Jenny Reads After chapters 10 – 12 or “Don’t Forget Where You Belong (at this party, forever)”

You may have noticed that this is not Wednesday blogging. I got behind in a bunch of stuff, so I skipped out on that one this week. However, you can read about shitty jobs my Wednesday Blogging peeps Tess Grant, Kris Norris, Bronwyn Green, Gwendolyn Cease, and Jessica Jarman have toiled away at in the past.

Before we get into the recap, I want to discuss some bullshittery. 700 million “reads.” That’s the stat on the story’s WattPad landing page.

One assumes that when the average person– someone who doesn’t worry about things like unique page views and click-throughs and ping-backs– sees that number, they’re not going to think, “Many people have clicked on each individual chapter multiple times,” but “700 million people have read this book.”

This number, and the unspoken claim behind it (because WattPad is aware that they’re trying to make people think that 700 million individual people have read this story, or else they would be presenting a more realistic statistic) struck me as so ridiculous, I had to do some puzzling to try and put this claim into perspective.

Okay, let’s take the “700 million reads” claim in the spirit with which it was intended, and that is, to dupe you into believing 700 million people have read it, and break that number down a little. I combined the estimated populations of countries in which I knew large numbers of people spoke English. These countries were selected through the very scientific process of being countries I remembered as having significant populations of first-language English speakers without having to actually look anything else up, and they are as follows: United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. And the number I came to was 494.8 million.

Now, a note on the reason I chose populations with first-language English speakers: because I’m convinced that anyone whose secondary language skills in English are just semi-fluent wouldn’t be able to understand a flipping sentence in the grammar and spelling nightmare that is After. You’d have to have some mad proficiency skills to sift through the errors, and it’s harder to find an estimate for “mad proficiency English language” on Google. I’m an author, I work with the English language every day, it’s my first language that I have spoken for thirty-two years of my life, it was the primary language used throughout my education, yet I have difficulty figuring out what’s being said in some of these chapters.

So, let’s look at that 494.8 million figure. To reach that number, it means every single person in all of those countries would have to read After.  This would include individuals who are:

  • illiterate
  • infants
  • unable to access the internet
  • unable to access WattPad due to incompatibility with their screen reading software
  • old people who refuse to use computers
  • in comas
  • living strict religious practices forbidding the use of electricity
  • out of fucks to give for whatever the next big thing is
  • unaware of fanfic and would have no desire to seek it out
  • contrary hipsters who refuse to investigate anything popular
  • saddled with a passing regard for grammar and spelling that would normally preclude them from reading something like After

Every. single. person. But even then, even with every estimated living human being in all those countries, the number falls a little over 300 million short. Add to this the number of readers leaving comments like:

“rereading cuz I can’t wait for anna to update! haha and stop giving spoilers! I hate them”

we have to assume that at least some of these “reads” are coming from repeat offenders (who seem to believe the story might be different upon second reading, else why would they worry about spoilers?).

To put it into even more perspective, 700 million individual readers would make up 25% of estimated internet users.  Note the lack of qualifier there. Not “internet users in America” or “internet users in English speaking countries.” Internet users total, based on stats from the International Telecommunications Union.

This, friends, is basically horseshit. The 50 Shades of Grey trilogy is an international juggernaut, translated into over fifty languages, is still dominating our everyday lives with ever more outdated quips referencing its title and themes, and guess how many copies it’s sold? As of February, 100 million. It’s clear that in the bid to make “fetch” happen with After, the idea is to make its success seem not just comparable with the book it shamelessly imitates, but bigger and more important. Somehow, this tactic is convincing enough that it attracted the interest of Hollywood, who apparently believe that 700 million clicks– some by repeat readers– on three stories with approximately one-hundred separate chapters per part is going to translate into some kind of globally dominating force equivalent to seven 50 Shades of Greys.

Oh, fuck me. It probably will. CHAPTER 10.

In our last recap, we left Tessa in Harry’s room with her passed out roommate, Steph The Horrible.

“I asked you what the hell you are doing in my room?” Harry repeats, just as harsh as the first time.

Because of the lack of contractions in their speech, all the characters come off as robotic. But he’s supposed to sound harsh and robotic. So in my new headcanon, Harry is the Gumball Gaurdian:

gumball guardian possessed by hat

Tessa tries to explain to Harry why she and Steph are in the room, but he’s not having it, and Tessa makes this genius leap:

“You are a part of this fraternity?” I ask him. There is no hiding the shock in my voice. Harry is far from what I imagine frat boys to be like.

You and me both, lady. Harry backs her against the bookcase, calls her Theresa, smirks at her, then says Steph can’t stay in his room.

When I turn around he has the small stud in his lip between his teeth. What made him decide to put a hole in his lip and eyebrow? That had to be painful.

“You can’t keep your drunk, passed out roommate who is also my friend safe in my room for no reason. Any questions?” “Why do you have piercings? Did they hurt?”

Okay.

We’ll roll with this. We have no other choice. Tessa asks Harry why Steph can’t stay there, and he actually does have a really, really good reason:

“We are,” he says, “but no one stays in my room” his arms cross over his chest and for the first time since I met him, I can make out the shape of one of his tattoos. It’s a rose, printed in the middle of his covered forearm. Harry, with a rose tattoo?

See? It’s his room. That’s why she can’t stay there, and must take her chances in the rest of the house full of drunken frat boys. Totally reasonable.

Let’s move on to the tattoos. She’s mentioned this bastard’s ink about thirty-eight thousand times, right? She’s never taken the time to look at them? And a rose is a pretty obvious symbol, it’s not like you’re going to look at it and go, “What’s that? Is it a car? Is it a dragon? Is that his mom’s name? What’s that supposed to be?” while craning your neck this way and that like you’re trying to focus on a fucking Magic Eye. Especially when it’s this actual tattoo that actual Harry Styles actually has:

harry styles rose tattoo

Is that a rose? It’s so abstract and difficult to puzzle out. 

As you know, Harry and Tessa are going to end up together, because this is a 50 Shades of Grey inspired One Direction RPF and Harry is being a huge jerk to our innocent, virginal heroine. So there has to be some sexual tension in here at some point. What better place than to awkwardly shoe-horn it in than right beside the unconscious body of your sleeping roommate?

Feeling brave and annoyed, I let out a laugh. “Ohh.. I see. So only girls who make out with you can come into your room?” As the words leave my mouth his smile grows.

“That wasn’t my room. Are you trying to say you want to make out with me? You’re not my type sorry,” he says and for some reason it hurts my feelings.

Because you’ve already fallen for him, hard and fast. Because that’s how you know love is real. When you want him, even when he’s treating you terribly. Then later, because he is treating you terribly. He may seem like a jerk now, and he is a jerk, but beneath the topmost layer of jerk there is a flaking pie crust of manipulation that you will savor as it melts in your mouth and convinces you that he has a heart of, if not gold, at least a very convincing plated metal.

