After: A Success for Fanfiction

October 24, 2017

If you’re into the 50 Shades of Grey series, then chances are you’ll probably like (or have already read) After by Anna Todd. I’ve read most of the books in the After series, and I honestly can’t decide whether I love or hate them, which is similar to my feelings about the 50 Shades of Grey series. Both are great works of literature, but are written quite simply. However, they serve their purpose of being extremely easy and entertaining reads.


 Photo: Haidar Rais on Unsplash


I was originally told that the After series was One Direction fanfiction, and that Hardin, the main character, was modeled after Harry Styles. Fanfiction is not the sort of genre I would normally choose when browsing the shelves at Barnes and Noble. I really like original stories that have original characters and are not just fantasies of extremely enthusiastic fans. However, as I am reading After, I am really not picking up on any specific One Direction vibes. In my opinion, the only trait that the characters of After and the members of One Direction have in common is their looks; that’s about it.


The story centers around the very unstable relationship between Hardin and Tessa. Honestly, “unstable” doesn’t even begin to cover how extremely unhealthy the relationship between the two of them is. Although relationships always have their ups and downs, right from the the beginning, the reader is forced to really hate Hardin. He’s an awful and cruel person and I am really hoping that the real Harry Styles isn’t anything like him. However, Christian Grey is no picnic either, yet fans still seem to love him. The sexual scenes aren’t quite…as detailed…as 50 Shades of Grey, but they can get pretty steamy, so I definitely wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone under the age of 17. It’s the PG-13 version of 50 Shades of Grey, but it’s the R-rated version of One Direction fanfiction.


If you’re looking for light reading that really doesn’t require any brain power, then this is the series for you. I enjoyed it over my October break as I relaxed after my very stressful week of essays and midterms. It definitely entertained me and I was fully engaged in the lives of each character. I definitely began to take sides with the characters as the drama unfolded before my eyes, and I did invest myself enough into the series to read two of the other books. Although the books are pretty long, they are not written like Shakespeare or Chaucer, or even Jane Austen, so I definitely breezed through them with absolutely no problem. This has not become my favorite book or series, but now that I’ve started to invest in Hardin and Tessa’s relationship, I have to see how it ends.


My name is Emma Berry, I'm 20 years old and I am a junior at the College of the Holy Cross. I'm an English major with a concentration in Creative Writing. I also joined the Pre-Business program, as I hope to get a job in the publishing field after I graduate. I basically run on iced coffee and when I have free time I love to just read or watch Netflix (and Game of Thrones). ​


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