Last Updated on November 26, 2023 by Louisa
I love a bad boy college romance book, which is why I picked up After by Anna Todd after it was released in 2014. It follows a young girl named Tessa who has just started college.
As if starting college wasn’t difficult enough, for Tessa, her overbearing and untrusting mother immediately disapproves of her roommate and forces her to move.
When she meets her former roommate again, she is introduced to bad boy Hardin, who takes her on a rebellious journey through wrong decisions.
Along with the steamy contemporary romance elements, After also has some prominent coming-of-age, young adult themes throughout.
Despite having five books in the series, sometimes you want to read something a little different but along the same lines. If that’s the case for you, then you’re going to love these books like After!
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Quick Answer: Top 3 Picks!
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#1 Best Highly Acclaimed Novel
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
- New York Times bestselling author
- Goodreads Choice Awards Best Romance winner in 2017
- A contemporary romance story about a love triangle
#2 Best in Contemporary Romance
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
- Time Magazine’s Best YA Novel of All Time (2021).
- Now a major motion picture on Netflix
- A funny contemporary romance novel about a girl whose love letters are sent to all her crushes at once
Summary of After (No Spoilers!)
After by Anna Todd is a series of five young adult romance books written by Anna Todd. The story follows a young girl named Tessa, who just graduated from high school.
Now starting college, her life has been planned to the letter, not just by herself but by over overbearing mother. All was going well until she meets bad boy Hardin Scott, who was rude, arrogant, and cold toward Tessa.
Tessa falls for Hardin, and despite the fact he continues to act arrogant and bullish towards her, she is convinced he feels the same but won’t let his feelings known.
As Tessa’s mom continues to try to control her life, and Hardin’s indifference and small level of affection keep her hooked, she starts to take a journey full of bad choices which leads to an inevitable and predictable ending.
Acclaimed Books Like After
If you’re looking for highly acclaimed novels like After, then you’re going to love these award-winning and international sensations.
1. Fifty Shades of Grey – E.L. James
This award-winning book is popular for a reason. E. L. James’s first novel is a suspenseful, steamy love story that will keep you constantly on edge. It is the story of Christen Grey and Ana, a dark tale of romance.
When the beautiful Anna meets the dark, intimidating Christen Grey she is intrigued and interested. She is a student coming to interview him, for Mr. Grey is a successful entrepreneur.
They are both drawn to each other, and when Grey finally admits his feelings, sparks become a flame. An intense and erotic relationship begins between them, but one that is strictly on Christen Grey’s terms.
A funny, steamy quick read, this book brings you all the twisted love that you enjoyed in After.
It also brings you its two sequels, great new characters, and at the center of it all, a passionate billionare love story.
2. It Ends With Us – Colleen Hoover
Colleen Hoover’s books are known for being fan favorites and this doctor romance novel is no exception.
A story of love; both how painful it is and how beautiful it is. This novel is fast-paced. You won’t be able to put it down!
Lily hasn’t had an easy life, but things are finally starting to look up. She owns her own business in Boston and is far from the small-town girl she once was.
She meets a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle, and everything seems perfect. But things aren’t always what they seem.
As questions start to rise, an old flame shows his face, threatening to topple the new world Lily has built. Atlas Corrigan walks back into Lily’s life from a past she desperately wants to leave behind. A beautiful, lovely threat.
So, if you loved the drama, and suspense of After, this book is the perfect book for you!
Related Reading: It Ends With Us Book Review.
3. Beautiful Disaster – Jamie McGuire
Another story in the classic, beloved trope of good girl and bad boy is the forbidden romance book, Beautiful Disaster.
Abby Abernathy is a good girl, with a closet full of sweaters and big dreams for college.
But once she arrives, she meets Travis Maddox, the campus player with a reputation. A simple bet pulls them together, and both get much more than they bargained for.
This dramatic, fast-paced book is perfect to satisfy your craving for a new love story to read after After.
It’s full of passion, and the couple at the center pulls you in, even as they try to pull away from each other.
