In Passionate Defense of After by Anna Todd

It was a gloomy 2013 fall evening, tears streaming down my face with Say Something by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera played through my headphones. That was the first time I read After on Wattpad. I was so in love with the novel. I had been reading every night till all hours of the night.

Flash forward a few years later, I bought the published version of After when I heard that the series was published. It sat on my bookshelf collecting dust for a few more years. It wasn’t till the news of a film being released that I decided maybe I should re-read the series that I loved so much as a young pre-teen.

I read the first half of After that summer and proceeded to order the rest of the series. I unfortunately put it back on my self again. This time the whole series collected dust. Every Time they caught my eye on my bookshelf I knew I had to read them again.

Now here we are, I am now a 21 year old with a lot more life experience re-reading the series. I watched the movie a few weeks back when it appeared on Amazon Prime Video rather than watched it in theatres and I am as obsessed as I ever have been.

Now this review may come with a lot of upset people and hatred. There is a lot of hate for the series as a whole labeled as abusive and women hating. I know it’s very popular to hate on After. It reminds me of the “Hate On Twilight” craze there was when those books were turned into movies. For some reason we have to hate on things that are popular. I, a free-thinking person understands that you can like a book while acknowledging problematic things about it.

This review will contain spoilers!! If you don’t want to spoil the book don’t continue. I will put spoiler tags if you’d like to skip through the review to see my final thoughts.

[SPOILERS]

I thought I would start right off the bat with the highly criticised parts about After, aka the abusive behaviour, cheating and women basing that takes place in the book. Now, I never want to be insensitive to people that have been through things in their life but if we take After, only the first one, I would say that the book is not necessarily abusive. I also think the women-hating is an excuse to write off the whole novel. A lot of people reference how much the two main characters fight throughout the novel as mentally abusive. I find that it never crosses the line. The issue is more how dramatic the characters are which falls into inexperienced writing not abusive characters. Their banter is realistic and never so horrible I was shocked by what was being said. Yes, both characters quickly learn what causes the other to get upset but it makes sense for their characters. Hardin is a flawed bad boy and Tessa was raised in a very calculated manipulative household. If anything is abusive it would be how Tessa’s mother treats her.

I believe the most abusive actions that Hardin takes is the reveal of the bet. I think that was something that would otherwise be unforgivable. I’m very glad that they changed how the bet went down in the movie to make it more realistic and less disgusting. I find that was the one instance in the novel where I thought that was a complete misuse of trust and shocking. Also a few conversations the two have leading up to the bet reveal when you see Hardin starting to become riddled with guilt and deteriorating as a consequence can be seen as abusive. He begs Tessa not to leave him on multiple reprise. It tiptoes on the line of emotionally abusive and vulnerable. I truly believe that Hardin did fall in love with Tessa and his fear of losing her being expressed in promises of never leaving him were incredibly vulnerable. Tessa sticks up for herself a lot during those conversations telling him the most level headed and un-problematic response to his plea which is she won’t leave him if he doesn’t give her a reason.

This is followed by a lot of people calling the book cheating apologetic. Tessa does cheat on her boyfriend in the beginning in the novel. I believe that it was not necessary but it brought intrigue to Tessa’s character. There’s always that will she, will she not everytime she is with Hardin. Cheating is something that does happen. The book sets it up well that Noah was never a real boyfriend. He cared about Tessa for sure there is no doubt there but they were like glorified friends. This is not to say that Tessa did not go without consequence. There was no time in the novel where she cheated on Hardin without there being some kind of fallout. She does get judgement from her so called friends and her mother especially.

The last point which is women-hating or anti-feminist is the craziest thing i’ve ever heard. I understand that there is this trend whenever another woman is criticized it is anti-women. I strongly believe that is the most ridiculous rhetoric ever created. Women are not perfect. I think that Tessa not only hating Molly for being horrible to her but also thinking she is slutty is not a bad thing. I think it would have been problematic if she told Molly to her face that she was a whore or slut or whatever or even told her to stop. Tessa never tells Molly she isn’t allowed to do whatever she wants. Tessa has every right to believe whatever she wants about Molly. It’s would be a problem if she went out of her way to tell Molly to change or call her names to her face. It is also well established that Molly is in fact sexually liberated but uses that to hurt people. She sorta kinda deserves the criticism. I do agree that it could have been written a bit differently but not to the point that the novel needs to be “canceled”.

