April 28, 2019

Book Review: After by Anna Todd (Spoilers Ahead)

After by Anna Todd
Genre: New Adult Romance
Length: 582 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books
Source: Library
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: 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?

My Review

**SPOILER WARNING** This review contains spoilers for After by Anna Todd.

I don't get the hype for this one. I know there are a lot of fans of this series, but I can now officially say that I am not one of them. This book was not for me. If you are a fan of this series, that is perfectly fine and I am not saying there is anything wrong with that. I'm just not a fan myself.

After is pretty darn long, and I 'm honestly not sure if anything actually happened in its 582 pages. I chose to read this book via audio and the narrator was great, it's just too bad the characters and story were not. The format for this review is a little different than my normal style. In chronological order, these are the various opinions I had while reading the book. I am usually generous when giving star ratings and rarely harsh in my reviews. I can't say that for this one.

My Thoughts While Reading After:
  • Not a fan of the slut shaming. Come on! Let's not do that. Tessa is very judgmental. 
  • Hardin is pretty much just a straight-up jerk. I don't get the appeal.
  • Tessa cheats on her boyfriend, Noah. Not only am I not a fan of cheating, but she is a really big jerk too. Example: Noah, her actual boyfriend, comes to visit her after she insists/begs him to. Then she takes Noah's car without a good excuse because Hardin "needs" her, and leaves him behind. THEN she stays the night with Hardin instead of going back to her boyfriend who dropped everything and drove two hours to see her!?! Rude much?
  • Hardin tells her how she should dress and act. Ew.
  • Tessa keeps saying this is the "last time" she will talk to Hardin, and then immediately goes back to him and does whatever he says.
  • When Tessa is forced to come clean to her boyfriend, she blames Hardin for everything at first. I just yelled at the book "Tessa, it is called consequences! It takes two to tango!" 
  • Do Tessa and Hardin do anything but fight? I'm thinking no. Oh wait, they make out. That's healthy.
  • She is still dating Noah? Why? To torture him?
  • "Today has been the best time I have ever had with Hardin, despite his multiple outbursts." - Okay.... sure. Sounds like a fun day.
  • These two are giving me a headache. How am I only a little more than halfway done?
  • Hardin keeps grabbing Tessa's wrist/arm when she tries to walk away from him in a fight. Not loving that. He also never seems to understand what NO means. Does he have any redeeming qualities? Still undetermined.
  • This EXACT scene happened earlier in the book. Ah, this is why the book is so long. It is just a whole bunch of repeated scenes.
  • After 11.5 hours of listening to this audiobook, Hardin finally does something nice without being asked. Mind blown.
  • Oh. They have been dating for a hot second and now they are discussing marriage. Of course Hardin doesn't believe in marriage. Come on, Tessa! Are you really surprised?
  • This book is just too much.
  • More fighting. 
  • I have now set the speed to x 1.5 on my audiobook so I can get this book over with faster.
  • Hardin apologized! Whoa. Maybe he is, dare I say, getting some character development?
  • How is there still an hour left in this book? How?
  • Hardin is more than just jealous. He is controlling. He is rude. He is obnoxious. I take back my earlier comment about character development. I spoke too soon.
  • Tessa never told her one of two friends that she moved in with Hardin? Weird.
  • This whole book is basically just these two fighting and then having sex.
  • The author used an old romance trope from the 90s for the climax of this book? It wasn't even a good one, but a super problematic one! AND HE KEPT THE SHEETS FOR PROOF? WTF?!?! NOOOOO!!!!
  • The worst part? I am pretty sure they get back together in book two. I don't get it.
  • No, I won't be reading any more books in this series. Their relationship is toxic, everyone is a jerk, and the plot was surprisingly nonexistent given its length. It was just a whole bunch of the same scenes over and over again.
The Bottom Line: I can't with good conscious recommend this book to a single person. There are better New Adult Romance books out there if that is what you are looking for. This is just reads like a bad 50 Shades fanfic.

1 comment:

  1. lol. I can't believe you actually read this book. I thought it was just cringey not harmful. But, it makes sense it's not a healthy relationship. It's such a teen book though. I can understand why teenagers would like it even it's a mess.


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