“You are.. you are..” I can’t find the words. My feelings are hurt and I am embarrassed, annoyed, and exhausted from the party. I stop trying to speak to him, he isn’t worth it. “Well.. then you take her to another room, and I will find a way back to the dorms.” I say and head for the door.

“Ms. Young, can you explain why on the night of the frat party, you left your unconscious roommate alone with a guy who sounds like a sexual predator?” “Well, my feelings were hurt and I was tired.”

Okay.

I can’t help the tears that fall down my cheeks as I reach the bottom of the stairs.

This sentence would be much better if it read: “I can’t help the tears that fall down my cheeks as I fall down the stairs,” which was the way my wishful brain initially read it.

I hate college so far and classes haven’t even started. Why couldn’t I just get a roommate that was like me? I should be asleep now, preparing for Monday’s classes. I don’t belong at parties like this, and I most certainly don’t belong hanging out with these types of people.

Um, what types of people, exactly, Tessa? Because Steph is asleep, and you’re the one at the party. Steph is living up to your standards where you are failing. #TEAMSTEPH

Harry is such a mystery to me, why must he always be so rude?

You’ve known him for a handful of hours, lady. He’s not a mystery, he’s just somebody you don’t know. “Mystery” implies that you’ve examined all the known facts and still can’t come to a reasonable conclusion. You haven’t had time to do that.  And why must he “always” be so rude? Always as in, the three interactions you’ve had with him? One of which was you barging in and staring at him while he was boning some chick, apparently at the speed of light since he’s done already? It’s not like you’ve spent enough time with this guy to pick up a pattern in the data.

There is no way a rude, disrespectful, tattooed jerk like harry could possibly enjoy those amazing books.

Excuse me, but on behalf of rude, disrespectful, tattooed jerks everywhere, we can read. And we’re not quarantined to our own section in the library, either. Tessa wanders around the house in tears, reiterating how responsible she is and how she shouldn’t have come to the party because she doesn’t want to be there. Basically the same inner monologue she’s been spouting since she got invited. She looks for Niall, but:

Niall’s blonde hair and tattoos are no where to be found,

I guess they’ll have to ID him from dental records, then. After considering just going into a bedroom and laying down to sleep, Tessa goes upstairs to the bathroom to call Noah. She tells him her predicament, and he says:

“A party? With that red head girl?” he sounds surprised.

“Yea..but she is passed out.”

“Whoa, why are you even hanging out with her? She’s so.. just not someone you should hang around,” he says and it irritates me. I wanted him to tell me it will be okay, tomorrow is a new day, something besides being judgmental.

Wait, you wanted him to not be judgmental of Steph? Why is that? Because then there would be a redundancy in the “judging Steph” department? Listen, Noah, you need to pull your weight on the “meaningless platitudes soon-to-be ex-boyfriends use” committee before you get that kind of promotion. But she doesn’t get a chance to explain any of this to Noah, because someone tries to open the door, so she says she’ll call him back.

An impatient knock pounds on the door and  I groan as I open it, wiping my eyes again. “I said just a min..” I stop as glaring green eyes pour into mine.

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
  15. Heroine is an English major
  16. Heroine loves classic literature
  17. Erroneously romanticized figure from classic literature as shorthand characterization for the hero
  18. Jerk waters run deep, or, intelligence breeds sensitivity

Random reader comment from this chapter:

That’s a serious medical concern you should see a doctor

It took me a second to realize that she was referring to the pouring eyes in the last line of the chapter, but when I did, this person became my hero.

CHAPTER 11.

I haven’t previously noticed the color of his eyes, he hasn’t made eye contact with me until now.

Which is weird, because in the last chapter he had her backed up against a bookcase, talking about making out. Was he just staring into middle distance, slightly to the left of her head?

I bet you were wondering when this was going to get really steamy, right? Obviously, we’re not referring to their first kiss. That’s not sexy enough for this genre. We need to see the first time the hero physically assaults her:

He grabs my arm, not gently, and pulls me back.

“Don’t touch me!” I yell, jerking my arm from him.

You know it’s true love, because she has to shout “Don’t touch me!”

“Have you been crying?” he asks, his tone curious. If this wasn’t Harry, I might actually think he was concerned for me.

“Just leave me alone Harry,” he stands in front of me, his tall frame blocking my movements. I can’t take much  more of his games, not tonight. “Harry, please. I am begging you, if you have one decent bone in your body you will leave me be. Just save whatever mean comment you are going to say for tomorrow. Please,” I beg him, literally.

Can I just say how excited I am that the author used “literally” the correct way? I literally would never have hoped for that.

He watches me for a moment before any words come out, “there’s a room down the hall you can sleep in. Steph is already in there,” he flatly states.

Harry leaves, and Tessa is like:

What the hell was that? Harry without any rude comments? I know I am in for it if I see him tomorrow. He is probably already planning out all the snide comments he will make to me.

Pictured: Tessa.

Pictured: Tessa.

The bedroom Steph is in is a lot smaller than Harry’s, which makes Tessa wonder:

Maybe he is the leader or something?

Which I bring up because I did some research on this frat, and as it turns out, their main focus is fostering leadership qualities. I’m torn between joking about sullen, rude, physically abusive Harry not having leadership qualities, and joking that he’s probably president of the fucking frat.

The more likely explanation is that everyone is afraid of him and he bullied his way into the largest room.

So bully. Much intimidate.

So bully. Much intimidate.

Oh. My gosh. Look at that sweet face. How is this story being written about him? I want to make him a sandwich and ask him what he’s majoring in. I want to offer to pay for one of his text books, because he looks like a guy who’s going places. Why is this author so hell bent on making him into an abusive loser? I mean, let’s be honest here, this was the guy Taylor “Purity Ball” Swift went through her tattooed bad boy phase with. How do you walk away from that knowledge and go, “I bet he’d be a real asshole in a relationship, holy cats that makes me wet?”

Steph is laying across one of the beds so I kick off my shoes and cover her with the blanket before locking the door and laying down on the other bed. My thoughts are all over the place as I fall asleep, images of swallows and green eyes flow through my dreams.

I’m going to assume she’s referring to a tattoo of a swallow that she just hasn’t bothered to describe in the text. Judging from Styles’s other tattoos, he probably has a swallow or two somewhere.

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
  15. Heroine is an English major
  16. Heroine loves classic literature
  17. Erroneously romanticized figure from classic literature as shorthand characterization for the hero
  18. Jerk waters run deep, or, intelligence breeds sensitivity
  19. The chapter’s over, so goodnight!
  20. I wonder what my incredibly literal dreams are trying to tell you

Random reader comment from this chapter:

Wouldn’t proper grammar be “let me be” and not “leave me be”?

CHAPTER 12.

