REVIEW- After Series (book #1-#5) by Anna Todd

Collective Review

After ( After #1 )
After We Collided ( After #2 )
After We Fell ( After #3 )
After Ever Happy ( After #4 )
Before ( After #5 )

 

It´s taken me years to come up with reasonable words that sum up my feelings towards the `After` series by Anna Todd. Because, the ugly truth is – I couldn´t come up with anything better than swear words to describe my emotions.

Now, before I begin with my actual review I´d like to mention that before I started this series I was oblivious to everything that was associated with this story. All I knew was that the story was originally published on the online writing platform, Wattpad.

That was it. I never heard of Anna Todd nor have I heard of the sensation this story was supposed to be. It was by accident that I found the „After“ series.

Later on ( after finishing the fourth book ) I was informed that `After` is a fan fiction romance and that Harry Styles, from the band 1 Direction, was the inspiration for the male protagonist.

I didn´t know who Harry Style was and I had absolutely no clue who 1 Direction ( or 1D) were. After a quick google check I wasn´t any smarter. I figured it didn´t matter. Nothing could have changed my opinion towards the story, or should I say – nothing could have made me think better or worse of what I forced myself to finish.

 

Staring with book #1, After… I have to admit that I liked it alot. I´m not a huge fan of college romances but I liked how the story started and how it ended.

A well protected wallflower falls for rude, mysterious bad boy. after

What´s unique about this story is that the main characters, Tessa and Hardin, are polar opposites who shouldn´t even be near each other. Two extreme youngsters who can´t seem to stay away from one another. The story has mean – as – shit college students, lots of pre-adult drama and a bet that could break whatever the hell these 2 characters have for each other. The key word is: could. There wouldn´t be more books if the bet had ripped the characters apart for good. There´s alot going on and there´s tension. An entertaining story with so much potential.

Like I said- I liked book #1. I just wish I could say the same for the rest of the books.

 

With `After We Collided`, book #2, Tessa and Hardins story continues. After a relationship hiccup the couple tries to sort themselves and have a steady relationship. Little do they know how hard it is to be together, especially when one is a complete harm to society.

I self diagnosed the Hero, Hardin, in this book. In book one I truly bought the bad boy act but since his behavior didn´t really improve I began to think he had more than just a few screws missing.After 2

A few things come to my mind when I think of Hardin: alcoholic, abusive, antisocial personality disorder and bastard. Because he is all those things covered by a pretty face of a college student. It´s plain to see that he has / had issues. In book #1 a reader gets to accompany the main characters and live the ups and downs, back and forth with them. In book #2…. nothing changes. Tessa and Hardin are two „kids“ stuck in an awkward nightmare relationship where both have no bloody clue as to how things work. A reader does get to meet the sub characters a little more, which is good. But the rest? Screw ups after screw ups, heartbreak and tears…. it was time to see some happiness happen for these characters. 671 pages full of „Why the hell isn´t she leaving him??“

My final thoughts on `After We Collided`: After reading such an intense story with such intense characters in book #1 I hoped there would be some character development in book #2. There was none. But… there was more emotional abuse. So much that I felt the need to open a bottle of wine afterwards just so I could digest the catastrophe I read.

`After We Fell`, book #3. An 834 page long book. The book is just as thick as the bricks we used to build our house with. 834 pages of repetitive emotional abuse. After 3 Tessa and Hardin continue their abusive / back and forth relationship. But this time it´s painful for a reader to witness the mind fucking going on between the main characters and how they pulled other family members into their world of fuck ups. Family and friends of Tessa and Hardin also suffer under the hands of Hardin. He´s a ticking time bomb. He has anger issues. He´s afraid of losing the one thing he can emotionally torture. Hardin claims he loves Tessa but still breaks a piece of her every time he fucks up.

I couldn´t believe I sat through another book that had NO character development, what-so-ever. I got the picture: Hardin wasn´t healthy in any way, on any level. Hardin´s behavior took it´s toll on Tessa and I was so waiting for her to wake up and smell the roses. She needed to get rid of him. Actually, that needed to happen during book #1. After I finished book #3 I opened another bottle of wine.

The new relationship status from Hardin and Tessa: An apocalyptic catastrophe.

