After by Anna Todd
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (21st Oct 2014)
There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER.
Life will never be the same…
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, her mother’s worst nightmare. With his tousled brown hair, irresistible British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is undeniably attractive but completely different to what Tessa is used to.
But he’s also rude – to the point of cruelty, even. Tessa should hate Hardin, and she does… until she finds herself alone with him in his dorm. His dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss, something 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 without a word. 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, but every time she pushes back she winds up being pulled further in.
Will Tessa risk everything for someone she can’t trust?
I guess there’s something you might not have known about me. I was a bit of a One Direction fanboy a few years back. Yes, I was one of those crazed fans who listen to their songs on replay every second I got, read and memorise their personal details from fan websites and pore over gossips about them. And then I might have written a few fan fiction of them on my own. My interest to read Anna Todd’s After series was sparked after it gained such popularity for reaching 1 billion hits on Wattpad.
After is the first book in the series, where everything kicks off when Tessa, a hardworking and determined “good girl” who sets off on her next chapter of life: college and meets British bad boy with beautifully inked skin and to-die-for charm, but when they meet, sparks do fly. In the wrong way. I’m not talking about fireworks and sparklers during the festive season, I’m talking about explosions that go “BOOM!”. They hate each other, but it isn’t Tessa’s fault that he’s such a moody prick, until they share a kiss in his room one night and things change, but for the better or worse?
Have I piqued your interest to read After? No? Didn’t “British bad boy” succeed in making you raise an eyebrow and trying hard to stifle that smirk? I loved the description of Hardin as I’ve always liked the idea of a bad, broken hero with a haunted past, but as much as it’s a cliché, it worked for Anna Todd’s debut novel, After. I liked how intense and real the relationship between Hardin and Tessa was, how emotionally filled I was.
I get why After is so widely popular with readers around the globe. It’s every girl (and guy’s) dream come true when their favourite boyband are the sole inspirations for a book and having the chance to indulge in their fangirl/fanboy fantasies, I reckon that’s why After is such a hit. The writing is easy to read and enjoyable, pulling inspirations from classics which fits the plot nicely. An exciting and tantalising addition to the New Adult genre, methinks.