[SPOILERS ARE FINISHED]

Overall, I think this novel is a really good coming of age novel. I love the ups and downs the main characters face. This book will have you laughing, crying and turned on all in a course of 400 pages. I read this book in less than a week. A week where I was incredibly busy and had a lot of school work. I just couldn’t put this book down. I am happily on to After We Collided in anticipated for the movie that will come out in early 2020.

If you are looking for a book that has all the feels and you can’t put down this is the book for you. If you are a free-thinker I also suggest giving this a book a try without the thought that it is problematic running through your head. Just enjoy it to enjoy it.

Clara 🙂

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My Fall 2018 Reading List

Hey everyone!

Does anyone else feel like wrapping themselves in a warm blanket, lighting a candle, dimming the lights and just reading? I feel like October brings on that mood for me. Maybe it’s because of the rainy days or the colder weather but I just need a book to warm up my soul haha.

I thought I would share with you guys my fall reading list. I know you guys love my posts about my reading lists so why not do one for fall? I don’t have a big list because I have a lot of books I have to read for school so have to keep my expectations low for this fall. Hopefully, I will be able to read more books, but I don’t think I will be able to. I have four books to share with you guys that I will be reading for the next 2 months.

Cordially Invited by Zoe Sugg

Fellow blogger Zoe Sugg has just came out with a housewarming book. I think that’s what it’s called. It’s all about the seasons and how to throw the best party and decorate your home and other little bits and bobs. I love these kinds of books. I will be honest and say I have a few of them. I was so excited when she announced that she was coming out with this book. I made the error of pre-ordering the book. I pre-ordered it thinking I would get it for the day of the release. Nope. I still haven’t gotten it yet. The book came out the 3rd and yup I’m still waiting for it. According to my tracking information, it hasn’t even been shipped yet. Trust me, I have ordered a lot of things through Amazon and I am not impressed not one bit. Usually, they have better service than this. Regardless I will be devouring this book when I get it.

You Can Get It HERE!

Harry Potter by J.K Rowling

I’ve been really wanting to re-read these books for a long time. For whatever reason when I think of fall and books the first thing that pops into my head is Harry Potter. I have a feeling because the beginning of each book kind of starts with fall. I also find Harry Potter to be such a comforting book. There is just something so magical when you read the Harry Potter series that is hard to explain. I just love being in the world that is Harry Potter. I also own all of them. I got them for my birthday a few years back. My boyfriend also owns all of them and just so happened to have the same set as I did. So, we technically have two copies of the books. Now that is hoarding at its best. I can’t get rid of books, by the way, it’s an actual problem. Maybe I should film a bookshelf tour soon? Would that be something you guys would want to see? Anyways back on topic. If you haven’t read any of the Harry Potter books get on that…like now!

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You Can Get It HERE!

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck + Get Your Shit Together by Sarah Knight

I put this in the same paragraph because it’s not a series but a series by this author. I bought these books I believe last year because the titles stood out to me. I read one of them when I bought them and never got around to reading the second on. I am also currently feeling like I need to get my life back together and start focusing on what makes me happy and from what I remember of this book it talks about that. I have been feeling a bit unhappy with some stuff in my life and decided it was time to focus on myself and be a bit selfish and make sure that I am happy

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You Can Get The Life Changing Magic HERE! You Can Get Get Your Shit Together HERE!

That was my reading list for this fall. What are you guys reading? Would you guys like it if I filmed a bookshelf tour? If you have read or like any of these books I would love to know! If you want to read along with me for any of these books I would love to know. I think that would be a lot of fun. We can even make a hashtag or something cheesy like that haha.

I will see you guys tomorrow.

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I Tried Book Thrifting!!

Hey everyone!

I went book thrifting! That actually wasn’t the plan but it’s just what happened. I was originally going to do a thrift haul for you guys but it didn’t work out. There’s not many thrift stores where I’m from and they don’t usually get a lot of nice things. Or well things that I would want.

They did have books though! I’m a bit of a book snob if I’m being honest. I love to buy new books because I hate when books are used. I just don’t like when pages are ripped or creased or stained. The irony is that I love to write in books.

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I quickly went through the book section not really thinking about it. Then I saw the book. I mentioned this books in my Summer Reading List. I found The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger. The Devil Wears Prada is actually one of my favourite movies of all time. I’ve been wanting to read the book since I, well, found out it was a book. Working for Vogue is a dream of mine since I was about 15 years old.

