After by Anna Todd caught the internet by storm. It quickly spun from the pages of the web into the hands of book readers everywhere and has since inspired two movie adaptations. If you have a Hardin-sized gap in your life after finishing this series, here are 14 books like After that you absolutely must read next.
About After by Anna Todd
After is a new adult contemporary romance that takes place in an academic setting. Tessa is our main protagonist. She is an all-around good girl who has a reliable boyfriend back home, but when she moves into her freshman dorm she meets Hardin.
Hardin is the polar opposite to Tessa. She’s attracted to his British accent, tattoos, and pierced lip, but he’s completely different from what she’s used to. And he’s also incredibly rude.
But in this enemies-to-lovers romance the attraction is too much to deny. When Tessa and Hardin find themselves alone in his room one night, sparks fly.
While Tessa doesn’t like the way he flippantly treats her — calling her beautiful, but then disappearing — she needs to dig beneath his tough guy exterior. The push-and-pull only entwines them closer together and has Tessa wondering if this might be love.
After is written by Anna Todd and is the first book in a five-book series. Before it was released in print, Todd initially wrote this story as fanfiction and published it online. It was a phenomenal success with more than one billion reads.
Its print release was in 2014 by an imprint of Simon & Schuster. The book has since been adapted into a movie in 2019 starring Josephine Langford as Tessa Young and Hero Fiennes Tiffin as Hardin Scott.
Two subsequent films of the next two books have been made: After We Collided and After We Fell. After Ever Happy, based on the fourth book in the series, is expected to premiere on Amazon Prime on September 7, 2022, with release dates in August for some international countries.
The After series has been translated into more than 30 languages.
14 Books Like After by Anna Todd
Part of the charm with Tessa and Hardin is the will-they-won’t-they drama and the inevitable pull of enemies-to-lovers. If you’re looking for books like After that you should read next, we’ve compiled a list of 14 that we think you will love.
Most of the books on this list take place in an academic setting or a workplace, as bickering colleagues brings much of the same tension as classmates. But all of the books on this list deliver on being a contemporary romance with endearing characters and an irresistible attraction.
1. The Deal by Elle Kennedy
If you loved Hardin’s bad boy attitude and the collegiate setting in After, then you will love The Deal by Elle Kennedy. It is the first in her Off-Campus series.
Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction.
If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice… Even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.
Garrett Graham’s dream is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it.
But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.
2. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
If you love romance, then it’s very likely you’ve heard of Colleen Hoover. Many of her books have similar themes to After, but we’ve chosen Ugly Love to top our list. Unlike our previous recommendation, this book is a standalone.
When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends.
The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up.
He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her. Never ask about the past, and don’t expect a future.
They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.
3. Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas
This recommendation for books like After is another standalone. It introduces two characters that have an agreement that works well for both of them, until matters of the heart are at stake. This novel also features an epistolary element, adding to its charm.
In the fifth grade, Misha’s teacher set them up with pen pals from a different school. Under the belief that Misha was a girl, based on his name, the other teacher paired him with Ryen. Misha’s teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like Misha, agreed.
It didn’t take long for Misha and Ryen to figure out the mistake, but not long after that they were arguing about everything. A friendship blossomed through letters and for the next seven years, that was enough.
Until Misha finds a photo of a girl online that matches everything he knows about Ryen. Now he needs to meet her.
Ryen is distraught when her letters from Misha end. But what she doesn’t know is that he could be right under her nose and she wouldn’t even know it.
4. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Just like Tessa, the female protagonist in Beautiful Disaster is entering university with a solid game plan. Travis is her perfect counter, just like Hardin is to Tessa. This novel is the first in Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful series.
The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past.
But when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.
Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs — and wants — to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet.
If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.
5. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
This novel has become a cult classic in recent years. The series has been adapted into a film series starring Lana Candor and Noah Centineo. It is the first book in the series of the same.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes. Instead she wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed.
But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters is out, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: Her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh.
As she learns to deal with her past loves face-to-face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.
6. The Chase by Elle Kennedy
Elle Kennedy makes it onto our list twice, because her books hit on the same themes as Todd’s, which make them the perfect books like After. The Chase is the first book in her Briar U series. It introduces two opposites with an undeniable attraction to one another that has the reader rooting for them from the first page.
Everyone says opposites attract. And they must be right, because there’s no logical reason why Summer is so drawn to Colin Fitzgerald.
She doesn’t usually go for the tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing, nerd-jock type; especially not those who think she’s flighty and superficial. His narrow view of her is just the first strike against him.
It also doesn’t help that he’s buddy-buddy with Summer’s brother. And that his best friend has a crush on her. And that she just moved in with them.
But them being roommates doesn’t matter. Fitzy has made it clear he’s not interested, even though the sparks between the pair are liable to burn the house down. The thing is, Summer is not the kind of girl who chases after a man and she’s not about to start.
Summer has her hands full dealing with a new school, a sleazy professor, and an uncertain future. So if her sexy brooding roomie wises up and realizes what he’s missing? He knows where to find her.
7. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Unlike After, this novel takes place in a workplace setting between two colleagues. But the heat and chemistry between these two make it perfect for our list of books like After. The Hating Game was also adapted into a movie recently starring Lucy Hale and Austin Stowell.
Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming, accommodating, and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman.
And the feeling is mutual.
Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game.
Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything — especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.
If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date?
After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth-shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong. Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either.
Or maybe this is just another game.
8. Wait For You by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Another romance featuring an undeniable attraction taking place on a college campus, Wait for You introduces us to Avery and Cameron. It is written by Jennifer L. Armentrout and initially published under her moniker of J. Lynn. It is also the first in her Wait for You series.
Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe make a few friends.
The one thing she doesn’t need is capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself. Because Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her.
