Saturday, December 19, 2015

Review: BEFORE by Anna Todd (After #5) + GIVEAWAY




BEFORE Hardin met Tessa he was a raging storm. DURING those first moments they met, he realized he needed to keep her for himself—his life depended on it. AFTER they got together, the world would never be the same.

Hardin and Tessa’s dramatic love affair became a vortex pulling in everyone around them. For the first time these others are given voice as they appear before, during, and after the events in original After novels. Alongside them, Hardin’s account of his first encounters with Tessa—which will change what you thought you knew about the brooding boy and the angel who loved him.

DISCLAIMER: BEFORE is the 5th book in the AFTER series, and I 100% recommend you finish reading all 4 predecessors. BEFORE is a retelling of some of the scenes in AFTER but also contains POVs from other characters in the series that disclose things that happen only in later books. 

Check out my review for the previous 4 books:
AFTER
AFTER We Collided
AFTER We Fell
AFTER Ever Happy

Welcome back to the roller coaster of emotions 




When BEFORE was announced, it felt like early Christmas! 


We get to see inside Hardin’s head in 3 of the 4 prior books but we don’t in AFTER, and I would be lying if I said that there weren’t countless times that I felt like screaming “Hardin what were you thinking!??!”

Well now we do, we get to see what was going on in his head!
BEFORE is so much more than just a retelling. Yes we definitely get some of AFTER told in his point of view but we also take a look into the past and the future and we also hear from some of the other characters, and some things we learn just make so much sense when considering what we already know. That was one of the surprising parts in BEFORE, I didn't think I could hate Stephanie any more than I did, but after being in her head I was proven wrong, the same with Molly but in reverse. 

In AFTER we see how Hardin wreaks havoc in Tessa's life and now we have the chance to see how she turned his world upside down.
 
“She was strategically placed at Washington Central by someone or something more powerful than him --- to taunt him. He – or it – knew who he was, the kind of person he was known for being, and he had an agenda. He was set to steal another innocence, to ruin another girl’s life.”



You get a glimpse at Hardin’s thoughts raw when all this starts. If you ever thought you would find a struggling boy attempting to keep up the bad boy ruse, but was really sweet and wholesome inside then you are in for a shock, because he is not that at all. He is Hardin; he is cruel and cynical, tortured and miserable, there is no sweet boy hiding behind the mask.
This to me was refreshing, because I think I would have been disappointed if he was, his cruelty is a reflection of his life and not a persona he was playing out just to be cool. His pain is real, and his need to cause pain in others was too.



In AFTER of course we see how much anger he had towards Ken, his alcoholic father who left him when he was a boy and who he blames for everything that went wrong for him and his mother. But we get only the little Hardin tells Tessa. In BEFORE we really see the deep resentment and hatred he feels for this man and you can't help but just break at the thought of all the damage it caused in Hardin emotionally. The retelling of the china breaking chapter in AFTER was one of the hardest ones to read, his pain was on the surface. 



"Someone or something other than me has always had Ken Scott. The scotch, the bars, Karen, Landon, this big house. He spreads himself so thin, yet had no room for me in his life until the last year and he thinks I'm just going to be okay with that shit? No fucking way."

More than anything else for me it was important to see how he handled being in love with Tessa, when I went into this book of course I already knew how things went down, but I really wanted to see the turmoil in him, I wanted to see his shell crack when he realized that it was no longer about the bet that he was truly falling hard for her. I also wanted to see the coldness in him when he chose to go down the path of ruining another life again.
Hardin's head is like hell, no... really. Between the self loathing, the not giving a damn and fighting loving Tessa it really is exhausting. I wasn't surprised to see that even when he knew what he was about to say would pierce through Tessa he just couldn't help it, I think that, as messed up as it was, being so awful and mean to others, specially Tessa, ultimately was like therapy, the only way he could function.  



This is what I love about this story though, it gives us a dose of what people are really like. We are mean to others sometimes when we are hurting, and we stick around when people are mean to us because we love them. Sometimes things are just too much and we walk away, but what is clear though is that relationships are not always puppies and rainbows specially when people are damaged by life. 

Hardin's point of view is hot! Super hot. I think, now that I know what he was thinking, that a lot of Tessa's appeal at least at the beginning, was the fact that she was so innocent and that he could claim so many of her firsts, and being the selfish jerk that he was he just couldn't resist. 



One of my favorite parts was the chapter when he wins the bet, not because it's hot (though it is very hot) but because being in his brain while all of this is happening gave me the hope in him that I don't think I had when I read AFTER, he was in love with her but felt panic and fear at being caught, at her realizing what a rotten person he was, at losing her forever. His anguish was also mine while it was all going down. 


