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The fact that Anna Todd, Wattpad fanfiction writer signed a book deal with a publishing house came as a pleasant surprise. The fanfiction which was written with singer Harry Styles of One Direction as the protagonist has received over 1 million views on Wattpad.
With the pen name imaginator 1D, Todd has captured the readers with her smooth writing style in her ‘After’ trilogy.
Todd is aware of the formula, ‘Sex sells and young sex definitely sells’. Keeping this in mind, Todd’s novel revolves around the dysfunctional Harry and Tessa, who salvage what is left of their lives and relationships.
It is very obvious through her writing that Todd has talent, but lacks experience. What could’ve been an amazing journey of self-discovery, turns out to be the teenage version of Fifty Shades of Grey. This young writer has deep knowledge about sex, but clearly needs more experience to develop her characters.
As Tessa Young and Harry Styles embark on their new venture in university, the nerdy virgin and the unloved bad boy never seem to have a conversation that doesn’t end in an argument or sex. This goes to show that no matter which part of the world you live in, teenagers are only interested in performing sexual acts.
But what most readers will find identify with, is the overbearing parent with high expectation, the struggle of living with divorced parents and the inconveniences caused due to remarriage.
The novel takes you back to the time when you were a college freshman. You recall those times when you’re eagerly waiting to show your prowess in class and at your part-time job, while hurriedly trying to meet your deadlines.
But the usual alpha male, and submissive co-dependent female pattern will put you to sleep, but that’s why Todd adds the raunchy sex scenes. They will immediately make your sit up and hold your breath. Though the novel may not begin with a bang, it picks up pace, and you won’t stop reading anytime. The redundant pattern of storytelling doesn’t affect your reading, due to its unpredictable twists and unexpected character additions.
It is admirable how Todd has managed to keep Tessa and Harry’s chemistry alive for the duration of three novels.
None of the characters offer depth, complexity, or unprecedented behaviour. This is another version of twilight sans the vampires, and werewolves. However, the trilogy does provide insight as to why women are attracted to bad boys.
Clearly, Ms. Todd likes to re-use the cliche.