Check our our episode here! After by Anna Todd
Tessa Young is getting ready to start her freshman year of college. She and her boyfriend, Noah, who's still in high school, and her mom drive to campus and get her settled in her dorm room. She meets her roommate, Steph, who could not be more different than straight-laced Tessa. Steph is a sophomore with bright red hair, piercings and tattoos while Tessa is blonde and khaki from head to toe. What's more boring? Beige or khaki? Anyway, Tessa, her mom and Noah all think Steph and her friends who are also tattooed and pierced are not the right kind of people. Her mom even insists that she get a new dorm room immediately, but Tessa declines. Surely her punk rock roommate won't be around much. It's the weekend before classes start and Tessa plans to stay in their room and sit quietly until classes start on Monday. Steph convinces her to go to a party instead. Tessa thinks Steph might genuinely seem like a good person, despite her eyeliner and her short short dresses. They go to a frat party and obviously Tessa doesn't have a good time. Steph and her friends get super drunk, someone spills a drink on her, and Steph's friend Hardin gives her a hard time. He's hunky and British, but tattooed and pierced, so Tessa thinks he's awful. And really, he is. But she also can't stop looking at him. He's not nice to her at all, but helps her get Steph to an empty room at the frat house for the night.
Tessa vows never to go to a party again after Hardin takes her and Steph back to their dorm the next day. Classes start on Monday and she makes a friend, Landon, who is also an English major. He has a girlfriend in his hometown and Tessa immediately wants to be best friends with him. Turns out, they have two classes together, and Hardin is in the second one. British Literature. He couldn't possibly like literature with all his piercings and tattoos, even though Tessa saw lots of classics in his room at the frat house. It's impossible. Steph convinces Tessa to go to a party again the next weekend and promises they won't stay overnight this time. They play Truth or Dare and everyone is stunned that Tessa is a virgin since she and Noah have been together for two years. She hasn't talked to him much this week, but they're both super busy. She finally accepts a dare to take a shot of vodka and continues doing it every round. Hardin tries to stop her, but she keeps on drinking then leaves when Hardin is dared to kiss her. She calls Noah who shames her for being drunk, so she hangs up on him and wanders up to Hardin's room. They fight about why he doesn't like her.
Tessa gets completely trashed and ends up falling asleep in a room in the frat house, waking up to a guy looming over her. She runs to Hardin's room where they make out, which is exactly what you should do right after avoiding being raped. She realizes she's cheating on her boyfriend and stops making out with Hardin. And the gaslighting begins. She shambles back to her dorm and is surprised to find Hardin there waiting on her. Then she is even more surprised when Noah and her mother arrive shortly thereafter. Her mother screams at her for spending the night with tattooed people and drinking. Hardin surprisingly comes to her defense, at least a little, saying that he just got there. He's dismissed while her mother yells more then she decides they're going to have breakfast, but Tessa needs to get cleaned up first. She's not presentable at all at six in the morning. They eat and go to the mall and Tessa tries to make out with Noah's cardigan and loafers, but he's embarrassed, or he probably just wants to do her mom.
The next week at school, Tessa hardly sees Hardin. She finds out from Landon that he and Hardin are practically stepbrothers because Hardin's dad and Landon's mom are in a relationship and live together. Hardin finally shows up again and Tessa yells at him for always being so mean. Then they decide they're going to be friends, which means going to a stream, stripping down to your underwear, getting fingerbanged and eating a hamburger. They make out some more and then hate each other some more and then Tessa calls Noah and asks him to come see her. He does and they have a perfectly mediocre evening together. She tries to grind on him but he's not into it. Then Landon calls, freaking out and asks Tessa to come to his house. She takes Noah's car, leaving him alone in her dorm, and rushes to Landon's house, which is also Hardin's dad's house. Hardin is drunkenly trashing everything because his dad proposed to Landon's mom and they're getting married next month. Landon said Hardin was calling out for her.
Tessa ends up spending the night with Hardin and enjoys rubbing his length through his boxers. He plans to reciprocate but makes Tessa say things she's not comfortable saying out loud, embarrassing her and putting a stop to the evening's rompings. She sneaks back to her dorm the next day and lies to Noah about staying over with Hardin and says her phone died. Then Hardin arrives and Tessa is forced to tell Noah that she's been messing around with Hardin. She feels terrible about it and takes it out on Hardin, telling him he didn't have to be so terrible about it when he's just going to laugh it off. It means nothing to him but she's genuinely upset. If he even felt half the way she does about him, maybe he'd understand. He is shocked by this, trying to get her to say how she feels but she keeps yelling, then Steph gets home and Tessa makes her make Hardin leave. She hears him say in the hallway that if he ever sees her again, he'll ruin her.
