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?
Review: Let me preface by saying that I'm not a One Direction fan (I have nothing against them. I just don't listen to their music), so this review will be based on solely on the story itself.
I went through a mixture of emotions while reading this book. I was intrigued, happy, irritated, frustrated, but most of all...I was infatuated by this story and Ms. Todd's characters.
In the beginning, we meet Tessa your 'typical' good girl with an overbearing mother and a bright future ahead of her. Enter Hardin, the undeniably hot love interest who just happens to get kicks out of irritating Tessa and pushing her buttons. He's British, cocky, and definitely foul-mouthed, but you can't help but love him. Yes, he's an asshole but Hardin does have redeeming qualities.
The chemistry and interactions between Tessa and Hardin reminded me of Jamie McGuire's Beautiful Disaster. There were definitely moments filled with angst and unspoken feelings between the two characters that really helped make the plot that much more interesting. Although it was frustrating at times, I have to admit the misunderstandings between Tessa and Hardin also made for a better story.
One of things that I love most about AFTER is that it isn't just about the romance between the characters. It's actually a lot about the journey that you go through when you're in college. Whether it's self-discover or just learning who you can or can't trust. And because of this, I found Tessa easy to relate to despite her nice girl tendencies. Yes, she's that innocent & naive character, but after everything that's has happened to Tessa I'm really hoping that Todd will show her growth as a character in the next book.
The end caught me by surprise. Although I knew Hardin was hiding something throughout the book, I have to applaud Ms. Todd for keeping me on my toes. I was definitely shocked! I also loved it because I couldn't help but feel reminded of the cult movie She's All That.
Overall, this book was amazing and I really genuinely loved it. I do have to warn readers that similarly to other books like Fifty Shades of Grey, I think this is going to be the kind of book that readers will either love or hate. It is a bit controversial when it comes to the main love interest, but Hardin grows on you. Don't get me wrong, he still comes off as a giant asshole but there are more layers to him than what meets the eye. Like Mr. Darcy, Hardin has a bit of a haunted past and I do hope that he redeems himself in the next book.
Rating: 5/5 STARS