Jenny Reads After chapters 13 – 15, “I Want (to leave this party by 12)”

I hope you’ve got hands and thoughts about the dicey state of literature, my friends, because you’re going to have some wringing to do. After has been acquired by Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuester. Yes, the written word is dying. Yes, this is the worst thing to happen to literature, forever. And so on. And so on.

Honestly, I can’t even care anymore. Whatever is going to happen in publishing, okay. Happen. If I got pissed off about what traditional publishing does, it would be like getting pissed off by a coworker I only see at the company picnic doing something that doesn’t involve me. Jeffrey is just out there, stealing staplers, nobody is stopping him, and I don’t have to care.

What I do care about is the fact that now that After belongs to someone, does it go away from WattPad? I don’t want to read the shiny, new version. I want to read the one with all the double periods and odd dialogue tags. Is that one going to go away?!

Since I don’t know at this point, I’ll just jump right into the recap and hope for the best.

CHAPTER 13

Tessa says the rest of her weekend goes by fast and she doesn’t see Harry at all. She even plans a shopping trip for when he’s about to come over to the room. Still, he’s never far from her mind:

The new clothes I bought fill up my small dresser, as I put them away Harry’s obnoxious voice pops in my head “You know we are going to a party not church” he said and would most certainly say again if he saw my new clothes.

I think you think this guy who doesn’t even know you thinks about you way more than he actually does.

I have decided that I am no longer going to be going to parties with Steph, or anywhere that Harry may be. He isn’t good company and he exhausts me mentally.

Dude, you went to a party they invited you to, spent the whole time crying about how nobody there was good enough for you to hang out with, then pestered everybody about going home. Why do you think they’re going to invite you again?

Oh, shit. Because this is fanfic. Yeah, they’re going to beg her to come with them, because no party was ever truly fun until she arrived. And then Legolas swings in on a vine and kisses her.

So, Tessa greets her first day of college in a “perfectly ironed” pleated skirt and button down blouse, but, ugh, her lazy roommate isn’t even up yet:

Steph’s alarm goes off but she hits the snooze button. Should I wake her? Her classes may start later than mine, or maybe she isn’t planning on going. The idea of missing he first day of classes stresses me out but she is a sophomore so maybe she has it under control.

OH! Steph’s a sophomore! Finally, one mystery unraveled.

When I walk into my freshman history class the room is empty, except one person.

I choose to sit next to him, he obviously cares about being on time. Just like me.

Everybody has to have a hobby, I guess.

“Where is everyone?” I ask him and he smiles. He has an adorable smile.

“Probably running across campus to barely make it here on time,” he laughs and I instantly like him. That is exactly what I would have said.

They’re bonding over their shared moral superiority. The guy is Liam Payne. This dude:

liam

Um. Wow. I.

I don’t know what to do with my downstairs tingle feels right now.

Liam has a lot in common with Tessa. For one, they’re both total ass-kissers:

The class fills up and me and Liam make a point to introduce ourselves to the professor.

I think I actually spoke to two of my professors in college. Of course, I didn’t do great and dropped out, too, so maybe my experience is not typical. Or advisable.

Liam also has a girlfriend back home, like Tessa has a boyfriend back home. I hope they don’t both cheat on their partners with Harry, because that might ruin their friendship.

Tessa is impressed with the fact that college is nothing like highs school, except the college Tessa goes to seems to be exactly like high school, because she’s taking five classes and they’re all on the same day. Now, as I’ve said before, I did not finish college, but I do remember that when I was there, I was lucky to get two classes on the same day, and even then they would be like four hours apart. But Tessa is rushing from class to class to get there in time. Good thing her new friend Liam has another class with her! Things are going so well!

Except, ugh, Harry walks in. Late. of course.

“You know Harry Styles?” He asks. Harry must have quite the reputation around campus if someone as sweet as Liam knows him.

There is a reason I just can’t read RPF for enjoyment, and that right there is one of them. Sometimes, the names of the “characters” sound so ridiculous in the context of the story.  I love that in Tessa’s world view, the bad people have to be really bad for the nice people to know them, like they’re cordoned off in some special area to prevent interaction, and only rumors can escape.

Tessa tells Liam that she thinks Harry is a jerk, and Liam is about to say something about him when Harry takes the desk next to Tessa’s. At the end of class, Liam and Tessa and Harry get into a super realistic and age appropriate argument:

“What do you want Harry?” I ask, giving him a taste of his own medicine. it doesn’t work, he seems amused.

“Nothing at all. I am so glad we have a class together,” he mocks and runs his hands through his hair, shaking it and pushing it up on his forehead.

“I’ll see you later Tessa,” Liam says. He looks at Harry one more time and walks the opposite way.

“You would find the lamest kid in class to befriend.”

“Don’t say that about him, he is sweet and smart. Unlike you,” I’m shocked at my harsh words to him. He really brings out the worst in me.