Well, obviously that doesn't happen. Steph gives Tessa a makeover then she and her boyfriend Tristan take Tessa out to dinner at a dive bar. Guess who shows up with a slutty on again off again girl, Molly, on his arm! Everyone underage drinks at the bar except for Tessa and Hardin, so he offers to drive her back to her dorm. He ends up coming back later, drunk, and they watch movies and have a sleepover. He takes her car shopping the next day and while they're out, they run into his father who invites them to dinner. Tessa agrees to go even if Hardin won't, which is awkward as fuck, but she is friends with Landon, too, so whatever. Hardin's dad reveals he's the chancellor of the college which he obviously thought Tessa knew, but he was wrong. They have dinner and Hardin's dad offers to help Tessa get an internship at a publishing house, something Hardin mentioned earlier, which sends Hardin into a rage, but then Tessa calms him down and they go upstairs where Hardin has some sexual dessert. Tessa spends the night, but not in the same room with Hardin until he starts having screaming nightmares. She's about to give him a breakfast beej when Molly calls and he leaves the room. He takes her to her dorm after that. They fight all the way back.
Noah's in her room when she gets there. Shock! While gathering up Tessa's things from his dad's house, Hardin deleted all the calls and texts from Noah on her phone, so she wasn't expecting him to be there. Hardin storms up too and tells Tessa he wants more from her, wants to be more than friends, while Noah stands there in his cardigan. She makes Noah leave and then immediately straddles Hardin, but then Steph and their other friends come in and they all go bowling. Except for Tessa. She stays behind. Later Hardin comes to get her and they go back to his room at the frat house and he teaches her how to do a blubjub and then he reciprocates with a lady blub, or a shejay. A beej and a sheej. He walks her to class the next day and Landon is super shocked when Hardin drops her off with a kiss.
During class, Tessa gets called to the Chancellor's office. Ken, Hardin's dad, has set up an interview with his friend at the publishing house. He also invited Tessa to his wedding that weekend and asks her to convince Hardin to come. Surely he will now that they're whatever they are. Hardin takes her to her interview the next day after more fingerbanging and she gets the paid internship and is super excited. She'll start next week. They go back to class, but afterward, Hardin leaves Tessa to go to a party with his friends and doesn't invite her. She goes to his dad's house to bake things with his soon-to-be-stepmom and kind of hang out with Landon, but he convinces her to go to the party to see what's up. She walks in on another fucking game of Truth or Dare and Molly sitting in Hardin's lap, so she drinks a bunch and dare-kisses Hardin's friend Zed, then dare-sits in a room with him for 10 minutes. He doesn't try anything with her but talks about asking her out on a date when she's not so drunk. When they come back down, Hardin is pissed, as usual, wondering what they talked about, and follows Tessa out when she calls Landon to pick her up. He gets there soon and Tessa's yelling once again how she never wants to see Hardin again. He, shocking everyone, says he loves her.
Tessa sleeps in Hardin's clothes and bed. He's there when she wakes up but they still currently hate each other so she leaves. She buys a car and goes on a date with Zed. She's pleased at how nice he is to her. They plan on going to the school bonfire together. Tessa has dinner at Hardin's dad's again before she goes to the bonfire with Landon and his girlfriend Dakota. Then Hardin shows up and is, of course, a dick. Tessa follows Landon and Dakota to the bonfire and meets up with Zed. They go to his house after Hardin shows up with yet another girl. Zed kisses Tessa at his apartment but she says Hardin's name and leaves. She has decided she loves him, which is perfectly reasonable because he's really such a nice guy. She goes looking for him at the frat house and his dad's, but finds him at the bonfire still, having just been beaten up by three or four guys. She takes him back to his dad's where they make up AGAIN. She confesses her love and they fingerbang some more. He asks a lot of questions about Zed and what he says to her and if they slept together. Seriously? They manage to not fight for a while, but don't hold your breath. What are we? 70% through the book? How many more fights will they have?
Okay, so we made it another 5% and they only fought once. Well, Tessa does fight with her mom because she showed up one night yelling at Tessa because Noah hasn't spent any time with her lately. She didn't even know they broke up and is embarrassed about it. She leaves, threatening to stop paying for Tessa's dorm. Tessa starts her internship and buys sexy lingerie on her way back to the dorm. While there she found out that Hardin used to work there, too, but was offered a higher paying job at a different publishing house. When she gets back to her room she takes a nap and then Hardin shows up. She asks about his job and he gets mad and leaves, but comes back after Tessa goes to sleep and asks her to move in with him and then they have sex for the first time.
