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10 Years of Hating, Jealously

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You might not believe this. I know that I certainly don’t. But April 18th, 2022 is the TENTH BIRTHDAY OF THE JEALOUS HATERS BOOK CLUB.

Our very first installment, way back before the club had a name, 50 Shades of Grey, chapter one, or why Ana is the shittiest friend ever, debuted to what I assumed would be an extremely limited audience. My career was stalled; I had nothing left to lose and nothing else going on. But within less than twenty-four hours of that first post, the recaps were on their way to becoming viral. The second recap, posted a day after the first one, already featured a fan art contribution. By the eighth recap, I was receiving hate mail and all sort of unhinged accusations from two different authors’ fan armies. And by the time I finished the book in June of that year (remember, when my output was much faster?), my blog had received more visitors than the annual total of the Space Needle.

The Jealous Hater Book Club put me on the map and allowed me to branch out with viral essays and tv appearances about other subjects. My bone-deep hatred of Fifty Shades of Grey led to one of my biggest literary successes in The Boss, a series of erotic fiction that has sold over a million copies, was published in more languages than I kept track of, and has found a new audience—and twenty-four million views—on the Radish app. Most recently, Jealous Haters Book Club spawned a private Patreon club, Jealous Patrons Book Club, in which I continue to skewer books that are, frankly, total ass. Jealous Haters Book Club has changed my life, brought so many of you cool people into it, and I’m freaking shocked that it’s all lasted this long.

And of course, this special anniversary happens on a fucking Monday.

So, like a kid whose birthday falls on a Wednesday, the party is happening on Saturday. Drop by YouTube Live on April 23, 2:00 pm to ???? (until question marks means the party’s really gonna be rocking) for a live reading of the original recaps (full disclosure? I have not read them since ten years ago), chit-chat, gossip, and cake.

You can’t have cake, though. Because the internet hasn’t evolved to the point that I could share it with you. But Mr. Jen FOOLISHLY said, “You can’t eat a whole sheet cake by yourself.” So obviously, I’m gonna try to eat a whole sheet cake by myself live on the internet.

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If you can’t stop by, then allow me to express my heartfelt thanks to you right now: if you came to the recaps late, thanks for coming. If you were here from day one, thanks for spreading the word and making my Fifty Shades of Grey recaps bigger than I ever intended them to be. And to everyone who came for those recaps and stayed to make fun of books from the problematic to the just boring, thanks for sticking around.

I honestly cannot thank Trout Nation enough. All I did was write the recaps. You all made the community. I’m just lucky to be the weirdo at the center of it.

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Here for the first time because you’re in quarantine and someone on Reddit recommended my Fifty Shades of Grey recaps? Welcome! Consider checking out my own take on the Billionaire BDSM genre, The Boss. Find it on AmazonB&NSmashwords, iBooks, and Radish!

20 Comments

  1. Jessica
    Jessica

    Congrats!!! the original recaps were what brought me to your blog and then to reading the Boss and it’s been so good! <3

    April 18, 2022
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  2. Emerald
    Emerald

    I can’t believe it’s been 10 years! Congratulations, can’t wait for the party on Saturday.

    April 18, 2022
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  3. Sarah
    Sarah

    Congratulations! It was actually in a comment thread somewhere (shakesville? Jezebel? Truly who knows?) where someone mentioned your recaps and cliff pervocracy’s and I read them both and now I’ve read the entire boss series and you are the best. (Also, silly Mr. Jen, I don’t know you and I would know better than to say such a thing!) You’re a rock star, and you being open about your mental health has helped me, too.

    April 18, 2022
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  4. Alissa
    Alissa

    Many years ago, I had temporarily moved in with my dad to take care of him while he was undergoing cancer treatment. Around the same time, I gave in and acquired my first smart phone, which led me to discover your blog. After the day’s work was done and dad went to bed, I would binge your 50 Shades recaps and HOWL as quietly as I could. My dad is thankfully still around and in remission, but I never stopped reading and loving your work, Jenny! Thank you so much for lending some much-needed hilarity and sparkle to some scary days. Congrats and enjoy your sheet cake Bruce Bogtrotter-style!!!

    Also, my boyfriend of seven years’ name is Steve and when he comes home I am still occasionally compelled to yell DOUBLE STEVE BONUS MONDAY!!! So thanks for that.

    April 18, 2022
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  5. Andrea
    Andrea

    Aww, congrats Jenny! Ten years. Wow.

    This is a sign to me that I guess it’s probably time to change my phone background. For the last ten years, it’s been that picture of Chedward’s tie with eyes and hair!

    April 18, 2022
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  6. Kylie
    Kylie

    This is fantastic! I stumbled upon your 50 Shades recaps years ago, after seeing such polarized reviews. I had never seen such a phenomenon—some people were saying they were the best books ever written and gave women the “right” to reclaim their sexuality, or something, and others were saying they were the worst drivel ever written, on every conceivable level. So I read the books and knew after the first chapter which camp I was in. Then I found your recaps, where you so eloquently tore that shit apart. I loved it and read the recaps multiple times.
    Thanks so much for writing those and everything else since then. I can’t believe it’s been ten years! Here’s to ten more!

    April 18, 2022
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  7. Kitt
    Kitt

    I’m so glad you’re around. Your work has brought me so much happiness. Thanks for everything. Cheers to ten years!

    April 18, 2022
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  8. Mikey
    Mikey

    Can I ask: 2 P.M. which time zone?