Actually, Tessa, the worst of you seems to be all in your internal monologue. For example:

I try to picture him without his tattoos and piercing, he is actually attractive but his personality ruins him.

Photo on 5-29-14 at 10.21 AM

I’m actually listening to 1D through those headphones, just like I promised.

Tessa, you just mentally erased someone’s appearance to make them more attractive to you because you don’t like their style. You are the last goddamn person to talk about someone’s personality ruining them. Your personality is like a Godzilla poo landing on an apartment building. Your personality is the third Matrix movie. Your personality is like rayeeeayyyn on your wedding day and a free ride when you’ve already paid. Your personality is the series finale of How I Met Your Mother. You are a black hole of total suck, and I hate you more than Anastasia Steele.

That’s a lot.

A really lot.

I think Harry has picked up on Tessa’s constant judging of him, too:

“Stop staring at me,” he says and turns the corner, disappearing before I can think of a comeback.

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:

“Harry styles Liam what is this turning in to one direction”

CHAPTER 14

It’s Friday and Tessa is all geared up to get a head start on all the homework for the semester, and to watch some videos. She’s getting a coffee when she runs into Molly, the pink haired girl from the party.

“Are you coming to the party tonight?”

No. Oh please. No.

Molly tries to convince her to go to the party because Zayn wants to see her, and apparently has been talking about her. Tessa doesn’t believe that, because as the Mary Sue of the piece, she can’t expect all the guys from the band to fall in love with her. It would be too obvious. Molly says they could have double dated:

Double date with who? Molly and Harry obviously. No thank you. Zayn was nice and all but Noah is everything to me. We haven’t spoken much this week but that’s only because my schedule is so busy.

Also because Tessa is a heartbeat away from sucking Harry’s cock. Let’s not pretend that we don’t know where this is going.

In college we can sit wherever we want, a different chair everyday if we want but Harry always sits next to me in the front row. I know he does it just to annoy me but I have ignored him all week.

Off topic, but you know what I found weird about college? You could sit just wherever, but everyone seemed to sit in the same seats every time anyway.

You know what this book has been lacking so far? A really pointless and obvious allusion to a work of classic literature that’s supposed to echo the storyline of the piece, but fails miserably because the author lacks a rudimentary understanding of the themes in either work. You know. Like in Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey.

“We will begin our week long discussion of Jane Austen’s, Pride and Prejudice starting tomorrow!” Professor Hill announces just as the class ends. I can’t help my huge grin, I have read that novel at least ten times. It’s one of my absolute favorites.

Ah. There it is.

Also:

prof_harold_hill_cropped

Aren’t you supposed to be directing the marching band?

I would pay good, good money to get a P2P book where the author uses Moll Flanders as an allegory for the romantic theme of their story.

“Let me guess, you just love Mr. Darcy,” Harry says in a mocking tone as I walk outside.

“Actually yes I do” We reach the intersection and I look both ways before crossing the street.

That’s a shame.

“Of course you do” he laughs, continuing to follow me.

“I am sure you aren’t able to comprehend Mr. Darcy’s appeal” My mind goes to the massive collection of novels in Harry’s room. They couldn’t possibly be his. Could they?

She could not be hitting this Pride and Prejudice thing any harder, could she?

“A man who is rude and intolerable being made into a romantic hero? It’s ridiculous. If Elizabeth had any sense she would have told him to fuck off,”

Oh, wait, no. She can.

I laugh at his choice of words but cover my mouth, stopping myself. I was actually enjoying myself bantering with him, but it would only be a matter of time, minutes if I am lucky, until he says something hurtful.

Pictured, R-L: Anna Todd, the literary parallel.

Pictured, R-L: Anna Todd, the literary parallel.

But Tessa, as the Elizabeth Bennet stand-in, doesn’t agree with Harry Darcy’s interpretation:

“No, she is one of the strongest, most complex characters ever written”

The hubris. It burns. I know Elizabeth Bennet, and madame, you are no Elizabeth Bennet.

Harry takes off just as Noah calls Tessa. He’s on his way to hang out with friends, but Tessa is apparently not allowed to:

“Are you going to another party? Your mom is still disappointed” Why did he mention it to my mom?

Because he’s not your boyfriend, he’s a plant. Your mom hired him to keep an eye on your chastity. My point here is only reinforced by the fact that Tessa then goes on to describe him as a tattle-tale little brother.

Back at the dorm, Steph is getting ready for the party. She asks Tessa to come with, and promises they won’t be staying long. The word “beg” is involved to describe this whole thing. Why would Steph “beg” Tessa to go to a party, after the way she acted last time?

I envy her confidence. I know I have a decent body, curves in all the right places but I am just not comfortable with my body the way she is. I tend to wear clothes that hide my large bust while she tries to make hers draw as much attention as possible.

Curves in all the right places. Veteran fanfic readers are doing this right now:

funny-laughter-animation

“Curves in all the right places” shows up with alarming frequency in shitty fanfic. From Lord of The Rings high school AU to The Avengers crackfic, self-insert heroines always have “curves in all the right places.” Which has always made me wonder… what does it look like if somebody has curves in all the wrong places?

