Jenny Reads After chapters 4 – 6: “You don’t know you’re beautiful/that’s what makes you horrible”

Good news! Tessa has been cast in the fanfiction sidebar!

Maybe she was before, but I’m almost 100% certain that there was no listing for Tessa the last time I looked at this. But whatever. The role of Tessa has been filled by Indiana Evans:

indiana evansAs some of you have pointed out in the comments, Anna Todd’s bio lists her favorite book as Fifty Shades of Grey (“No!” readers cry out in shock. “I would have never guessed!”). So I find it really fun that Tessa is someone Ana would hate: a blonde.

In other news, I can’t figure out how to make the quote feature not be all italics, all the time, so any use of italics in the fic will be represented by underlined text.


When we last left Tessa, she had just come from her girls-only dorm’s inexplicably co-ed shower to find the rude brunette guy she met the day before– whom I am calling The Bad Boy Who Lived– lying on her roommate’s slutty, slutty bed. She asks where Steph is, and he just smiles and mumbles at her while she stands there in her towel.

“Okay? Well could you like.. leave or something so I can get dressed?” I realize he hasn’t even noticed I am in a towel, well maybe he has but it doesn’t phase him.

This is a really weird homophone, and it throws a lot of writers. A phase is a passage of time. To faze is to disturb or unsettle. The more you know.

I’m not going to approach punctuation in that paragraph, though.

“Don’t flatter yourself, it’s not like I am going to look at you,” he scoffs and rolls over, his hands covering his face. He has a thick English accent that I didn’t notice before. Probably because he was too rude to speak to me.

No, it’s probably because he’s from England.

Tessa wonders why The Bad Boy Who Lived is in Pullman, WA, and I’m like, “Because this is 50 Shades of Grey fanfic.

Maybe he isn’t straight, that’s what he meant by “it’s not like I am going to look” , either that or he thinks I am ugly.

indiana evans

Yup, he thinks you’re fucking hideous.

Those are the only two modes for men who don’t want to look at you when you’re wearing a towel. Gay, or thinking you’re ugly. The fact that he just told you he wouldn’t watch you change when you made it clear that you didn’t want him to watch you change has nothing to do with it.

When The Bad Boy Who Lived bitches about her taking too long, she snaps:

“Could you be any more disrespectful? I mean honestly, you’re my room while I change and you have the nerve to be rude to me? I did nothing to you, what is your problem?” I shout, my voice at a much higher volume than I had wanted but by the surprised look on his face, my words had the intended effect on the tattooed boy.

He was her room. I think those of you with photoshop skills know what I need here.

In the very next paragraph, we see that no, her words did not have the intended effect, because he laughs at her. This is when Steph comes home, complaining of a hangover, to apologize for not telling Tessa that Harry would be coming over.

I would like to think me and Steph could make our living arrangement work, maybe even build some sort of friendship, but with her choice of friends, I’m just not sure anymore.

If you read that in Morgan Freeman’s voice, it sounds like a really bitchy version of The Shawshank Redemption.

Here’s the problem with YA/NA heroines who dislike all the females around them: they dislike them way too soon. There’s never any real cause for the dislike. Yeah, Steph has tattoos and piercings and she decorated her dorm room faster than any mortal should be capable of, but Tessa has spent less than an hour with this girl. How does she know that a simple conversation wouldn’t fix every thing?

Tessa tells Steph that she thinks Harry is rude and also Steph’s boyfriend, and Steph laughs about that because Harry is a total jerk. Then she invites Tessa to a party, because hey, who wouldn’t want to party with someone who is the human equivalent of a dropped ice cream cone melting on a hot sidewalk?

“Parties aren’t really my thing. Plus I have to go to get some things for my side of the room,” I look at Harry who, of course is acting as if neither of us are in the room with him.

Since the only two people in this paragraph are Harry and Tessa, he’s looking at Tess and himself as though neither of them are in the room with him. Also, what kind of excuse is that? Okay, so you have to go to Target. The party isn’t going to be at eight in the morning. Then she says she planned to take the bus and Skype Noah. Look, If you don’t want to go, say no. When you give pushy people an excuse, they can work around it. For example, they could tell you that The Bad Boy Who Lived should drive you to the store on his way to his place. So you can fall in love.

I’ve only known her for a day, should I trust her? I know that despite how tough she looks, she is quite sweet. But a party?

You’ve actually only known her for two conversations, and you didn’t like her in either of them. So how do you know she’s “quite sweet?”

“I don’t know.. and no I don’t want Harry to drive me to the store,” I say. Harry rolls over across Steph’s bed with an amused expression.

“Oh no! I was really looking forward to hanging out with you,” he dryly remarks, his voice so full of sarcasm that I want to throw a book at his cocky head.

There is a real big chance that I’m going to like Harry more than I liked Christian Grey. We seem to have something in common here.

Also.. does this author think that ellipses are just two periods?

Harry says he knows Tessa won’t go to the party, so of course this changes Tessa’s mind, because she’ll be damned if this guy she doesn’t really know or like is going to assume stuff about her.

50 Shades/Twilight similarities:

  1. Set in Washington
  2. Heroine’s hair is unruly
  3. Single parent
  4. Heroine’s name phonetically similar to Ana/Bella.
  5. Alice/Mia character
  6. Clumsy heroine
  7. Encouragement of internalized misogyny/slut shaming
  8. “Maybe he’s gay!”
  9. The not-friend friend

Random reader comment from this chapter:


I bet you a hundred bucks “Timba” is also the name of the Timon/Pumba ‘ship that is undoubtedly out there.


“Where is the party? Is it within walking distance?” I ask her as I align my books on the shelf into alphabetical order. It’s a habit.

Sounds like the party is riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight here.

Steph tells Tessa that the party is a frat party, and that Niall will drive them. And Tessa thinks:

I’m grateful it won’t be Harry, even though I know he will be there somehow riding with him seems unbearable. Why is he so rude? If anything he should be grateful that I am not judging him for the way he has destroyed his body with holes and tattoos.

Photo on 4-29-14 at 4.27 PM #3

Excuse me?

Maybe I am judging him a little, but not to his face at least.

Harry is rude, but Tessa feels that other people should be grateful that she keeps her shitty judgmental comments to herself? And that somehow makes her polite? Even if  you’re just an asshole on the inside, you’re still an asshole.

But don’t worry, Tessa has a totally good reason for this attitude:

It is just that I was raised in a home where tattoos and piercings are not expectable, I always had to have my hair combed, my eyebrows plucked, and my clothes clean and ironed. It is just the way it is.

No, Tessa, that’s “just the way it is” for you. I’m sorry that you grew up in a house where tattoos and piercings weren’t expectable, but it’s not expectable for you to assume that your mother’s values should be the values of everyone on the planet.

Especially since your mother sounds scarier every time she’s mentioned. What’s going to happen when Tessa dutifully confesses to her mother that she’s been to a party?


Steph asks Tessa to help her pick her outfit, because the author wanted another opportunity to slam whoever it is in the author’s life that this character is supposed to be an avatar for. Or maybe just “alternative” girls everywhere.

The dresses she picks out are so inappropriate that I keep looking around for a hidden camera and someone to jump out and tell me it is a joke, I cringe at each one and she laughs, obviously finding my disgust humorous. The dress, no, piece a scrap material.. she chooses is a black dress made out of what looks like fishnet with her red bra showing through, at least the bottom is solid but I get the feeling she would wear it even if it wasn’t. The dress barely reaches the tops of her tighs and the heels of her shoes are at least four inches. Her flaming red hair is pulled into a wild bun with curls escaping all over and she has more eyeliner on than ever.

