Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Book Review: After by Anna Todd

Disclosure: I compensated for this honest review in the form of a free copy of the book and/or an amazon gift card.  All opinions are my own and in no way influenced. I was not required to leave a positive review. Post does contain amazon affiliate links below each book cover.

About the Book:  

Title: After (The After Series Book 1)

Author: Anna Todd
Publication Date: October 21, 2014

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?

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My Review: 

The After series is about a young, innocent girl just starting her college courses. She is a little OCD, extremely innocent by today's standards, and very intelligent. Of course there are many times throughout the book that I questioned that intelligence! After she meets her new roommate Steph, she is quickly introduced to her complete opposite, the British, tattooed, pierced, womanizing Hardin. After a short time around them, she starts seeing people with a little less judgement and opens herself up to new experiences.

I am trying to figure out what to tell you all without ruining this story for anyone. The relationship between Tessa and Hardin is a veritable roller coaster ride of emotions. I found myself engrossed in the story. I did nothing but read for two days straight to finish the 592 page book and then, upon sitting it down, I quickly looked up the second book. I have to have more!

I haven't read a book like this in quite a while. It made me laugh and frown and even tear up a little. I thought I knew what would happen and I was partly right and partly wrong, which was fun. I completely forgot I was reading a book that was written as fanfic on Wattpad. 

I will admit that I talked a lot while reading the book. I yelled at Tessa, I whined at Hardin, I told my husband repeatedly how disgusted I was at how they were acting. I was so frustrated with Tessa throughout the book. I remember looking at my husband at one point and telling him that I could not believe how emotionally weak and irritating Tessa was. I told him that I hope I wasn't anything like that when I was younger, though I probably was. I told him it made me think of another girl in another book that falls for the dark, broody, stalkerish, overbearing, egotistical, demanding, bad boy of the story. Yes, I have strong feelings about the character Hardin. There were times I wanted to hug the guy, but more often than not I wanted to slug him!

Tessa, well, I just wanted to shake some sense into the girl! She puts up with so much of what I would consider emotional abuse from Hardin. He can get downright scary at times in the book, yet she always just overlooks his emotional instability, forgives him, and carries on in the unhealthy relationship. She learns to stand up to her overbearing mother, believe in herself more, and stop judging people based on their looks, so I guess the relationship isn't all bad. There are sweet moments that make you wish your significant other was that romantic and caring. Then it all blows up again and you wonder why she puts up with his crap.

Does it sound like I do not like the book? That would be incorrect. I absolutely loved it. It does what it is supposed to do. It entertains. It draws you in. It makes you care about the characters. You go on the emotional roller coaster right along with them. Also, it leaves you wanting more and more.

Do I recommend this book? Yes!

Would I read it again? Yes

Will I read more by this author? Yes, Yes, a thousand times Yes! I have to know what happens.

It is pretty graphic at times with the sex scenes, so I would recommend this for adults. It also contains alcohol and/or drug use as well as a few violent scenes. 

A few more interesting facts: 

Since becoming one of the most talked about stories on the internet, the After series garnered attention from Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, who published the first installment of the novel, which went on sale on October 21, 2014.   

On Wattpad, After has over 1 billion reads, more than 6 million comments and the print edition is available in 26 countries.   

Anna Todd originally wrote this entire story on her phone as a hobby. It is now a four book series and Paramount Pictures has acquired the film rights. 

The fanfic was originally inspired by the authors love of Harry Styles and the British boy band we all either love, or love to hate!

Eventually, as Anna continued publishing new installments, the story on Wattpad swelled to over 2,500 pages. 

Check out the other books in the After series:

A few facts about Wattpad:

Wattpad is a new way to experience storytelling.  

Wattpad stories are free.   

Wattpad is the world’s largest community of readers and writers. It connects over 40 million lovers of reading and writing from around the world .   

It is Mobile: With Wattpad you can read and share stories from your phone, tablet or computer. Whether you’re online or off, use the devices you already own to carry an entire library of stories wherever you go.   

It is Social: Wattpad creates direct connections between readers and writers. Everyone can participate in storytelling on Wattpad. Some people may not be writers, but they can leave plot suggestions in the comments and messages or create their own art or music to go along with the stories they are reading.

Anyone can share a story on Wattpad. Whether you’ve never written before, or published multiple books, Wattpad offers benefits for writers of all levels.   

Readers receive notifications whenever a new chapter of a story is posted. 

About the Author:

Twenty-five year-old Anna Todd is a first-time writer spending her days in Texas with her husband, with whom she beat half the statistics by getting married one month after graduating high school. 

Anna never thought she’d be an author. In fact, between her husband’s three deployments to Iraq, she worked a number of odd jobs - from a makeup counter to the IRS processing center. It wasn’t until 2013 that Anna combined her love of reading and One Direction to create After on Wattpad, a free social reading and writing app.   

Writing the majority of After from her mobile phone while in and out of appointments and running errands, Anna extended the After story world beyond Wattpad, using Instagram and Twitter to share photos, videos, songs, and art created by readers. By 2014, Anna’s story had over 1 billion reads and more than 6 million comments (and counting!)   

Find her on:
Wattpad as Imaginator1D
Twitter at @Imaginator1Dx 
Instagram at @Imaginator1D 

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