Hardin visits Tessa at work the next day after some in-the-mirror fingerbanging and accuses her of flirting with a co-worker that she literally just met. He checks out her office and talks about sexing her up in there. On her second day of work. But her boss comes in before he can slam her up against the window. She gets engrossed in the manuscript she's reading and doesn't leave work on time and you think it's going to be terrible and that Hardin will think she was doing her new co-worker but that actually doesn't happen. When Tessa gets back to her dorm, Steph is there, crying, because she broke up with Tristan over something silly. Tessa convinces her to talk to him and work it out. Hardin gets there then and takes Tessa out to dinner and to the mall to shop for clothes to wear to his dad's wedding that he's actually going to go to like a normal, not terrible person. But while they're there, they run into an old friend/enemy of Hardin's, Jace, who Hardin seems afraid of. He wants Tessa to stay away from him, but that doesn't happen. They fight again because she thinks he's embarrassed of her but this time, he says he just wants her to stay far away from this guy. Oh, so maybe she shouldn't have gotten mad this time. They decide to stay at the frat house that night instead of the dorm and on the way there, Tessa agrees to move into an apartment with Hardin.
At the frat house, everyone is surprised that there is a party. They plan to go straight to Hardin's room to avoid the party, but Jace is there, and Hardin, seemingly afraid to say no to this guy, agrees to come to the party for a little while as long as Tessa stays safely in his room. Well of course she doesn't do that because she thinks that while Hardin is downstairs he's going to make out with Molly. Like... Come on. She jumps at the chance to play Suck and Blow with Jace and his buddies even though she was just thinking about how odd it is that all these college people are playing childish kissing games. Well, shock of all shocks, another guy, Dan, purposefully loses the game and kisses Tessa. But then Hardin jerks him away and beats the ever loving shit out of him.
When the fight is over, Tessa goes back to Hardin's room. He comes in a little later and they fight about his fight. He tells her to leave but then follows her out and makes her come back so they can aggressively blubjub, fingerbang and regular bang. He ends up using their sex against her, telling her she's not going to get what she wants unless she obeys him. That is perfectly healthy in all ways. She goes to work the next day and Hardin shows up later and they have 18 year old business office sex. That night, they sign a lease on an apartment and Hardin has had her car painted. They shop and buy some apartment things and as they're bringing in the shopping and Tessa's things from her dorm, she notices the bloody sheets from the first time they had sex in Hardin's trunk. He was supposed to throw them away outside her dorm so no one would see, but he says he just forgot about it. They have a thousand more fights because Noah texted her. Tessa goes to work the next day. Does she work every day now? I think something is messed up.
After work, they go shopping for wedding clothes and then Hardin says he's going to the library to get some work done. He doesn't come home that night or call or text or anything the next day. He stumbles in after Tessa gets home and is drunk and has obviously been in another fist fight or seven. Tessa sleeps on the couch and tells him if he can't get his shit together then she's going to leave. She wakes up in the middle of the night to him having a nightmare so she goes to him. The next day he tells her about the nightmares, how his mother was assaulted one night by a bunch of guys his father pissed off at the bar across the street. Yikes. So they're back on semi-good footing but then Noah calls. Tessa answers and learns that her mother was contacted by the school about her dorm being paid off since she moved out. And now she's on her way to find her. Tessa calls her mom and gives her their address. They fight when she arrives, her mother slapping her and telling her she's a whore. Hardin steps in after the slap and threatens to call the police. She leaves, telling Tessa she's going to regret all this and to not come crying to her when he breaks her heart. Well surely that won't happen!
They go to the wedding the next day and Tessa meets Hardin's grandmother and they all dance and have a nice time. They of course have to sneak away for some banging, but if they're not constantly having sex then they're yelling, and which is better at a wedding? He invites her to come with him to London for Christmas, but Tessa doesn't know if she should go or not. The next day, Tessa reads a text on Hardin's phone from Jace and tells Hardin about it which he gets pissed about even though it only said to call him back. He says he has some things to take care of that day so he's going out and Tessa, being the nosy b that she is, asks him where he's going and what's with Jace and why did he beat up Zed (oh yeah, he beat up Zed) blah blah blah. He leaves and she calls Zed to find out but he won't tell her anything. Then she finds Steph at that bar they all go to. They talk before Tessa asks her what's going on and Steph asks about her new dorm. New dorm? What? Hardin told Steph that Tessa's mom made her switch dorms, but Tessa reveals that they live together, which everyone finds shocking. Including Molly and Jace, who just walked in with Hardin.
Finally the shit hits the fan. Hardin tells Tessa that he She's All Thatted/The Rage: Carrie 2ed her, making a bet that he could take her virginity, and he earned a ton of money doing it. But he says he fell in love with her. He used the money on her, painting her car and putting the down payment on their apartment. Things finally start to make sense to Tessa, why they haven't seen any of his friends lately, why he's been beating them all up, why he always makes her leave, why he kept her bloody sex sheets. Everything. She's furious. He apologizes but … nothing. Then Jace and Molly start bullying her again and Tristan stands up for her because she's been through enough. She leaves but it's snowing outside and then Zed shows up and offers her a ride that she accepts. She tells him to tell her everything. And now the book is finally over.