Thursday, April 11, 2019

My Thoughts about AFTER by Anna Todd

by Anna Todd
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
Published by Gallery Books
Pages: 582
Source: Purchased


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?

Now newly revised and expanded, Anna Todd’s After fanfiction racked up 1 billion reads online and captivated readers across the globe. Experience the Internet’s most talked-about book for yourself!

There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER ... Life will never be the same.

My Thoughts

Choosing to read AFTER was one of those FOMO situations - as they do happen. But that's not the only reason I decided to read it. I knew that I would watch the movie and when I found out that it was written as Harry Styles fan fiction, I thought, well now I have to read it. Silly, I know.

From the beginning, I felt a Cruel Intentions vibe will reading it. I couldn't help but think - how was this story going to play out? How are these people who aren't really nice to each other going to become a couple? I was caught off guard with the ending and I really didn't see what was coming. But then I ask myself with the Cruel Intentions comparison, how could I miss it?!

This book drove me crazy, and yet I kept reading it. The relationship between Tessa and Hardin was TOXIC. Where did the love that Tessa declared she had for Hardin come from? Until they were "together" neither of them treated the other as though they even liked the other person. She had something for him, but it wasn't love. It makes me wonder what her relationship with Noah was like. And it makes me question Tessa's idea of love and does she even know what it is.

I am curious about how the story continues, but it'll be a while before I pick up the next book to find out. Reading this series is a commitment and these books are huge. I am interested in reading more books by Anna Todd and find out what she's given readers beyond the Hardin and Tessa saga. And I'm still looking forward to watching the movie - and it comes out this week!

Disclaimer: I purchased a copy of this title for my personal library. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Review: MEET CUTE by Helena Hunting

by Helena Hunting
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Published by Forever
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher | Netgalley


Talk about an embarrassing introduction. On her first day of law school, Kailyn ran - quite literally - into the actor she crushed on as a teenager, ending with him sprawled on top of her. Mortified to discover the Daxton Hughes was also a student in her class, her embarrassment over their meet-cute quickly turned into a friendship she never expected. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming either...

Now, eight years later, Dax is in her office asking for legal advice. Despite her anger, Kailyn can't help feeling sorry for the devastated man who just became sole guardian to his thirteen-year-old sister. But when her boss gets wind of Kailyn's new celebrity client, there's even more at stake than Dax's custody issues: if she gets Dax to work at their firm, she'll be promoted to partner.

The more time Kailyn spends with Dax and his sister, the more she starts to feel like a family, and the more she realizes the chemistry they had all those years ago is as fresh as ever. But will they be able to forgive the mistakes of the past, or will one betrayal lead to another?

My Thoughts

MEET CUTE had me hooked pretty much from the prologue with the Kailyn and Dax's meet cute. I was hooked by the humor of that moment and was ready for a fun and sexy romantic comedy. Yet, MEET CUTE wasn't the book that I expected based on the cover and the title. I suppose that's what happens when you don't read the synopsis. MEET CUTE surprised me in the best possible way. 

After Dax and his sister Emme experience a terrible tragedy, Kailyn is brought back into their lives in a significant way. She begins to see Dax as more than her competitor from college and her teen crush. And this is when I was really hooked and began to fall for Dax just as Kailyn did. They have incredible chemistry and genuine admiration for each other and that's when I realized MEET CUTE might not be the book that I expected, it is the book that I wanted.

MEET CUTE is in no way bogged down with sadness. I loved Kailyn's fangirl moments - when she tried to play it cool and Dax discovers just how obsessed she was with his show. And the signs of her fandom popped-up everywhere - her Daxton crying meme water mug "I like cups with handles", her It's My Life t-shirts, and wanting to "check out the memorabilia in the basement". At least part of that was true.

There is humor in the shopping trips - Dax's solo trip and then when they all go clothes shopping together. Dax just doesn't have a clue what a day of shopping with a teenager is like, but he found out.

What I loved the most was the connection between Kailyn and Emme, and the friendship that develops between them. Emme really opened up to Kailyn when she needed someone the most. It was endearing and touched my heart. 

Favorite Lines:

"I always imagined that if I met one of my favorite celebrities, I’d act cool, be all casual about it, treat them like a regular person. Obviously I was very wrong about that."

"I'm a much better fangirl." - Kailyn
"Hands down the best." - Daxton

MEET CUTE is a wonderful read. There were many moments that touched my heart, and even more that made me smile and laugh out loud. I am admittedly a fangirl like Kailyn and I'm not ashamed about it. I like to embrace the things that bring me joy and tell everyone about it and now I can add this book to that list!

Disclaimer:  I received this e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.


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