Related Reading: Books Like Beautiful Disaster
4. Twilight – Stephenie Meyer
Another award winning young adult book is the well-known Twilight Saga. It’s an intense love story that you can really sink your teeth into (pun intended).
The quick driving makes this the perfect summer read, and perfect if you are craving something like After.
When Bella moves into a new town, Edward Cullen immediately catches her eye. He is handsome and mysterious.
Yet, somehow, this mysterious bad boy seems to be drawn to Bella. But is that draw because he loves her, or because he thirsts for her blood? Edward is a vampire.
This deep love story is hot, with just a hint of danger, just like the non-human characters it contains. This is one of the most iconic vampire romance books of all time.
5. The Deal – Elle Kennedy
Love the steamy, suspenseful story of After but want a little bit more of a sporty bad boy? Look no further than The Deal by Elle Kennedy.
Hannah Wells finally has a crush on somebody, unfortunately, he barely seems to notice her. Garrett Graham only ever wants to play professional hockey after school, but he needs to graduate first.
The two work together so that they can both get what they want; Hannah helps Garrett study and Garrett… realizes that he doesn’t want her going after anyone else.
This book is the perfect, steamy enemy-to-lovers story with plenty of steamy scenes to help you have an exciting summer.
If the intense romance of After is what you loved, a book like The Deal is the perfect next read for you.
Read my complete review of The Deal by Elle Kennedy here.
Contemporary Romance Books Like After
If you loved the contemporary bad boy romance books the After, then you are going to love these steamy romance books similar to After.
6. Bared To You – Sylvia Day
Another steamy romance, very similar to After and Fifty Shades of Grey. Eva Tramell has her own demons, but she is working on them.
When she meets Gideon Cross, sparks fly but she is weary. He has his own struggles and doesn’t want a relationship.
But after a fun night in a limo, what had once been only a suggestion turns into a twisted, complicated relationship.
Suspenseful and steamy, with a powerful woman who knows what she wants at the center of the story.
This book is a breath of fresh air, and such a fun read. Perfect for a romance read by the beach.
7. Ugly Love – Colleen Hoover
Colleen Hoover strikes again in another powerful romance story, with just the right amount of suspense. If you loved the love-hate relationship that After is based on, Ugly Love is your next great read!
When Tate Collins meets Miles Archer, it certainly isn’t love but most defiantly attraction. Once they both realize they want the same thing.
He isn’t ready for love, and she has no space for it. The arrangement works for a while, as they stick to the rules “Never ask about the past. Don’t expect a future.”
At first, things go ok, Tate thinks she can handle it. Then stuff starts to get complicated. Things break and the rules are abandoned. Their love gets ugly.
Related Reading: Books Similar to Ugly Love
8. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han
This sweet girl-next-door romance is the perfect treat after After. Lara Jean writes letters to her crushes; she never sends them or admits to her feelings.
Just writes the letters and puts them away. Until one day, all her letters get mysteriously sent out.
All her crushes, both past, and present come to confront her. But maybe something good will come from the letters being sent out?!
This book is the perfect, light summer read. It’s got the great love story of After. Along with just the right amount of suspense, because who knows what happens when five letters get sent to you?! You get answers.
9. Begin Again – Mona Kasten
The classic story of a new girl and a bad boy. Begin Again centers around Allie Harper and Kaden White.
Allie moves across the country to go to school, unfortunately, now she needs to find an apartment.
Enter Kaden White. He is the campus bad boy, and now, her new roommate. Kaden and Allie make a strict set of rules, but as they start to connect, lines start to blur.
This book is an almost clean romance novel, with just a little taste of steam. A story of love and finding a new start. If the romance of After did it for you, this could be your perfect next read!
10. Five Feet Apart – Rachael Lippincott
A tragic, but sweet story of love that goes beyond limits. Stella Grant loves control, even if she can’t have control over the disease that is slowly killing her.