The dress is made out of what looks like fishnet. But it’s such a subtle material, Tessa can’t tell if it is fishnet. You know, because it resembles so many other fabrics.

“Did your tattoos hurt?” I ask her as I pull out my maroon dress.

HOLD. UP. Back up the fucking truck. Maroon is not that far from plum. Is this is the Sisterhood of The Traveling Dress? A little club made up of fucking horrible heroines who just steal each other’s dress over and over? I would suggest that Tessa stole it from a friend at home, but let’s get real, nobody is going to be Tessa’s friend, and she’s too good for everybody, anyway.

Also, why do people ask if tattoos hurt? Everyone knows they hurt. Why is that the first topic of conversation? “Did those hurt?” No, I had general fucking anesthesia for these. Do you think that’s overkill? Maybe next time I’ll just get a local.

“The first one sort of did, but not as bad as you would think. It’s almost like a bee stinging you over and over,” she shrugs. Ouch, that sounds very unpleasant.

Yeah, well, you sound unpleasant, Tessa. You’re making me long for Anastasia Rose Steele. You make her look interesting and friendly. Also, a bee sting? I don’t know if Anna Todd has any tattoos, but if she does, her experience is way more severe than mine. I’d rather get tattooed on the inside of my armpit than get stung by a bee, because it would hurt less.

So, what’s Tessa wearing to the party?

The maroon material is soft but sturdy, the same material business suits are made of. The collar goes up to my neck and the sleeves are three quarter length, reaching just under my elbows.

Okay, my inner Sophie Scaife just bristled at “the same material business suits are made of,” because, you know. That one material that business suits are made out of. Steph warns Tessa that her modest clothing won’t fly at a frat party. The skirt ends below her knees, for christ’s sake. Steph offers to loan Tessa something, and of course she refuses.

50 Shades/Twilight similarities:

  1. Set in Washington
  2. Heroine’s hair is unruly
  3. Single parent
  4. Heroine’s name phonetically similar to Ana/Bella.
  5. Alice/Mia character
  6. Clumsy heroine
  7. Encouragement of internalized misogyny/slut shaming
  8. “Maybe he’s gay!”
  9. The not-friend friend
  10. Increasingly naïve heroine
  11. Plum maroon dress.

Random reader comment from this chapter:

“Lmao dis bitch is dressed like a damn nun”


After a surprising amount of time, we finally get the inevitable scene where the heroine looks into a mirror and describes herself to the reader:

My eyes always look a little too large for my face but I prefer to wear minimal makeup, I usually just put on a little mascara and lip gloss. I am pretty proud of how well I take care of my skin so why hide it if I don’t need to?

Well, hellooooooo Anita Blake, who never needs base. But she does borrow eyeliner from Steph. Not the purple that Steph suggests, but a nice, sensible, non-slutty black that she puts on in “the thinnest possible line.”

“Your eyes are so unique, want to trade,” she jokes.

She has beautiful green eyes, why would she want to trade with me?

Tessa wears white Toms to this party. WTF. They go outside to get in Niall’s car, and everybody is staring at them. God, why does that sound so familiar? The whole “everybody is watching them when in reality nobody would be that interested” trope? I feel like I’ve read that somewhere before…

“You do know that we are going to a party not a church right Theresa?” Harry says with a smirk.

I guess we know who left that comment on the last chapter.

Tessa tells him not to call her Theresa, and she wonders how he knows her full name, which she hates being called. Of course, that’s all he’ll call her from here on out.

After what feels like ages we finally pull up to a huge two story house with overgrown vines sprawling up the side. THETA XI is painted in black letters on the massive house. It looks like something from a movie.

Yeah. There are definitely houses in movies, Tessa. You’ve got a sharp eye.

This is a detail that Ms. Todd is actually pretty close on, except for the ivy. This is the Theta Xi house at the University of Washington:

Theta Xi - U Wash

I watch as multiple people high five and shake Harry’s hand. No one else that I see is covered in tattoos like him, Niall and Steph. Maybe I can make some friends here tonight after all.

Two problems I have with this paragraph. First of all, either things have really changed since my college days, or it’s still extremely unrealistic that heavily tattooed, pierced kids with wild colored hair and fishnet shirts are going to be welcomed with high-fives at a frat house. But again, I’m older than the author/characters. Second, is that Tessa’s number one requirement for friendship? That people meet the uniform code?

And you know what? They’re not even in the house yet. They’re just outside on the lawn. They don’t make it into the freaking party before the chapter ends.

50 Shades/Twilight similarities:

  1. Set in Washington
  2. Heroine’s hair is unruly
  3. Single parent
  4. Heroine’s name phonetically similar to Ana/Bella.
  5. Alice/Mia character
  6. Clumsy heroine
  7. Encouragement of internalized misogyny/slut shaming
  8. “Maybe he’s gay!”
  9. The not-friend friend
  10. Increasingly naïve heroine
  11. Plum maroon dress
  12. Everybody is staring at the heroine
  13. You don’t know you’re beautiful
  14. Don’t need makeup to cover up

Random reader comment from this chapter:

I actually think what she chose is a good choice I mean like wearing 3 inch heals and a tiny dress… That pretty much just asking to get raped.

Ladies, gentlemen, and non-binary peeps, I present to you the After target readership.

178 thoughts on “Jenny Reads After chapters 4 – 6: “You don’t know you’re beautiful/that’s what makes you horrible”

  1. I work with a lot of college kids and frats have not changed that much. I asked a couple a guys at work and while tattoos are more the norm, but this dude would never have made it through rush. Can’t wait until you get to the ridiculous statements surrounding football and basketball seasons.

  2. The phase/faze thing drives me nuts, although my brain has now adjusted to people using ‘phase’ all the time, it is odd to see it spelled correctly.

    Re maroon and plum, I don’t consider them remotely similar but then I’m thinking of plum more purple and maroon more red.

    As for the not wearing makeup, personally I don’t use any more makeup than described by Tessa, ever, and that is partly because I do have reasonable skin. Not porcelain perfect skin, but reasonable skin. I also have exceptionally poor eyesight and I can’t manage to do anything much when I can’t see :) I’m planning on getting my daughter trained in the art of good makeup and then she can make me look stunning :)

    1. Why can’t Miss I Don’t Edit Because This Was Written For Fun just look shit up? You know, like the rest of us do when they don’t know how to spell a word. You’re already in front of a computer/laptop/whatever. Go to an online thesaurus or dictionary and type in the word. Or is that not fun?

      Also, expectable? That’s not even a word. Just use spellcheck, for fuck sake.

      Dammit, the grammar and spelling mistakes are annoying me far more than how phenomenally dull the story is.

    2. I’m with you. I barely wear makeup of any kind, ever. And I never wear foundation. In the winter, I wear a little blush but I usually have a ton of color in my face in the summer and don’t need it. So, at most, mascara, eyeliner and shadow, but sometimes just mascara.

      Most days, though, nothing.

      But I think the issue is really what a snot this character is. Her roommate isn’t wearing that kind of makeup because she needs it. She’s wearing it because it’s part of her identity and style and she enjoys it.

      1. ‘She’s wearing it because it’s part of her identity and style and she enjoys it.’

        Well. Said.

