After by Anna Todd
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books
Amazon Link: HERE
Received From: Giveaway
Summary (from Amazon):
Book 1 of the After series—newly revised and expanded, Anna Todd's After fan fiction racked up one billion reads online and captivated readers across the globe.
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. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she's used to.
But he's also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignited 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 again and again. 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, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.
Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin's prejudice about nice girls like her? Unless...could this be love?
Tessa's first year at college is not what she was expecting. She misses her boyfriend who's still in high school, and she has a partying roommate who's friends with bad-boy Hardin. The second Tessa sees Hardin, she's attracted to him. And even though he constantly makes fun of her and pushes her away, she can't help but wonder what it would be like to kiss him. And then at a party one night she finds out, which begins their relationship, if you can call it that. They're both attracted to each other but Hardin is so hot and cold that Tessa has no idea where she stands with him. And Tessa's turning into someone she's not to please him and that scares her more than anything.
This novel began as fan fiction, which you can tell by the length (almost 600 pages) and short chapters. The whole story revolves around Tessa's and Hardin's relationship and it's much of the same—fighting and then making up before fighting again. The scenes get repetitive after the first 200 pages and both Tessa and Hardin got on my nerves. First, Tessa is a doormat. She lets Hardin and everyone else walk all over her. She cheats on her boyfriend more than once and is a little pathetic when it comes to Hardin because she will do anything she can to make him like her. Hardin, on the other hand, is downright abusive. Although he never hits her, he constantly puts Tessa down and makes her feel worthless. I would recommend this novel to older audiences because of the graphic sex scenes and college aged characters. And although a lot of the novel bothered me, there was a part of the story that kept me interested. I wanted to find out what happened to Tessa and Hardin. But unfortunately this novel is part of a series with four other books, so you'd have to read all of them to find out where Tessa and Hardin end up. And even though I'm curious I dot think I'm going to bother reading them because many reviewers have said they're more of the same scenes over and over.
Overall, there's many things about After that I dislike including the abusive relationship between Tessa and Hardin, so I wouldn't recommend it.