`After Ever Happy`, book #4, was the book that finally cracked my calm. I was fuming. I shook my head through 512 pages because there was nothing else I was able to do. Tessa and Hardin- they had ANOTHER life/relationship challenge. Another one. Or, let´s say… they had a few more and those challenges were such a waste of my time because 80% of those challenges were recaps of the ones from the previous books. After 4

My hopes for a character development were shot to the moon after book #3 but I still had a tiny bit of hope that there would be some sort of a happy ever after ( because the title does hint it ). A reader does get a sloppy version of a happy ever after. You get approximately 450 pages of emotional disaster with the main characters and then it´s fast forward from then on.

BAM –  you see the characters do this.

BAM – you see the characters do that.

BAM – BAM – BAM – BAM – BAM.

There´s no time for a reader to process all the info shoved in our faces.

The pace of the ending can be compared to the recent season 7 of Game of Thrones. We got 6 seasons of drawn out info and a super speedy season 7.

(NOTE: I love Game of Thrones and would normally never compare the genius of a story to the After series, except when referring to the pace. I´m probably going to go to hell for even mentioning GoT in this review. )

Anyways- the finale ending of the After series… A full-blown disappointment. So disappointed that I returned book #4. I don´t want to have a book like that on my kindle.

My overall feelings towards this series: A big fat NOPE.

It´s unnecessarily complicated, the Hero is abusive, the relationship Hardin and Tessa have is over the top unhealthy. What they have is a twisted sense of reality. There´s nothing remotely romantic about 2 young adults acting the way they did. The story was a train wreck I should have looked away from.

 

But wait… there´s one more. Yupp. I kid you not. There´s a 5th book in the series.

`Before` ( After #5 ) and it´s the story of Hardin´s life before he permanently ruined Tessa´s life.After 5

I didn´t even try to read it. Why would I? A reader can make their own picture of Hardin´s past and readers definitely find out the true reason behind his abusive behavior in book 3 & 4. I´m really not interested in further details. My guess is that the author wrote this book for her dedicated fans, which is fine. Only I´m not interested in spending another dime on this story and I´m not interested in spending more hours on reading about a glorified prick.

 

So, there we have it. Not everything with the words `sensation`printed on it is actually a sensation. The only thing sensational about the After series is that so many people loved it.

 

Would I reread this series? Nope. Not now. Not ever again.

Would I recommend this series? No.

The Covers – 4 stars ( The covers have nothing to do with the story. They´re all actually pretty to look at )

The Story – 1 star ( No. Either I´m too old to appreciate the kind of twisted romance After is or I´m a different kind of romance reader. Either way- No. )

The Characters – 1 star ( The world doesn´t have enough wine to help me get over these kids)

My emotional state after finishing this read – I feel like I need to upgrade from wine to vodka.

 

I´m giving the whole `After`series by Anna Todd 1 out of 5 stars. 

Wattpad: Online Writing Community-Review

There are hundreds of free online writing communities but none are as fast growing as Wattpad.

As a writer, being apart of an online writing community is genius, expecially on Wattpad2Wattpad.The registration is free and it takes mere minutes for a writer to create a profile, which is a huge bonus, and they can start uploading their stories, fan-fictions and / or poetry. Practial, right? A writer can upload their stories chapter by chapter where readers can vote and comment on. Often, through the comments, a writer can receive feedback from their readers which may or may not be helpful ( depending on the feedback, of course ). Wattpad is a great place for writers to interact with other writers and readers. And another huge bonus? Wattpad writers are able to enjoy some of the many opportunities Wattpad has to offer ( and there are quite a few. Awesome sauce).

As a reader, being able to pick from millions of stories from just as many writers is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Wattpad is a fabulous platform where a reader can dive head first into any story and explore different genres for free.

It´s an overall win/win for everyone, at first glance. Wattpad is like Christmas on Easter. Everything is idiot-proof. As a writer, you can become super successful and enjoy all the perks Wattpad has to offer and as a reader all you have to do is vote and comment on a story you enjoyed. Include all the cool and fancy fun stuff and you´re at a writer´s fun-park where everyone is happy. Voila!

But what happens when you take a closer look at Wattpad and the writers who publish their stories?