        I’m the kind of person who’d wear electric green eyeshadow if I could get away with it (I even got it right now, but I got the cheap stuff that has NO color pay off. I’m still waiting to get higher pay so I can maybe afford the good quality stuff like Sugarpill cosmetics). But since I’m an olive-skinned person, I turn greenish grey myself if winter happens. So I do feel the pressure to put some decent foundation on. But I still don’t put makeup on most of the time since I’d do a crummy job on it (though I’ve been struggling with eyeliner for a good 7 years, and just NOW I’ve gotten the hang of it. I still can’t do the smokey look).

        So yeah, Tessa can STFU. She’s lucky she’s had good skin because of genetics, but not everyone’s standard of ‘beauty’ or ‘decency’ involves wearing ‘the natural look’ 24/7. Some people think that if we could buy all the colors of the rainbow, doesn’t mean we should take it for granted and not use it at all.

        I’d like to wonder what would Tessa think if sweet, sweet Steph was in fact an Ace and has been having a simple platonic romance with her boyfriend(s). She’d be sputtering and going, “But you got hooker make up on! What do you mean you aren’t a slut?!”

        1. Thing is, people who are wearing such outrageous makeup are NOT doing simply to look better. If you’re using makeup to enhance your beauty or cover up a flaw, you go for the natural look.

          When you wear super bright colors and go all out, it’s expression and art. This author is a complete dumbass.

          1. Seriously–I’ve been wearing a very vampy rockabilly style make-up for years (red lips, exaggerated eyebrows, over-the-top liner) if anything, wearing makeup has made me MORE of a subject of other people’s scorn than going au natural. I’m not covering anything, I know I occasionally look extreme and even costume-y. If garnering approval were my goal in life I’d be failing.

            I just have to laugh at anyone who is threatened by tattoos or make up or hair dye, or who has a worldview so narrow that they feel other people’s aesthetic choices are reason enough to hate them…

        2. SWEETIE!! Cheap and bad don’t have to be the same thing!!

          Lemme introduce you to Wet and Wild. You wanted green? How about this “I Dream of Greenie”. Google the name and look at images. Wet and Wild makes GORGEOUS eyeshadows.

          Or NYX! How about one of these? And you buy one of these Or any cream eyeshadow (I like the ones from eyeslipsface; like their primer, too) and use it as a base and it’ll deepen up any colour.


          1. Oh my god! I love Wet n’ Wild (they are pretty shiny, but they do rub off a lot of color!), and thanks for showing me Nyx (Oh. My. They even do neon yellow), though I do need find someplace that ships out of the states. I also never figured that primer can really help the color stand out, so thanks for the tip!

          2. Seriously, use a base, and any shadow will show up better and stick longer.

            Where do you live??? I WILL FIND GOOD CHEAP MAKEUP FOR YOU. I refuse to believe only expensive brands are any good.

          3. Ooh! Nice! I might get a base for the Nyx Neon yellow shadow, I’ve always wanted to see how I look with that shade.

            And also, yeah, I live in the UK! The punk scene does do a lot of cheap and bright makeup, but they’re definitely not as strong as the stuff I see online (Like Stargazer makeup, I love their nail polish like somethin fierce, but their eyeshadow is as good as ground up chalk, sadly).

          4. Oh my gosh, dude, you’re acting like you’re in Siberia XD

            Okay, first Elf has a UK site:

            This my favourite eye primer I just get it in sheer. It helps keep your eyeshadow from creasing and fading and can help it blend better on your eyes if you use it along.
            I use these for bases a lot, the sticky/creamy part, but the ones I like aren’t on the UK website so you could use a stick like this:
   I haven’t tried these personally but I’ve heard good things.
            And I have this in the “Colour Cool Edition” and the colours are suprisingly bright. It’s small, but there are a lot of different colours in a great range and they work well for the price.

            Okay, next. NYX HAS A UK WEBSITE. You could try these There’s a yellow and an orange which I think would be right up your alley.
            And for bases I’ve heard people RAVE about these Especially “Milk” because you can use it as a base under anything.

            Okay, now, have ya heard of boots? Because I know a lot of UK peeps get their makeup there. Liiiike say these Maybelline colour tattoos Which are gorgeous and go on beautifully. Lots of pretty colours there.

            Or this Sleek Pallete How’s that for bright? I haven’t tried those because they don’t sell them here, I don’t think, but all you need to do is google or youtube swatches and see what they look like.

            And… I found this googling, but have you heard of “Superdrug”? They have a lot of neat stuff. Like these are super cheap:
            I mean, for the price, they might be worth trying.

            A bunch of these Sleek Palettes might be something you like

            Find some UK beauty bloggers or Youtubers!! You guys have tons of makeup over there that isn’t super expensive!! EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITIES!

            (Oh my god I cheesy and spammy in the same comment, that’s terrible XD)

  3. Dinner With a Vampire used to be the only reason I cringed in horror when someone mentioned Wattpad, but I’m pretty sure After is about to make it a two-reason list. They’re similarly shitty from the look of these first six chapters. However, it’ll have to work hard to beat that time when the love interest in DWaV tried to rape the main character Violet because she stole his condoms as a prank (but she forgave him and the next person to attempt to rape her was evil, of course).

    1. See now I wanna go look this up, but my brain tells me it’s a bad idea. I though was a terrible mess(for many reasons) but WattPad sounds even worse.

      1. SAVE YOURSELF. Curiosity and my fondness for vampire novels damned me and I have yet to recover nearly two years later.

        I find the Pit of Voles 10000x better than Dinner With a Vampire even when reading the more shit-tacular fics. Then again, I don’t see many shit-tacular fics anymore thanks to all the filters I use and my honed fanfic instincts.

        1. SO when you said the Pit of Voles I was like, is that new fanfic site. Then I hit the Google and realized you were talking about How did it get that name?
          Yeah, I find that, that site is better once you use the filters. It also depends on the fandom too. Yeah, my honed fanfic instincts have saved me too. Sometimes I can tell from the fic summary/tags if the fic is going to be terrible or not.

          1. It’s been nicknamed that for years and years… can’t remember the how or why of it, though. Probably just because of the generally poor quality of fic there and frequent drama.

            I’ve more or less given up on once I discovered Ao3; fic seems to be a bit better quality, but mostly the site itself is just so much better formatted.

          2. I’ve been on for years and I never encountered any drama (bar the rare agressive review). Then again, the drama on passed me by completely too. I just read and write stuff en I’m not active on any communities; maybe that’s why.

            You have to wade through a lot of crap to get to some good fic on, though. But isn’t that the case almost everywhere?

      2. There’s good stuff and bad stuff on Wattpad. For example Margaret Atwood actually has an account as do many talented writers both proffessional and amateur. I liken it to DeviantArt, anyone can post so there’s a huge range of quality.

        1. I agree, I have a Wattpad myself, and some of the stories are extremely well-written. I also write stuff on Wattpad, though I am not even in high school yet, so my writing isn’t the best. Some of Anna’s grammar mistakes could’ve easily been avoided by editing, or spell-check at least.

    1. After seeing that last reader comment, I am predicting a return of the “Are you fucking kidding me?” gif.

    2. I’m quite liking him so far. Mostly because he seems to hate Tessa, which I think shows good judgement on his part.

  4. In my experience at an east-coast school it depends on the frat. Usually frats that are higher up on the rung of Greek popularity will be more of the Abercrombie & Fitch, all-white, all-straight bro types, while traditionally “less popular” frats will be more accepting of minorities (racial, sexual, and cultural, aka tattoos). I could totally see punky-type people being high-fived at some frats around here.
    On another note it creeps me out severely that the heros of this fanfic are essentially babies.