Pablo-Picasso-La-lecture-Woman-Reading-7545

Just when I think the next chapter is going to be a long description of the movie Tessa watches on Netflix, her computer breaks.

“It’s a sign that you should come. My laptop is in Niall’s room so you can’t use mine” she smirks and fluffs her hair again. I really don’t want to sit in the dorm room alone without anything to do or watch.

“Fine, but we are leaving before midnight” I groan and she jumps up and down, clapping her hands.

WTF, you got invited, Tessa. You’re the invitee here. You’re the tag-along. You don’t get to set departure time. Roll with it, or stay home and spend time with your miserable self. And why is Steph so fucking happy? The most unbelievable aspect of this story is that anyone, literally anyone, would be happy to be around Tessa.

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
  24. Labored parallels to a work of classic literature

Random reader comment from this chapter:

“THE VAMPIRE DIARIRS MYSTIC GRILL BEYOTCHESSS”

CHAPTER 15

Tessa gets ready for the party, but oh no! She has to wear tighter jeans than normal because she hasn’t done laundry. She’s not a slut. She has to wear tight jeans. It’s unavoidable, and she really doesn’t want to. Because she’s not a slut.

“Wow, I actually like your outfit a lot” Steph tells me. I assume it is a compliment despite the surprise in her voice that she would actually like something I am wearing.

It must suck when someone acts obviously judgmental about your style.

Steph tries to offer her some makeup:

“Not this time” I tell her, remembering how it smeared from my tears last time. Why did I agree to go back there again?

You haven’t left yet. Just stay home, I beg of you. I can’t take three more chapters of how much you hate parties. I will buy you a new laptop. I beg of you. Don’t go to the party.

“Molly is picking us up instead of Niall, she just text so she will be here any minute”

“I don’t think she likes me” I know she doesn’t.

Yeah, she doesn’t like you. She invited you to this party to punish you. Because that’s how people view parties.

“She does, she is just too honest sometimes and I think she is intimidated by you”

“By me? Why on earth would she be intimidated by me?” I laugh. I am the one intimidated by her.

She’s intimidated because you’re the protagonist, and therefore blindingly perfect, Tessa. She has to be intimidated by you so that the reader knows you’re perfect.

Did the author’s keyboard lose the . key during these chapters? What is up with all the other punctuation, but not periods?

Steph tells Tessa that Molly “changes guys every week,” which is presumably why she’s intimidated by Tessa. She wants to be as pure as her, but she doesn’t know how. Of course, that’s only one interpretation. I could be wrong. But I’m not.

At the party, Harry sees Tessa and tells her she looks different because her clothes fit her, and he’s surprised she came to the party:

“Yea.. I am surprised that I ended up here again.” I say and walk away from him. He doesn’t follow, but for some reason I find myself wishing we would have.

Great. A period finally shows up and it’s used incorrectly. And of course Tessa wishes Harry would have followed her. He gave her a compliment, so now she’s unknowingly in love with him. Did she not read Twilight?

The group Tessa is too good for starts a game of truth or dare, and they invite Tessa to play:

“Like she would actually play, she would have to stop being a prude for five minutes” Harry tells them and they all laugh except Steph. His words anger, I am not a prude. Yea, I will admit I am not by any means wild, but I am no prude.

Now, I hate the word prude. I really, really don’t like it. But Tessa is the very definition of the concept. It’s fine to be modest. It’s fine to not want to drink or party. But I don’t think that’s what constitutes a “prude.” It’s the need to look down on people who do enjoy those things that makes her prudish. To prove a point to Harry, she joins the circle.

The first few truths and dares include Zayne being dared to chug an entire beer can, Molly being dared to flash their group her bra, (which she did) and finding out that Steph has her nipples pierced.

Okay, keep those things in mind as we find out what happens when Tessa picks truth:

“Are you a virgin?” Niall asks and I choke on my own breath. No one seems fazed by the intrusive question besides me. I feel the heat in my cheeks and the humor in everyone’s faces.

“Well?” Zayn says. Despite how much I want to run away and hide, I just nod. Of course I am a virgin, the furthest Noah and I have gone sexually is making out and him touching my bottom, through my jeans of course.

Okay, one of the girls was asked about her pierced nipples, the other girl was asked to flash her bra. “Are you a virgin?” isn’t a very intrusive question, by comparison. Besides, Truth or Dare is about intrusive questions.

But seriously, “of course” she’s a virgin? Virgin is not the default, Tessa. It’s not like everybody else has voided their warranty.

Harry’s turn” I say, hoping to take the attention off myself.

But we have to wait for Harry’s turn until the next chapter, even though I couldn’t care less what happens. Oh, also, at some point Harry whispers something to Zayn and the commenters are making a huge deal out of it so I guess it figures in later.

