A Review of AFTER by Anna Todd
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?
What did I think?
I swore I wouldn’t read this book, but alas all the banter about Anna Todd in my classroom was enough to change my mind. My students were raving about After, but begged me NOT to read it. Said it was too bad and I’d yell at them for reading it, but they get all giggly when talking about it. Well, if you know me at all, you know that I’d do just what they didn’t want me to. One night it was very slow at the bookstore, so I picked up After to read. 60 pages in, I was hooked. It reminded me of when I started reading Jaime McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster. I remember meeting Travis for the first time. He’s one character that many wish were real! Lol!
Always and Beautiful Disaster have two things in common; both books revolve around sexy, tattooed bad boys. And each is broken and sworn off relationships for good, but change their mind when a particular virginal girl comes into the picture. Now, I get that this is supposed to be fan-fiction starring Harry Styles, but I don’t get it. Without knowing this before reading Always, I’d never put the two together.
As much as the story drew me in, I still found some issues with it. First of all, some of the dialogue was too clean. Very little contractions from college students means I question the validity of the characters, especially if they are as hip as those in the story.
Second of all, Hardin treats Tessa like absolute shit. I love a bad boy like everyone else, but Hardin is just downright mean. There’s only so much good sex can deviate the attention away from a guy who is just being a jerk. I understand Hardin has some real issues, but not all sexy guys are verbally abusive. Of course I like Hardin…when he lets his guard down.
Annnnnndddd then there is the whole ending. Of course there’s a sequel, of which I will probably read. Even with the negatives, I really enjoyed Todd’s writing. I think it’s fabulous that she became a big sensation on Wattpad and is now traditionally published. As a writer it’s a dream come true. I hope after this, she continues to write new stories.