    1. Well they’re all legal(I think), so it’s not too bad. Also Harry isn’t that heavily tattooed I don’t think. Granted I don’t follow 1D so I can’t remember.

      1. That makes it a little better. I was very, very vaguely familiar with 1D before this fanfic so when I looked them up after already reading sex scenes featuring them I was incredibly horrified.

        1. They still look like lightweights to me, so ehh. I don’t get their appeal, except for Zane. Then again, I guess I am not suppose too.

  5. *mutter mutter mutter* Yes, Tessa, you’re so perfect and wonderful with your skin. Because none of us have hormones or anything *eye roll*

    What 18 year old girl owns a maroon dress the material of “business suits” but nothing else????

    1. Honestly, I never had a problem with my skin throughout my teenage years. Rare pimple, nothing else much. I have freckles and my skin isn’t perfect, but I always got comments about how ‘good’ my skin was. I don’t find that too unbelievable personally.

      I dont’ believe I owned anything business like though at 18.

      1. Same here, I mean I had shifting clouds when I was younger. Also a stray pimple here and there. For the most part though my skin is good.

        1. The problem with our heroine – well, aside from her being a prude and a prig and completely unsympathetic at any level – is that she thinks her “perfect complexion” is the result of her diligent care. Because she’s so pure and unspoiled, you know, unlike those other people who ruin their skin with tattoos, holes, and, *shudder* cosmetics!

          “I am pretty proud of how well I take care of my skin so why hide it if I don’t need to?”

          Also, it is a good thing that the author did not proofread let alone edit. A well written version of this character wouldn’t be nearly as funny.

          1. Exactly, people seem to be determinedly missing the point here. Nobody cares that Tessa has perfect skin or doesn’t wear makeup; the problem is that it’s yet another way she expresses her snooty and superior attitude toward her roommate.

      2. Yeah I had pretty perfect skin pretty much all my life, like you, just a bit freckly. I never used anything other than soap and a bit of spf when I remembered. I never ate properly or took care of it. Like with teeth, some people don’t have to put in the effort and are fine, some put in loads of effort and still have problems. I believe it’s genetic really.

        Well, genetic and hormonal. Now I’m middle aged and have started getting spots.

        anyway, the point being, whether or not you do or do not ‘take care’ or your skin is not an indicator of how morally upright a character you are, Tessa, you idiot.

        I also shopped in charity shops a lot at 18 and I’m sure I had a suit jacket or two. oh dear. then again, I never thought that was a moral issue either, unlike Tessa.

    2. ‘What 18 year old girl owns a maroon dress the material of “business suits” but nothing else????’

      In my experience, I’ve seen Sheltered Suburban Moms try to push their own clothes on their kids (and yeah, it happened to me too). It’s a weird, passive-aggressive way where they ‘gift’ you some very, very adult clothes while trying to destroy your casual stuff with ‘whoops! I spilled bleach all over that T-shirt you always wear’ tactics, even if they bought you very conservative-looking casuals.

      And yeah, my mom did prep me up into getting business skirts and stuff. Because she believed that I should be going to my history and archaeology lectures while looking ‘decent’. She also thought that if I looked ‘rich’, I’d attract friends and boyfriends from rich circles to help me get to the right places.
      Yeah, she never went to college before. She just knew women who went to college just to get husbands and thought I should copy some of their behavior.

      When I finally finished high school, I think I only had two pairs of jeans and maybe four t-shirts. The rest of them were all designer polo shirts and blouses that were several sizes too big and weren’t even made for teenage bodies. I think several people thought I used to be overweight because of my lumpy mom clothes.

      But then again, I desperately WANTED to look like my age then. I’ve even seen kids who’d immediately take scissors and cut up their unflattering mom-clothes as soon as they hit college. So that makes Tessa look like a snooty ‘Mommy’s girl’ who only wants to look pure to the guys.

      And ugh, I’m grimacing at the part when Tessa and Steph arrive at the frat house. I just KNOW that the author wanted to set up the scene to make Harry realise that Tessa is so PUUEERR!!1. I think that’s the only reason why Tessa is sticking to Steph–it’s a golden opportunity to make her look shinier with a ‘skankier’ friend next to her.

  6. Oh I forgot, I’m genuinely curious about this

    “Harry is rude, but Tessa feels that other people should be grateful that she keeps her shitty judgmental comments to herself? And that somehow makes her polite? Even if you’re just an asshole on the inside, you’re still an asshole.”

    Isn’t not saying rude things about people being polite? I’m honestly curious, mostly because I think a whole lot of snide stuff but I’m ever so polite and helpful to people. I always figured not making the snide remarks was good manners. I mean, I know I’m not an angel because I would like to explain in a whole lot of detail exactly why the person I’m dealing with has less maturity than my 8 year old, but if I don’t say it, then I’m still polite aren’t I?

    1. No. Politeness involves going above and beyond not being a jerk. Politeness is saying please and thank you, smiling at people you encounter, writing thank-you notes, opening doors for people, the occasional helping an old lady across the street.

      Not being a jerk is just not being a jerk.

      1. Agreed. An absence of judgmental comments does not make you polite. (I wish. If the bar was set this low, I would be considered polite. And I’m not.)

        Additionally, Tessa apparently expects people to be grateful when she doesn’t introduce herself with, ‘Hi, I’m Tessa. Oh my God! You have destroyed your body with those hideous tattoos.’ Nope. Noperdenope. Nope to the nope.

    2. To me personally, there’s a difference between what you describe and how Tessa acts. Your example read like normal “I’m being polite and dealing with bullshit civilly since that’s how it has to be to avoid an argument/unemployment/a bloodbath.” Which I totally get. I’ve held tongue on many occasions for the sake of politeness. What Tessa’s deal sounds like is more along the lines of “wow, look what a wonderful person I am for not telling my roommate I think she’s tacky!” Like she deserves a huge karmatic pat on the back for not voicing her judgmental attitude. I’m all for being polite, but Tessa’s so smug about that she might as well just say what she thinks. At least it would be real.

    3. Nope. An absence of judgmental comments does not make you polite. (I wish. If the bar were set that low, I would be considered polite. And I’m not.)

      Additionally, I think part of the problem here is that Tessa expects gratitude for not introducing herself like so: ‘Hi, I’m Tessa. Oh my God! You have disfigured your body with those hideous tattoos.’ Nope to the nope. Doesn’t work that way.

    4. Well, it’s just normal everyday politeness that at least I expect from everyone, and nothing that deserves applause. It’s annoying when the character makes it out that she’s sopolite, when she’s just doing what should be expected from anyone really.

    5. I actually agree with you here. But I think there is a bit of a crow-bar difference between being polite and being a good person (ie, not being an asshole). Someone can be exceptionally polite if they always have something nice to say and make all of the right (or refrain from making all the wrong) comments. Politeness = etiquette in my mind, and etiquette is all about how one presents themselves to the world.

      However, being polite does not make you a good person, ie, not an asshole. Being a good person involves introspection whenever you think of something mean or judgmental about someone and examining why you feel that way. Was it really something they did/said, or are you just a stuck up or a bigot or projecting your own issues onto them? Tessa seems to just assume her way of life and choices are superior, so she is still an asshole. But that doesn’t mean she’s not a polite asshole.

    6. I actually agree with you here. However, I think there is a bit of a crow-bar difference between being polite and not being an asshole. You can be both. I equate politeness to etiquette, which in my mind is how you present yourself to the world. Whether your behaviors, from an outside perspective, conform to social expectations in a given situation.

