his life after the accident, and while he's certainly succeeded, he's not without flaws and doubts. His family's reaction when it first happened had an especially profound effect on him, and he'll do just about anything not to see them all fall apart again.
While I liked Cass in the first book, I wasn't sure she was the kind of character that I wanted to read a whole story about, but it took no time at all to love her once I saw inside her mind. Cass is at McConnell for their sports and rehab medicine program, seeking a positive way to deal with her MS. It's already done a number on her behavior and reputation, and she feels like her parents won't let her do anything without a babysitter. She wants to prove them wrong, but she's not happy living with limitations. She wants to make friends again, laugh again, and maybe even play soccer again.
Cass and Ty meet through her roommate and his brother, but it's working out with him as her trainer that really connects them. Ty's condition is obvious to anyone who sees him in a wheelchair, but Cass's is invisible, even as it affects every facet of her life. But it's right there in her records for Ty to see in preparation for her workout, and his reaction is simply perfect. Not only does he treat it the same way he treats his own, as an bump in the road to be sailed over, he encourages her not to let it hold her back, to pursue soccer if she wants to, to live without limitations. He's realistic, of course, cautioning her to be aware of any signs it's too much, but he doesn't treat her like she's fragile, and that makes all the difference in the world.
Cass isn't sure about giving Ty a chance, what with his playboy reputation and all. She's allowed herself to be used too many times, and she wants the more that she knows she deserves. Ty's a bit hesitant as well, having watched his last serious relationship fall apart in the wake of his debilitating accident. But neither can deny their connection, and as they let themselves go a little, they begin to discover something worth keeping.
You and Everything After proved to be a sweet, beautiful romance that mentions but doesn't dwell on disabilities. While Cass's MS and Ty's paralysis certainly have a part, they're nothing compared to the characters. There are raw emotions and insecurities and mistakes along the way, but those things only made it better. The next book will focus on Paige, who's probably my least favorite character, though she has shown a few soft spots along the way. I have the feeling that Ginger Scott's writing will make me fall in love her, too.