About the Book

Book Protagonist: Tessa Young
Publication Date: 2013
Genre: Romance

Historical Context


By Anna Todd

'After' is a post-modernist romance novel originally written out of fanfiction. The main inspiration for 'After' was the boyband One Direction.

‘After’ is a 2014 romance novel that explores the burning need of desire in young adults and the lasting torment of not letting go of the past. The book shows how not letting go affects us and everyone else around us. It also shows the want to be free and live life to the fullest and the choices we make when clouded by intense passion and love.

After‘ garnered a massive reception across the globe, with it being Wattpad’s most-read story to date. Anna Todd designed the main character from her favorite boyband, One Direction’s lead musician, Harry Styles. Though she also received many backlashes, ‘After’ has shaped the way young people idealize love. In 2019, the book was adapted into a two-part movie, ‘After’ and After We Collided.’ The book remains among the most read books of the mid-2010s, with over a billion reads, according to Wattpad.

After Historical Context

History Behind ‘After’

Anna Todd began writing the book ‘After’ in 2013. As a young 23-year-old soldier’s wife and a woman trying to get a grip on her life, she tried to fit into everything she could lay her hands on. Anna Todd dabbled in many fields of study, from trying to be a nurse to putting her hands in science and also trying to make something from majoring in English. Though she was a jack of all trades, one thing she was keen on was reading. Anna Todd also had an undying love for the boyband One Direction.

Anna Todd was very interested in the book reading and writing app Wattpad, and soon, she started creating her own book ‘After.’ Originally, ‘After’ was designed solely on Anna Todd’s fanfiction of her favorite boyband. She styled the main character after the One Direction lead singer Harry Styles. The original Wattpad version of ‘After‘ had the main characters’ names the same as Harry Styles of One Direction.

Anna began a chapter-by-chapter release of the book on Wattpad, but because she wrote each chapter from a phone, the book had so many errors, which she stated were a pain. However, her readers and fans were too engrossed to care about them.

Finally, Anna Todd’s ‘After’ garnered a massive reception worldwide, making it one of the most read books on the planet. Though the book had a wide positive reception, some stout fans of the boyband One Direction stated Anna Todd had created a character that directly contradicted Harry Styles. She responded by saying only the main character’s looks were inspired by Harry’s dressing and clothes, not his personality.


Though it was first written on Wattpad, ‘After’ was later published on October 21, 2014, after its undisputed success among many people, Anna Todd had her fanfiction-inspired love novel published by New York publishing giant Simon & Schuster. The 600000 dollar deal ensued in a series of books, After We Collided,’ ‘After We Fell,’ ‘After Ever Happy,’ and ‘Before.’

Lasting Impact of ‘After’

Anna Todd’s novel has shaped the way many young adults view and imagine love. Although After‘ was a bummer among critics, with the vast majority of them calling it a sloppy work of fanfiction, a worse version of fifty shades of grey, and a book with zero complexity and character intensity, it was widely successful and popular, especially among the One Direction. 

In 2019, ‘After’ was made into a movie along with its sequel, ‘After We Collided.’ Both films had the same title as their books. ‘After’ as a movie was very successful, with it grossing over 68 million dollars at the box office.

Critics criticized ‘After,’ with a majority of them calling on the fact that ‘After’ is a book that glorifies an abusive relationship. Though Anna Todd has countlessly tried to defend Hardin and Tessa’s romance, many people are still not buying it. Over the years, critics have described ‘After’ as a terrible, horrible, bland, over-glorified, and nearly worthless piece of writing, with a majority claiming even a ten-year-old could create a better story. The rude remarks have fazed Anna Todd only a little as she has always stood by her book and its main characters Tessa and Hardin. With Anna Todd’s release of the sequels to ‘After,’ we expect more to come from her in the future.


Were the ‘After’ movies a success?

With a grossing of over 68 million dollars at the box office, the ‘After’ movie was a success.

When was ‘After‘ originally written?

‘After’ was originally a book on Wattpad. Anna Todd began a chapter-by-chapter release of the book in 2013.

How popular is the book After?

‘After’ is one of the most read books on the planet, with it amassing over 1.5 billion reads on Wattpad.

Joshua Ehiosun
About Joshua Ehiosun
Joshua is an undying lover of literary works. With a keen sense of humor and passion for coining vague ideas into state-of-the-art worded content, he ensures he puts everything he's got into making his work stand out. With his expertise in writing, Joshua works to scrutinize pieces of literature.
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