      But being a good person, ie, not an asshole, requires introspection. Whenever you think something mean or judgmental, actually thinking about why you thought that, and trying to determine whether you were actually justified in thinking mean/judgmental comments or whether you are just being snooty, a bigot, or projecting your own problems/issues onto them. Which is Tessa, all of the above. But I still think she can be a polite asshole.

      1. In real life when you want to say something rude and you restrain yourself, other people have no idea you’re secretly thinking something rude. Or, at least they shouldn’t.

        But we get the privilege of being able to read Tessa’s mind and see everything awful she’s not saying out loud. So it’s not so much that she’s being rude, because if we were all characters in this story we’d have no idea what she’s thinking about us and not saying, it’s that we do know that makes her unlikable.

  7. To the person who left that comment on Chapter 6: fuck you so hard. Rape apologist nitwit.

    I will never understand the appeal of these heroines who walk around with their ‘holier than thou’ inner monologues. I know we all judge each other for various reasons; that’s human nature. I don’t see an abundance of said judgmental thoughts to be a positive character trait though. How about a heroine who thinks ‘sure I’d never get a tattoo, but I’m not the whole world. Hooray for everyone being individuals!’

    And I agree; her keeping these judgments to herself is no reason to feel smug. A racist is still a racist even if they never utter a racial slur, a sexist is still a sexist if they don’t speak their sexist thoughts, etc. And just like them, unless she’s an amazing actress, folks are going to see her for what she is by her actions and attitude if not her words. You can’t hide forever, Tessa.

    1. I get the feeling hidden deep, deep within that shitty blame the victim attitude. I mean, we all want to believe that there’s stuff we can do so we won’t get raped, mugged, beated, murdered etc. We all want to be able to say, ‘Well, that won’t happen to me, because…’

      On the other hand, yeah, fuck that idiot.

      1. I understand the feeling too. I’ve had some situations come up (not rape, but sexually aggressive guys) and people will go “Well I would’ve…” and I understand where they’re coming from, I really do. I mean it’s human to try to reassure ourselves that it won’t happen to us. But it still pisses me off.
        People just don’t realize how damaging they are when they say crap like that.

    2. Yeah, that comment(which I saw coming a mile away) made me want to burn things. Yeah, it’s not necessarily polite if you don’t reveal your nasty personality to people by keeping your thoughts to yourself. Your actions, attitude, etc.. will eventually show who you really are.

  8. I decided to go in and read some more of this train wreck–I had to stop, it was just too hard to endure. I’ll live vicariously through you Jenny, much more fun. I did get to the first “sex” scene with all the warnings and I have to say, I can’t wait to read the recap!!!!

    1. So I should just ignore my-bored-at-work-brain that is telling me to read it then? You know go read some good fan fic instead?

  9. I bet you a hundred bucks “Timba” is also the name of the Timon/Pumba ‘ship that is undoubtedly out there.

    I’m going to be laughing forever over that!

    1. Although if memory serves, Pumbaa has two a’s, so the ship would be Timbaa.

      On the subject I only found out recently that Simba was voiced by Matthew Broderick (I’m not sure how that went over my head for so long) so now I keep thinking if Bialystock and Bloom from the Producers, who probably have a ship of their own.

      And then shit just gets confusing.

  10. Yes, she does think an ellipsis is two periods. That detail remains consistent throughout the books, and is infuriating every time.

  11. I honestly wish I knew you in person, because you are Sassy to the Max (patent pending) and I absolutely love it.

    I feel like we are kindred unicorns with justified bitchiness blowing in the breeze.

    It’s nice to know that other people (your other wonderful readers included) see how ludicrous it is that rubbish like this becomes popular. Oy! What’s wrong with the youth these days?

  12. “HOLD. UP. Back up the fucking truck. Maroon is not that far from plum. Is this is the Sisterhood of The Traveling Dress? A little club made up of fucking horrible heroines who just steal each other’s dress over and over?”

    ahahahahaha I was hoping you’d catch that. Man, Kate is going to be pissed when she finds out that her dress wound up in a different dimension!

    “I guess we know who left that comment on the last chapter.”
    I actually snorted.

    By the way, the other interesting thing about this fic using One Direction (but not as One Direction) is that it’s technically an AU (alternate universe) fic. I noticed that hadn’t been brought up yet, so I thought I ‘d mention it.

    1. I would find a book about Kate traveling between dimensions looking for her stolen dress to be much, much more interesting than either of these two stories. She and Elliot could befriend a roguishly charming band of space pirates and maybe a quantum physicist and have a bisexual threesome.

  13. I guess it depends on the particular frat culture in question, but for the most part, they’re not into heavily tattooed/pierced/hair dyed people. I go to college in a liberal town and Greek life is more or less a bastion for Republican kids.

  14. I’ve been reading ahead and…this is real life. This story exists in real life and we are ALL FUCKING DOOMED.

  15. That last reader comment reminds me SO MUCH of the Scotland “Not Ever” Rape Crisis Ad where the woman’s buying a skirt and tells the shop assistant she’s looking to get raped that evening, can she recommend a skirt, before turning to the camera and saying “as if!” Link’s here, if anyone’s interested:

    1. Oh, I love that’s commercial.

      It’s like, hey moron, let’s see exactly what that stupid comment would mean if it was true. Imaginary reconstruction time! And the answer is: yup, you are indeed a moron.

  16. I also decided to read this story. I had planned to finish it but alas the story defeated me. I made it to chapter 28? 29? Before i just couldnt handle it anymore.
    Therefore, i am even more appreciative of this re read/spork.
    Sidenote- i dont want to spoil anything for you, Jenny (and fellow readers) but a beloved descriptive phrase that we couldnt get enough of from Fifty Shades is in this books.

    The plum dress! That is awesome. I wonder if Escala will show up, or Mrs. Jones.

  17. Something to add to the list of 50 Shades similarities:

    Hero calls the heroine by her full name instead of her preferred nickname.
    (Look at you, Anastasia Rose Steele Grey.)

    Also…couldn’t Tessa just have worn jeans to the party? Especially a FRAT party? What kind of fancy bro bash is this? They will play beer pong where they will still drink the beer AFTER the ball has fallen on the floor…but they frown on jeans?

    1. I was thinking the same thing. And those spiked heels make it hard not to slip on the floors covered in beer and sweat.

    2. Granted I went to college a good 10 years ago (*weeping for my lost youth*) but nobody ever dressed up for frat parties. We just wore jeans or black pants with a cute top, usually. Sometimes miniskirts. But it was always very casual. I can’t comment on the spike heels, though, since it was the 90s and we all wore those chunky platforms (I kind of miss those, since they were much more practical than stilettos).

  18. 1. Where did you get the Mucha inspired Labyrinth shirt? because that combines 2 of my favorite things.

    2. I’ve already finished the first book. It was terrible. I also couldn’t stop reading it because it’s like watch a train wreck where you hate everyone on said train and you’re just hoping they’ll all spontaneously combust. Why do people seem to love these characters who have no redeemable qualities and are generally hateful people?!

    1. Okay, so is this Fifty Shades of Grey Fanfic or are there just lots of similarities. Cause I am kind of confused. *feels silly*

    2. Hey Meg, the artist on that t-shirt is Karen Hallion. Google her and all kinds of amazing cool stuff will come up. She does Mucha Princess Leia art and Doctor Who/Disney Princess mashups too.

    3. Yeah, I just got a great Frozen “Do you wanna build a snowman” Doctor Who one the other day. I’m in love with her stuff. I believe she did a Mucha Firefly series, too.

