A review of : The AFTER Series by Anna Todd

Oh *sigh* fan fiction. Who doesn’t think about it?  Our favorite star, musician, book character, in a world of our own making. Even I have written some in my day, if you are nice one day I may even share.  Recently a friend who is a well published author was sharing with me some fan fiction that was sent to her. Let me tell you, they are not all gems. I reminisced about some of mine and then (because the universe is magic) that same day an old article by the AV Club popped up about a local author who turned her fan fiction into a huge wind fall (once she edited it “protect the innocent”).

Anna Todd has published a multi book series that was originally inspired by the band One Direction. Wait. Wait, before you stop reading. It was REALLY GOOD. You will have to cut me some slack, I love the boys too.  This review (while I read them all) focuses on the two: “After” and “Before

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Anna did me a solid on this one. Long ago, in distant decade, there was a book named “Twilight”, and a follow up book that died on the vine called “Midnight Sun”.  I took that death hard. I mean HARD. I LOVE seeing a solid POV flip in a series that I care for. This is a prime example of how to make that work and do it well.

“After” is set in a college environment. Tessa, is headstrong yet modest, well-educated but naïve,  beautiful but plain.  Hardin is our hero (really mostly our anti-hero). Oh poor Hardin. A trainweck in skinny jeans.  A diamond in the rough, really really rough.  A tough guy with a heart of pure, … erm, pure something,  but I am pretty sure that is not gold. We watch the dance that plays out before us, helpless as we can not stop the train from plowing headlong into our car stalled on the tracks. We love them, we hate them, we can’t believe that they really said that, and yet we also can’t stop reading.

If you don’t giggle at reading the word fingerbanging, (I am going to make that be a word one day) If you ever require a trigger warning. Or if you hated Twilight and/or Fifty Shades of anything, this bastard child of a book may not be your thing.  Personally I am definitely a fangirl of the 1D and noticed mostly Easter Eggs from lyrics. Beyond the physical descriptions of the characters as the book moves along I found very little direct comparison to the band members themselves.  In the POV swap of “Before” it is commented that Hardin, among many other things, is unable to even sing.

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