Nothing More by Anna Todd | Rating: ★★★☆☆
Let's just be upfront about it, shall we? I'm becoming more and more of a sucker for trashy romance novels. It's not that I love them, it's more or less that they are simply a good escape from life. Anna Todd has, in just under a few years, become something of a fan favourite due to her highly popular After series and its cult following.
You may remember After as something many tipped to be "the next Fifty Shades of Grey" which is equal parts compelling and offensive, depending on who you ask. Getting her start as an author of One Direction fanfiction, Todd has built herself a massive following and career that is only going up from here on out. Her novels are sloppy, messy, and campy--in with toxic, stormy relationships that will strike a chord with its target audience due to its explicit sex scenes and high stakes drama. In all ways, Anna Todd's novels are the typical trash scene of New Adult but that isn't a bad thing until readers begin to emulate it and decide they are "relationship goals" and all that jazz.
But, I've said my piece in the past and I'm not here to ridicule it in any way further. Nothing More, luckily, isn't all that like After in terms of its toxicity and romance. Todd, thankfully, takes a different formula with our characters we've come familiar with in the timeline. Fan favourites return, this time with Landon as our lead and his love life takes the main stage. Which is quite refreshing and gives us a glimpse into who he is outside of his platonic friendship with Tessa. I enjoyed seeing his point of view because it's a breath of fresh air and has a distinctly comical edge to it.
Indeed, Anna's writing flourishes this time around and comes across as much more coherent than in the After series. Much like with her release of Before, the characters are full of life and developed further than they were in Tessa's block of stories. Still, it holds that tone of "characters and stories you love to hate" and may be more of a guilty pleasure than anything. Anna Todd expands her writing chops and proves there's more to her stories than what originally met the eyes. And, although they are still flawed, it becomes more and more apparent how much promise she has in the years to come.
I have to admit, I enjoyed this one a lot. I love Landon and Tessa's friendship and how it's never been anything other than what it is: supportive. I'm not going to lie to you and say it was a sudden, underdeveloped connection the two had at the beginning, but it's still a delight seeing a thoroughly platonic friendship between a M/F characters.
They genuinely care for and support one another without being over-the-top with a sense of longing. I love it and I love being able to see it further and from another point of view. Another thing I enjoy is seeing how his love life develops and caves in on him--Landon's newfound freedom and life comes with a lot of ups and downs and the question of whether or not he will find closure in a lot of ways.
I think the tone of coming to age is different than Tessa's journey previously and it's fun to see. I'm excited to see where Landon goes next and boy, is this series deliciously fun. Once you get past your judgment on it and appreciate it for what it is, it's just a thoroughly wicked and entertaining one-time read. While I'm not the biggest fan and won't be joining the After fandom anytime soon, it's still a swoon-worthy read and full of some great romance, humor, and characters.
One things certain: Landon is not Hardin and that's a really, really, really, REALLY, good thing.