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
  24. Labored parallels to a work of classic literature

Random reader comment from this chapter:

“Just be proud about it at least your not a slut who sleeps with different guys each week at least your saving your virginity for someone special.”

185 thoughts on “Jenny Reads After chapters 13 – 15, “I Want (to leave this party by 12)”

  1. “Because he’s not your boyfriend, he’s a plant. ”

    for a few second I thought you meant a literal plant. So I pictured some Milquetoast white boy a fern growing out of his head.

    1. It made me think of Mrs. White’s line to Mr. Green in Clue: “A plant? I thought men like you were called ‘a fruit.’”

    2. OH thank God I’m not alone. I pictured him turning into a plant. Similar to when like when Alice turned into a tree on OUATIW.

  2. “Which has always made me wonder… what does it look like if somebody has curves in all the wrong places?”

    Fat. A “decent” body is always thin *rolls eyes*

    So, ah. How is she planning on going to class/taking notes/doing homework? Because Legally Blonde taught me you can’t go to Harvard and survive with a notebook and fluffy pink pen?

    I mean, when my computer broke, I cried for like 2 days and then had to wait for like a month to save up the 200 dollars to fix it.

    ALSO did anyone else have high school classes where the teacher didn’t care where you sat? Because I totally did. I mean, my experience is a little different, but still. 7th grade, first year of high school, my class was split up for social studies and we had one class with like 25 kids and one class with like 10 (…it might have actually been the top ten grade average kids and I didn’t realize, whoops) and the teacher who taught the smaller class didn’t care where you sat. Like… that doesn’t seem like that big of a novelty, lol.

    1. I had a couple high school classes where our seats weren’t assigned and we could move around. I have others where we sat wherever on the first day and those were our assigned seats the rest of the year. And still other teachers told us where to sit. Some assigned us seats until they learned who were all were by sight and then we could sit wherever after a few weeks.

    2. I could be irrationally annoyed by this ‘curves in all the right places’ thing, because when I read that I picture Salma Hayek or Christina Hendriks and I get the feeling that Tessa looks more like, well, let’s take the woman Anna Todd picked to be Tessa: Indiana Evans. Indiana Evans is gorgeous, but she’s not curvy, right?

      I am, however, NOT annoyed, because I turned the yeas into medieval yeas and all is right with the world again.

    3. Also, about Tessa’s computer: you forget that this story in all likelihood has Twilight/FSoG origins. Therefore, computers can only be used to incompetently do research that is somehow connected to your love interest/stalker (nothing that hints that you might have a life outside of a guy) or to send emails (preferably while you should be working) to your boyfriend/abuser.

      It is known.

      1. Basically, computers are only used the way they’d have been used in the 90′s. This makes a little bit of sense with E.L. James being in her 50s, a little less sense with Stephanie Meyer, who is 40, and no sense at all from a 25 year old.

      2. I guess we should all be surprised she even has a computer tbh. I can’t wait till the chapter where she does incompetent research on whatever the hell this book’s about. (Seriously though, what’s the plot? Someone help me out here…Please?)

        1. The plot: Miss Uptight Virgin and Mister Rude fall in love over the course of several parties where Miss Uptight Virgin sulks and whines and Mister Rude is rude. It is truly a love story for the ages.

          1. This really, really helped. Thank you so much! I guess I can relax and stop waiting for the plot to kick in then.

            Oh wait, I just realized though…more parties? For real? Boo.

  3. But what if Liam and Tessa both cheat on their partners with Harry at the same time?

    … no, wait, that would actually be interesting. Forget I said it.

  4. The Publisher’s Weekly article said, “The first book in the three volume series will be released in print and e-book editions beginning in November 2014 with subsequent volumes released in January and March of 2015. The original version of the novel will remain on Wattpad.”

    I’m personally a little mystified as to why someone would want to buy an ebook when they could just bring up the Wattpad book any time they want to. But the comments at PW are entirely from squeeing fangirls all eager to put paper copies of After on their bookshelves at home.

    So if you feel ambitious, Jen, you can compare the print versions and Wattpad version for us all come winter! ;-)

  5. 1. Since reading this drivel, I have looked up the 1D members and while they are all WAY too young for me, if I were going to lust after any of them, Harry would be the last one I would lust over. He looks kind of like a girl (I suppose if I were gay …) and when he doesn’t look like a girl, he looks like an infant. I cannot picture him when I read these “books” because I would have to turn myself into the police if I did for pedophilia or something.

    2. I finished college. I went to community college and then to a major state university. In the smaller classes, you do tend to get to know your professors a little more personally, but I never specifically introduced myself to any of them, especially on day one.

    3. It is entirely possible she has all five classes on the same day. You can pretty much choose your schedule, so it’s doable. I often had either all M-W-F or all T-Th classes in a particular semester. That said, in this university, apparently all classes are five days a week. I’m not sure in what universe that occurs, but I’m far enough along to say I’m 100% certain Anna Todd never attended a single day of college. This class schedule thing is one of about a million clues.

