10 Things I Disliked About After (the series)

Remember when I told you that After wasn't a book that I would have chosen to read?

Well … I read it. All 3 parts on Wattpad. Beginning to end entirely. Over the course of 2 (or 3?) weeks.

It was riveting, engaging really. I didn't want to do anything other than lay in bed with my phone. I read the whole thing on Wattpad, which I've come to discover is way easier than reading an actual book no matter how awesome and beautiful books can be. Nevertheless, an engrossing read does not necessarily make a book good. Look at Pride & Prejudice. I hate that book, but it has stood the test of time. Or Shakespeare. Do you think that those books were good because they were easy to read? Maybe they are an easy-read to some, I suppose.


Here is my list of 10 reasons I dislike this book series.

1. Repetition.

a. Anna Todd repeats and rehashes the same material over and over and over. Fight, make-up sex. Fight again. Make-up sex. It is soooooo irritating!
b. Words get repeated mindlessly. She uses the same vocabulary to explain similar events (see point 1a). Variation would be nice please!
c. Towards the end of the book, text is literally copy-pasted. Do I want to read what I've already read? There were whole chapters of this sh*t. (Her words, not mine.) Seriously, Anna Todd? What a cop-out!
d. Then, as if the above isn't enough, the readers aren't intelligent enough to remember what has previously happened on their own, so A.T. has to remind us that x, y, and z have already happened which has led us to point q. Thanks for the reminder?

2. The end of the book.

If you are reading to get to the end of the book so that you can say you've read it all, just stop. As someone who has gotten to the end, I can tell you that it is not worth it. The characters don't grow or change and the repetition you see all the way through the book is repeated. Again. Worst of all: the author leaves out key elements purposely to keep you on your toes and get you to buy (or read) another one of her silly books. (Before which she is currently writing from Harry's point of view. Another problem, that I will get to in a bit.)

3. The plot.

This was mentioned in point 1, but I'll mention it again. When I think back over the story, I cannot pick a single event that was in fact a plot. There was no single (large or small) problem that was ever completely solved. The events just went in circles suggesting that the writer did not know what she wanted her book to be about nor did she have a plan as she was writing. You could argue that character growth was the most important part of the story and thus what the book(s) revolved around, but I found that even that was absent through most of the book. Argh.

4. Character Growth

I have read so many books where the main character completely grows and changes from who (usually) she was at the beginning of the book. I kind of felt like the main character, Tessa, from this book towards the end when I kept going back for more … only to discover the same repetition that I was seeing throughout the rest of the book. Maybe Harry changed. Maybe Tessa changed. Unfortunately, the author didn't really suggest that. All she really suggested was that the characters, once again, fought and then had make-up sex. Less detailed make-up sex than from the beginning of the story, but make-up sex none-the-less. And Anna Todd was implying change through this? somehow???

5. Twilight. 50 Shades of Grey. After.

We've seen it before; what is the likeliness that we will see it again?

Twilight was a terrible book (imho) written for high schoolers (and middle aged women) about a man (or rather, boy) who couldn't control his desire to turn the woman he loved into a vampire, and a girl who was stupid enough to stick around. Then Twilight was followed up with 50 Shades, which having started it, was also a compelling read, but like Twilight, was also about a man who seemingly had little control over his behavior and a woman who was  stupid enough to stick around. Anyone noticing a trend? I'll let you guess what After is about. ;)

What are we telling young girls (or older women) who read these books? That you need to have a possessive man in your life if you really want to be loved? If he's not crazy jealous when you even talk to someone else, you aren't dating or married to the right person? Can we not read a book about a woman who stands up to her man? Since when did women become so passive?

6. Points Of View

In the first book, Anna Todd kept Hardin's (or Harry's depending on the version you read) point of view under wraps for the most part. She only really began sharing his point of view in the second book on Wattpad. (As I mentioned before, I read the majority of the book on Wattpad.) While I could understand sharing different points of view, it seemed a little silly to bring them into the plot so late in the story. To make matters worse, Anna Todd (the author) is currently writing Harry's version of the story in a new book. (Why we should read this given that we have a lot of his pov in the first book is beyond me!) Then, at the end of the last book, the author throws in Zayn's pov (or Zed)! Zayn's pov didn't have a single thing to do with the main plot or main characters so why did she throw it in?

