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“After”What’s all the hype about?

             Let me make this very clear, it physically hurts me for me to say that I am hooked on this series. I refused to read at first because I am not the kind of girl to who follows the latest trends, but I could not help myself, I caved. I read After and boy what a rollercoaster. The novel starts sweet and simple, girl meets bad boy and falls in love, but when you get farther into the novel, the story is much deeper than that simplistic idea. It twists and turns your heart a million times over. The crazy part about the novel is that it started as a fanfiction on Wattpad, now its one of the biggest sensations in teen romance novel history.

            After is the quintessence of a guilty pleasure, edge of your seat novel. The “heroes” of After are Hardin and Tessa. I can honestly say that I have never both hated and loved any characters as much as Tessa and Hardin.  Tessa is your average sweet innocent girl; Hardin is everything but what Tessa deserves.  Most people say that Hardin is an abusive lover and I completely agree, however readers need to realize that he is the way he is because of his Past. Although I believe that Tessa should have let Hardin after the first red flag she sensed, I feel that She saw something in Hardin that made her keep coming back. When Hardin screwed up the 1st time, I gave him the benefit of the doubt but when he made out with Molly for the million time behind Tessa’s back, I gave up hope.

[bf_image id="qbm7lm-2634m8-1hqrgs"]              I saw the movie before reading the book so I had a general idea of how the book ended but I wasn’t prepared for Hardin to not only crush Tessa heart but mine as well when Molly told Tessa about the bet, the bet that should have made Tessa leave Hardin forever. He not only lied to her, he used her for sex and although he may have eventually fell in love with Tessa, it does not make his actions any less wrong. He showed his group of friends not only her panties but her sheets from their 1st night of intimacy and told them of thing that should only be felt not spoken of. Time after time in the 592 pages of the story Hardin pushes Tessa away. He does what only he knows, I am not trying to say he isn’t a bad guy, he really is, but I feel  that it should be said that he is the way he is because of his father’s abuse toward him and his mother. Even with that said, it is evident that he needs help and he refuses each time it is offered.

            Tessa is not just a victim in this story, although she does not deserve anything Hardin has done to her emotionally. She knew what she was in for before she even liked Hardin. All of her friends and family warned her about his behavior and about it would not end well. I really hate Tessa mother, but she is doing what she thought was right by her daughter. She did not know the extent of Hardin’s and Tessa’s love for each other. Tessa should have stayed away from Hardin and listened to her mother and changed dorms that first night at WCU. Tessa and her mother are very similar and different, they both are stubborn and caring but the expressing their love for people in very different ways.

            I know all of this is very confusing to someone who hasn’t read the book but just like the plot my opinion of Anna Todd’s After is twisted and confusing. Although I have a lot of negative things to say about this novel, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves a good love story. There are a total of 5 novels in Todd’s series, and there is one thing that I can promise the readers about them, they will never be bored of the characters or the storyline. If I could go back in time and change anything, it would be to have read After sooner. I would give this book 5 stars because it is a great read for anyone who loves an emotiional rollercoaster.


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Chelsea Cash

Winthrop '24

Hi, I am a freshman at Winthrop University. I am a History major and I plan to pursue a Journalism degree. I hope to one day work for a big time magazine such as Vogue or Cosmopolitan. I love to read and bake, I am currently hooked on the "After" series.
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