"The guilt I've been holding on to since I grew to love her is flowing through me. I'm battling within myself: the good boy who loves the good girl and the bad boy who's too broken to love anyone are fighting with swords. Each one wants something different from the princess."

Hardin and Tessa are one of my favorite couples in literature and I think they will always be. They pissed me off, they made me laugh, they made me cry soooooooooo much, but yet every day that passes since I finished reading their story I miss them as if they were real.
We see them grow and learn, fall in love and feel pain and then we see them live a life that was no easy task to get to, but yet filled my heart with joy.

I many times wondered if they were really meant to be with each other, and while I doubted it time and time again, in the end I think they were perfect for each other from the very beginning. 


"A small, soft voice in my head reminds me that maybe, just maybe, she was sent here for the opposite reason. Maybe I'm meant to be with her, to show her a new perspective on life?"

Just as heart wrenching as the first time I met Tessa and Hardin, BEFORE brought me back to one year ago when my heart was breaking while following their love story, and now I don't know what to do with myself.
So once I again I say "Well played Anna, well played!" 



Amazon| iBooks | Barnes and Noble

Visit my Insta to enter to win a copy of BEFORE by clicking  HERE

  



ANNA TODD is a first-time writer spending her days in the Austin area with her husband, with whom she beat half the statistics by getting married one month after graduating high school. Between her husband's three deployments to Iraq, she worked odd jobs from a makeup counter to the IRS processing counter. Anna was always an avid reader and boy band and romance lover, so now that she’s found a way to combine the three she’s enjoying living a real-life dream come true.
 




77 comments:

  1. Great review! I read After, and I have the next 3 books in my to read pile. I am excited to read Before and to get into Hardin's head - I definitely had a love/hate relationship with him in After!

    Instagram name - @cheley11

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  2. Great review! I read After, and I have the next 3 books in my to read pile. I am excited to read Before and to get into Hardin's head - I definitely had a love/hate relationship with him in After!

    Instagram name - @cheley11

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  3. I can't wait to get my hands on this book �� Great review c:

    Instagram - @theescapeinbooks

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  4. Amazing review!!! My insta username is @livingamongpages

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  5. Amazing review!!! My insta username is @livingamongpages

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  6. my instagram username is @paolajaumot

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  7. Great review. Thank you for the chance.

    Instagram: @beckyrae99

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  8. I would love to read this series!
    Insta: @elinorcita

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  9. Awesome review! ��

    IG: @msdeeone ☺��

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  10. Great review!

    Insta: amy.fergusonn

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  11. Loved your review oh myyy����
    This series is everything.
    (Btw i'm @silviarazeto on insta!)

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  13. Sounds amazing!!! My insta is photo_geek_extraorinire. 😊😘

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  14. I love how accurate and amazing this review is! Congrats and like you said “Well played Anna, well played!"

    Insta: @aleramirez_

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  15. I absolutely loved your review! I am going to have to buy this book now.
    Insta: Uxdilla

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  16. I wish i can put words together like that to make an awesome review of books that I've read, but I just suck at words :))

    IG: @msdeeone

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  17. Ahh now i know what i want for xmas!! Love the review x

    Instagram: @bowe_ties

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  18. Thanks! Instagram username: @jamaistago

    Nice review.

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  19. Love you and your blog!!! I follow you since the begin of the year and I love it! Literally!
    My instagram is @after.italy
    I know you already heard it, sorry if i break balls:)

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  20. My Instagram username is @spontaneouslyxs. Also my Twitter one, but nobody asked. X

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  21. It's like you've read my mind! So many times while I was reading After I was practically screaming at the book "Hardin! What are you thinking!!" I'm even more excited to read this book now! Thank you!

    Instagram; Booksfor.mee

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  22. I haven't read any of the books test but I'm dying to read!!!!

    Insta
    @m9risol

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  23. I read After when it was on wattpad and Ioved it ! When Before was announced I was so happy. I would absolutely love it if I could get a copy of Before because after reading this awesome post I want to read it.
    Instagram : @norarez
    Love,Nora xx

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  25. I read AFTER on Wattpad and started BEFORE and I would absolutely love to have a copy of BEFORE
    I would like to have it as a Christmas gift
    Instagram : @hafsa_Gilbert
    ♡♡

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  26. My Instagram name is traumfabrik_
    The After Books means a lot far me. After is my heart. My love. My Bible.

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  27. My Instagram name is traumfabrik_
    The After Books means a lot far me. After is my heart. My love. My Bible.

