Honest Book Review – After (Book 1)

AFTER – written by Anna Todd

The Quarky Synopsis:

Sweet innocent girl goes to college and leaves behind perfect Boyfriend 2.0 and “Stepford-perfect” single mother. Meets gorgeous, british, ass-hat at college on day one of her arrival. The total prick turns out to be a legit asshole, and yet sweet innocent girl can’t help but try to be his friend. Drama ensues. A lot of drama. And then….well it all takes a turn toward the WTF!?


Teenage Drama

Teenage Romance

Light sexual scenes

Steamy Level – 4



Love story

College Drama/Romance



Tessa: Protagonist

Tessa: The Good Girl



Young and Sweet

Nice to a fault



Hardin: Antagonist

Hardin: The Bad Boy


Asshole (seriously he really is)

Mean and for a reason – though not sure a very good one



More to him than you think

Noah: Secondary Enjoyable Character


Preppy perfect Boyfriend 2.0

Nice guy

Athletic and handsome

A little too close to GF’s mother

Sweet AS F*CK!


The Overall Honest Book Review:

Killing it with these Covers!

My overall review….and an honest review….this book is very much a fan fiction book come famous because it’s quicker than all quick read. I don’t believe this was ever meant to be more than a day to day rambling of a fan running through a succession of short stories/fantasies of her favorite musician. This book started as a One Direction fan fiction based on Harry Styles. That alone would get a TON of people to read your story. What it morphed into is a very rollercoaster up and down drama between an emotionally abusive college guy and the sweet innocent girl that thinks to go for the bad boy is a good idea.

Drama! If you are down for the Drama-llama, then you found the book for you!

My first take on this, not my style of book. I like a strong and purposeful story arc with intrigue and mystery and reason. This was a simple story, with day to day drama, and the up and downs of what looks to be a very unconventional and also borderline dangerous relationship.

Now, MAD PROPS to Anna Todd for hitting big on this story. Just because the writing level is on the lower end doesn’t make her a bad writer. She has related to her audience, and those that gobble up stories like these have pushed Todd into the spotlight and toward a MOVIE DEAL! I can’t knock her style (or even her obsession with Harry Styles) because it landed her into a pot of pure gold. Is this book, story, and characters for me? No, but it has a platform and Todd nails it with the ending. 

Anna Todd, the smile of a very smart business woman!


Is there a purpose  for the character to make the decisions they are?

I do not understand WHY Tessa makes the decisions she does. TINY SPOILER ALERT HERE…YOU ARE WARNED!!! —–Ok, are you good with a spoiler now? ARE YOU SURE!?!?!?! The tiny spoiler is that Tessa leaves her solid Boyfriend 2.0 Noah for the bad boy guy who literally treats her like shit from day one to the very very end. I say that not to spoil your reading of this, that detail will be obvious in the first couple chapters. I say that only to discuss the fantasy a lot of college and teen romance books put out there: Men emotionally abusing women in the guise of a “relationship”. Personally, I call those “relation-SHITs” because they are NOT what a realy relationship should be at all.

When Noah is finally confronted about what Tessa has been doing at college with this ass of a guy (and once you read through the ENTIRE BOOK, I know you will agree that Hardin is a big fat PIECE OF SHIT!) it came to the front of my mind how many stories play out this exact story line.

Why do nice guys finish last in romance, in literature, in most of public life? I don’t understand why men are portrayed as total ass hats and yet they get the girl? Prop to Todd for calling this out in Pride and Predjudice because (And I might get slaughtered for saying this) I think Mr. Darcy is A TOTAL ASSHOLE! He treats Elizabeth horribly throughout the entire book and at the end confesses his love? Like….what?

Many people liken this book to 50 Shades of Gray because of the mean nature of Hardin, but I go back further and Todd lays it out plainly. This is a story of Pride and Prejudice, literally, and the only thing I don’t understand in the entire book is why Tessa makes the decisions that she does.

Who is the Antagonist and are they believable?

Hardin is an asshole. There, I said it. He is! And THAT IS THE MOST believable thing. When you finish this book you will agree with me when I say that he is hands down a very believable character. Everything about his actions and motives seem a bit off, but when you get to the end and you see him for the truth of what and who he is, everything clicks into place. Todd NAILED IT again when she wrote this character.

Is the story arc believable, fun, ridiculous or not even viewable?

The story arc reads like a daily fan fiction would. A lot of little up and down stories within one structure of a storyline. It really should be a bunch of short stories than a full novel.

Does the beginning snag you? Does the end leave you wanting more?

The beginning didn’t snag me so much as I wanted to understand where Todd was going with this story. The end was a snag and well done to get your readers diving into book 2 with a cliffhanger and a jolt to the story-line in a way that sells a lot of the details throughout the book that seemed so very far off.

Final Words to You:

I honestly didn’t like this book but it’s because it’s not a story I care to read about, not because it isn’t a good story. The one thing I think to make clear is that Todd really does know her audience very VERY well. I can’t knock a writer who found their niche even if it’s not mine and I don’t understand the full appeal. Keep in mind, she has written an ENTIRE book series based on these characters and landed a movie deal. If you don’t want to read the books then the movies are there to give you a more succinct quick story (Spoiler: Trailer for Movie is down below!).

Who Should Read This?

If you are a fan of Pride and Prejudice in terms of the storyline, if you like the writing style and structure of 50 Shades of Grey and if you enjoy the up and down drama that college and love triangles can provide, this is soooo the story for you. Also, if you love Harry Styles you should sneak through Anna Todd’s Instagram because that girl has soooo many pics of him from EVERYWHERE that it would make any One Direction fan go crazy 😉

What is After? Another Book and Movie, that’s what!

SIDE NOTE: After watching the MOVIE trailer (APRIL 12th RELEASE! THAT IS TODAY PEOPLE!) I can tell they are going to shift from the book a decent amount. I don’t think that is a bad thing though!! The movie I believe can bring out the core details of what Todd was writing and push the juicy bits over to the audience at a faster pace.

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