Avery knows she needs to stay away from him, but charming, witty Cam is everywhere. Starting anything with him is dangerous, but ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible. He brings out a side of her she never knew existed.
But then Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced. Now she has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed.
When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?
9. Begin Again by Mona Kasten
Next we have a book that injects the roommates trope into a contemporary romance set on campus. As well, Kaden, just like Hardin, is covered in tattoos with a careless attitude. Begin Again is the first book in the Again series.
A new start is the only thing keeping Allie Harper going, so she packs up her life and moves across the country to Woodshill, Oregon. She’s about to start college, and desperate to leave the ghosts of her past behind her. Even if that means never talking to her parents again.
Now the hard part — finding an apartment before classes start. Just when it seems she’ll have to live out of her car, Allie visits one more place. It’s beautiful.
With one exception: Can she stand being roommates with campus bad boy Kaden White? Sure, Kaden is sexy with his tattoos and careless attitude, but he’s also an arrogant jerk. However, with nowhere else to go, Allie moves in.
The first thing Kaden does is make a set of rules. Either Allie obeys, or she’s out. She can’t talk about her girl problems, must keep her mouth shut if Kaden brings someone home, and they definitely cannot hook up.
Easy enough, thinks Allie. Who would want to start anything with a brute like Kaden? But the more she gets to know him, the more she sees beyond his gruff façade.
He, too, is harboring some painful secrets. For Kaden and Allie, it gets harder and harder to ignore the sparks between them. And the lines between the rules start to blur.
Begin Again is a beautiful romance that shows us just how possible it is to start over. To find freedom in heartbreak, and love in the most unlikely places.
10. The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles
You’ve also likely heard of the next book on our list of books like After. The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles is the first in the series of the same name. As well, it has been made into a popular TV film series starring Joey King and Jacob Elordi.
Rochelle Evans is pretty, popular, and also never been kissed. Noah Flynn is badass, volatile, and a total player. He’s also Elle’s best friend’s older brother, which marks him as theoretically off limits.
But when Elle decides to run a kissing booth for the school’s Spring Carnival, she locks lips with Noah and her whole life flips upside down. Her head says to keep away, but her heart wants to draw closer. This romance seems far away from fairy tale and headed for heartbreak, but will Elle get her happily ever after?
11. Dear Ava by Ilsa Madden-Mills
This next recommendation is a standalone novel featuring enemies-to-lovers, a secret admirer, and a high school romance.
The rich and popular Sharks rule at prestigious, ivy-covered Camden Prep. Once upon a time, Ava wanted to be part of their world — until they destroyed her. Now, the last thing she expects is an anonymous love letter from one of them.
Even though Ava hates every them for what they did to her, she needs to know which one penned the letter. Was it Knox, the scarred quarterback; Dane, his twin brother; or Chance, the ex who dumped her?
12. Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren
Just like After, this next recommendation started on the pages of the internet. What started as fanfiction quickly gained more than two million reads online and was edited for print publication as the first in the Beautiful Bastards series. Christina Lauren is a pseudonym used by authors Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings.
It starts with an ambitious intern, a perfectionist executive, and a whole lot of name calling.
Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: Her boss, Bennett Ryan. He’s exacting, blunt, inconsiderate — and completely irresistible. A beautiful bastard.
Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family’s massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who’d been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative — completely infuriating — creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he’s never been one for a workplace hookup.
But Chloe’s so tempting he’s willing to bend the rules — or outright smash them — if it means he can have her. All over the office. As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they’re willing to lose in order to win each other.
13. Lost & Found by Nicole Williams
Our next recommendation flips the bad boy/good girl trope on its head. In this read, Rowen is the bad girl with dark secrets in her past, and Jesse is the bright and shining star. This is the first novel in the Lost & Found series by Nicole Williams.
There’s complicated. And there’s Rowen Sterling.
After numbing pain for the past five years with boys, alcohol, and all-around apathy, she finds herself on a Greyhound bus to nowhere Montana the summer after she graduates high school. Her mom agreed to front the bill to Rowen’s dream art school, but only if Rowen proves she can work hard and stay out of trouble at Willow Springs Ranch. Cooking breakfast at the crack of dawn for a couple dozen ranch hands and mucking out horse stalls are the last things in the world Rowen wants to spend her summer doing.
Until Jesse Walker saunters into her life wearing a pair of painted-on jeans, a cowboy hat, and a grin that makes something in her chest she’d thought was frozen go boom-boom. Jesse’s like no one else, and certainly nothing like her. He’s the bright and shiny to her dark and jaded.
Rowen knows there’s no happily-ever-after for the golden boy and the rebel girl — even happily-right-now is a stretch. So she tries to forget and ignore the boy who makes her feel things she’s not sure she’s ready to feel.
But the more she pushes him away, the closer he seems to get. The more she convinces herself she doesn’t care, the harder she falls.
When her dark secrets refuse to stay locked behind the walls she’s kept up for years, Rowen realizes it’s not just everyone else she needs to be honest with. It’s herself.
14. True by Erin McCarthy
Our last recommendation in your search for books like After is True. This is the first book in the True Believers series. Just like After it features a tattooed bad boy who finds himself helplessly attracted to the good girl as love blossoms on a college campus.
Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy. Which leads them to decide that, as an act of kindness, they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.
Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program. Just hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in.
But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…
Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost.
Final thoughts on books like After
There are our 14 books like After that you should absolutely read if you loved Anna Todd’s books. Have you read any of the books on this list?
If you fell in love with Hardin, these books will describe to you a new tattooed bad boy that will have you head over heels. And if you loved reading about sparks flying amidst the stressors of college and classes, there will for sure be something here to delight you. We hope this list helped you find your next great read.
Looking for more book recommendations?
Check out this list of 15 books like Red, White, and Royal Blue.