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  28. Amazing! insta username @fzthebooklover

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  29. Can't wait to get my hands on a copy. I love hardin and Tessa so can't wait to learn more about what makes Hardin, Hardin

    IG name- bookwormstacy

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  30. Wow I love this series so much. I started reading it on wattpad. Since she give the news about shes was going to publish the books I atop reading them. But I want to have them so I can read them. Thank you for this chance.
    My instagram account is @readsbyashley

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  31. Exciting! IG name @tiffanyjohnson10485546

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  32. Exciting! IG name @tiffanyjohnson10485546

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  33. Can't wait to read it! Instagram: instayumm

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  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  35. I'm going to read the series soon! Instagram: lookingfortrish

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  36. I NEED TO START THIS ASAP!

    Instagram: BOK_KA

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  37. Great review!!
    ig username : @hippogrxfg

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  38. So excited for to read this book!! I remember when I read the After books on wattpad & now she's come so far, I am so proud of her
    IG - @hurricaneofnovels

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  40. Replies
    1. Ahh sorry! Thanks for the review and for the giveaway :) @little_liar_el1

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  41. Great review! I need to read this!! @whittyweiny

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  42. I always wanted to read the After series again, I have only read it on watpadd because I have a lot of money trouble but now after i have read this revieuw i really really need to read the series in bookform, i love you a lot, Greetings from Belgium!
    My instagram is : @veronickbraeckmans

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  43. This book sounds great! IG: safewildfree

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  44. Hardin and Tessa's relationship is so toxic but yet so passionate. I love seeing characters (my babies!!) grow throughout a series. It makes me feel like a proud mother!..... I mean reader ;p Well after figuring out whyyyyy I couldn't comment I finally fixed my mistake!! (19. Hours. Later.) thank you for the reviews, pictures, and opportunity at this giveaway!! ✨
    IG: mindofanopenbook

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  45. I love after,there aren't words to describe it,it's simply amazing @camillamarting

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  46. Great review. I love the AFTER series.It's my favourite.
    Instagram:@borislava_lambova

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  47. Omg I've always wanted to start this series and that's all because of you. I really hope I win your giveaway.
    Much love,
    @ruqkish

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  48. Oh God I want this series so much! By the way, amazing review. Oh, and if I win the giveaway, this would be the perfect Christmas gift. My Instagram username is: @be_lavender. Maybe I will win, maybe I will not. :)
    With best wishes,
    @be_lavender

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  49. Hello, this review helped me a whole lot, thank you !!!
    @blur.ryfxce

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  50. Amazing review!! My Instagram username is @jiujiuk7
    Thank you very much for your fantastic giveaway!! I will keep my fingers crossed! Kisses from Italy!

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  51. Your review is so amazing. I hope you pick me so i can read it too ☺ @mariyareads

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  52. Holy. Fucking. Shitshitshit...(am I even allowed to say that?).
    If the announcement for the book wasn't enough to give me a heart attack (��looking like you do-ooo��) than this review surely was! Honestly, the anticipation for devouring this book is higher than the miles to the moon! I loved this review!!! It makes me more than excited omggggg. Okay, enough said..!!!!!! Ily.
    My Instagram(mar) is: itstrinnnity ☺️
    Have a beautiful night ��

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  53. Your review is amazinggg. I've always wanted this series. I have started reading ir on wattpad a few years ago but did not finish it because it because I was rather busy with school work *sighs*. I'd love to have it for Christmas because now I'm having summer holidays so I can get into the whole series. I'm sure I won't get used to Hardin, it'll always be Harry in my mind hahah. Sorry for such a long comment �� Thank you lots for this lovely giveaway ❤️ x - @books.rain.tea

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  54. Your review made me even more impatient than I was before!!
    @callmefifty

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  55. Thanks for the review. Would love to read this. Ig @lysajoseph

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  56. A lovely... ! Such a detailed and awesome review.. @diary_ofa_wanderer

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  57. I still have to read this series!! <3 thank you for the honest review!
    IG: @gemiinii90

    Betul E.

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  58. find me @procrastinatinginbooks on Instagram
    also, to the people who read this, help me get to 1k?

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  59. Great review! I really enjoyed the details and your honesty. I have been a fan of the After series for a long time now but i have only been able to read the version of the series on Wattpad. It would mean a lot to me if i won the giveaway. My Instagram is @ariannarb2020

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  60. I love After series and I want to win this amazing giveaway!
    My Istagram ID: @claudjapal

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  61. Hello. I love books. I'm dreaming about this series a long time. I never win anything. I'm always a contestant in your giveaways, but I never win. Hope I have luck this time. 📖📚💗

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  62. I love love Love your IG Ursula :) and i love your blog too ! ❤

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