    And now back to reading your post. :-)

    1. OK, I’m finished.

      Take heart: Tessa gets a little less obnoxious and is almost even likable after a while, though then you just get sick of her again. But she turns out to have a little more self-awareness than Ana ever did. So it will get better. And then it will get bad again, but not as bad as Ana.

    2. I honestly don’t understand Harry’s appeal. Like when he was younger, he was baby face cute. Now, IDK, he’s attractive, but he just looks all kinds of weird to me. Something bout him just looks off. It baffles me that he is the most popular one.

      1. I had to google him after seeing these comments (I am reading this basically only because Jenny’s snark is so entertaining, I’m far too old for 1Direction) – Yes. He looks like a child and also seems to have spent a lot of time going through bushes backwards, judging from his hair.

        1. “spent a lot of time going through bushes backwards,” hahahahahaah!

          but yeah, honestly after looking them up, I’d go for Zayn out of all of them. But they still seem way too young for me to be lusting over.

  6. Cracked up so hard at the curves in all the wrong places pic. Also, I wonder if Tessa is just going to eventually turn on herself with all that judge-y mess, ouroboros-style. There’s no way you can look out at literally everything and everyone and be like “EW.” without eventually coming full circle to look at yourself.

    AHAHAHA nevermind, forgot myself for a second there. Whew. Back to reality.

  7. Hey! Nice desk, Jenny.
    Cute headphones.
    also, wow.
    You hate really hate Tessa and more than you hate Anastasia Rose Steele. Thats hardcore. However i like your list. Lets continue…
    “Tessa, you are the:
    Star wars prequels
    Fox cancelling Firefly
    Season 7 of Gilmore Girls
    Thomas Edison stealing Tesla’s genius designs
    And im out. Drat.

    1. I’ve got The Grinch Song running through my head after reading these. Now I’ll have to figure out if any of them scan … :-)

      1. Glad to hear I’m not the only one! I’ve been going nuts with that singer’s voice reading the “your personality is…”

    2. Anna was annoying, but I also felt sorry for her being in such a horrible, abusive relationship.

      So far Tessa is just annoying.

      1. This reminds me of Darkwing Duck. You know, ‘I am the batteries that are not included’ and so forth.

        The following are all Darkwing Duck quotes altered to illustrate how annoying Tessa is:
        Tessa is the low ratings that cancel your programme.
        Tessa is the wrong number that wakes you at 3 a.m.
        Tessa is the raspberry seed you can’t floss out.
        Tessa is the fingernail that scrapes the blackboard of your soul. (My personal favourite)
        Tessa is the hairball that clogs up your drains.
        Tessa is the bubblegum that sticks in your hair.
        Tessa is the special news bulletin that interrupts your favourite show.

        Ah, I love Darkwing Duck.

        1. I have Voltaire’s song When You’re Evil stuck in my head now :

          I’m the fly in your soup
          I’m the pebble in your shoe
          I’m the peel on which you slip
          I’m the thorn in your sides
          An extra turn on the rack …

          I feel bad saying these things about her, but she does seem like a textbook narcissist so far. And so does her mother, in fact.

  8. It would be cool if someday you recapped a book you did like, Jenny. Pull back the curtain and show all of us non-authors how good authors create fantastic books.

    1. I’d agree, but I’m also forever thankful to Jenny’s FSoG recaps for giving me a comprehensive guide into what to avoid when writing fiction. Also they’re hilarious.

  9. I don’t think it’s weird that college students tend to always sit in the same seat. The entire time we’re in school we have assigned seats (usually). We’re used to sitting in the same spot everyday. It makes sense to me that even in college once we’ve picked a seat it become our “assigned seat.” It’s what we’re used to.

    1. I did it on purpose, but then I was a maverick! Heh! Well, so were a lot of my fellow students apparently. Also, anyone getting to class late.

      Just wondering if poor Harry always sits in the front row not because he likes Tess, because that’s not humanly possible, but because he’s myopic with an astigmatism, so as to rule out contacts. He ruined his eyes because of all that sensitive, romantic novel-reading he did as a youth. And naturally he is just too vain to wear glasses?

  10. If she is going to a four year university there is no way you’d have five classes per day. You would have five to six classes per semester which could end up as four classes per day, but that is highly unlikely as you’d have to get all M/W/F classes which would somehow have to have the perfect scheduling to mesh with one another. (Or M/T/Th I think was another variation); however, even the 101′s they have multiples of like Intro to Comp and Algebra and stuff good luck getting into them in the first place to stack them so perfectly.

    1. Not necessarily. I did a 4 year degree with 5 classes a semester. If they were MWF classes it was 1 hour/day, TTh classes were 1.5 hours/day. For my last 3 years, I intentionally scheduled all of my classes for one day. Now, sometimes they were spread out so I started at 8:30 am and ended at 10:00 pm so there were breaks, but I always had them on one day so I could have my other days off to study or work!