The next morning,  Tessa wakes up to the ongoing and super fascinating problem of how she’s going to get home, which has in no way brought the narrative to a total standstill.

The hallway is empty and surprisingly clean despite the party last night. I have to step over sleeping bodies as I make my way downstairs.

Tessa, aren’t you an English major? How do you not know the definition of “empty”?

Of course, Tessa is shocked to see red cups and passed out people everywhere:

I would love to see Harry cleaning up all this trash, as the thought goes through y head I stifle a giggle.

Oh my god, wouldn’t it be funny to see that? That would be so satisfying. I mean, imagine, Harry standing there with a garbage bag, picking up cups, having to clean things. Oh my god, I wish I could see–

“What’s so funny?” I turn around and of course Harry is entering the kitchen, a trash bag in his hand. He sweeps his arm over the counter top, making the cups fall into the trash bag.

THIS STORY SHOCKS THE READER AT EVERY TURN!

Even thought it’s chapter twelve and probably not even a thousand words into the story, the interaction Tessa and Harry have– Tessa asking questions, Harry either not answering or giving vague answers– is tired, and way, way too similar to another book I’ve read wherein the hero won’t have a real conversation with the heroine. Tessa goes upstairs, wakes up Steph, and suggests they catch a bus, but Steph assures her that Harry will drive them.

During the drive back to the dorms Steph sings along to whatever metal song is playing through the speakers and Harry rolls all the windows down. Despite my pleas to roll them up.

To be fair, both Harry and Steph were drinking hard at a party. You probably want those windows down while they sweat out whatever toxins their livers can’t handle.

Then Harry drops them off at the dorm, and the chapter is over. No, seriously. The entire chapter is just, “Tessa wakes up, Harry drives them to the dorms.” I get that this is fanfic, but if this was a fic I was following in a fandom I was into? I would stop reading, because that shit is ridic. People wait for those updates, don’t disrespect them with that kind of bullshit.

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
  15. Heroine is an English major
  16. Heroine loves classic literature
  17. Erroneously romanticized figure from classic literature as shorthand characterization for the hero
  18. Jerk waters run deep, or, intelligence breeds sensitivity
  19. The chapter’s over, so goodnight!
  20. I wonder what my incredibly literal dreams are trying to tell you
  21. English major who can’t English
  22. Hero consistently/insistently uses heroine’s full first name
  23. Cross-examining a hostile witness = conversation

Random reader comment from this chapter:

Hmm my mom always said if a boy is mean to you that means he likes you

That’s all. Join us next week for three chapters in which Tessa and Steph walk to the door, open the door, and walk to their dorm room. Gripping!

128 thoughts on “Jenny Reads After chapters 10 – 12 or “Don’t Forget Where You Belong (at this party, forever)”

  1. I laughed for five minutes straight at Harry in that little bear hat.

    I can’t believe this story’s being written about him either. For me, it’s one thing to take a fictional character and make them into an asshole (or just highlight their assholeness) but this guy’s a real person…And loads of people are deeply dedicated to a story where he acts like a massive butthead. Creepy.

  2. “THIS STORY SHOCKS THE READER AT EVERY TURN!”

    He’s picking up the cups! He’s secretly sensitive and deep and helpful!

    Loving your recaps.

  3. I see that Todd (like James) is trying to change the meaning of words. James consistently described Ana as brave when Ana was doing absolutely nothing to warrant that description. And here we have what’s-her-name feeling brave for making a stupid joke. Ugh.

    Also, the 700 million is ridiculous. I remember seeing those views and thinking ‘bullshit.’ Please let the movie they make of this crapfest tank.

    1. And our heroine – yeah… no – left her passed out friend (not really because she hates Steph) there with what is basically a random guy? Oh, Jesus Fucking Christ. Why is what’s-her-face such a terrible human being? Why? WHY? She fails at life.

        1. that is…that’s just fucking ridiculous! This is complete shit, it’s poorly written, it’s plagiarism, and it’s basically slandering this poor 1D kid. There are so many other works on the internet that deserve their own movie. I think I need to go become a hermit because I’ve just lost any and all faith I had in society.

          1. In order to make it a movie, they’re going to have to change all the 1D dudes names. Tbh, I think after that happens, the appeal’s going to go right out the window since it’ll just be a story about some no-name twat and his judgey gf and I just realized that’s why people love 50SoG so it’ll probably be a big success, nvm

          2. Not to plagiarize your comment but I totally am because: yes. Have you gone to her site and read a full chapter? The lack of plot, character development, or any real acquaintance with the English language (grammar, punctuation, all of it) makes it sound like it was written by a…well, no, I’m not going to assign it to any age because that would be age assassination. It. Is. AWFUL. And don’t delve into the comments section–you’ll have your hermit hut up in minutes.

            Jenny, I LOVE that you are doing these. I know it’s probably doing some kind of neural damage to you but please…these brighten the worst day.

  4. This bullshit with the rose tattoo is killing me. His arms are “crossed over his chest,” and the rose is “in the middle of his covered forearm.” So…now that it’s covered, she can finally make out the shape?

    1. I think that’s supposed to mean covered with tattoos. So, just another reference to how many he has, not a reference to the dimwit heroine’s heretofore unmentioned X-ray vision.

      1. And the sleeve tattoo this guy doesn’t have? He’s… not that tattooed, tbh. He’s got maybe a dozen tattoos scattered over his body, and none of them are very big or very solid, or very integrated artistically with any of the rest of them. He looks like my early forays into making art with rubber stamps. When I was like five.

  5. Just out of curiosity, I did some math. My highest-ranking work on fanfiction.net was my NaNoWriMo project this year (http://archiveofourown.org/works/1020434) – the site says it’s had 142,500 hits. It’s 28 chapters long.

    I did some plugging into a spreadsheet and here’s what I came up with:

    Actual total number of hits: 142,500
    Actual total number of visitors: 118,851 (that’s “unique IP addresses who viewed any part of the story”)
    Actual number of individual visitors who read my last chapter at least once: 3118.

    That means right around 2.1% of those “hits” are people reading through the whole thing. Since fanfiction.net (and I assume this other site too) count each page reload as a “hit,” and they serve up the work a chapter at a time, that means one person reading through it creates 28 “hits” on my story. Or less, if they read five chapters and got bored, or (as I’m guessing, based on the huge dropoff after chapter 1), it’s counting bots and “oops didn’t meant to click that” as readers.

  6. Sweeping all the cups off a counter with your arm is a good way to get their remaining contents everywhere. Including all over yourself.

    Also, what the fuck is this?

    “Just leave me alone Harry,” he stands in front of me, his tall frame blocking my movements.

    Not only is that not how you write sentences with dialogue, it changes the subject to Harry when it’s Tessa talking. It’s like Harry forms words with the action of his legs and talks to himself.

    1. I’m just going to mentally add Harry spilling drinks all over himself and talking to himself into the story, because it’s 100% better that way.

  7. Yeah, whoah, this fic is portraying Harry as creepily aggressive pretty fast. It’s really common in bad boy fics, but those aren’t about REAL PEOPLE. I can’t remember if you mentioned if the boy himself was aware of this fan fiction, but I would be super creeped if someone was writing me into that character. Like, damn, what did I ever do to suggest I was perfect for slotting into Edward/Christian’s role of manipulative love interest?

    Bang on with your recaps as always, Jenny. Cracked me up.

    1. Part of me feels bad for Harry Styles and the rest of me likes to imagine that the members of 1D are out there right now, reading these and teasing him about it. I’ll probably feel differently when it goes on.

  8. This fanfiction… the mind boggles at these stories. I thought the selling point of 1D (one of them anyway) is that they’re all a bunch of sweethearts. I mean I don’t know, I just know a preteen who gushes every time they are mentioned, haha.

    1. All I know of 1D is what I see posted on Pinterest from super fans and you’re right — they all seem to gush over how very sweet and nice the guys are supposed to be. So, with that very limited knowledge and based on the ONE song of theirs I have actually heard (which is quite sweet, actually), I don’t understand this story at all.

  9. Oh boy!
    This recap had me giggling so much, i did a pig snort.
    Since i work, im glad i have my own mini-lab to hide in so no one heard the pig snort. (Or at least no one has said anything.)
    Perhaps Tessa has tunnel vision and therefore can only see ink smudges and not the actual tattoo.
    The “empty” hallway filled [to the brim, probably] with sleeping bodies nearly killed me.
    Having skimmed this trilogy, i can’t wait to you get to the signature lines stolen directly from 50 Shades.

    1. I read the entire first book, and when I read FSoG trademarked dialogue my first thought was, “Isn’t that precious?” This shit makes me nostalgic for a simpler time in abusive relationship lit, I guess.

  10. Just so much to comment on!
    1) That picture of Harry in the panda hat…cute as a button! I want to bake him chocolate chip cookies and ask him if I can drive him back to his mommy.
    2) The idea that this little sweetheart is being turned into a major asswipe really gets on my tits. Zayn doesn’t fare any better. Poor kids.
    3) The reader comment about the grammar (on my phone, don’t know how to cut and paste on it)…because that is the biggest gaffe so far.
    4) Harry opened the door of the bathroom without her permission. What of she was doing a #2?!? The first thing out of my mouth would have been “I said give me a minute” in a really loud shout. And then I would have slammed the door shut.
    5) I have tattoos. They are all hidden. I love the various reactions I get when people find out I have them. And I have never had a Tessa type reaction. Self centered little prig.
    6) Leader of the frat? Do you mean president, Tessa? And this is I can’t believe for one minute Harry made it past Rush Week. All frats I know about are big on leadership, networking, community and volunteerism. This guy is the antithesis of that.In fact, we will find out he joined the frat because he couldn’t get in the dorms…cause that’s how that works. Seriously, I don’t believe this author actually went to college.
    Sorry this was so long, but honest to John! (Don’t really know what that means, but my m says it when she is frustrated beyond endurance.
    And Jenny, just to make your day happy…there is a TV series called You, Me & Them where Tony Head and Eve Myles are a couple. Just thought you should know…in case you didn’t.

    1. “Seriously, I don’t believe this author actually went to college.”

      Yep! This is her fantasy of what attending a real* college would be like… if only she’d been admitted, poor thing.

      *I’m not discounting the possibility that the author went to some community college as a day or night student.

      1. …can we not be kind of gross to people who didn’t go to college? Because, really, you’re not a “poor thing” if you decide to choose a different route in life.

        1. Of course not! The problem is that the author wants to write about co-ed dorms, fraternity parties, frat boys, drunk passed-out dorm room-mates, etc. But she was never there. So, she is indulging in a fantasy about something she never had, but for some reason wishes she had. God only knows why. Hence, my “poor thing”!

          1. Yeah, that comment was a little snotty. I went to community college. I didn’t meet a lot of stupid or lazy people, never ridicule people who are eager to learn and willing to do the work.

            But I applied for the other kind, so I spent a lot of time getting to know how they work. I’ve taken supplemental courses at universities, used their libraries, attended plays put on by their drama departments. I had friends who went to four year colleges with dorms, and I have an older sister who would take me to her friend’s college, and my parents both graduated from four year colleges with dorms. When a college club I was a member of attended a national convention, we encountered a huge cross section of college students from more traditional universities.

            Let’s not forget tv, movies, and books. Hearing about other people’s university experiences is actually super hard to avoid, it’s not exactly difficult to find out how four year universities with dorms work.

            This author is supposed to be 25. The only way she could be this clueless about US college life is if she’s a) not from North America, or b) has no friends.

      2. I actually did all my gen ed at community college and got my AA before transferring to a four-year for my BA. Community college is not easier than a four-year.

        1. “This author is supposed to be 25. The only way she could be this clueless about US college life is if she’s a) not from North America, or b) has no friends.”

          Well, if the author is anything at all like her Tessa character, I’d go with “b) has no friends.”

          My comment was meant to be snotty, not about community college students or community colleges themselves, whose curricula can be every bit as good or better than some four-year universities, but about the author and her view of college life. I was just trying to be charitable, not very seriously, in case the author might have, at some point, taken a course at some community college, and also very probably dropped out.

          The author doesn’t seem to be much into researching anything at all, including how to use a dictionary or a spell-checker.

          So, some TV shows, movies and books that the author has happened to watch or read, none to carefully, and half listening to other people’s stories about their college experiences might be grist to her fantasy mill. This author can’t be bothered with facts or proofreading. It is doubtful she inquired to closely into any of it.

          That said, it is very disturbing that this sort of illiterate fantasy is in any way popular with anyone, let alone people who want to make a movie out of it.

          1. I refuse to believe she is out of her teens, much less 25. Because based on the plot, writing “style,” etc., that is just damned depressing. (No offense to teenagers, most of whom could hopefully do better than this dreck.)

          2. Sherry — I’m pretty well into the second book and I have to say it DOES get a bit better. Not the writing. I mean, ick. I don’t think she graduated second grade English. But if you pull out all the extraneous crap that doesn’t add anything to the story, fix all of her obvious non-research issues and make the characters a little more consistent, somewhere in there is a good story. A writer with actual talent could make this something good.

            On another of Jenny’s posts this week, I brought up The Notebook. Lousy book, excellent movie. With a talented screenwriter, this has SOME potential.

  11. Also, how old is that kid? Cause in the picture where you see his tats, he looks no more that 14! How did he have time in his very short life to get that many? Took me forever to decide mine, let alone get them.

  12. Before I make a confession I just wanted to say hi Jenny. I’m new to your comments but I loved your ’50′ recaps, went away and read “The Girlfriend” and all subsequent Sophie and Neil related books and I only read this drivel so I could read along with you.

    Now to my confession – I’m pretty sure a good proportion of the 700 million views are mine. A) because I’m a total computer numpty and I simply couldn’t seem to make the screen that randomly reoccurs throughout the text, trying to get you to download Wattpad, to disappear without whizzing back and forth between random pages and chapters like an idiot and B) because I was reading this at speed (essentially trying to get the gist of the thing without it actually taking up too much of the head space I reserve for other stuff) every so often my brain would experience a delayed WTF moment and I’d have to go back and check things like ‘did she just say he was her room? I know I’m not exactly down with the kids but that one really passed me by.’ So call off the hunt and ‘down boy’ to all those publishing houses on a desperate hunt for the next ’50 Shades’. It was me, I did it, all my fault, mea culpa. Please don’t let my computer illiteracy and my general literacy be the reason this gets made into a film or anything. Please.

  13. I’m not a Directioner but the vast amounts of celebrity gossip I consume have told me that Harry does have a “bad boy/heartbreaker” rep, so I can see why this lady chose him to be the starring jerk in her story. But I agree, I just can’t take this snideness and glaring seriously when I see his face in that bear hat.

    Even just reading these excerpts gives me a serious headache. God bless you and your infinite patience, Jenny.

    1. The media does represent Harry as a bad boy/ heartbreaker but he really isn’t. I am a fan of One Direction, so I may be a bit biased but he really is sweet. There are tumblr masterpost comparing him to a cupcake. Stories like this, just add to the media’s perception of him.

      a fan listing reasons why they love harry:
      http://tommosgun.tumblr.com/post/98673069402/i-do-love-harry-lots-always-have-done-infact

      Also, despite “breaking Taylor Swift’s heart” or “Taylor Swift writing spiteful songs about him” as the media says he still shows respect for her.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abSXmvttiVk

      Also, it’s quite obvious most of his girlfriends are PR stunts.

      This isn’t expressed towards you, I’m sorry if this came off as rude :). I was just trying to show you how unfairly the media presents him and how stuff like After encourage it.

      Harry is very adorable in that bear hat. (I just felt the need to state that.)

    1. Literally (used correctly) laughed aloud. Now my boss wants to know what’s so funny. But I thank you anyway.

  14. This chick is so dramatic. Can you imagine how emotionally draining it would be just being around her? Poor, poor Steph.

    Also, imagining Harry as a Gumball Guardian has done terrible things to my mind. I can’t decide if it makes this crapfest more bearable, or ruins Adventure Time for me. All I know is the sex scenes are gonna get reeeeal weird in my head now. Thanks!

    1. I started reading all his dialogue imagining he was a robot (not gumball guardian, just any old robot) learning to interact with a human woman, and it gives the story a much needed dose of pathos. Not enough to make it, like, GOOD, but enough to get me through it.

  15. The way she goes on and on about all those tattoos makes it sound like she’s going to college with Nikki Sixx. Actually, the story would be way better if it was about Nikki Sixx…

    I have managed to torture myself by reading books 1 & 2 and just waiting for 3 to be finished so I can finish it. That said, I’ve come to several conclusions:
    1) The author has never had sex
    2) The author never went to college
    3) This book shouldn’t be classified as YA but as Fantasy!

    1. When I started reading this, I think I was picturing Nikki Sixx. Actually, I still picture Nikki Sixx, it seems to make more sense. Plus, only four more chapters to go. This woman needs to just pound those out, because I’m incapapable of not finishing what I start, and I just want this over with! It’s like riding this Millenium Force at Cedar Point. Just get to the top of hill already, cause I’m pretty sure I’m gonna die.

      1. I, too, have the problem of “I must finish what I start!” The problem is that I keep getting to points while I’m reading where I am just so furiously angry (at the author, at the comments) that I have to stop. I’m currently somewhere in the middle of the second “book.” How have you prevailed, brave soul?!

        1. I read the first book with breaks. I believe it took me four weeks to finish it. Books 2 and 3 i just skimmed, sometimes skipping whole portions because i was either
          A.) bored with this monotony
          B.) unable to lose any more brain cells
          C.) found something better to do/read

        2. Super rainy weekend, speed reader avoiding housework and no motivation to change out of my jammies. Read them in just over two days. One of the benefits of speed reading is that I let my brain make logical short cuts in the prose. These however, I had to keep backtracking because my brain kept telling me there was no logic to short cut with. Best over with quickly, like a papsmear.

      1. You know, I wrote a story once about a cat thing (long story) and had someone tell me that the behavior of the cat was something I’d gone through, they could tell!

        I’m allergic to cats. I’ve only ever had fish and they all died.

        Some virgins write very good sex :P

    2. Yeah, all the sororities should be knocking on the heroine’s door incessantly, falling all over themselves in their attempts to get her to join them.

      Because our heroine is so very special, of course.

      That’s not too unrealistic, right?

    3. So, Kudos to you. I keep trying to read this mess, but I just can’t make it through. Also, the author is married, so your number one point makes me wonder.

  16. Two things:

    I don’t read the comments, because, damn, I feel like I lose a brain cell with each one read, so that comment about the serious medical condition made me wish I could get through them- that one comment would have made it all worthwhile!

    When you asked if Harry had a swallow or two tattooed somewhere, my first thought was, “An African swallow? Or a European swallow?”

    Can’t wait for next week’s update!

  17. “Yea… but she is passed out.”

    Whenever I see a ‘yea’ (read ‘yay’) in place of a ‘yeah’, I can’t help but read it in Ye Olde English.

    ‘Yea! But verily she hath swooned.’

    Completely jarring but always hilarious.

    1. This is one of my favorite internet activities.

      Also on the list: when people confuse “definitely” and “defiantly” and change their whole story. As in: “I’m defiantly going to that movie. NO ONE CAN STOP ME! MWAHAHAHAHA!”

      1. That is so much better than being annoyed, so I’m going to be doing that too from now on. Shit just got tolerable, yo.

        1. You can do it *all the time*, too. Just assume that any typo that makes a different, actual word is what the “author” intended.

          I saw one on a grammar quiz (Buzzfeed, of course) that was something like, “I want to go to the park. Can Sally come to?”

          And I was all, “I don’t know. Is she in a coma?”

          Makes every day so entertaining.

    2. I’m sorry but you didn’t quote her correctly. In her world, ellipses only have TWO periods.

      [Seeing those kills the editor in me. Not quite literally but close enough. And joking about the correction--I would imagine your fingers would have to be forced to type just two.]

  18. Wait a minute! Our heroine acts like an angsty seventh-grader. Is that the demographic they want? Junior high students don’t tend to have much disposable income.

  19. #TEAMSTEPH

    This joke makes me wonder if you watch Twisted? Because nearly every scene has a hashtag like this in the corner, lol. (I am Team Steph, however. I feel more and more sorry for her as I read this mess).

    The green eyes pouring thing made me picture his eyes melting and being poured from a pitcher onto her face. ewwwwwww

    What is it with these terrible writers and description of mundane tasks that do nothing to move the story forward in great detail? One of the first things I learned about writing is you trim the narrative fat, so to speak. As a reader, I certainly don’t find those things interesting. If you cut all that out these fics would probably lose half their length.

  20. Tip for anyone else who has started reading along: Everything was improved by my imagining that After is a John Waters movie. In fact, After might be every John Waters movie.

  21. I’m going to really pedantic and pernickety here, and for that I apologise….

    “United Kingdom and Northern Ireland” is like saying “United States and Kentucky”

    It’s the United Kingdom OF Great Britain and Northern Ireland. NI is part of the UK.

  22. “I get that this is fanfic, but if this was a fic I was following in a fandom I was into? I would stop reading, because that shit is ridic.”

    If I was in the 1D fandom, I would have stopped reading this after the very first chapter because a) IT’S SO BORING! and b) the love interest is Harry even though Zayn is the hot one. He’s not even that hot, he’s just the only guy in the group that doesn’t have the face of a toddler.

    If I were to write an overtly plagiarized 1D fanfic, it would be “When Harry Met Sally” and Harry would be Harry Styles and Sally would be Sally from “Nightmare Before Christmas”.

    1. I read the entire fuck out of that. Also, Harry Styles is weird looking. it’s like he hasn’t quite grown into his head yet.

  23. BTW if you assume everyone who’s read it has read the whole thing with no repeats the number for After (just the first one) is 182million/100 chapters is still 82 million reads which there’s no way in hell that’s the case. I’ve known for a while that Wattpad’s read numbers are off just based on my stories there (they have to be counting bounces and bots). I don’t think my writing is terrible or anything but I have a 5 part short story with over 2,000 reads despite not having a lot of followers or comments.

    1. 18.2 million. I need to not math at 3am, that’s a really ridiculous mistake. My point still stands though, 18.2 million still doesn’t sound realistic.

  24. I lost it at the Mean Girls reference.

    I really love your dissection of something like this. Ignoring the fact that it is amusing, it’s like your mentoring the rest of us on ‘how not to do this shit,’ which is brilliant.

    Also, it’s helping me read my own (minimal) writing and really think about it critically. Thank you for gifting us with your knowledge and sass.

  25. The part about the heart of plated metal was brilliant and so creepy-true.

    The rest … just lol!!! So glad you’re recapping again.

  26. That commenter’s mum >. < I cannot stand this whole idea of 'if a boy treats you like crap, that means he likes you, dear. You should be grateful for the attention! ' and then people have the gall to wonder why men who treat women like crap manage to keep them in relationships. I'm infinitely grateful to my family for making it clear that the reason Nicholas shoved me in the playground was that Nicholas was a little wanker. (I'm paraphrasing, but you get the general idea. )

    1. Doesn’t that whole ‘shoving in the playground’ and ‘pulling your pigtails’ also indicate that this is only (barely) acceptable behaviour for a five year old? The whole ‘he is mean to you so he must like you’ really doesn’t work once you’re supposed to be able to verbalise your emotions and control your impulses. If you’re still behaving that way once you’re past the age of five then you’re just being a dick.

      1. exactly! I expect that BS out of little kids, cause they’re weird and what not. However if you’re double digits and older, it’s time to cut that shit out.

        1. Even as a little kid I was never impressed by that sort of behavior. “Don’t worry, sweetie, Jason’s just teasing you because he *likes* you.” Well, Jason needs to get his shit together.

  27. “Niall’s blonde hair and tattoos are no where to be found,”

    I just see a bald and inkless Niall wandering around the frat house calling plaintively, “Has anyone seen my tats? Or my hair?” And the tattoos hiding in a closet somewhere, giggling mischievously.

  28. Yes, Harry Styles does have a matched pair of swallows on his chest. I’m sorry that I know that – in my defense, I read US Weekly but not for pictures of Harry Styles. They just happen there. My apologies to the world.

    I think Tessa is tripping over bodies on the stairs, not the hallway. Because sleeping in the hallway would just be silly.

    This is hysterical, as always, thank you for doing this and bringing light into my dark, depressing world every week!

    1. His tattoos are adorable. I like the Butterfly in the middle of his chest, precious. Not sure how I even know that. I blame You Tube and the teen girls in my life.

      1. Totally just Googled Harry Styles tattoos. He’s got some pretty cool ink. Some is just weird. I think my fave is the heart, the one that looks like an actual heart. I do feel rather creepy though, because he reminds me of my nephew Eric, and the pics of him sans chemise are kinda hot.

  29. I am absolutely loving this. Just thought I’d tell you. I’m wondering if I should write some really shit fan fic to advance my career. That way, greatness seems to lie.

    Cheers

    MTM

  30. Your recaps are hilarious as always. I laughed when I saw that picture of Harry in the bear hat, that was hilarious. Just a question, though.

    When you said: “I mean, let’s be honest here, this was the guy Taylor “Purity Ball” Swift went through her tattooed bad boy phase with. How do you walk away from that knowledge and go, “I bet he’d be a real asshole in a relationship, holy cats that makes me wet?” did you mean he probably WAS an asshole or what? I just didn’t get that part.

    1. How I read it is that Taylor Swift is so uber-wholesome that her idea of a “bad boy” is going to be someone who’s really pretty sweet. So with that in mind, how can anyone possibly think Harry Styles is an asshole?

  31. Oh my god Jenny, I so needed this, I just started the recaps today. I was really laughing my ass off. I wonder is she will start drinking tea?

    About the tea, I never got a chance to mention it when you were doing the 50 crap recaps but I am a tea lover, and English Breakfast Tea is pretty decent for the price, nice and strong, but to just dip the tea bag once, she might as well have been drinking Lipton or some other cheap brand at full strength. Just had to get that off my chest.

    Love the random reader comments:) I will have to go to the story and read more. Who the hell are these people?

  32. I imagine that UK fans of BBC radio 4′s Dead Ringers are not numerous in troutnation but the idea of a whole chapter for opening a door cannot fail to remind me of the spoof of an adaption of ‘Number One Ladies Detective Agency’ (or was it Lady’s?) where a whole episode would be said to be someone entering a room a saying ‘hallo’.

  33. I’m pretty sure that Tessa doesn’t think Noah was judging Steph — she thinks he’s shaming her for hanging around with Steph. Because the world revolves around what everyone thinks of her! (Nice graphic for that, Jen. :)

    It’s mildly interesting that in that case, Tessa’s going from one controlling boyfriend to another in this story. So one has to wonder how she’d have any chance of recognizing a “good” relationship, between her controlling mother and controlling high school boyfriend.