  19. Much as I dislike Tessa’s contempt for everyone and everything, I’m actually finding it to be an improvement on Ana’s ‘I’ve known this man for about five minutes and he’s shown himself to be generally unpleasant and creepy… I think I LUUUUURVE him!!’ attitude, assuming I’m remembering FSoG correctly from your recaps.

    Of course, we know they’re going to fall in love anyway, because romantic love is an inexplicable thing that just happens instantaneously, like waking up with really bad flu out of nowhere, and has no actual relation to whether or not the people in question actually /like/ each other. At least that’s the impression I got from E.L. James.

  20. I am genuinely grateful to you for recapping this crap for us. You’re hilarious, and Lord knows, I couldn’t read this crap if I tried. I got about 3 chapters in and had to stop because the author doesn’t seem to have much of a grasp of the english language. What’s with all of the misuse of commas?

    1. Listen, she just wrote it for fun, okay! She doesn’t proof read before she publishes or some crap like that. That’s the only reason I have for this train wreck being the way it is.

      1. I would be ashamed to publish something this badly written, which is why I am not an author (I have absolutely no imagination). At least my crap would be grammatically correct, though!

        1. Same. I nearly always have a friend beta-read my fan fiction, or at the very least proofread it myself before I post. Sometimes some typos slip through, but I don’t have so much contempt for potential readers that I won’t bother cleaning up the prose on the most basic level before posting.

  21. So Timon and Pumba fanfic does exist(yes I went and looked) Unfortunately I can’t find the ship’s name(will keep looking). I also, don’t know if it’s slash fic, nor do I want too.

  22. So, I love Buffy and therefore have enjoyed those recaps muchly.

    However, there is nothing I love more than tearing apart horrible writing, especially when it has a cult following and I don’t understand why. So if you never do another Buffy recap but continue with these (I’m sure we can find MANY more worthy books to keep you busy forever and perhaps you should look into compiling them in a book of your own, which I’d totally buy) I will not be even a little upset.

    I can’t read these at work, even on my phone, because I burst out laughing every few lines.

    1. I agree. The Buffy recaps are hilarious, too, but I love these because humor helps me get through the fact that a piece of literature (and I use the term very loosely) this horrendously, unapologetically bad has enough fans that it’s getting a movie and making this “author” a millionaire.

      I think snarky recaps of work containing harmful messages (e.g all the rampant misogyny in this and in 50 shades) are actually a good thing, because they might spread some awareness of why abuse =/= romance. I know that Jenny’s 50 Shades recaps helped a friend of mine who loved the books realize why the relationship was so unhealthy (and turned her into a big fan of The Boss and sequels). Plus, for aspiring writers, they’re also a good demonstration of what *not* to do. And for everyone else, they’re just hilarious and entertaining.

    2. Jenny! You should come out with your own readers’ guides, like SparkNotes or Cliff’s Notes, only for brutally critiquing terrible books. I would totally buy TroutNotes!

    3. I’ll still be doing the Buffy recaps! I’ve just spaced them out because they take a TON of work for screencaps, quotes, etc.

  23. “It is just that I was raised in a home where tattoos and piercings are not expectable …”

    She means “acceptable,” right? RIGHT???

    Wow. I must reiterate my previous comment that I am so glad she didn’t ruin this masterpiece with … editing. (I mean.. editing.)

    1. Maybe she means “respectable”?
      Expectable technically is a word, but not in the context she’s using it. If she wanted to say “Tattoos and piercings are not likely to be seen in our household,” then she should have just said that.

  24. “A phase is a passage of time. To faze is to disturb or unsettle”, and a phaser would be a really cool thing to have! Then we could laser stun/blast bad fanfic away.

  25. I’m truly impressed that the writing here is worse than 50 Shades. Are people really so desperate to find something to fap to that they can overlook bad plot, bad characterization, and bad grammar? At least get the sentences constructed correctly. :(

  26. Also, the video you posted was the first time I saw these One Direction dudes in action, and now I feel like a Grandma. They’re all about 90 lbs and 15 years old. Seems like the author of this fic, as young as she is, is still too old for these guys.

    1. I know this is going to sound massively contradictory coming from a K-pop and J-pop fan (Korean and Japanese pop), but I had the exact same reaction. I’m over 30 and they look like kids I baby-sit. I would feel creepy as hell reading anything involving these kids in a sexual context. At least most K-pop and J-pop idols are in their 20s so I feel mildly less creepy, lol.

      1. I’m about the author’s age and I find these guys too young for my taste. But then I tend to find older men attractive, so this lot would need another twenty to forty years before they would catch my eye. Even Christian Grey made me think ‘what do you mean older?! He’s in his twenties!’ since ‘older’ usually makes me think of silver foxes. Not copper douchebags.

        1. Ugh, this. I was just 12 in 1999 but I’ve always assumed that once you’re rich and famous, you’d try to look cool and awesome like N’sync (yeah, I was tacky then, I still am today). I’ve always thought boy bands should always push the envelope on fashion statements, not trying to look like the teen section of a JC Penny catalogue.

          But yeah, since the author should be older than the 1D guys, what exactly is her target audience? Sure, I’ve met girls my age who love them (fair enough), but who is she really hoping would buy their books?
          I still remember I was in my teens and I was weirded out by my male classmates for still looking squishy-cheeked and little (while desperately trying to lose their virginity a la American Pie style).
          There’s a reason why Twilight hired Robert Pattinson who was already in his 20s when he played the role of an ‘immortal dude who looks *just* 17′. Most of us girls develop faster than boys, and thanks to Hollywood, we’ve been fed the notion that we could only find older guys hot for so many decades.

  27. Oh man. I just had a rage black out from seeing the phrase “asking to get raped”. Someone needs to go Olivia Benson on these peoples asses.

    Sadly, it wouldn’t surprise me if something terrible does happen to Steph. I’m sure she’ll get better though and start dressing like a proper lady afterwards and laugh about how silly she’s been. She will be healed by the amazing power of the protagonists magical friendship.

    1. No, no! She’ll be rescued from anything really bad by the nun-dressed one! Thus establishing their friendship. And she will be grateful because of being “sweet” but she’ll still be wayward at times, as the plot requires.

  28. It is really disturbing how we are supposed to like these “heroines” so much more for their child-likeness and naivety, and see it as negative and unattractive when they’re not. Ugh, I wanna punch something!

    But great recaps, I love reading them!

  29. Just one thing. The university in Pullman is Washington State University not University of Washington. We can’t get our Cougars and Huskies mixed up. :)

    1. Glad someone said this! University of Washington, UW, and Washington State University, WSU, are two different universities on opposite sides of the state.

  30. I wanted to know if there was an explanation as to why the entirety of One Direction was attending college in Washington, so I went and started reading, then I switched to skimming one chapter out of twenty. I don’t think I missed much. I went all the way to the end of the third book (as much as is written, anyway) and I’m still confused on a) why it was written with One Direction as characters, because I don’t see how that contributed to the story at all, and b) why this guy is seen as a hero. He’s at least as bad as Christian Grey, and I stress “at least.”

    I predict that next we will see a fanfic with Ryan Gosling as the asshole boyfriend. He’s generally seen as a nice guy, right? He’s always saving people from getting hit with taxis and whatnot.

    1. I’m a fan of many Asian pop groups, and I’ve seen a *lot* of fan fiction (from English-speaking fans, obviously) that’s set in the western world (contemporary US, or western historical eras like the European Middle Ages). I don’t know if the author of After is American or just wanted to write 50 Shades but with 1D, but in the case of international Asian pop fanfic authors, they’re probably just writing what they know, and they want to picture their favorite idols playing basically original characters. By keeping a superficial tie to the fandom, they’ve got a built-in readership that probably wouldn’t have looked at the fic otherwise.