I think if Anna Todd had stuck with one pov throughout the entire story, she could have possibly pulled off this book in a better, more complete, and satisfying way. The multiple points of view added to the repetition and mundaneness of the novel encouraging me to skip parts I may have otherwise read. Furthermore, having already seen at least half of Harry's thoughts in the first book, I can't say that I am super excited about reading her newest book, Before. Why should I read what I've already read?

I think I've digressed.

My point is that by sticking to one point of view, we (the readers) could have learned how Tessa changed from the beginning of the story to the end. Instead, we are left confused. We see her side of the story and her boyfriend's side and we don't know who to agree with, what the story is, or who is changing and why. It would be nice to be able to say with complete confidence that Tessa chose to spend time away from Harry and rebuild a relationship with X because Y. Instead, at the end of the 3 part series, I am left wondering, despite having her pov, what was she thinking?!?

7. Three books. (Or 4.)


Book one doesn't have a complete ending, so you keep reading (unless you're reading offline and have run out of money). Then Book 2 doesn't have a complete ending. This is when you start to wonder: why am I still reading? When you get to the end of book 3 (the last available online), you just want to pound your head against a brick wall. I gave up 2 weeks of my life for this?

It's like going to the theatre and watching Lord of the Rings. Or Twilight. Or Pirates of the Caribbean. Perhaps (usually) the first story at least has an ending because the producer doesn't know if s/he will have the funds to continue on with the series. The second story has less of an ending … to make sure you return for part 3. And part 3 may or may not be that good. It's like watching a neverending tv show. Except that you don't expect tv shows to have an ending.

If you are going to read After, go in assuming it doesn't have an ending … ever. It's a tv show. Kind of. Perhaps worse.

It's that moment when you say "All you want is my money? Right?"

8. Clichés all over the place.

In the text it was annoying. How many times can one author say "blue in the face"? Argh!

In the characters it was even worse.

Of course the guy wearing Gap is a goody-two-shoes and the boy in tattoos is a bad boy. How could they not be?

And I have never been as tired of the double positive, double negative as I am today.

"Yes, yes I am." "No, no I'm not." Make up your freakin' mind! I have one friend that does that all of the time; it doesn't bother me when he does it, but when ALL of the characters in the book do that and not one of them has an individual personality or way of speaking, I get super annoyed!

9. Product placement & Reality vs. Not.

Applebees. Ugh!

I have never felt as out of place after reading a book as I did when I finished After.

The characters go to Applebees and only Applebees throughout the entire book. Then they sit on the couch watching movies and eating Frosted Flakes. Grocery shopping involves going to Target.

Do you know what I do? I shop at the local farmer's market. I don't have time to sit down and watch tv on a regular basis and spent two years living without tv because I didn't want to pay the bill. I never eat Frosted Flakes, and I can't remember the last time I went to Applebees. I may have been irritated by the clichés used in the book, but in many aspects, I felt like the book was a cliché itself. Or an ad. One of the two.

Beyond that, the characters don't actually have real lives. They say they go to work and school, but do we ever actually see it? When does Harry do all of the reading and writing the author claims he does? Does Tessa also skip out of her classes and miss work because she has some catastrophe?


Yes, I've already complained about the repetition found within the book where Anna Todd repeats her own words, but what about when she repeats the words from other authors? Pride & Prejudice, anything Hemingway, etc…, etc…

The one bit I did love though was when she mentioned Holden from Catcher In the Rye and how Hardin hated that book. I wish I could find the quote. It was the best mostly because of the similarities between the two characters and made me laugh.

If author Anna Todd has played into her quotes and references and not just abused them taking whole storylines from other books and movies, she could have really pulled off an enjoyable book. Clearly she needs a bit more experience before publishing a second or third series.

Have you read the Wattpad original series After yet by Anna Todd yet? If you did, did you like it? If you didn't, why not? Do you agree with any of my reasons for disliking the series?

* I received a copy of the book After and compensation for my review. All opinions (clearly) are my own.

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