Review: After by Anna Todd

Series: After, #1
Author: Anna Todd
Narrator: Elizabeth Louise
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: Simon Schuster Audio
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆


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.

I don’t even know where to begin with this book. I’m not the same after reading it. I’m irritated, exhausted and frustrated. So many people love After. I am not one of those people. Sorry. I was disturbed almost the entire time I was listening to it. I kept thinking I should DNF this book. I honestly can’t believe that I finished it. I’m going to apologize because this review is going to get very rant filled. (Warning: Possible spoilers ahead.)

The relationship between Tessa and Hardin was horrible. Tessa annoyed the heck out of me. She was a naïve, judgmental, and immature young woman. Now, there’s nothing wrong with being naïve or immature, but she needed a reality check. The way Hardin treated her wasn’t okay, yet she kept coming back for more. She had no respect for herself when it came to him. She gave him everything he wanted when all he did was prove he didn’t deserve it. There is no way I could ever see their relationship being healthy. Maybe I would have been more accepting of Tessa’s situation with Hardin if she learned her lesson about emotional abuse and became a stronger, better person from it. That wasn’t part of this story, though. I felt this love story set a horrible example for impressionable young women. (Who are reading/have read this book because it began as One Direction fan fiction on Wattpad!!! Mind. Blown.)

There was nothing to love about Hardin. He may have had issues in his past, but none of them gave him permission to act the way he did. I didn’t find anything attractive about him at all. I would love to say that could have changed if I had his point of view, but I don’t think so. I think it would have made me hate him more. Hardin needed counseling.

Noah’s the only person I felt sorry for in this whole book. Despite being too cozy with Tessa’s mom, he seemed like a genuinely good person. He respected Tessa and her feelings. Noah didn’t deserve to be cheated on or find out the way he did. Tessa should have been honest with him the minute she acted on her feelings for Hardin. It made me dislike her even more.

There are a couple of reasons why I gave After 2 stars. One, I did want to know where this abusive love story was going. Sadly, it was because I was hoping that Tessa would realize what a horrible, unhealthy relationship she was in and move on. Second, the ending. I am so mad at that ending because it was so amazing. I had no plans to read the second book in this series because I absolutely hated this book, but that ending! Ugh! It was the best part of the entire book and now I need to know what happens next! Grrr….

So, surprisingly, I will be reading the second book in this series even though I didn’t like this one. I can only hope the series gets better.

12 thoughts on “Review: After by Anna Todd”

  1. I almost thought of giving this one a chance when it came out because everyone was so obsessed with it, but after finding out that it started as a fanfiction for 1D, I was just… nope. Not going there.
    Now I’m even more convinced. There’s nothing I hate more than a H who doesn’t treat the h with respect and a h who lets him do that.
    Loved the review, though. I know it’s hard to express the unpopular opinion, so well done, girl!

      1. I’m listening to it now, and I find it better than the first. That’s not saying much, though!

  2. Nereyda told me about these books and lmao they sound terrible. The romances sound toxic and unhealthy, and ugh, I can tell all these characters will frustrate me to no ends!
    Sorry this one wasn’t for you!

    1. OMG. They’re horrible. I can’t believe I’m continuing with the series. I think I’m enjoying the second book more because they’re broken up. LOL

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