      Just my $0.02

      1. Where does she say that this is 50 shades fanfic? Cause I have been looking, but can’t find anything.

        1. She says 50 Shades is her favorite book in her bio, and a lot of this stuff is really similar to 50 tropes. Whether she admits it or not, this is straight up 50 fanfic with 1D shoehorned in.

    2. This is essentially One Direction Real People fanfic, hence why they are in this. It’s also AU(Alternate Universe) which is when a writer puts a character or person in a different setting than there normal one. It’s possible this is a 50 shades crossover fic or that the author was inspired by that book.

      If you need a long explanation than that, just ask.

      1. Ok. I knew it was an RPF (because Jenny said so) and I knew that AU fanfics existed, but I wasn’t sure if this story was AU or just weird.

  31. Argh. Just. Argh.

    Dressing up in sexy, skimpy clothing is fun, in certain circumstances (like, I dunno, a FRAT PARTY). As long as i’m not breaking any public indecency laws or walking around naked, why shouldn’t I dress how I want? That has absolutely nothing to do with how respectable I am, and this sort of attitude drives me bonkers.

    I’d probably wear makeup too if I wasn’t allergic to 80% of it. The stuff i’m not allergic to = an intersection between drab, dermatologist approved shit and insanely expensive, probably needs to be replaced every month shit.

  32. Your goblin king t-shirt is just too much. I went to watch Labyrinth for the millionth time just last week, and cracked the dvd in half taking it out of the case. Needless to say, I was pretty devastated.

  33. I laughed internally yet again at the Morgan Freeman reference. Someone should hire that guy and get him to read this out. It will make it 1000 times better.

    Yeah see, I’m close in age with the author ( she’s around 25 right) and even I think writing about 1D is creepy as fuck. She would be the first 20 something that I know off that digs them. I mean If I was going to choose a member of the 1d crowd it would probably be zack Malik or whatever his name is, cause he’s sexy exotic features are bangable. But I’m not obssesed with them. It just makes me question the age of her readership because if they’re really young ( like my cousins who are in their early to mid teens and absolutely love 1d) then that’s really off. Kids should not be reading smut and if they do at least they should be reading well written smut, which this is not.

    1. Well 1D is in their early 20′s I believe. Also there are a lot of 20 somethings that are into them. So it’s possible this fic was targeted at them. Also, teenagers do read smut, hell some of them even write it. That’s the world of fanfic for you.

    2. I think it’s a little extreme to say someone in their mid-teens shouldn’t read smut. Some 16 year olds are perfectly capable of having safe, consensual sexual relationships of their own; I hardly think we need to cover their eyes during text-based smut scenes.

      Also, ick, could we not with “sexy exotic features.”

      1. …agreed. “Exotic”, ugh. Nice way of saying “Not white”…

        Also God forbid teenagers explore their sexuality in a way that’s not going to harm them or put them at ANY risk!! Sounds like a terrible idea!

        1. I really don’t see what’s wrong with the term exotic. Yeah he’s not white. What’s your point? Would you rather I say “man he is so attractive and sexy because he’s not white”. Just not. Stop with the PC-ness. If he’s attractive because I like the colour of his skin of the almond shaped if his eyes or his dark hair doesn’t make me a fucking racist.

          So could we not with the apparent ‘racism’ where there is none?

          Also I never stated it was wrong to read smut. I agree it is and can be sexually healthy like masturbation. My only point is that I look at my younger cousins and can’t imagine them doing that. And if they did then fine. Although I hope that it’s better written than this trash. That’s just my 2c.

          1. Whoops apparently I did say they shouldn’t read smut my bad! They should read better written smut or books in general I meant to say.

          2. Okay but if you like someone’s dark skin or almond-shaped eyes, you like their dark skin and almond-shaped eyes. You don’t like ~how foreign and mysteriously different they are~. Use of the word exotic highlights distance, geographic and cultural.

            Exotic is not a compliment. It’s not a compliment in the way that telling Black people that they’re “so articulate” is not a compliment. It’s all well and good that you’re not racist in your convictions– yay! But when you use imprecise, outdated language like ‘exotic,’ you’re reading out of a pretty racist playbook.

      2. I agree with the first part. teenagers aren’t little children and sex shouldn’t be something that is hidden from them. I am pretty sure they know what’s up anyway.

        Why ick to that term?

        1. Yeah I agree. Children and the like have access to porn these days and while IMO that’s iffy to me, it’s iffy to me for certain reasons. I’m not trying to get onto some moral high ground with this but if children and teens are exposed to porn, and this kind of fanfic then the issue is they can’t fully understand that it is not real of a sexual healthy relationship if that’s all they are exposed to. If they are not being educated that sex doesn’t really play out like that in a ‘normal’ relationship then they are getting their information from the wrong texts.
          The youth that get their sexual education from porn is dangerous because often porn depicts women in really degrading ways. I mean let’s face it porn started out for the gratification of men.
          And I find the same thing with fanfics and erotic novels. I don’t think I have to explain myself when I say that if a young woman who is curious about sex but wasn’t taught anything through her parents or schools picks up FsoG as her only source of education, then it can be problematic.
          I hope I’m making sense with this.

          1. Laina,

            Because PoC is the absolute law of what is okay and not okay.
            I read her story and while I understand where she is coming from she lost me when she started describing others as ‘the white folk’.
            Personally I don’t see calling someone exotic from a position ofprivilege. I don’t think I’m superior or better than someone who is exotic. And if someone calls me exotic (which I have been told) I don’t think they’re an assswipe because they’re coming from a superior position than I. I’m exotic because I look different. I’m different because I’m from a different nationality, ethnicity, race etc. And I’m proud of those traits. If those small parts that make me me is exotic then call me exotic.

            And I have a problem with your first statement that exotic refers to implying someone is not white.
            The first being that anyone who is not exotic must be white. Because Anglosaxons can’t be exotic anywhere. I just think that’s fallacy. You go to any country where White is not the norm and I guarantee you people will be looking and thinking you’re exotic (assuming that you are predominately of Anglo-Saxon origins).
            The second is that your statement assumes that only white people have the privilege of calling someone exotic, but anyone else is denied of using that term.

            Personally if exotic is the most racist thing you can say to someone and they get insulted then it suggests to me they’re not 100% proud of who they are. Different isn’t bad, but if you take being different as that then you’re going to be really disappointed throughout your life. Exotic to me is about embracing peoples’s differences.

          2. To Jessica: Eh, and why is it, exactly, that PoC are “different”? Different from what? White people? But why are we normal and PoC are “different”?
            And it is seriously bordering on cynicism to imply PoC aren’t proud enough of who they are when they’re getting told day in day out that how they look is wrong and, oh, different.

    3. I don’t know, I read smut when I was a kid, and it worked out pretty well for me. The very first fanfic I ever read was Mara Jade/Lando Calrissian AU fic in which they went shopping at Victoria’s Secret and banged in a dressing room.


      (Also, let’s keep “exotic” as a label for pets, plants, and topless dancing. When applied to people, it’s well-meaning, but derogatory.) :D

      1. If you take that as derogatory then sure but I don’t. It’s all how you use the word I guess.
        What else am I supposed to say?
        And I get told I have exotic features as well and I don’t find it insulting or racist at all, and that’s where I’m coming from with my own experiences. I don’t associate it as a bad thing and I’m sorry that you do.
        I don’t see it as reducing someone or thinking of them as ‘other’.
        But this is your blog Jenny and if you find it insulting then I’ll refrain from writing that word again.