      1. Sorry. Two* degrees – 7 years total. So I spent the first four years with the type of schedule that’s more normal :P

        1. Totally doable. I had a couple classes with a girl who was dating a guy a few years older and she wanted to graduate with him. She took 24 credit hours a semester to do it.

          Five classes is only 15 credit hours. I did that my first semester. The only reason I never did it again was that my school was a 30-minute drive from home, I had a job and was a single mother to a toddler and it was just too much. But if I had been a normal college student, I could have kept up that schedule.

      2. Well, Most colleges don’t like to pile classes on to Freshman. So her advisor would not put all her classes on one day like that during her first semester.

        1. Assuming she went through an adviser. I never did. I chose my classes and my schedule myself, even my first semester. I think I met with my adviser once when I decided to change my major after the first semester of my junior year and that was only to figure out what I needed to do to meet my requirements and graduate on time.

          1. I think it all depends on the school. Some schools make you meet with an advisor first semester. Usually it’s done during orientation. I know where Iw ent you still needed your advisor to sign the form, so…. Also, this is Tessa, you know her uptight behind went to her advisor.

          2. Ha ha! True! I’m just saying it isn’t entirely impossible that she has five classes in one day. It seems from reading through the comments, we all had varying experiences with college schedules. But the one thing none of us had were the same classes five days a week.

            That I have never heard of.

            There are plenty of things Todd gets wrong in this book, though. Plen-ty.

          3. You know, I didn’t actually have the same 5 classes each day in high school. We were on a 7 day schedule so like, 3 days I had gym or social studies or whatever, I had IA 2 days, some days had the same class at a different time, etc.

    2. From the way Tessa’s schedule is described, I’d think she was taking 30 credits- because obviously if you are taking so many classes per day that you have to rush around to get to them, AND you are taking them every day of the week, you’d be taking at least 21 and possibly more. I did that one semester- 5 classes M-W-F, 2 classes T-TH, with 3 evening classes (6-week classes) and nearly killed myself from the stress of it. I was sick by Thanksgiving. Not something I’d recommend. But then, I’m not a perfect paragon like Tessa, and OBVIOUSLY I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been….

      The other thing that irritates me about these chapters is Tessa is rushing around to get to her classes- another clue that Anna Todd has never been to college- you don’t have 5 minutes to get to class, you have 10-15. Even when I had class across campus, there was no rush, because there was plenty of time to walk.

      And then I read “yea” in medieval English, and start giggling.

      1. Also apparently there’s no orientation at this college and classes are all selected well before the semester begins. That’s not how it worked at my college, we had a couple days of freshman orientation then there was a lot of meeting with our faculty advisers and classes were shuffled around. I always had at least one day a week with no classes that I would use for getting my classwork done without weekend distractions.

    3. People training to be phys ed teachers sometimes had schedules like that, because the health classes were scheduled at 1hr/day MTWTh and sometimes F, and of course the theater kids never left the theater building, but other than that?

  11. I love how Tessa constantly thinks that she’s being really mean when all she does is say ‘What do you want, Harry?’ (the added comma has hopefully not ruined this comment) and ‘[Liam] is sweet and smart. Unlike you.’ Oh, burn! I bet Harry will be crying himself to sleep over that one. Weak sauce.

    Tessa’s mother is disappointed because Tessa went to a party? WTF? Why are all these people so insufferable? Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey had exactly the same problem. The protagonists were all cocks. Why don’t Meyer/James/Todd spot this? When they read over what they’ve written, why don’t they see that they’ve written a bunch of assholes? Everyone else does.

  12. Please keep including the readers comments. They are the perfect shit icing on this shit cake. (For some reason, I have Jim Lahey on my mind when I’m reading these updates. Maybe because his shit-isms are the only things that might properly put into context this shitty book.)

  13. guys, i was bored the other night and started reading ahead of the recaps on wattpad. it gets worse. somehow this drivel manages to get so much worse. it makes me legitimately concerned for the young people who read this shit and think having a terrible, abusive significant other is the norm. if reading descriptions of emotional and physical abuse is a trigger for you, avoid this terrible book at all costs.

  14. “Um. Wow. I.

    I don’t know what to do with my downstairs tingle feels right now.”

    Thank you. I know shit all about 1D. When you posted that picture I went “Oh. OH. I kind of get it now.”

    I mean, I’ll never be caught dead listening to their music voluntarily, but mmmmmmm he’s pretty :P

  15. First off, the Harold Hill picture had me LOL, perfect! Second, I can’t help it, but for some reason I ended up with Garth Brooks singing “I’ve Got Curves In The Right Places” in my mind. And third–what the hell kind of lame ass college are they going to? I don’t know about the rest of you, but Truth or Dare died in high school, where is Quarters, Euchre, Poker and Ace 2, 3? I half expected in one of these “party” scenes for someone to ask to play “Spin The Bottle”! It sounds more like they are at Grove City College, that would at least fit Tessa’s uptight, granny-pant wearing personality.

