Here, I talk all-the-things about one of my favorite romance stories, the After book series by Anna Todd. If you’re looking for related information about:
- Anna Todd
- an overview of the After books
- Hardin Scott
- Tessa Young
- book reviews
- the After movie
- the After We Collided movie
Then this is the place for you. So happy you’re here!
To start, let’s talk about the darling human being behind the series.
Who is Anna Todd?
Simply put, Anna Todd is a literary goddess.
No, really, she is an absolute goddess when it comes to crafting these addictively compelling stories rife with beautifully flawed, unforgettable characters. The After series is a testament to that.
Her runaway success with the books has won over the hearts of readers from around the world—not just her home country of the United States—but the UK, Asia, Australia, all across Latin America… her reach spans the entire globe.
Born in Small Town Ohio, just north of Cincinnati, Anna Todd has also lived in Austin, Texas, and currently lives in Los Angeles. I think one of the things that makes her so interesting is that she married her high school sweetheart and they are still together. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like that’s a rare, rare feat these days.
In her writing, you can see how much inspiration—the emotional and physical depth—she drew from her relationship with her husband in creating the saga of Tessa and Hardin. Her ability to transfer the excitement and unknown of navigating first love and heartache to readers comes across so truthfully, it’s like you’re right there with the characters, feeling what they feel, thinking what they think, making the same mistakes they make.
From fanfic writer to international bestselling author
They say to “write what you know,” and Anna Todd knows what makes an unputdownable romance story. Her personal experience with Wattpad proved she had the tenacity and chops to write the damn thing, and the fact that her work garnered millions of reads on the writing platform… well, I’d say her story resonated deeply with people.
So deeply that the first two books have already been adapted to film. Me and the rest of the Hessa posse can’t wait to feast our eyes on each and every visual treat. More on that later.
Moving along, let’s jump into the After books.
Welcome to the After book series by Anna Todd
What is the After series about?
Eat your heart out, Catherine and Heathcliff, because there’s a new toxic twosome in town: Tessa Young and Hardin Scott from the After series books by Anna Todd. Same goes for Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby—get outta here!
Just kidding, because I love both those couples, but this page is dedicated to #Hessa only.
Not to spoil too much, but unlike the aforementioned classics, After gets its happy ending. But—whoo!—do you have to work for it. The story is quick to ignite a passion that soon explodes into an all-out wildfire, and then before you know it, all the drama and everything that is wrong with Tessa and Hardin’s relationship quickly tears them apart. And we get to watch this all play out.
To understand what the After series is about, first, you need to know who Tessa and Hardin are.
Who is Tessa Young?
When we first meet Tessa, it’s the day she’s finally moving away to college. She has a vanilla boyfriend named Noah (who is still in high school), and he and her mother have packed up the car to help her get settled into her new life. We get the sense that Tessa has never done wrong in her life—she makes good grades and keeps her mother proud—and the fact that her boyfriend has the approval of very picky said mother makes it seem like Tessa’s life is all planned out. And boring.
Immediately upon arriving at her dorm room, she’s paired with an upperclassman named Steph and the first impression of the girl is enough to make Tessa’s mother want to request a room change (which doesn’t happen). It’s here that we get our first glimpse of Hardin Scott.
Who is Hardin Scott?
Hardin is this tatted-up guy with face piercings who wears black, drinks his coffee black, and has a deep-rooted fondness for literature. He’s edgy and unapologetic, he has a sexy English accent, he’s older, and he’s completely taken off guard by Tessa’s intellect and her proclivity for self-respect.
Basically, he’s everything Noah isn’t. And nothing Tessa’s ever encountered before. Spoilers ahead.
One night at a party, a game of Truth or Dare gets a little out of hand, and subsequently, Hardin makes a secret bet that he can take Tessa’s virginity. He does, but not for the reasons his shitty friends are led to believe. Tessa finds out, her heart breaks, then her trust gets broken—so now Hardin’s heart breaks—and the rest of the series is how their relationship evolves over the years. Plus, we get generous helpings of family drama along the way, too.
The After book series by Anna Todd is about a boy and a girl, just trying to figure out who they are, together and apart.
So, how many books are in the After series?
The short answer is five. They are: After, After We collided, After We Fell, After Ever Happy, and Before.
The slightly longer answer is that Anna Todd wrote two additional books in the Hessa world: Nothing More and Nothing Less. This duology is centered on Hardin’s step-brother and Tessa’s close friend, Landon Gibson.
For the purposes of this page, I’m only covering the relationship between Tessa and Hardin in the After book series.
Read on for a quick synopsis of each After book, and be sure to check out the linked book reviews for more Hessa! At the bottom of this page, I’ll get into the movie adaptations.
Book reviews of the After series by Anna Todd
I’m including snippets from the back cover of each book because they give nothing away:
There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there was everything after. Life will never be the same.
Tessa has everything to lose. Hardin has nothing to lose… except her.
Tessa and Hardin’s love was complicated before. Now it’s more confusing than ever.
Tessa and Hardin have defied all the odds, but will they get their fairy tale ending?
Before Hardin met Tessa, he was a raging storm. During those first moments they met, he realized he needed to keep her for himself—his life depended on it. After they got together, the world would never be the same.
And now, we arrive at the film adaptations. Let’s watch some juicy movie trailers.
After movie (2019) release
Enjoy that? It’s great, right? Though the movie took some liberties in changing various plot points and character traits (Tristan’s gender, removing Hardin’s piercings, the conditions of the bet), I think it managed to capture the essence of Tessa and Hardin’s relationship perfectly. Josephine Langford as Tessa nailed the role, and the decision to cast Hero Fiennes Tiffin as Hardin was a fantastic one. When you can’t picture anyone else playing the role, you know they made the right choice.
And the best part? If you’re based in the US, you can stream the movie on Netflix as many times as you want to tide you over until the next one is released—or you can just dive into the books. Do both.
All right, next.
After We Collided movie (2020) release
The first teaser for the sequel came out on Valentine’s Day, and the movie was supposed to originally hit theaters around April, but this horrible thing called coronavirus, or COVID-19, pretty much upended the entire world, and continues to set daily life off-kilter.
The good news is that Anna Todd got a heavier hand in the production of the sequel, and they’re taking the extra time to make it just right. I can’t wait for it. According to a recent live stream by Anna Todd, AWC is slated for US release on October 23, 2020.
I CAN’T WAIT.
All we can do in the meantime is reread every book and die over the official trailer.
Welp. That’s all I have on the After book series by Anna Todd. I’ll be sure to add any updates on film adaptations and link to reviews on the Landon books once I read them.
Have you read the books and/or seen the flick? What did you think? I’m always down to gush on and on about Hessa and Anna Todd, so comment away! Love to hear your thoughts about the series! 🖤