With over a billion views on Wattpad, it’s safe to say that After by Anna Todd is a book that caught my attention. This week I settled down with the 592 page story, and you can see my review and full series pre-order links below.
Now newly revised and expanded, Anna Todd’s After fanfiction racked up 1 billion reads online and captivated readers across the globe. Experience the Internet’s most talked-about book for yourself!
There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER… Life will never be the same. #Hessa
Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.
But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.
But he’s also rude – to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.
He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.
Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?
Unless…could this be love?
When I agreed to read this book, I didn’t really know what I was letting myself in for. I had heard of the book; it was a huge hit on Wattpad, and then getting picked up by Gallery Books, it was hard to not know of it. But other than that, I hadn’t even read the synopsis.
So then I got the book in the post. And holy hell – it was nearly 600 pages! Six. Hundred. Pages! Now, I’m not so much a fan of big books. I’m easily distracted and I don’t have the best attention, so I’ll be honest, I was kind of dreading starting this. Oh, and it’s One Direction fanfic – can’t say I’m a fan of the band.
But I was really surprised!! The prologue was fantastic! It instantly had me intrigued, but I felt the start of the actual story didn’t hold the same strength. Nonetheless, it was still an easy read and I found myself getting through (the affectionately named) The Beast in no time at all. In fact, not just “getting through it” but but feeling the need to read it.
Within the story there is talk of the relationships between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, and Heathcliff and Catherine in Withering Heights. Heathcliff and Mr. Darcy are both literary anti-heroes, and their love stories are far from sunshine and roses. Much like Hardin and Tessa’s. Their relationship was intense from the very start. There was no end to the shouting that occurred within the couple, and at times it was exhausting, but I also think it’s what kept me hanging on. I mean, these characters had to have it easy at some point, right??
Tessa wasn’t exactly a loveable character. She wasn’t unlikeable by any means, but I found myself rolling my eyes at her on more than one occasion, and having to remind myself that she is in fact only 18 years old, and still has a lot of maturing to do. But oh my Lord, does she really need to shout all the time???
Hardin is very much a love him or hate him kind of character. I’ve always had a thing for the bad boys, but Hardin was basically a real arse for a lot of the book and at one point I literally wanted to stab him in the eye! He did (on occasion) find ways in which to redeemed himself, and he did start to slowly work his way into my heart towards the end. And the boy sure knows how to turn on the sexy!
Now, Hardin was supposed to be British. I mean, he’s from England, UK, and Tessa kept talking about his English accent. But Hardin was not British in the slightest. There are many differences in the way an American and an Englishman talk, and Hardin didn’t even use the obvious English words such as arse and knickers.
Quite a few times while reading, I found myself thinking how parts of the book were similar to Fifty Shades of Grey. Not in the sexual way. There’s no BDSM or kinky fuckery, but just in the way the characters sometimes acted, the things they said, the places they lived and spoke about (Seattle, Washington, England – Austen’s house), Tessa’s job at a publishing house – owned by Christian… See what I mean?
But that ending… There may have been (there totally were) a few (more than a few) expletives thrown around, and I may have (I absolutely did) stare at my manuscript and contemplate ripping it shreds because of what I’d just read, and if I could do voodoo there is a chance (it would happen) that Anna Todd would be in a lot of pain right now… I loved and hated it at the same time.
But I’m a glutton for punishment and I’m so ready for book #2 right now! I’m officially invested in this crazy tale, and I need to see this through to the end. So would I recommend this book? Yes, I honestly would. It might not be on the list of “OMG you need to read this right now” books, but it’s definitely worth a read.
It’s impassioned, overwrought, volatile, trying, and my new guilty pleasure.
*ARC received in exchange for an honest review*