Now- Personally, I love Wattpad. Not because of the neat knick-knacks and fun stuff the platform offers. I love it because it feels like I´m a child in Bookland. I enjoy watching stories grow with each uploaded chapter and I like how easy it is to build connections there.

It´s incredible to see so many talented people in one spot.

From cover designers to writers ( and so many more )… Wattpad is a hot spot no one should miss out on. BUT…….  ( there´s always a but…..*giggle* )

Wattpad2As an avid reader myself I´ve read my fair share of Wattpad stories- many great and fully worth recommending. I´m even surprised that a few of those stories haven´t been picked up by a publishing house yet.

But then again- I´ve been down the „What the heck did I just read?“ road, too. I´ve even been on the „You must be kidding me.“ lane, where I´ve seen the unthinkable happen. It´s sad to say that not everything on Wattpad is golden.

From what I´ve noticed- Wattpad is more geared towards fantasy, science fiction and YA. Of course, there are plently of other genre´s, such as: romance, historical, horror, self-help, etc, to satisfy a reader´s appitite. Wattpad welcomes all, including fan-fiction. Yes. The F genre.

The problem with a platform that allows everything to happen is- everything happens.

With over 40 million members, Wattpad is a place for all kinds of writers. People who take writing seriously, people who see writing as a hobby, people who just want to scribble down ideas and unfortunately- Wattpad is also misused by writers. I´ve even seen NYT Bestselling authors on Wattpad!

One thing really stands out on Wattpad. You can´t get around without being confronted with a fan-fiction. It happens. No use in trying to prevent it. You´ll definitely see an image from Harry Styles ( The kid from 1D ) or a cover with the actor Jamie Dornan on it. And when you see one, you´ll see more. That´s the downside of Wattpad. It´s over flooded with fan-fiction. That´s not to say that fan-fiction is terrible. Personally- I don´t like that genre but some stories aren´t too shabby.  A few fan-fics on Wattpad are actually brilliant. Sadly, not the majority, though. Many on Wattpad are down-right tasteless, tacky, poorly written and so over the top weird you can´t help but categorise all fan-fics as terrible.

Same goes for paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi stories. Wattpad writers have outstanding imaginations when it comes to preternatural and supernatural… it´s mindblowing. If you´re lucky, you can stumble upon a brilliant story that will most likely tear your heart into pieces and leave you with a nasty book hangover.

If luck isn´t on your side you can be stuck with a night full of shifters, skinwalkers ( Yes, apparently- that´s a thing ), toothless, alpha vampires which will definitely make you think about the writers sanity.

Each genre has it´s perks and downfalls in the Wattpad world. But, all the genre´s share one issue: Typos and misspellings ( not all stories, of course, but more than enough).

I believe in the good of everything. I over see lots of stuff all the time because I understand how busy or stressful life can get. But when I start a story on Wattpad and the first lines in the authors note are:

„This is not edited. You´ll find misspellings and typos. I´m sorry. I don´t want to waste my time with editing this.“

„ If you want to read the typo/misspelling-free version you can purchase this book on Amazon.com.“

That´s slightly rude, in my opinion. I´ve read books with over 100 misspellings and it´s annoying beyond means. If you upload something and expect anyone to enjoy reading then surely it´s not too much to ask for less than 20 typos? That can be done, right?

Let´s not forget to mention the sly Wattpad writers who already have their books up for sale on Amazon but still keep 3 chapters from the same book on their Wattpad page…as a teaser. I´m pretty sure that goes against the Wattpad policy. Yet each night, I come across at least 1 writer who does that. Teasing a reader with 3-5 chapters and hope they´ll buy the book on Amazon. These people think they´re clever but forget that Wattpad readers read on Wattpad for a reason. Namely- because of the free stories.

One could believe the fantastic Wattpad is corrupt. I certainly believe it´s corrupt sometimes. The contests many writers run are great but the Watty Awards that run on Twitter are full of horse s**t and alot of  writers are so full of themselves. How can I not think that Wattpad is a place filled with evil minded, shameless people? Have I forgotten the trillion horny teenagers with the Dornan fantasies? ( I can write a book about those people…. )

This doesn´t really put Wattpad in a good light. It´s rather sad. All I´ve mentioned above is rather harmful for the great writing community. But do not fear. Not all hope is lost. Wattpad isn´t filled with all evil. If you take your time, you can find the gems hidden in the sea of stories. You just have to look hard and stick to what the great writers recommend… or ask me and I´ll gladly point out the writers that are out of this world brilliant * wink *.

