If you aren't a One Direction or Harry Styles fan, chances are you have no idea who Anna Todd is. I have been following Anna since she first appeared on the reading app Wattpad in 2013. Her Harry Styles fanfiction, After, gained immense popularity within its first few months on the site ramping up an amazing 1.5 billion reads on the site. It is a five-book series following Hardin and Tessa and their tumultuous relationship with one another. The story was picked up by Simon & Schuster's Gallery Books in late 2013, and the series was published in fall of 2014. Ten million copies were sold in Germany, Spain, Italy, and France, along with being published in over thirty different languages. Todd has gone on to publish "Imagines," "The Spring Girls: A Modern-Day Retelling of Little Women," "Nothing More," "Nothing Less," and now, "The Brightest Stars."
"After" follows Tess Young as she begins her college journey at Washington State University. She's the girl who has everything planned out; not knowing that life doesn't take kindly to plans, it tends to take you wherever it wants to take you. Enter Hardin Scott, a bad boy from England that could care less about anybody but himself, and tends to spend most nights curled up with a different girl. Once they meet, both worlds get turned upside down. Tessa finds herself questioning everything she knows, and Hardin fights to become a better person. Follow their tumultuous relationship from their beginning in "After"to their ending in "After Ever Happy."
Also, be on the lookout for the feature film adaptation of this series. The first film is set to be released on April 12, 2019, I highly recommend reading the series first though!
2. "Nothing More" and "Nothing Less"
This spin-off from After follows "afternators" favorite golden boy, Landon Gibson and his journey through navigating marriage and what that entails.
I haven't been able to dive into this series as much as I want to! School has been getting in the way, and as Landon would say, "homework first." Hopefully, I can dive into it over Christmas break and come back in another article with more to say! I can, however, say, if you read "After," you will fall in love with Landon, and being able to follow his part of the story is a treasure.
What can I say? If you've been on the "Wattpad" app, there are no shortages of "Imagines" stories. Imagines are short stories that allow the reader to insert themselves into it with their favorite celebrity, novel character or anime character. Ever since sixth grade, I have been obsessed with these (mostly One Direction ones), and they are fun reads when you need a laugh or are just obsessing over a new character you love. Anna is the first person I have seen publishing an Imagines book. They are typically left electronically, but this is one of the greatest things I own on my bookshelf. I went through the day it arrived and wrote my name into every imagine like I'd always wanted to do.
4. "The Spring Girls: A Modern Day Retelling of Little Women"
Love. Love. Love. I am a huge fan of the classic version of "Little Women"and seeing a modern-day retelling with a military family spin sent me into hysterics when she first published it. It provides a refreshing take on this amazing classic
The Spring Girls—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—are a force of nature on the New Orleans military base where they live. As different as they are, with their father on tour in Iraq and their mother hiding something, their fears are very much the same.
I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a good novel revolving around sisterly bonds!
5. "The Brightest Stars"
Finally, Anna's latest release! This book was published only a few weeks ago, but I've had it pre-ordered on Amazon since August. Much like "After,"this novel grips it's readers in a whirlwind relationship between Karina and Kael in the Atlanta, Georgia. It starts off a little slow, building up to the climax on the very last page. The first and second chapters are a short time jump to 2019, Karina and Kael are at odds, but the reader is left wondering why, as the third chapter goes back to 2017. Karina is 20 years old, has just left her father and new stepmom's house, is working as a massage therapist, and tries to find her way after living in a military household her whole life. Enter Kael, back from two tours in Afghanistan. He's quiet, mysterious, the typically brooding, silent type that every girl is just dying to figure out. He is also friends with Karina's roommates' husband, he must stay the night because he has nowhere to go, and you get one complicated cappuccino. Add in that Karina's family is a little bit challenging, and you have the perfect recipe for disaster! As their relationship begins to blossom and they both let their guard down, I was stunned to learn the secrets that came to light from Kael's military past and present. A downward spiral begins for the couple, the novel ending with a dramatic cliffhanger.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, I read through it in two days. I haven't done that to a book since "After"was released. This is a new series so you have to wait until 2019 like everyone else to get the second book to find out what happens after the cliffhanger.
Anna's books are a part of the few that I could read over and over again, and never get tired of. She is the first author I think of when people ask me if I know any good books to read. Besides my stack of trashy romance novels, and my even trashier numerous supernatural romance novels, these are the ones I always recommend. I managed to get my best friend (who doesn't read novels as I do), to read the entire "After" series in a week. They've become her favorite novels, and is waiting patiently with me for the movie to come out. I hope you set off and add these to your bookshelf or "to read" list! I promise you won't regret it!