Book Review: After by Anna Todd

afterAfter by Anna Todd
Release Date: 21st October 2014
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Buy: Paperback  Kindle
Rating:

5 star

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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.nd 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?

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Tessa and Hardin couldn’t possibly be more different. Tessa is your stereotypical ‘good’ girl. She is smart, studies hard, doesn’t drink, has been with her boyfriend, Noah, for what feels like her whole life and is constantly trying to please her un-satisfied mother.

When Tessa starts at Uni, she is determined to do her best to succeed and make her mother proud. However, she hadn’t counted on her roommate being the wild, red-haired, party girl, Steph. But proving that first impressions aren’t always correct, the more Tessa gets to know Steph the more she likes her. After all Steph is not the problem…the problem is one of Steph’s best friends, the infuriating, rude, moody, bad boy, Hardin.

Although he may be cute, he finds Tessa’s goody-goody ways hilarious and seems to take every opportunity to embarrass her. However, the more Tessa gets to know Hardin, the more he starts to reveal a more charming side that she never knew existed.

You know what’s coming next…opposites attract, right? Well, not exactly… There surely couldn’t ever be anything between these two because Hardin doesn’t ‘do’ dating, and the only type of friends he seems to go for are those that come with ‘benefits’, something which Tessa has no interest in at all (and she had a boyfriend as her subconscious KEEPS telling her.)

Yet there’s something that keeps pulling these two together. No matter how badly Hardin treats Tessa, she is still willing to go back for more. She realises that he’s selfish and arrogant, yet when the two are together he shows Tessa this softer side that she can’t help but fall for as he claims that he’s never felt this way about anyone else before. There’s only one way this can end, surely…?

First things first. When I received an email from The Hot Bed asking me if I would like to read and review After by Anna Todd, I had a quick read of the synopsis and said yes. The Hot Bed have never steered me wrong before with their recommendations, so I was keen to give this a read. I thought no more about it until the manuscript arrived at my door and saw the words ‘imaginator1d’ and ‘wattpad’ on the cover. After some pretty nifty Googling I soon got the picture. It turns out that After was originally a form of One Direction fan fiction, published on Wattpad which had millions and millions of views and became a huge success, so much of a success in fact that it’s now being published by Simon and Schuster UK.

I wasn’t sure what to make of this information as I don’t really have an opinion one way or another on One Direction. I’ve never really liked or disliked them as a band but I am aware that they have squillions of fans around the world, and fiercely, loyal fans at that.

So when I read and reviewed After, at no point did One Direction come into my head. As far as I was concerned Hardin was just Hardin, just as Tessa was just Tessa. Completely made-up characters in a fictional story, so my review is written entirely on this basis…

I was completely swept up in this fierce love story between two people who couldn’t be more different from one another. At times I was all for Tessa telling Hardin where to go, but at the same time some of the things that she did left me shocked and surprised too. There’s no denying that the way they feel for one another is all encompassing and Anna does a brilliant job of making that shine out from the pages. She really makes both Tessa and Hardin come to life and will have you screaming in frustration one minute, then gasping with shock the next – you never quite know how you should feel or what you should expect from one chapter to the next.

After was completely different from how I was expecting it to be, I certainly didn’t think I would get so emotionally involved with the characters or care so much either way about what happened… but I well and truly did.

The story seemed to get better and better as it went along, it was obvious that there was something between Tessa and Hardin from the start when they ‘hated’ each other, but when they start getting closer things really start to get interesting, and you’ll be tearing at the pages trying to find out what happens.

Then there’s the ending. I just… I can’t quite form the words to convey how I felt about the ending and don’t want to give anything away, so I will just say WHAT!!!???

I will also say that I need After #2 in my life. Seriously, RIGHT NOW.

With so much controversy surrounding this book, I’m sure that it will be ‘big’. Hopefully that will be for all of the right reasons, because it is a gripping, addictive, shocking, heart breaking, un-put-down-able story.

I would like to say a huge thank you to The Hot Bed for sending me a copy of After and for allowing me to participate in their UK blog tour.

After Tour

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Anna Todd is a first-time writer spending her days in the Austin area with her husband, with whom she beat half the statistics by getting married one month after graduating high school. Between her husband’s three deployments to Iraq, she worked odd jobs from a makeup counter to the IRS processing counter. Anna was always an avid reader and boy band and romance lover, so now that she’s found a way to combine the three she’s enjoying living a real-life dream come true.

Anna Todd  | Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Wattpad |

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