If I were to rate Wattpad as I would the books I read then I´d definitely give it 4 out of 5 stars. Why? Well, as I´ve said- Wattpad is a great community where readers and writers can mingle and have a great time with stories. Ignore the rude writers, ignore the fanfics, ignore the Watty´s Awards and avoid being sucked into the many events and you should be all set to have a great time. If a reader sticks to the basics ( vote and comment & interaction ) then Wattpad is THE place to be.

 

I´m giving Wattpad 4 out of 5 stars.

Dead In Bed ( Book #1 ) – Bailey Simms ( Wattpad )

Book Description

You’ve never, ever read a book like this.

When a sexually-transmitted plague breaks out in Ashley Young’s small town, leaving its victims with a bizarrely amplified libido, everything about her life changes.

DEAD IN BED is partly a suspense thriller with a strikingly unique story, partly a page-turning mystery about a disease that makes people hopelessly crave sexual contact, and partly a neo-western adventure in the American heartland.

For readers who can handle a smart, controversial female protagonist who’s willing to do anything — no matter how difficult or morally questionable — in order to survive, the series pulls them in like an unshakeable addiction. . . .

Bailey Simms, teen author of DEAD IN BED, is stuck at home with a rare medical condition. Writing is her only escape, so she’s determined to keep her salacious series hidden from her strict father. Soon an older boy starts to secretly help her, and Bailey finds new opportunities for freedom she’s never had. But as DEAD IN BED grows in popularity, and Bailey’s fans start to clamor for the sequel, she learns that being a successful Wattpad author may come with a terrifyingly dangerous price.

IMPORTANT NOTE

It has been taken under consideration that this might be the authors first approach at writing. No words from my side are meant to be harmful for the writer.

My Thoughts

The description didn´t lie. NEVER have I read anything like `Dead In Bed`, by Bailey Simms / Adrian Birch, before. It´s also most definitely unique. Not strikingly unique, but definitely… different. 

It´s obivous the writer is Adrian Birch and he´s not bad at writing stories about girls who write stories. For me- that little fact is the only excitement I got from any of this. The rest was just me trying to fight own my coca cola and keeping my blood pressure at bay.

When I read the book description I knew `Dead In Bed` was going to be a total wacko read. The title alone doesn´t send off a romantic vibe.  What I didn´t know was how off the charts weird it would be.

As an avid reader I´ve read my fair share of stories from all corners of a bookstore. Sci-Fi, Paranormal, Romance, Erotica, Young / New Adult, Fantasy are apart of my world. Fairies, Fees, Baby Billionaires, Rockstars, Zombies, Vampires, Wolves, Mermaids, Princesses, Kings.. YOU name it. I´ve been there, bought the t-shirt and waved good-bye.

Now I can add „ infected,sex-driven small town folks“ to my list.

Okay. Let´s work through this step by step:

  • Multiple genres. We have New Adult, Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Suspence, Thriller. Those stick out the most. Not a bad combo but there´s actually alot more that can´t be mentioned because the genre´s aren´t defined. I wouldn´t know under which category to put this read even if you paid me to do so.
  • The characters were transparent. It´s hard to appreciate a character when a reader cannot feel them on any level ( no matter what they are. Zombies not included ). They were mentioned and each figure had a role to play… yet none were strong enough to shine through.
  • The evil virus. Okay- I cannot imagine how hard it is to include something like that into a story but if you do then a reader needs a little more insight than having nothing to work with from the start. Just letting a character wake up in a trashed hotel room and adding more plot holes than depth won´t cut it.
  • The evil virus 2.0. Think Toxoplasmosis only more warped. The small town folk can spread the virus by having sex. There are then three stages a person goes through before they end ( however that may be ). Each stage brings a new level of hornyness. In the third stage people become numb and mindless and only want to hump.

Sounds interesting, right? Well, I think it does. It actually sounds like a warped fantasy from someone, but hey- to each is there own. If it weren´t for the plot holes inbetween then I´d say this would have been a positively unique story. ( Gotta have an open mind, people.)

  • The sexual drive caused by the parasite- And this is where the writer confuses me. Sex-drive? The subject has been touched in this read. It´s also been mentioned and shortly described. But there was alot more groping and and less graphic scenes than I thought there would be. Characters witness cars rocking back and forth by people who were having sex inside, etc.THAT may be a personal issue but it felt like I was cheated on.
  • It seems like there should have been romance in here. I have yet to find romance. ( said the romance reader)
  • The author notes between chapters: Okay. Here´s where I didn´t know if this was a joke or if the writer was being dead serious. Let´s say reading those notes was an experience I will hopefully soon forget.

You know, in the end of the day a story is still just a story and a writer can do as they please.

But when I see the writers numbers and see the little Wattys 2016 sticker on the book cover plus all the comments I truly believed I hit the jackpot.

The plain and simple truth is- This story wasn´t just wacko… it made me want to take a break from reading.

Also worth a mention:

  • choppy dialogue
  • super short chapters
  • many many chapters
  • little detail
  • no horror ( although added in the tags )
  • NO HORROR ( although the story is #2 in the Wattpads Horror list )

This could have been an amazing read. But it wasn´t. It was far from it.

The Cover – 5 stars ( To be fair- The cover is pretty. It almost looks exactly like my own cover for my review book. )

The Story – 1 star ( A true unique idea- poorly executed )

The Characters – 1 star ( No depth. No strength. They had no real purpose besides humping and running)

My emotional state after finishing this read Besides confused? I´m also not in the best of moods.

stars18

I´m giving `Dead In Bed` ( Book #1 ), by writer Bailey Simms / Adrian Birch 1 out of 5 stars

To read Dead In Bed all you need to do is click here. Keep an open mind and whatever you do….keep it together.

And the Meek Shall Walk – Shaun Allan ( Wattpad )

 

Book Description

Princess Aren is determined to make the human who killed her mother and exiled her people to the bottom of the ocean pay. To do so, she must go to extremes of pain and heartache in her search for justice.

Aren, however, is no sweet, happy mermaid. To kill is to ignite a fire of passion in her heart which only the savage letting of blood can satiate. She will go to any lengths to find the man responsible, including cutting off her own tail and sewing, in its place, a pair of human legs – legs she tore from one of the many humans she had murdered.

With the unwilling help of the sea witch, Princess Aren must go ashore and hunt for her mother’s killer. But, in doing so, the worlds above and below the ocean will clash in ways neither thought possible!

** Wattpad Featured **

My Thoughts

Picking out a story to read on Wattpad comes pretty close to window shopping. You spend so many hours on the hunt for that special somthing to wear / read until you actually find what you´re looking for. Only books are a bit like russian roulette.

It wasn´t the cover that grabbed my attention- It was the title.And the Meek Shall Walk“ by Shaun Allan… what a brilliant read. 100% unpredictable, 100% captivating and oh-so off the charts cool. In all honestly- how often does one read about a mermaid who collects body parts from humans?

ariel

The story is basically a retell of the classic „The Little Mermaid“ written by Hans Christian Andersen ( Don´t even attempt to think about the Disney version ) … only Shaun Allan´s version is a little vicious and more shocking with lots of surprises.

Stories that have the ability to surprise a reader are the best! And with „And the Meek Shall Walk“ it felt like I was exploring a whole new territory filled with loads of awesomeness. A beautiful darkness I wished would never end.

Now- the end was something that completely threw me off. I wasn´t expecting what happened. Even the epilogue felt like a loved one was stabbing me in the heart with a smile in their face. Quite bittersweet but still amazing.

mermaids

A fully recommendable story for anyone who loves themselves some great writing, great characters, and an end that will leave a reader stunned.

The Cover – 5 stars ( I´m a huge fan of simplicity. The cover image is perfect. A total eye catcher)

The Story – 5 stars ( a little horror here, a tad romance there, the element of surprise, twist of events…. An absolute fabulous story )

The Characters – 5 stars ( Although all were wonderful in their own way I have to say Aren was my favorite. The transformation her character went through was fantastic. At first vicious, then kind, then life happened…. * sigh * )

My emotional state after finishing this readcompletely satisfied. A true fairytale that will stick with me for a while.

I´m giving `And the Meek Shall Walk` by Shaun Allan 5 out of 5 stars

To read `And the Meek Shall Walk` all you need to do is click here and enjoy!

Don´t forget to show Shaun Allan some love over at WattpadTwitterInstagram and Facebook

and-the-meek-shall-walk

 

 

 

The Lost ( Whitechapel Chronicles #2) by Lindsey Clarke ( Wattpad )

Book Dscription

‘Whitechapel. The East End of London. Streets of tawdry degradation and grisly dark crimes of unlimited horror…..’

From the comforts of London’s middle class suburbia, to taking refuge in an old abandoned asylum in Whitechapel, Megan’s life has changed immeasurably since meeting the vampire, Harper Cain. Now living with Harper, his blood brother Garrick and Garrick’s gang of mercenaries,

Megan finds herself at the centre of an age-old war between the vampires and their enemies, the lycan-esque Varúlfur. Still struggling to cope with the turn her life has taken, Megan discovers that not only is she unable to escape the ghosts of her past, but she is going to have to contend with some very dark revelations about her future.

A vampire with the history of Whitechapel running through her veins she might be, but Megan will soon learn that there are far worse things to be frightened of than ghosts.

*** Spoiler free Review ***

 

My Thoughts

`The Lost` is the second installment in The Whitechapel Chronicles. And since author Lindsey Clarke has not once disappointed me I just knew the second part of the dark vampire tale was going to blow my mind. And I was right. I thought `Playing Dead` ( book #1 ) was genius….

I won´t waste anyone´s time giving my own description of the story because I completely lack that skill ( in other words- I suck at it ). I will, however, say one thing- Lindsey Clarke is AMAZEBALLS. `The Lost` is flipping brilliant!

The story:

Megan, Harper and Brandon´s story continues and the path they take is unexpected and far from easy ( emotionally and physically ).

lost-quote

After the events in `Playing Dead` I never thought Megan could be confronted with anything worse. I mean- turning into a vampire and finding out your husbands fury secret is tough, but not as tough as what happens in this part of the story.

New characters are introduced, challenging Megan and Harper and the entire vampire race. The obstacles become more and more challenging. The characters thread into more unknown territories.
A lot is at stake. Are the characters up for saving the world as it´s known? Will Megan find the answers to her questions? Will she ever see the light in the never ending dark tunnel?

I cannot being to tell you how extremely nail-bite-worthy `The Lost` is ( in fact- I´d probably end up writing a full novel explaining every awesome detail about this story, so best I don´t start.).

What´s extremely noticable is how much Megan´s character has grown. The Megan from the beginning is long gone and is replaced by a curious, head strong woman who knows what she wants and won´t stop for anything to get what she needs… even if that means going against Harper.

lost-quote2

With `The Lost` being the second book in the series, one would think that this is a bridge to the grande final. It isn´t. `The Lost ` feels like a warm up story, getting ready to blow a reader´s mind.

My mind has been blown away already and there´s still `Savage Wings` ( book #3 ).

If it were up to me, this story would never end.

The Cover- 5 stars ( It fits perfectly with the first cover. The coloring is fab and catchy. ❤ )

The Story – 5 stars ( I´m not sure my heart can handle more. But it has to, damn it! Extremely well thought through story. LOVE IT! )

The Characters – 5 stars ( The author has an evil side. She creates characters you want to take home with you and then does the unthinkable to them. I guarantee- you will want a Harper Cain, a Brandon and even a Garrick. You´ll want a Josiah, a Fenton… all at your beck and call.)

My emotional state after finishing `The Lost`– Drained in the best possible way ever. Totally satisfied but afraid to continue at the same time.

I´m giving `The Lost` ( The Whitechapel Chronicles #2 ) by author Lindsey Clarke 5 out of 5 stars

`The Lost`, along with `Playing Dead ( book #1) can be read for free on Wattpad. All you need to do is click here and begin to read. Don´t forget to leave a comment for the author and a vote.

If you´re not a member of the Wattpad society then don´t worry. Sign up. It doesn´t hurt and only takes a few seconds. Trust me- if lazy old me can do it…so can you!

See you on the flip side!

the-lost