Publication: October 21, 2014, by Gallery Books
Genre: New Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Abuse
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 ignites 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?
EVERYONE STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING. NO, really. Before I begin my raving, I've just got to note to you that if you can't stand this book (for some random weirdo reason), then I'd recommend for you to leave and not even take a peek on what this review is about to hold. Okay? Okay. From all of the one star reviews that I've read prior to reading this and even after, I honestly feel like hurling because this negativity is killing me. I honestly don't understand what's the problem here, especially because everyone LOVES these kinds of romances, and suddenly there's so much hate. What happened to the love and craze of Fifty Shades of Grey?
After was such a throbbing read, as in a good and positive way. It turned me inside and out, and I fell in love with the momentary of being in love and there being some abuse and addiction. But in a way, I can totally understand the love and wanting that Tessa had felt, since Hardin totally was the hottest rebellious man that I've gotten to know in the fictional world. Fictional boyfriend for me? No, take fictional husband. *winks*
Every person wants to write (or obviously read) a book with some sort of addiction-based romance. You cannot go as a reader for your whole life and state that you never have read a book like that before. No, I'm not saying anything too dirty with so much sexual references that you'll puke, but something that's adult based and has so much love. BUT BOY, THIS HAD PLOT TWISTS AND SO MUCH SUSPENSE IN ALMOST 600 PAGES THAT I CANNOT DO ANYTHING FURTHER WITH MY BORING LIFE. *laughs harshly*
A long time ago in a land far away, I stated the worst things in romances on a Top Ten Tuesday feature on my blog, and I stated that I hate romances with bad boys-good girls. I was wrong. You see, I guess that I was prone to visualize tons of romances that were cliché and predictable with no impossible things occurring, and the stance of this just made me sick. Hessa (most adorable ship-name ever) were something else. The fact that these two-real characters were different and definitely unalike brought a wider connection between them and READERS. I guess through all of their hardships and everything, this brought them closer and they actually learned to perform a liking of each other's lives.
As the plot may seem simple and unreal, it absolutely is. Tessa is a good girl who's always focusing on her grades and impressing the people around her. She loves reading books and wants to work as part of the book publishing business one day, and has just enrolled into university into her freshman year. On her first day, she meets her roommate Steph, who's completely gothic and unlike her. Her mother is completely furious with the set-up and wants to give Tessa a different environment to be put in. Tessa doesn't want to create trouble and just wants to go with the flow. Soon enough, she meets Hardin, one of Steph's guy friends, whom she may have had a past with. It's said that Hardin is always with a different girl and never "dates," but Tessa forms a connection and addiction to him... and so does he. But really, is it love when it's all about secrets? (DID I MENTION THAT SHE HAS A BOYFRIEND!?)
That's what I had been thinking the whole time through. People have actually told me about this novel beforehand, and I wasn't sure if I should pick it up, simply because it's One Direction fanfiction. *frowns* Thank goodness they changed the names of the characters when it got published or else I'd be barfing every time I heard the name "Harry" or "Niall." I am not a fan of One Direction at all so this would've been a complete disaster. At least I had gotten a better mental image of the characters and they were simply. Much. Hotter. You see the kind of magic an author can add onto a reader when they choose good names?
The writing was so addicting that I couldn't stop reading. But at the same time, I wanted to enjoy reading this because I don't have any of the sequels with me at the moment, so let the enjoyment last, no? I know that next time I hit the bookstores when I'm out of my vacation, I'll run and buy all of the other books by Todd, as she is simply amazing and so symbolistic with her plots and such. From beginning to end, there were no dull moments in the storyline and no eye rolls whatsoever. She honestly knows how to plan out something that readers will crave for and want more of. She could probably take this into ten books and we still wouldn't get bored, or at least the MAJOR fans like I am now myself.
There are many major themes that are taken throughout this novel and that is probably most of the issues that people have a problem with... which is strange. The author ADDED THE ISSUES IN ON PURPOSE TO MAKE IT HAVE IT. Like, Anna Todd did not put abuse in to make it seem normal and that every relationship is like that! I bet if those haters actually ended up finishing the novel, they would've seen that the ending explained it all, but did add us into a cliffhanger and we're caused to ask for more, as it is a complete temptation for me to go and order the sequel onto my Kindle from Amazon, although I'll be at the bookstores soon. You know, abuse is something that is happening frequently in reality today, and Todd focused Tessa and Hardin's relationship on it perfectly. But don't expect some physical abuse—there's tons of mental and verbal abuse. Hardin was a manipulative (but sexy) character who tried to get Tessa to think about who she is... and possibly change her?
We can obviously still say that we don't know who Hardin is or what's his problem. Yeah, tons of information was caught up about him, especially in the middle of the novel where his father started talking about his past and how he never loved anybody. I guess to have a man like that is tough, looking at Tessa's situation. Hardin is a guy who's difficult to let stuff come out of him, but at the same time he lets his love come out through his movements and emotions. I loved him, to be honest. *fans self* SO. MANY. STEAMY. MOMENTS.
And Tessa? Yeah, there were moments when I wanted to smack her because she overreacted and over-exaggerated with her actions and arguments with Hardin, but she was kick-ass and reminded me of myself, in some ways. A guy can change you, that's for sure. Look at her once-perfect bookworm look! She's now a rebellious wild child. The transformation is real, all.
I will just announce that I've joined the fandom of the After-chicks (hah, made that up) and I am strictly in love with Hardin, Tessa, Landon, Logan, Nate and Zed! *shrieks* Pick this up if you love novels that perform some sort of wide subject and romance... or even if you've never touched upon any sort of romance before. This is the perfect book for all, and there won't be any after for you because you'll be stuck in the glorious world of Tessa and Hardin.