After by Anna Todd

Book versus Movie

After was a series I had always wanted to read, however I really struggled to find the time. As a result, I watched the movie before I was able to read the book. Usually that would be a bad thing; however I really enjoyed the book, perhaps more so than the movie. I found myself powering through the book, I enjoyed it that much! Instead of creating my own mental imagery, I found myself visualizing scenes from the movie.

A little background about the author and origins of the story; Anna Todd started writing fan fiction inspired by the music of One Direction with Harry Styles as the protagonist. The series was called After and was written on the authors phone using the WattPad App. With the popularity of the series growing on the App, WattPad worked with Anna to help her find a publisher. In October 2014, After became a published book. The success of the book led to the release of the movie in April 2019.

Link to Catalogue record for After

I really enjoyed the book; I enjoyed it so much that I read it in four days! I would read a bit, convince myself “I will stop after this chapter” and then before you know it, I have read four more chapters after that “final chapter”.

The writing is really easy to follow. The chapters aren’t so long that you get bored or lost. I am an Australian who has never been to university either locally, or in the States, however from the descriptive writing I was able to get an understanding of what the campus might look like and what dorm life may have been.

You get a really good sense of who the characters are, which ones you are supposed to like, and those you should dislike, however this changes multiple times throughout the course of the book.

While this was a series I had always wanted to read, my plan was simply to read the first book so that I could do this book v movie blog. However, I have become so engrossed in the story, the characters and the books conclusion that I immediately had to find book two so I could continue the story.

I would recommend this book for anyone 17 yrs. or older.

I recently re-watched the movie after finishing the book. The biggest takeaway I have from the movie is that Hardin is much more likable in the movie. In the book he is a terrible person towards Tessa, and at times you’d be second guessing why the story is routing them to be together. Conversely, in the movie you get a little sense that he is mean, and then he is back to your stereo typical movie “bad guy”.

In the movie I got the sense that Tessa’s mum is a little nicer and warmer than in the book. I wondered if this was why the relationship Tessa builds with Hardin’s step mum and father, was dropped from the movie. In the book Tessa wishes she had a relationship with her mum like the one she builds with Karen, however in the movie you get the sense that they have a nicer relationship. Who knows? Perhaps it was dropped for timing issues.

The order of events is changed around a bit, within the movie however it does not generally mess with the overall story.

I like that in the movie they changed Tristan to be a girl, however I like the relationship between Steph and Tristan better in the book. I wonder if this is because in the movie there seems to be little character building. Apart from meeting Tristan at the beginning of the movie, a scene at a party, and a make out scene, we don’t really get much Steph and Tristan.

Talking of character development, we don’t get too much from Steph. She isn’t just the roommate that leads Tessa astray, as depicted in the movie. In the book, she discourages Tessa from getting involved with Hardin. However, they do develop a strong friendship, with them being there for each other through tough times. It’s a lovely friendship that Tessa and Steph build, and none of it is shown in the movie.

In the movie when Tessa is caught making out with Hardin in her dorm room by her mum, her mum implies that she needs to concentrate less on the boy (dump him, in fact), and more on her studies. The movie doesn’t really show this, however in the book it shows that even while being wrapped up in everything Hardin, Tessa is able to stay on top of her studies and maintain a 4.0 GPA. The movie focuses more on “Hessa” (the ship name given for the couple, by the fans), and less on how you can be completely in love with someone, as Tessa is with Hardin, yet continue to study hard.

After is rated M, however I would recommend for 16 yrs. or older.

As much as I loved the movie the (both the first and second time I watched it), I feel the book was better. I think this is mostly due to having the additional time to devote to different scenes and situations that the movie simply does not. That said, it won’t stop me obsessively re-watching the movie.

Now that my review is complete, I cannot wait to sink my teeth into book two, titled “After We Collided”, before the movie for that comes out some time this year.