    1. I got so drunk at college one time playing “up and down the river” that I drunk dialed my dad. He told me how to play Mexican Dice figuring one really, really big hangover would stop the drinking. I don’t remember how to play either game, but that was just darn evil of my dad.

    2. “I half expected in one of these “party” scenes for someone to ask to play “Spin The Bottle”!”

      Yeah, this also happens later on in the story. It ends badly. As do “Seven Minutes in Heaven” and “Suck and Blow.” I REALLY wish I were joking. There are a lot of these parties left…

  16. am only part way through but need to stop to say THEIR WHOLE P&P CONVERSATION IS LIFTED STRAIGHT FROM “YOU’VE GOT MAIL”.

    Joe : Pride and Prejudice.

    Kathleen : Do you mind?

    Joe : I bet you read that book every year. I bet you just love that Mr. Darcy. And your sentimental heart just beats wildly at the thought he and well, you know, whatever her name is, are truly, honestly going to end up together.

    Waiter : Can I get you something?

    Kathleen : No, no, he’s not staying.

    Joe : Mochaccino decaf, nonfat.

    Kathleen : No, no, you are not staying!

    Joe : I’ll just stay until your friend gets here. Is he late?

    Kathleen : The heroine of Pride and Prejudice is Elizabeth Bennet. She is one of the great and complex characters. Not that you would know.

    Joe : As a matter of fact, I’ve read it.

    Kathleen : Oh, well, good for you.

    Joe : I think you’d discover a lot of things if you really knew me.

    She can steal from EL James all she likes but none of this stealing from Nora Ephron.

    1. Wow, well spotted. You’ve Got Mail is a great movie. I want to rewatch it now. (I never noticed the P&P thing but this is still way better crafted than whatever’s going on in After.)

    2. As an old movie buff, I have to point out that Nora Ephron stole (okay, “based”) the plot of “You’ve Got Mail” from “The Shop Around the Corner” (directed by Ernst Lubitsch and written by Samson Raphaelson, which in turn was based on “Parfumerie” by Miklós László.

      The “author” of this shitshow (I can’t even be bothered to remember her name) has so little originality that all the works she’s plagiarizing have been derived from something else themselves.

      1. Yes! And also “In The Good Old Summertime” with Judy Garland was a sort-of musical sort-of based on “Shop Around The Corner”! In “Summertime” the leads are co-workers who hate each other who also are both secretly in love with the stranger they share a post office box with. I adore it.
        I think I still see a line, however artificial, between “based on” and homage vs just lifting dialogue? And it’s probably also coloured by the fact that I love “You’ve Got Mail” but “After” is making me dry-heave more frequently with every chapter.

        1. The Hours is an exact, modernized replica of Mrs. Dalloway, but he isn’t all secretive about it. It’s the basis of the book and done on purpose and he doesn’t try to pretend it isn’t. It’s the right way to do it and it is wonderful.

          1. This, absolutely. It’s the same with the Bridget Jones books – to my knowledge, Fielding was open from the beginning about the fact that they were based on Austen novels. That just makes them that much more fun, because it’s like we’re all in on the joke.

          2. if she tried to hide that, no one would have believed her! Colin Firth is, actually, Mr. Darcy! Ha ha. And I love how in the book she’s so obsessed with him.

            One of my favorite things about that entire franchise is how the character in the books loves Colin Firth and Hugh Grant and then they cast them in the movies. It was so “wink-wink” and cute in a way that worked perfectly.

        2. As I understand it, “In the Good Old Summertime” was actually marketed at the time as being a musical version of “Shop Around the Corner”. They used to do that a lot, but they were utterly honest about it – “You loved the movie – now thrill to the musical!” That sort of thing.

          According to Wikipedia, László is listed in the credits of “You’ve Got Mail” – but I can’t verify this as I’ve never seen it all the way through (because of my indignation that the marketing in no way acknowledged Ephron’s indebtedness to “Shop Around the Corner” and “Parfumerie” but pretended that it was a completely original idea). I have no problem with well-done remakes, modernizations, whatever – as long as you ACKNOWLEDGE that that’s what you’re doing. In all honesty, I lost a bit of respect for Nora Ephron with that movie because of what I saw as her disingenuousness about where she got the plot.

          1. Part of my brain seems to remember that the opening “You’ve Got Mail” credits say something about “Shop Around The Corner” but that might be just wishful thinking on my part.
            I’m with you: I appreciate a good remake/”based on” so long as the creators of the work are upfront about it! IMO the ones where the creators are cagey or just dishonest about their “originality” are never as good: like they take their work too seriously? Whereas if you’re upfront about it you can be like, “I totally wrote ‘Clueless’ as an updated ‘Emma’ and look how well it works and how hilarious it can be!”

          2. Meg Ryan’s character’s shop was actually called The Shop Around The Corner. How is that not an acknowledgment?

          3. I was going to say, I thought it was generally accepted that You’ve Got Mail was an update of The Shop Around The Corner, just like Sleepless in Seattle was an update of An Affair to Remember.

