Friday, 26 September 2014

Blog Tour! After by Anna Todd

The bit on the back…

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?

Firstly a huge thank you to Kate and the team at The Hot Bed for sending me a copy of this to review and inviting me to join the blog tour! This is Anna’s debut novel, being published after it’s astounding success on Wattpad. Congratulations Anna!

This story is all about main character Tessa. Tessa is off to college seeking the perfect college experience to live up to the expectations of her mother and her boyfriend and immediately she is confronted with her new roomie Steph and her gang of tattooed and pierced friends.

At first I really liked the sound of this book and I loved the college setting. New adult is one of my favourite genres right now so it seemed to be right up my street. Tessa is the epitome of a good girl. She’s straight laced and conforms to every whim of her overbearing and controlling mother. She seems very naïve and inexperienced in terms of life outside of her mother’s protective bubble. I liked this about Tessa at first, that she was going to have all these new experiences at college and she was going to do some real developing as a girl into a young woman. Unfortunately my opinion of her changed a little but I’ll get to that.

Tessa meets Steph’s English friend Hardin and immediately there is this pull between the characters, even though Tessa has a boyfriend. Hardin is cocky to the point of pretty annoying, gorgeous and he knows it and is basically as moody and quite frankly as unpredictable as a person can be. His attitude is sort of sexy in this dark “I know I shouldn’t like this but I do” kind of way. He’s addictive to read about and I’m convinced that’s partly down to the palpable tension between Tessa and him.

Tessa and Hardin embark on this complicated non-friendship which bats back and forth between love and hate depending on Hardin’s current mood and whether Tessa has done something that in Hardin’s eyes merits him to be pissed off at her. He was irrational and demanding and I actually started to like that side of his character a little bit less. Although this to-ing and fro-ing between the two characters being happy together and fighting did get a bit repetitive throughout the course of the 550+ pages there is something more about Hardin’s character revealed every time.

Hardin’s character is complex and as more and more of his personality is revealed throughout the book you get to understand why he acts the way he does – although it doesn’t justify it – to situations that make him uncomfortable or angry. The narrative is emotional and will have you up and down and all over the place right alongside Tessa.

The story is loosely based on the band members of One Direction – the main character having the same initials – but don’t let this put you off. Although I did find it difficult to read the story for a few pages because I had Harry Styles in my head I did get past it and enjoy the story for what it was. The sex scenes between the characters seemed to be pitched at quite a common level with new adult stories and I liked that about it. I liked that this upheld the idea of Tess getting a whole new set of experiences at college.

As I’ve mentioned my opinion of Tessa changed and that’s because she strings more than one guy along in the story and I kind of found myself not condoning that. On the whole though I found I was completely spellbound really for want of another word by the story of Tessa and Harden and I found that I couldn’t put the book down without reading just one more page which turned into at least 20 each time. I will be checking out the rest of the series and I will probably keep this to reread in the future.

Release Date: 21/10/14

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