After I found that book I decided it was time to see if they had any other books I’ve been wanting to pick up but have been having a hard time finding. The books were also like a 1$! If that means I don’t have to pay full price for a book I love it.

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I found the Fallen series by Thomas E. Sniegoski and Bellevue Square Michael Redhill. I think I paid a total of maybe 5 dollars for everything. That’s insane! Both The Devil Wears Prada and Bellevue Square look like they haven’t even been used! The Fallen series has a bit of writing in it but I think that’s cute.

I’m super impressed with what I picked up and I plan on going back soon. My mind has completely changed on used books. Maybe because it’s so cheap. All these books are about 20$ Canadian each and I paid 5$. If I can save money I love it.

Have any of you guys ever picked up any used books? If so how was your experience? Were you happy with what you got?

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The Summer I Turned Pretty : A Book Review

Hey everyone!

So I read a book haha. I love reading but I don’t get the time to read as much I would love to. So when I finally had the chance to read this book I thought I would review it for you guys.

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So I got this bind up version of the first three books in the Summer I Turned Pretty series. I have finished the first book in the series. I got the book for like 7$ USD at Target. I thought it was worth the price, especially when books can run 10$ each.

I loved this book! I thought it was sweet and had the amazing reflection on what first love can do to us. The writing was easy and fun, the characters are relatable and the themes are important. It was the best summer read I could have picked up. It just made me want to go to the beach right that second.

I know this book didn’t get the best reviews because it’s predictable and some people think the main character is selfish. For the main character being selfish, I found her realistic. I remember being 15-16 and feeling the same way she did about her first love. For the predictability of the book, I don’t think that necessarily makes a book bad. I just find it was an easy read and easy to get sucked in.

I read the whole book in one sitting during a 12-hour bus ride. It made everything go faster. It was so easy to get lost in this book. I recommend it to anyone that just wants an easy short read that will give you all the feels. My friend is actually the one that suggested this book to me and I thank her for introducing this book series to me. I’m going to try and review the next two books in the series too if you’re interested in that.

If you want to pick up this book you can find it here on the CHAPTERS or TARGET website. Honestly, it’s summer goals.

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My Female Empowerment Reading List // Spring 2018

Hey everyone!

I really wanted to share with you guys the books I will be reading for Spring 2018. I decided to go with a theme for the next couple of months. I decided I wanted to spend more time focusing on empowerment and success especially amongst women. After a few things that happened in my own personal life and a podcast I listened to, I really wanted to start reading more. I want to take the time and focus more on my female friendships and help my fellow women become more successful in their own endeavours. So without further ado, this is my reading list for spring 2018.

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

I decided to pick up this book because everyone won’t stop talking about it. From what I’ve heard it’s one of the must reads of 2018. I’m really excited to read this book. The main character is a strong female. I added this to my girl power reading list because I think racism is a huge part that is overlooked when we talk about helping women. People of colour are often left out of conversations when it comes to women’s rights. I decided that this book would really help me open up to a world that I don’t really know. I was lucky to be raised in a family that was very against racism and taught me that everyone is equal regardless of skin colour, income, language, etc. I talk more about what this book is about in my YouTube video.

Moxie By Jennifer Mathieu

I actually already finished reading this book and all I can say is that I love it! I loved this book so much. I read it so quickly. Everything about this book screams girl power. I want to read it again that’s how much I liked it. I believe it was also on Zoella’s book club list this year. I highly recommend this book to anyone that is looking for a lighthearted read that is all about a badass female. After reading this book I really wanted to be part of something. It made me feel empowered and motivated to change the world. Again I have the description of this book and all the other books I’m going to talk about in my YouTube video.

Girl Online By Zoe Sugg

This is me encouraging my fellow content creators. I decided to add this book to the list because if I’m going to talk about empowering other women I may as well do it. I’m currently on the second book in the series and I really like it. I know this book got a lot of hate from reviews on Goodreads but it really isn’t as bad as people say it is. They’re just upset that someone from YouTube was able to write a book and it’s very difficult for “real” writers to get book deal. Is it the best writing I have ever read, no, is it the best plotline I’ve ever read, probably not, but it’s still a very fun book. I love how lighthearted and fun it is. I find it so cute, it’s the book I wish I was able to read when I was 14-15. It also talks about panic attacks which is something I also suffer from. All in all, it’s adorable and I love supporting my fellow YouTubers.

Do It Like A Woman…and Change the World By Caroline Criado-Perez

I honestly don’t know much about this book but the description really intrigued me. I was in the Community and Culture section of my local Chapters when I saw it. I was looking for books related to female empowerment and feminism when I saw it. It’s a collection of stories about women who took the phrase “like a girl” and made it into something positive. This reminded me a lot of the Always commercial getting people to do things like a girl. I’ll be honest, I cried when I saw the commercial for the first time and chock up everytime I see it since. Like a girl has become such a negative statement when it shouldn’t be. Being a woman should not be seen as an inferior thing. That is why I am so excited to start reading this book!

Bad Feminist By Roxane Gay

I just started this book and it’s magic. It’s a very thought-provoking book. Her short stories and insights into her world are so interesting and captivating. There is a famous essay by her called Bad Feminist Part 1 and Part 2. They have been recited a few times by multiple people and they are so powerful. I love this book beyond words! I believe that I too can be a bad feminist sometimes and it’s not the end of the world. Feminism is personal and people with the loudest voices shouldn’t be the ones that get to control what feminism is or looks like. I swear both women and men can get a lot from this book. It’s powerful and really good read.

#GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso

For all those who don’t know this is a show on Netflix. I honestly almost went to Netflix headquarters myself to yell at a manager when I found out this show was cancelled after only one season. I loved this show beyond explanation. It sparked a fire in me. It made me really want to do something. It actually pushed me to start working on my blog and YouTube channel more often. After watching the whole first season in 2 days I started planning Blogmas. After being told that I wouldn’t finish and that I take on too big projects so I never finish, I did it. I had so much fire and motivation in me that I did it. I didn’t care if some of my posters were terrible. I didn’t care if it was half-assed or not the best content I had ever created, I just wanted to do it. I would like everyone to know that I also cancelled my Netflix subscription after that haha. It was one of the most female-empowering shows that I had ever watched and I promise you won’t be disappointed. Now for the book, unfortunately, I watched the show before reading the book but at least now I know that I will love the book. I can’t wait to read this book, I just love Sophia’s attitude and story. If you really need inspiration to get to work and do what you want to do in life, this is it!

So this is my reading list for Spring 2018! I will try and keep you guys updated and maybe do full reviews of the books on this list if you guys would like to see it! I can’t wait to read these books and I would love it if you guys joined in and read them too! Do tell me if you have read or are planning on reading any of these books, I would love to know. I also have a Youtube video with more information if you guys want to go check it out.

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My Get Away Reading List

I love bringing light happy reads when I go on vacation. Fluffy, lovey, annoyingly
cute reads that go by quick. Contemporary is my go to grab for vacations. I have a 3-hour drive there and back on my family summer trip, so I need something that can hold me over for the whole ride.

Yes, I’m one of those freaks that can read in the car. I know, I know, most people get headaches or car sick if they read in a moving vehicule. For me, it’s the opposite. I’ve been taking long car rides since birth. I am trained to be able to just sit in a car and be okay, no bathroom, no food, just read a book and listen to music or a movie.

So I picked up three little fluffy books for my trip this year. I grabbed Once and For All by Sarah Dessen, a standalone novel about a girl named Louna that is the daughter of a famed wedding planner. Louna is an anti-happily-ever-after girl until she meets a bad boy along the way that has her question her hatred of love.

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The second book I got was The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand. This is one of the first adult novels that I am taking a crack at. I typically stick to YA but this book caught my eye. The book followed identical twins who happen to live in Nantucket, how summer-y, that have not spoken in years but are brought together by a family crisis. It’s supposed to be the summer read of the year. Elin Hilderbrand is known for writing good summer reads and I am excited to dip my toes in her novel.

The last book I grabbed and the book I am most excited for is How To Love by Katie Cotugno. I love Katie Cotugno’s writing and I could not wait for to get my hands on this novel. This book features a teen pregnancy, a lost love and of course romance. There is a lot of negative reviews for the book though which worries me but I am excited nonetheless.

One of my favourite magazines of all time is Cosmo. I am an avid reader. I have a
monthly subscription. My ultimate dream is to be able to work for Cosmo. I got the August and September issues in the mail and I’ve been waiting for the trip to read them. I do in fact read a magazine cover to cover. I’m one of those old people. I thought they would be great to read with my but on the sand and toes in the water.

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I plan to either review or go a bit more in-depth with these books when I come back from vacation.

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen*: Once and for All

The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand*: The Identicals: A Novel

How to love by Katie Cotugno*: How to Love

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