        1. As a person I’m not exotic. I’m just as “normal” as someone who has white anglo features. Saying someone is exotic implies that white is the default and everything else is other.

          1. Maybe, that’s the way to take it, but it doesn’t always mean that. Also in certain communities etc… white is the default, so anyone else is exotic. I just take it to mean different.

          2. Also, the word exotic doesn’t always apply to race, or cultural or whatever when it is used to describe people.

        2. I feel the same way you do about the word. Perhaps this is also based off my experience with the word.

      2. Yes, yes, it’s okay for teenagers to read the smut.

        As for the term exotic, I don’t really find it derogatory when applied to people and culture. I also just thought exotic meant different or not normal in a certain setting. So it makes sense to me I guess. I could see how it could be used as an insult, but I think most people don’t mean it that way.

  34. I think whether or not that kind of dress and demeanor is “typical” depends a lot on the specific university culture, these days. The frats around here? It’d be pretty atypical, but they wouldn’t be unwelcome. They’d probably just get a reputation for being a little crazy.

  35. I just think it’s funny that this frat party seems to be occurring at 9 AM, seeing as how Tessa went straight from her shower to putting on her business-suit dress to driving to the party with the group.

  36. “Sounds like the party is riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight here.”

    I laughed for ten minutes straight about that. I’m so glad you’re recapping again. It’s amazing!

    I really want to like this story, I seriously do, but I’m already sick of Tessa’s weird obsession with tattoos. That is the least interesting, most jerky hangup on the planet. She’s such a butt.

  37. The punctuation in this fic is giving me a headache…

    YA heroines too often hate every female around them, usually even their supposedly best friends. I never understood where that came from, It just doesn’t make sense to me. How is a judgemental attitude supposed to get me to like the character?


    I only just realised that Tess must be named after Tess of the D’Urbervilles, mustn’t she?

    LOL forever at expectable.

  39. That last comment. That just… that just.. NO! JUST NO! SHUT YOUR STUPID MOUTH! Good recap. Though the maroon/plum thing, I don’t see them as as close colors at all. Maroon is red to me and plum is purple, I don’t know maybe it’s just me though.

    1. Yes, plum is purpler than maroon.

      Maybe Tessa is more of an “autumn” than a “winter”?

      Or, then again, maybe Tessa is just more of a “maroon” as Bugs Bunny would say.

  40. I bet you a hundred bucks “Timba” is also the name of the Timon/Pumba ‘ship that is undoubtedly out there.

    I hate you.

  41. “I’d rather get tattooed on the inside of my armpit than get stung by a bee, because it would hurt less.”

    I laughed so hard. I thought it was just me. I’ve never felt a tattoo that hurt like a bee sting and I have 12. Maybe they aren’t in the same place as hers. Did anyone else read ‘Theta XI’ as ‘THE TAXI’? Also TessAnnabella’s mom comes off a little mommy dearest with a dash of Norma Bates. These sheltered characters with overbearing parents make me wonder if we’re reading about the earlier life of a serial killer. Love your recaps I follow you on Twitter. Been a fan since I stumbled upon the ol’ 50SOG. #purplebackground

  42. “No one else that I see is covered in tattoos like him, Niall and Steph. Maybe I can make some friends here tonight after all.”

    OH SWEET SUMMER CHILD. You will be SO surprised.

    I admit, I’ve only went to college in England. But it was my first time away from home (away from rural places where it was kinda like Vulgaria from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. You’d think there’d been a plague that wiped out all the kids in my hometown), and I haven’t been around people my age outside the classroom.
    I did learn though, that once you get to my college, all the kids who looked ‘straight ‘ have gone nuts for alcohol and drugs. We used to even have a guy in my dorm that lost 3/4 of his liver after only being in college for 6 months. He was drinking that much to the point that he had to take surgery, and I still remember how he laughed about it.

    It’s sad, and it’s a huge shame. But there are a lot of kids who came from ‘conservative’ and ‘good’ families that wound up becoming destructive to themselves and everyone else. Their groups were also a hotbed of rampant racism that targeted on shy asian students (One other story: When the popular girls in my dorm trashed our communal kitchen, the campus staff got furious and tried to force all of us to pay for the damages. The girls who actually were responsible tried to harass the staff into believing it was the one asian student that destroyed the place. If they gotten their way, the poor girl would’ve wound up paying for two fridges, the garbage collectors and the janitors’ full day wages. The popular girls just didn’t GAF).

    So Tessa, just because some people chose to wear ink on their skin, doesn’t mean they’re nasty people. In fact, I often find that they have a very lax attitude towards drinking and partying (ie. They already experimented it before college, and are therefore not so prone to going crazy over it). In fact, they wouldn’t even care if you didn’t want to party or anything. It’s the usual ‘conservative’ kids that would shun you for not being ‘fun’ enough.

  43. I had to pause in my read just to mention this:

    “The dress barely reaches the tops of her tighs”


    ok back to the reading

  44. Just wanted you to know – as soon as I read the phrase, “my inner Sophie Scaife,” a bunch of details about her immediately came to mind, but so quickly I didn’t quite notice it happening. And then I realized that I was thinking about her like I would a real person rather than a character. So, yeah – you’re awesome. And your story deserves a movie deal so much more than any of this 50 Shades of Twilight tripe.

  45. “I actually think what she chose is a good choice I mean like wearing 3 inch heals and a tiny dress… That pretty much just asking to get raped.”

    I think I just had a seizure. *twitches violently*

  46. In my experience lots of frat guys have tattoos because it’s more of a norm now in major league sports like basketball and football. However, they have typical “bro” tats like tribal or something sports related. Someone like Steph or Harry sounds more “alt” and I wouldn’t think they would go to a frat party. Especially Steph. She looks like me and I never get invited to those things. Lol.

  47. Ok um… this is 2015. In this day and age, the kind of internalized misogyny, dickish behavior, and just downright shitty literature should be getting OLD right about now. This stuff is the same crap over and over and over and over and over and OVER again. CAN THIS STOP???

  48. TBH, so far this story is sounding *way* more heavily researched and thought-out than 50 Shades ever did. Even if the WSU info sounds like it came from a website, at least there’s been nothing even close to the level of the Portland/Seattle geographical confusion.

    Also, though a lot of the squicky tropes are still present, Anna Todd at least seems to be pulling her punches a bit, softening things around the edges. (Though maybe I just read too much of your Apoptosis (or whatever it’s called) reviews and have “cum-burping gutter slut” running around in my head for comparison.)

    The spelling/grammar stuff doesn’t bother me in a fanfic. You ragged on a missing preposition, but those types of errors are virtually impossible to catch in one’s own work (at least for me). I think you’re having to reach a bit to get the same level of snark on this one–though I’m by no means in a hurry to run out and read After in its entirety.

    Fun reading as always, and I’m curious to see if this story turns into a proper trainwreck or if it continues to show surprising flashes of writerly potential here and there.

  49. No! Indiana Evans is one of my favourite actresses. Poor girl.

    Dude. Steph APOLOGISED. Go easy on her, damn, Tessa.

    Okay you know what, fuck Loki’s ex, I like this Steph.



    Got some more similarities:
    - eyes too big for her face (can’t remember if it was Ana or Bella who had this complaint, but I think it was Ana)
    - doesn’t like her full name and gets pissy when people use it

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