If you're an avid reader like me and you know of popular book series, then you know of After by Anna Todd... hopefully. They're the thick, bright colored books on the shelves that are hard to miss. I was skeptical to read this series at first (the description didn't sound like something I would read normally) but i'm forever glad that I did. Reading After was like reading a Netflix series that you can't get enough of and you finish in a week. It took me longer than a week to read them since they're so thick and I have other things to do, but there were plenty of times where I was glued to the pages and I put off more important things to figure out what happens next in this twisted love series.
The series is rumored to be a movie which will come out sometime in 2018 with Daniel Sharman as Hardin Scott. Originally, the book started out as fan fiction online and Hardin was Harry Styles (since the fan fiction was based on One Direction). There were other characters in the book that were the other band members but the names changed when it was published and sold in stores. If you've read After and the other four books in the series, then you know about all of the emotions that come with it. Anna Todd did a remarkable job at capturing the reader's feelings and emotions.
If you haven't read the series, here's a taste at how it feels to read the After series:
*Some spoilers ahead*
1. You Can't Wait For College
I started this series my second semester of freshman year at community college. I knew that I was getting ready to transfer to a university and the first book was making me more excited to go off to a "real" college. Sure, the whole "finding love" at college was one of the reasons, but in the series, college is where Tessa is finally on her own and she figures out her life. She finds herself and matures into adulthood on her own. Going to college is a great time to figure out who you are and fall in love. Even though it's a book, After made college seem better than it is, but it was still a nice thing to look forward to.
2. There's No One You Hate More Than Molly
Every time she comes around, your hatred for her grows. Even from the first time she's introduced in the series, you know she's trouble and you automatically don't like her. Sure, we give her props for not going through with Steph's plan for Tessa in the third book, but that doesn't excuse her behavior in the other parts. Even when she's not trying to piss off Tessa by flirting with Hardin, you want nothing more than to jump in and tell her what's up.
3. You Don't Know How You Feel About Noah
Oh Noah. Sweet, innocent Noah. The poor guy never stood a chance and it's actually a little sad. Compared to Hardin, Noah is the total package. But there's something about him that doesn't click with Tessa the way she clicks with Hardin which makes him slightly annoying. Yeah, it wasn't right for Tessa to cheat on him with Hardin when he was back home but come on, it's Hardin Scott. You can't help but roll your eyes every time he comes around and tries to act like the hero even though he really cares for Tessa's well-being. But then again, there are times in the series when you just want to give up and tell Tessa to go back to Noah but that's silly. It will always be Hessa not Nessa.
4. Your Hatred For Zed Is Up There With Molly
Can we talk about how annoying this guy is? Like seriously Zed, what are you doing? I liked him at first, he seemed like an outlet for Tessa, but I had a weird feeling about him. Sometimes I wondered if Tessa was going to end up with Zed, which made me hate him more, but then I read After Ever Happy and my opinion about him changed. Actually, my opinion about him changed when he almost pressed charges against Hardin and when he started confessing his feelings to Tessa. Hardin and Tessa had enough problems as it was and then they had Zed trying to break them up. Just like Molly, every time he came around, my blood started to boil.
5. You Wish Landon Was Your Best Friend
I think Landon might be the only character that never got on my nerves. Landon was always the loyal and honest one throughout the whole series and the way he loved and cared for Tessa was amazing. He never failed to be her shoulder to cry on and give her advice whenever she needed it. Landon was brutally honest with Tess and wasn't afraid to stand up to Hardin even though Hardin could beat him up. Way to go Landon, thanks for being consistent.
6. You've Never Met Someone So Evil As Hardin
You're supposed to love him... but damn, he's Satan himself. Sometimes during the book, I would have to stop and think about why Tessa put herself through all the things he did. He made the bet to steal her virginity, sabotaged her move to Seattle, was sometimes emotionally abusive, wouldn't let her in, and never wanted to compromise for her. Hardin is evil. Yes, he had a rough childhood growing up and got in the wrong crowd but some of the things he did was absolutely cruel. I could never be with someone like that so props for Tessa for sticking with him.
7. But You Want Your Own Hardin
Despite how evil he can be, no other man makes you weak in the knees like Hardin does. There's something about his dark, brooding persona that's sexy and intriguing. Of course he's the main character so you're supposed to love him but other than that, you want your own Hardin. Every girl wants their own bad boy that they can change into a good boy but Hardin takes that challenge to a whole other level... and you're up for the challenge. The way he changes for Tessa from the rude, arrogant, evil college boy he was to the loving, protective and sensitive man is beautiful. When he lets his walls fall down and lets Tessa in, he becomes vulnerable in a way he swore he would never be. He marries Tessa after promising no marriage (or relationships) ever and he loves her unconditionally and we all want someone to love us and be down for only us the way he is with Tessa.
8. You're On The Fence With Tessa
We all want to be Tessa just because we want Hardin but sometimes I can't deal with her. I will say, she's a trooper for sticking with Hardin through some things but her actions are repetitive. After has five books total, four of which are their relationship and one about their lives before they met. And in those four books, how many times did Hardin give up on them and leave? Zero. How many times did Tessa say "it's over" and leave? Every-freaking-time. She would get upset, swear it was over and then give back in. Hardin is irresistible but she couldn't make up her damn mind to save her life. She loves Hardin, undeniably, but she was so back and forth it was annoying. Hardin did some messed up stuff but it's Hardin. She knew going in how he was and that he was messed up himself and after learning about his childhood past, it explains his actions. It's not an excuse, but, still. And you know she knew better than to run home to Noah or Zed whenever things got tough with Hardin. Why go to Zed? Why Tessa?
9. You've Never Been So Emotional In Your Life
This book made me more emotional than when I was watching One Tree Hill. So many things happen, good and bad, and the way Anna Todd writes is captivating. How they feel is how you feel and at times it was annoying. I didn't want to be sad and crying my eyes out when I was going to bed because I was reading. I didn't want to go to the store pissed off because I just read about Hardin sabotaging Tessa's apartment in Seattle. It's almost impossible to not feel any emotion while reading. The books are so thick with a lot of content, so there's always something to put you in your feels. You spend so much time with these characters and watch their love grow and break every step (literally every single one) that it's almost like you're actually a part of their story. There was never a time when I didn't feel some sort of emotion while reading this series. I legitimately got pissed off at Hardin, cried with Tessa, and laughed at what they said or did.
10. Once You Finish, Your Life Is Over
More. I want more. Even though you know how everything turns out and you see it all unfold, you still want more. You just spent so much time with Hardin and Tessa and now it's over. It's like finishing your favorite show on Netflix. How are you supposed to move on? What are you going to do? The first few days without any more drama from Hardin and Tessa was hard but knowing that there's a movie coming out is keeping me hopeful. I actually shed a tear when I finished the last book and I felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest (I'm so dramatic). It was a long emotional roller coaster ride but one of the best series I've ever read.
After was by far the best series I've ever read and I don't know if I'll ever truly cope with the fact that there's no more books. Waiting for the movie is going to suck but it's going to be worth it to see everything come to life. Thank you Anna Todd for writing a beautiful, twisted masterpiece.