    April 18, 2022
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    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      EST. It should have been on the link to the Livestream that for some reason posted just as code for no reason. Ah, what would Trout Nation be like if everything went perfectly the first time?

      April 21, 2022
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  9. Sandy
    Sandy

    Those recaps were the reason I found you, and I haven’t stopped following your blog since!! Yours was by far the best evisceration/deconstruction of those books ever. Thank you for reading them so I didn’t have to. And thank you for being so wickedly funny.

    April 18, 2022
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  10. Adelaide
    Adelaide

    Congratulations and happy anniversary!

    You have brought much joy, compassion, and productivity into my life, Ms Trout, and I cannot thank you enough.

    April 19, 2022
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  11. Jordan Bell
    Jordan Bell

    Mazel tov on your decade! Agree with other posters, it was your recaps that brought me here, I was originally reading them as a new mum trying to get an infant to sleep, muffling my giggles as I rocked and patted and read. Then I fell for the Boss series and have stayed a happy reader of your blog. Thanks for all the deeply smart commentary you bring to the internet! Wishing you many more decades of success. ❤️

    April 19, 2022
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  12. Congrats to you, Jenny, and thank you! Your FSOG hate-read was what made me start to hate-write erotica and romance specifically, not just YA. I’m still collecting rejections from publishers and agents who want my MCs to be “more alpha” like Christian Grey and all of the abusive fictional assholes he’s spawned…. I guess that means we all gotta keep up with the incredibly oppressive and controversial messaging that, gee, a relationship actually doesn’t have to be abusive or violent to be hot, sexy, and exciting. Welcome to the 2020s, I guess.

    April 19, 2022
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  13. Monica
    Monica

    I can’t believe it been ten years… I had just moved to a desert city from my tropical home which was wrecking havoc on my mental health. I had bought the first 50 Shades of Gray at the airport to read on the plane to the new place thinking it would be a fun light read and hated it so much I made a point of throwing it away, unfinished, at baggage claim so no one would have to read it.

    I stumbled on the recaps through Twitter and followed the entire journey hoarding the new updates like little jewels to treat myself with when I needed a dose of laughter or a pick me up.

    I fell in love with Sophie and Penny along the way and they’re still two of my favorite series to reread. Now in that way where you’ve read a book so many times that you can start at a random page and get caught up all over again until the end.

    I can’t thank you enough, Jenny for the difference that your writing made / makes when most needed.

    And I love that people are sharing where they were when they came across them!

    April 20, 2022
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  14. Colored Francie
    Colored Francie

    HUGE congratulations to you on this anniversary (like others, the FSOG recaps are how I found you). I had read FSOG as a non-discerning fan (I know, I know) and you opened my eyes to all the questionable and abusive actions and introduced me to the concept of informed consent. In addition to being HILARIOUS, I also want to say your recaps educated me on how to _write_ better. You broke down sentences to show how what ELJ wrote was confusing or repetitive, or could have been accomplished in a different way. Congrats again!

    April 20, 2022
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  15. Nathan James
    Nathan James

    I cannot believe it’s been ten years!! I got into your blog when I first read FSOG. I knew I hated it, and sort of knew what the issues were, but I could never put into words well enough why the series was so awful and destructive. Even my mom, who experienced abuse herself, couldn’t understand what I was trying to say about these books and why they were dangerous.

    So I did what every other person who hates something does: I looked online for people who agreed with me. That’s how I found your recap, and I was hooked. Your wit and brilliant destruction of the book, mixed with your expert insight and literary knowledge, made each recap a joy to read. You helped me vocalise exactly why I was repulsed by FSOG, and I checked each day for a new recap.

    Since then, your blog has been a constant source of joy and comfort to me. Your recaps have become my safety blanket. When I have long train journeys, am sat on my own and need to do something to distract myself so I feel less awkward, when I’m in hospital on my for 9 hours of treatment, I reread you recaps of Handbook for Mortals, Apolonia, FSOG, After etc. And it’s like having a friend with me. Your blogposts about your personal life, where you tell us about yourself, your family, shares with us your experiences and struggles, all make us feel like we are one group together regardless of distance, sharing pains and joys together.

    Just like you didn’t expect the recaps to take off so much, I didn’t expect you and your blog to become such a huge part of my life. So congratulations on 10 years of success, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

    April 20, 2022
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  16. River’s Daughters
    River’s Daughters

    I found you while going through medic school, I can not describe how stressful and intense a period that was in my life…your recaps were amazingly cathartic and it was glorious to find someone who hated 50 Shades as much as I did. And someone with such a sharp tongue and wit. Thank you for giving me so much laughter and continuing to carry me through nursing school and into the next chapter of my life.

    April 21, 2022
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  17. Jane Doe
    Jane Doe

    Wow, congrats on 10 years!
    I don’t remember how I ended up here, but I think it was a link I found on a manga site where someone mentioned 50 Shades of Gray and I had no clue wtf that was. I like reading, but never been a romance or erotica reader, so yeah, I’ve never read or even heard of the books featured on JHBC, but I still find the recaps very entertaining.
    I’m still a bit bummed out I’ll never get to see the end of the dumpster fire that was Beautiful Disaster, because as I’ve mentioned before, not my type of reading. Lately all I’ve been reading have been Chinese web novels, so I’m even more far removed from whatever is going on in the English literary world.
    Anyway, even if I sometimes don’t agree with Jenny’s opinions, this blog is still one of my faves and continue doing the great job you’ve been doing for 10 more years 🙂
    JHBC for life!

    April 21, 2022
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