She has CF, but the hope of a lung transplant is still out there if she stays away from anyone else with CF. Six feet apart exactly.
Will Newman doesn’t care anymore about the treatments or finding a cure. He just wants out of the hospital. He is what Stella needs to stay away from. But once they connect, the distance that used to keep her safe now feels like a punishment.
So, they start to push the rules, even break them. Together they ask, “how far will you go for love?”
This book has a new perspective on what love means and how you can love someone, even if you are five feet apart.
Young Adult Books Like After
After is not just about the steamy romance, it’s about this young adult coming of age and learning to stand on her own two feet.
If you’re looking for some young adult books like After, then you’ll love these novels.
10. A Lie For A Lie – Helena Hunting
Another story with a sporty, accidental love story at the center. Rook gets tired of it all, even being an NHL star isn’t fun all the time.
So, when everything gets to be too much, he goes back to Alaska.
On the flight, he meets Lainey, and they have a second chance at romance. Well, a first chance for them together, and they build something new for both.
This sweet love story, with a fun focus on family and sports, is the perfect story if you want something like After.
Two people meet and connect in a way that neither of them is prepared for, and you get a love story that transcends distance.
12. Did I Mention I Love You? – Estelle Maskame
A perfect YA version of the passionate story that is central to After. Eden Munro isn’t too thrilled about moving to Santa Monica to be with her estranged dad but is especially unhappy about being with his new family.
But when she meets her three new stepbrothers, Tyler Bruce catches her eye. Even though they are totally opposites.
There is so much standing in their way (a clingy girlfriend on his end and an obsessed dude on hers). Yet, they are pulled to one another.
This steamy story is the perfect summer companion and a quick, fun read. It’s salacious and full of intimate moments but it also has a passionate love story.
Even if love is a little more complicated than either of the main characters expects it to be.
13. The Selection – Kiera Cass
An exciting cross between The Hunger Games and a dating TV show, this dystopian romance book is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat!
In the kingdom of Illéa, 35 girls are chosen to take part in The Selection. This is the competition for the chance to marry Prince Maxon; for some of the girls, it is the chance of a lifetime.
But not so much for America Singer, who is pulled away from her home and family. She also must leave her secret lover Aspen behind.
As she gets to know the prince the life that she once planned seems less and less possible, but a new future shines in front of her.
A quick, fun read with an interesting dystopian twist. This brings you all the drama you loved in After, along with a unique futuristic touch!
14. A Thousand Boy Kisses – Tillie Cole
This book is a powerful, sweet story of love. One boy, one girl, and a bond that formed so quickly, that no one saw it coming.
When Rune moves into small-town Georgia (far away from his native Norway) he doesn’t expect to meet someone like Poppy. They instantly connect.
But sometimes even a love that should be, doesn’t go as planned. When Poppy goes silent, Rune knows that something has changed, something is wrong.
A beautiful and tragic story, A Thousand Boy Kisses shows how powerful love can really be. It can go far beyond the limits of the world in front of us.
If you loved the romantic side of the narrative in After, this book should be added to your list.
15. Paper Princess (The Royals Series) – Erin Watt
This is the first book of The Royals Series, and once you read this, you’ll be hooked! Ella hasn’t had an easy life, hers has been a life of work and isolation.
That is until she is pulled out of the slums and into the house of Callum Royal. Unfortunately, no one warned her about the sons.
With just one choice they could send her back to the life she came from, and they would more than like to.
While all the sons are powerful and imposing, no one is quite like Reed Royal. Ella starts developing feelings for him, even though she knows he is the one pushing the hardest for her to go back.
This story is a modern take on Cinderella, with a great enemies’-to-lovers twist! If you loved the tense romantic connections in After, this book is for you. After all, not everyone gets a prince charming.
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Final Word on Books Like After
So there you have it! Those are my top 15 books like After.
Whether you’re looking for a bullish anti-hero or an angsty romance novel to keep you hooked from start to finish, you’ll find plenty of that on my list.
Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments!