‘After’ gives a different meaning to how people view romance. The book emerges an under-explored aspect of romance writing, showing the dark side of love. Throughout the book, one could feel the intense and dark elements of sadness, regrets, hate, and coldness; this gives ‘After’ its characteristic writing.
Romance and Hate
One thing I found interesting with ‘After’ is its duality on hate-romance. At the beginning of the book, you can feel the coldness and hate existing between the main characters, Tessa and Hardin. However, as time progresses, you can feel the subtle warmth of Tessa rubbing off on Hardin. The book creates a balance between the main characters making the subtleness of one character nearly perfectly interject with the coldness of the other character.
As time progresses in ‘After,’ we see the spectrum of the relationship Tessa and Hardin share change from hate to desire and unimaginable love. The direct contradiction and later divergence of each of the main characters’ emotions in ‘After’ gives the book a diverse emotional spectrum.
The Glorification of an Abusive Relationship
Though most people hate to admit this fact, ‘After’ as a book glorifies an abusive relationship. Ever since the creation of the book, both fans, and the author, Anna Todd, has stood by the love Hardin and Tessa share. However, looking from an unbiased perspective, the book mistakes a toxic relationship for a passionate and intense romance novel.
Though love exists between Tessa and Hardin, facing facts will lead us to admit that Hardin Scott was very toxic for most of his relationship with Tessa. Hardin’s coldness and intentional use of words to emotionally destabilize and belittle Tessa shows that their relationship had a high level of abuse and toxicity. Though he also had his share of trauma, Hardin tends to torture Tessa and make her feel she was never enough and in the wrong when he was in the wrong. I found out that even though their toxic relationship was evident, it still added a lot to the plot and the suspense the book emanated.
‘After’ as a Book
Looking deeper at ‘After,’ I will say the book still had many imperfections coursing through its plot.
The first will be poor character descriptions. Though ‘After’ did justice to give a good description of its characters, the book lacked severely in going deeper into its character’s descriptions. Not defining characters further made most of the characters in ‘After’ seem fictitious and unreal. Even the main characters had the same problem as they had no properly defined context from a realistic perspective.
The second issue I had with the book was short and non-detailed sentences. Though the book took place in a formal institution, there was a lack of detailed sentencing that should have projected what each scene wanted to describe. This problem made the sentences in ‘After’ very superficial and unreal.
Another issue I encountered in ‘After’ was the lack of impact other characters had. ‘After’ had many redundant characters whose use could have given the story more detail. The book made some characters completely useless bystanders who only seemed to observe and did not have any effect whatsoever on the plot.
‘After’ and Critics
‘After’ was a massive failure among critics, with the majority of them scoring the book way below average. Though it has garnered over a billion reads, Critics still feel Anna Todd’s novel is not a book worth reading. Most critics had initially gotten issues with the story plot of ‘After,’ and the vague description of events, the lack of control each character had over each other, the book formatting, and the massive lack of detail plaguing the storyline.
Most critics believed that though the book had over 500 pages, the valuable parts couldn’t have exceeded 200 pages making the book long, uninteresting, and empty. Other critics stated the book’s massive success is because it was made out of fandom, saying its lack of technicality suits the hungry fans of the boyband One Direction, who do not need a detailed story structure.
Is ‘After‘ a bad book according to critics?
According to critics, ‘After’ was a terrible, underperforming book solely made for fan-hungry readers ready to take in any piece of writing junk. though the book is to this day one of the most read books online, it still falls short according to critics.
What is the message of ‘After‘?
The main message of ‘After‘ will be for one to never trust others because we could sacrifice everything, give up our friendships, and make terrible decisions for someone we love, only to have that same person stab us in the back.
Is Hardin good or bad?
The answer to that question will be both yes and no. Though people won’t want to agree, Hardin is actually a major antagonist in his love story with Tessa. The reason for this verdict is the fact that Hardin betrayed Tessa even when he could have let her in on everything. His selfishness led him to hurt the one girl who cared and loved him no matter what he said or did.
Should I read ‘After‘?
Yes, you should. Though the book lacks in many ways, the fact still stands that ‘After’ is a worthy piece of entertainment. However, you may find reading the book boring if you enjoy the technicality of reading and following a perfect storyline.
Did Hardin really love Tessa?
Yes, he did. though Hardin betrayed her, he truly loved Tessa.
After Book Review: A Dark Side to Love
Lasting Effect on Reader
After Book Review
‘After’ is a book that follows the love story of two young adults, Hardin and Tessa. The book perfectly portrays the lasting impact of friends on ones life and how the choices we make when in love affect us. ‘After’ is a good book filled with emotions of hate, desire, love, and betrayal.
- Great Story
- Interesting Emotional Transitions
- Great Portray of Romance
- Several Redundant Characters
- Inadequate Character Descriptions
- Lengthy Story With Unimportant Plots
- Lack of Detail in Story