  34. i dont feel like reading this, so how long until someone *actually* gets inside of tessa and we/i can finally see what the author *thinks* sex is like?

    1. It will take a long, long while. I think chapter 50-something or 40-something at least. I am over chapter 70 and there hasn’t been any “sex” yet, just some third base action. Which by the way, was boring, disgusting, cheesy, anatomically incorrect and I’m pretty sure Tessa has some flooding issues that she needs to see a doctor about. It’s not good.

        1. Though, I have to say her description of Tessa’s first blow job was far closer to the mark than is usual if a bit pedantic and boring.
          Wait til you get to the repeat of the famous fsog tampon scene. Cripes, what is the fixation on sex during someone’s period?!

          1. I know? What the hell? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any issue with people having sex on the rag. It’s not something I do (not on the heavy days anyway) due to my OCD; but all the power to people not having a problem with a normal, natural body function. That said, I do not understand erotica now having such focused scenes regarding menstruation. Erotic fantasy seems likes the place where you can toss out the gritty details of periods or the sudden and raging need to shit like a Christmas goose after anal. If you want to go for realistic why not just mention it a time or two? It’s not like we’ll forget she’s on her period two pages later. I haven’t read After, but the scene in 50 Shades read more like it was a menstrual fetish scene than a regular ‘sexually active couple isn’t put off by periods’ deal. NOT something I need in my wank material, thanks.

            (I can only speak for myself and these statements are only reflective of my opinions and preferences. I don’t claim to speak for anyone else and do not intend to diss different viewpoints when it comes to sex, periods, and erotica.)

      1. They finally have sex in chapter 85. They fool around a few times before that, but chapter 85 until they have sex — out of 99 chapters.

        1. I just went to chapter 85 and there wasn’t any sex. Unless I missed it. In which case, um, wow Harry, not impressive.
          Is it in one of the other books?

  35. So I noticed that the individual chapters track views, as well. There are fewer than 2 million views per chapter. So why anyone thinks 700 million people have read this whole thing is a mystery. Maybe there have somehow been that many clicks on some part of it, but there are not 700 million readers and that’s clear even without analyzing that number.

  36. Oh my god, this is almost as funny as My Immortal. At certain points reading this recap I had to put down my laptop and just wheeze helplessly for five minutes at a time, my eyes streaming.

    How is this being made into a movie? That has to be some kind of delayed April Fool’s joke, because I’ve read some horrendous Fanficcy horseshit, and this ranks amongst the worst and unintentionally funniest.

  37. ‘Because that’s how you know love is real. When you want him, even when he’s treating you terribly. Then later, because he is treating you terribly. He may seem like a jerk now, and he is a jerk, but beneath the topmost layer of jerk there is a flaking pie crust of manipulation that you will savor as it melts in your mouth and convinces you that he has a heart of, if not gold, at least a very convincing plated metal.’

    Lol’d. So. Hard.

  38. I’m really tempted to click on this girl’s story just so I can say, “Maybe you could learn to write before sharing your story next time, okay, sweetie?” How is it that so many popular stories these days sound like something a 5th-7th grader spit out?

  39. I think she is. With a stretch I can believe that she is maybe 17, but there is not a world, where I can buy that Anna Todd is 25, judging by this story. And I am not talking grammar or spelling either, I am talking the naivety in the writing style, the way that college simply doesn’t work this way – I mean, if she’s been to college she would know. And it’s not about the big problems like (spoiler:) harry dropping literature and then picking it back up in a month, which are just things that don’t fit in her wish-fullfilment fantasy, so she decided to change them – it’s the details, like what Jenny said, it’s basically high school.

  40. Random fact for you: in German, the word “After” is a noun and means “anus” in English. /csb

  41. A lot of those “views” don’t include the fact that the author also opens up the page to their chapters to:

    a) to edit a mistake that someone may have pointed out/ add an author’s note from reader confusion or something of the like
    b) to read the comments
    c) to respond to the comments

    I only made it to chapter 47 of the first book. The strange fingering event made me conclude that this “married” 25 year old has never had an actual intimate encounter. I also didn’t understand how someone, who is outrageously uneducated about sex and the human body, was able to give a dry handjob without it being one of the worst experiences for the recipient. *many of the young commenters were shrilling that “they had sex”/”she gave him a blowjob” and the lack of reading comprehension just took me down. The fact that I had to mentally defend the fact that Todd shockingly made it completely clear what act they engaged in hurt me a little as a human being.*

    I eventually skipped to a spoiler I read about, and their “first time” was terribly uncomfortable because, again, the author doesn’t seem to know the difference between love-making and awkward sex. Or sex in general.

    Then, I foolishly skipped to the second book, got to the second chapter, laughed in the middle of my office, skipped to the end of the third book only to find that this travesty has more chapters for uploading?

    As a member of Wattpad, I’m slightly embarrassed to be a part of that community, from the simple fact that they gave this author (who was granted a collection in a jewelry line based around the book series) her own landing page. The stanning that Wattpad is doing is understandable, only for the fact that they are getting way more recognition as a website. However, this is so embarrassing for the company, the author, and other (actually) talented fanfiction writers. I don’t even write fanfiction, but I know this is not cute for the collective. Wattpad is supposed to be a site that promotes creative writing and the improvement of it, yet look at the one they are praising the most?

    I refuse to read the rest of the book, but I will keep reading these hilarious recaps instead because, unlike the author, I like to learn about “what-not-to-do” when writing… and editing.

  42. I’m an adorable college kid; will you give me a sandwich and ask about my major? I’ll hunt down a hat with ears.

  43. Jenny,

    I love your blog so much. I’ve read your 50 Shades posts and I was so happy that finally somebody else saw what I read in those books. I didn’t find any of that romantic or erotic.

    What bothers me the most is that both 50 Shades and After have such a one dimensional, unrealistic portrayal of women. If a woman is studious and likes literature/reading, then she can’t like partying, sports, or make up. It’s been a while since my college days, but my friends and I were studious and loved all kinds of literature, but had many other interests and liking to read didn’t make us sound anything like Ana/Tessa. It just really grates on my nerves that works that become popular have such narrow portrayal of people, especially women.

    Another thing that annoyed me, I think it was in After’s Chapter 16, where Tessa muses how rare it is for people her age to read and understand Pride and Prejudice. Newsflash: it gets assigned at any point between 7-12 grades, as does Tessa’s precious Wuthering Heights. I don’t understand this condescension on her part that those books are so difficult to read and understand by her peers. Why do these authors make it sound like Ana and Tessa are the only college women who ever read 19th century literature? And why does liking to read make Ana/Tessa so different from their peers? It’s just that a lot of people like reading, so it’s not some rare quality that shouts ‘Get it? She’s so special and intelligent’. I see how it would be a rare quality if the book took place somewhere where the literacy rate was low, especially for women, but it doesn’t. So why?

