Book Review: After by Anna Todd

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?

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

Short and Sweet: Do not use this book as a handbook for relationships.

I feel like this entire book was like watching a toddler have a temper tantrum. Literally all it was. Tessa would say or do something ‘wrong’, wouldn’t listen to Hardin, would give attitude, have some minor transgression and Hardin would react like a four year old that got his favorite toy taken away. Fuck that. Seriously. If a man treated me like Hardin treated Tessa, I’d be more apt to punch him in the throat than to kiss him. I love hate-to-love relationships but a lot of this is literal abuse. It’s not sweet, it’s not cute, it’s not a story of redemption, it’s an abusive relationship played off as romantic. It’s the start of a cycle where the woman thinks she can change the man. It’s not healthy, it’s never been healthy and it never will be healthy.

I read the whole series a few years ago, and I totally understand that there’s reasons for Hardin’s mental instability. I get it, you tend to react badly when you’ve have bad shit happen to you. But the way people fawn over how romantic this book is or #relationshipgoals or otp. Nope, no way. If this is what people are seeing as a healthy relationship no wonder there’s so many miserable people out there.

Now, that being said. This book series is kind of addictive. I’m pretty sure it’s more “hey, let’s watch this train wreck because I can’t tear my eyes away” than “this is a good book” but that’s besides the point. The only reason this gets such a high star rating despite my hatred for the whole premise is that I genuinely enjoyed reading it and didn’t want to put it down.

Although, Landon helps. I really do love his character and any book that involves him. To be honest, the supporting characters are a thousand times better than the main characters.

So even though it’s terrible, even though it perpetuates stereotypes and even though I would be traumatized if anyone under the age of 20 read this, I have started the second book. Rather than continue to review each book individually, I may just combine the last 3(4?) books into one review. If I can read a few books in between and get some reviews bulked up.

Also, if you’ve ever read fanfiction on Wattpad, this still reads like an unedited fanfiction. The only good thing about that is that the chapters are super short. 200 pages in and I was on chapter 41. Breaks it up quite a bit.

3 Stars


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