Book Five of the After series—Anna Todd’s Wattpad fanfiction that racked up one billion reads online and captivated romance readers across the globe! As told by Hardin and other characters, Before will explore the hero’s life before he met Tessa, reveal what happens after After, give you new insights on their turbulent romance—and revel in the awesome power of true love. #HESSA
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After devouring the first 4 books in this series last year, I was so excited to read book 5, Before. Getting inside Hardin’s head and seeing his thought process was everything and more. Initially I thought, how could this ever change my point of view? How is this any different from what we've previously read in the first 4 books? I was pleasantly surprise because this book gave me so much more that I expected
Getting Hardin’s most inner dialogue was heart breaking. You can see the turmoil that he faces within himself, the self sabotage, the hatred. His want to be a better person for Tessa and for himself. I felt like I needed the small reminders that were within the pages to help me remember minor things that made such a huge impact to their story.
Getting to read about Hardin’s past also helped me get a better understanding of how he became who he was when he first met Tessa and why he continued to punish himself.
The last 10% of the book has to be my favorite. Getting a chapter from some of the most vital characters and where they were at in their lives. I love love love hearing about side characters. My only disappointment was the I wanted more from Steph and Molly’s POV. They played such a pivotal part in the first 4 books. I was secretly hoping that Steph might have come to her senses and redeemed herself. Oh well there is always the future, and while Anna keeps on writing, I’ll keep on reading.
Into the Night Reviews ... Before by Anna Todd
I read Before having not read any of the other books in the ‘After’ series by Anna Todd, and was a little worried it was going to impact my enjoyment of the book. I’m happy to say it didn’t, and I’m keen to pick up the rest of the series now.
Before tells the story of how Hardin and Tessa first met, and provides the background to their tumultuous relationship. Hardin is the ‘bad boy’ – I’m reluctant to describe him as a ‘typical’ bad boy because it felt like there was more to him. Intelligent, angry, rebellious, and yet despite that Tessa manages to catch his interest. Nothing like the other dalliances he has had, Tessa is the ‘good girl’, she screams innocence and even so finds herself drawn to Hardin like a moth to a flame.
Before is brilliantly written. The characters are well developed and like I said, the story engaged me to the extent that I will go and read the rest of this series. Hardin grapples with his attraction to Tessa, what starts out as a cruel game becomes so much more for him and he soon realises that he risks losing the one thing that is actually starting to mean something to him.
Before is told from Hardin’s point of view and many of the chapters start with a paragraph or two written in the third person. I really liked the greater insight these gave to Hardin’s character. It wasn’t a quick read for me, while it was easy to read, there is a complexity about the story and I didn’t want to rush the experience. I found myself putting it down and then pondering what would happen next between Hardin and Tessa before coming back to the story.
If you’ve read the ‘After’ series then I would expect you would need no encouragement to pick up Before. For those of you new to the series, it may be best to start with book #1 ‘After’, but you can definitely read Before without having read the series and still thoroughly enjoy this introduction to #HESSA.
Something gone wrong?
Having read the previous books, I think something has gone wrong with the book. It is good up until chapter 20 and then is all over the place after that , 21 is back and forth, it looks like things have been cut and pasted in the wrong part of the story, and has also missed a lot of the story. Therefore when it gets to other parts further in the book, they don't make sense. I like the originals though