    Moreover, I understand that After is a fanfic and all, but as a writer of fan fiction, I don’t understand not editing/proofreading and having chapters that don’t move the story anywhere. I just don’t understand not having enough pride in your work not to correct glaring grammatical errors. Obviously, no one is asking for perfection, but a period at the end of sentences wouldn’t hurt Ms. Todd. And why have chapters that contribute nothing to the story? *Side eye at Chapter 12* I’m genuinely curious why, as it’s something I haven’t done and as I reader would have been annoyed that a new chapter got posted, but nothing happened.

    Maybe I’m strange, but I also don’t like the idea of fan fiction being passed off as original work and getting published, more so with 50 Shades than this, but even this is still One Direction fan fiction and, unless you drastically change the characters it’s based on, it should stay a fan fiction. Just because E.L. James did it and got away with it, doesn’t make it right.

    1. THANK YOU!
      For making the point regarding the ultimate one-dimensionality of these female characters.
      I have been a 19th century literature nerd since I was 9; I’d completed the complete works of the Bronte sisters by the time I was 13 (including Shirley, which I had to special-order at the library), and do you know what? When I went to University (or college, for our atlantic readers) I was in the choir, the orchestra, the fencing club, the archery club, and the rifle team! I also enjoy rock music; have previously dyed my hair bright purple; and have mapped out the tattoos that I plan to get when funds permit.
      The idea that literature fans can’t possibly love anything else is ludicrous.

      As for understanding classic literature … is Anna Todd unaware of the multiple portrayals of Pride & Prejudice available for the common masses to watch via their television sets? I mean the last (and I hate it, it’s so terrible) version had flipping Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen in it.
      I mean, the story is Austen! It’s not exactly outside of the realms of modern understanding … poor girl wants to marry rich man … at first he’s a dick to her, but then she realises it’s True Wuv!
      Let’s face it, it’s an infinitely better written version of the FSOG travesties (there is at least some tension, and genuine plot points where Lizzie has opportunities to change her opinion of Darcy’s character as she comes to know him better)
      In fact, the vast majority of these ‘romances’ have very little challenge to the understanding.
      Dickens presents the greatest challenge, purely due to having been written in the syntax, spelling, and colloquialisms of the time (Hardy has a similar issue, but I guess that Far From The Madding Crowd, and Adam Bede, aren’t ‘mainstream’ enough for these writers!)

      Also, as a proud brit, WHYYYYYYYYY is anyone even writing 1D fanfictions? Really?? (I need an interrobang here, damn my keyboard)

  44. It almost physically pains me that someone could ever look at Harry and go ‘yep, he’d totally be a prick in a super-sexy way’ – like I met him last year and he is seriously the sweetest guy on the planet.
    But the picture with him in the hat did make me giggle for five minutes.

  45. I’ve watched way too much Doctor Who and Buffy (Yes, I know those words make no sense in that order, but hypothetically…), because I visualized green rays shooting into her eyes from his, turning hers green.

  46. Well, to be fair, this is the same English major who doesn’t have the faintest idea what “prissy” means, so are we really all that surprised regarding the “empty” phenomenon?

    Also, can I please have whichever magic juice of wonders Steph took between the moment she was hungover, passed out and reeking of her own vomit, and the moment she is merrily singing along to loud music in the car, perfectly awake and alert?

  47. “Hmm my mom always said if a boy is mean to you that means he likes you”

    HAVE FUN FILING THOSE POLICE REPORTS, MOM

  48. Okay, call me clueless and totally out of touch with popular culture–because I’m definitely both of those things–but I didn’t fully realize until now that this literally is about real people. (I was too lazy to Google “RPF” when you first mentioned it; I only got as far as deciding that “role-playing fanfiction” probably wasn’t the meaning.)

    Now I’m angry. Unlike some of the other authors snarked here, Anna Todd actually has the beginnings of a voice to my ear, a bit of a rhythm to character interactions. Don’t get me wrong–it would still take her a lot of work to build on that even if I’m perceiving it correctly from the small excerpts here–but it’s *something*. I don’t like to see a writer doing everything possible to *avoid* developing their skills, and whereas I could forgive using a familiar plot to write a first attempt, *also* not bothering to create actual characters makes me twitch a bit.

    Actually, it makes me tear my hair out and blather incoherently until I start drooling and my face never quite goes back the same again. (No offense to those for whom this is a normal state, of course, but on me it indicates exceptional levels of agitation.)

    Fwiw, I’m a heavily modified person and the constant digs about tattoos and piercings aren’t bothering me that much–but then, I do tend to get a lot of that crap on the street, so maybe I’m just inured to it.

  49. About the 700 million ‘reads’ – as far as I can see, you can’t see the story without setting up an account with them. And they only claim to have 40 million Wattpadders, which I’m guessing is the number of accounts (and this is over a year after Jenny posted this). So that’s a flat maximum of 40 million who could have read it – claiming 700 million is therefore way beyond lies or damned lies and falls squarely in the middle of statistics.

  50. This makes me sad.
    So very sad.
    Why the hell does this kind of thing get published? There’s so many better writers out there with fanfictions.

    I’m a tad jealous but not more frustrated. Because what the fuck? NO.

    Why should I bother writing (on wattpad or in general) when the top fics are ‘Teehee 1D and me’ disasters or fanfiction reworded to be ‘original’? Why should I keep striving to be a better writer?

    Well… because I love writing. I might suck at grammar but I love writing. And apparently I’m occasionally good at it.

    (Okay. So I’m not the best fanfiction writer out there and some of the stuff I’ve written has been absurdly cringe worthy. I found the WORST ‘double-twin-walker Mary Sue LOTR romance wham in the face’ fanfiction a few months ago in my drawer that was all printed and bound like it was something special. After a few days of reading it I realized I’d written it. When I was fifteen. It’s mine. My own. My shame. :( )

    Anyway. Sorry. RANT OVER.

  51. Love this! I’d never heard of this book till on here, apparently I’m out of touch with the popular stuff, but what a train wreck. College wasn’t in the cards for me but even I know you rush AFTER school starts to get into a frat.

    I have tattoos. Many of my friends have tattoos. My mother in law has a bunch of tattoos and (currently) blue hair and she is the sweetest person and super amazing. Why does Tess have such a problem with tattoos? Sure, I have seen ones that put me off. But she’s freaking out over a rose? OMG. And 700 million reads? That made me wheeze laugh.

    If this mess makes it to the big screen, sis and I are getting drinks first, sneaking more into the theater, and having a good laugh. We did that for Fifty Shades of Craycray and had a wonderful time.

  52. Based on your recaps, I counted the number of times Harry and Tessa walk in on each other in a way that’s played for drama: five times in 15 chapters. Out of those, four of them end a chapter, and four of them take place at this one damn frat party.

    That is some lazy fucking writing.

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