            Fun fact, I’ve only seen both of those movies once because I never understood the “great chemistry” Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan were supposed to have. I think I’m the only person on the planet who feels that way.

          4. One of my favourite extras on the Bridget Jones DVD was the scene from the book where Bridget interviews Colin Firth and questions him non-stop about the wet shirt scene.

  17. Have you ever noticed that the heroines in these books, despite supposedly being big into literature, never read for pleasure? If I remember correctly, Anna only read books she had to for her publishing job and Tessa seems at a loose end when her laptop breaks, but surely if she were so literary and haughty she’d have a novel somewhere she could pick up?

    1. Oh SNAP. How have I never noticed this before?? Ana Steele does read Tess on the plane, and I think ooooone other time (in Chedward’s inexplicable library?), but since everybody reads on the plane, I’m only gonna give her the one.

      Tessa’s total failure to imagine what she might be able to do with her time when her computer breaks is actually HILARIOUS. I did not know a single student, when I was in college, who didn’t bring at least a few of their favorite books with them from home, and it only gets funnier/sadder when you remember that loving books is supposed to be a major aspect of this girl’s personality.

      I think for these terrible writers (and many others, to be fair), “bookish” is a shorthand for “sheltered,” and is used as a means of justifying why a character DOESN’T have interests or a detailed social life. If their characters were truly bookish, they might have favorite books (more than one!), new books they’d just read, dream books that no one to their knowledge has yet written. They might bring books to parties or bars. They might read while walking even though they know they shouldn’t. They might stalk the campus library trying to find out WHO THE HELL TOOK OUT ‘THINGS FALL APART’??? They’d have passion.

      But since that would make characters dangerously interesting and detailed, it’s probably a better idea to make sure that “bookish” just means that the only force acting upon these women’s lives is a man.

      1. “If their characters were truly bookish, they might have favorite books (more than one!), new books they’d just read, dream books that no one to their knowledge has yet written. They might bring books to parties or bars. They might read while walking even though they know they shouldn’t. ”

        Exactly. Thats what bookish people do, they take books everywhere.

        1. But it’s not about Tessa loving books and reading, guys. Tessa being bookish is just the equivalent of a girl in a film having glasses; it’s shorthand for ‘this person is smart.’ Voila! No other work has to be done to actually show that this character is intelligent. Nope, she reads thus she is smart. Hence. Ergo. Etc. Blerch.

          1. It’s anger-making. I have an English lit degree and I have always loved reading. But I have never been so dull.

            And why do all these characters love the classics so much but never seen to read anything from the last 100 years? That doesn’t make a character smarter to me. Some of the classics truly suck. And I know I’ll offend a few when I say this, but there is nothing more dull in bookland than Jane Austen. lol I CANNOT read her and I can’t even watch movies based on her books (except the Bridget Jones stuff. Somehow Helen Fielding managed to make Pride and Prejudice really good.). And to live you entire life based on spouting book quotes is just weird. I spent my college years in classes dedicated to these kinds of books and people there didn’t even do that.

      2. Bam! I have toted many a book to many a party, dinner etc…. Girl get it together. Another thing, just cause her lap top breaks , she has to go to the party. This is a college campus, can’t you go explore, hit up the student union or whatever. Like it’s not an either or thing.

      3. My first day at college: I moved into my off-campus dorm, put all my clothes away, and curled up in a chair by the window with a book for the next few hours.

        That evening, my new roommates came home and told me how embarrassed they were because everyone they talked to was like “oh you live in the room with the chick that’s always reading!” Our room was right by the stairs. A lot of people went by. Apparently I was super-weird for reading in college.

    2. I’ve never actually noticed that. I’m going to pretend that when Tessa says ‘literature’ she means 1D/LOTR Self-Insert fanfic and that’s why she’s at such a loss when her laptop’s down.

      But seriously, if she’d rather party than pick up a book, she’s clearly not that big of a reader.

        1. That’s a point. Her phone would have to have internet access though. And most cell phones are equipped with that now, but I know I opted not to have an internet plan on my phone, so I’d believe that it’s not for everyone.

          1. It does. Anna goes into great detail every time Tessa has to go anywhere about how she uses the navigation on the phone and I think she looks things up a few times, too, like addresses and such.

            And you will soon learn that any smart phone that is not an iPhone is crap. She hasn’t mentioned anything that isn’t Scottish yet, though.

    3. MY exact thought. Like just cause your laptop breaks doesn’t mean you can’t something to do. IF your such book person, you should have at least ten laying around.

      Another thing, just cause her laptop breaks, she has to go to the party. Like couldn’t she have found something else to do?

      1. Ha! I do love Shakespeare, but some of his work is better than other of his work (is that English???). I never cared for Julius Caesar, but Othello and King Lear are fantastic.

        I also think that the production quality is important. The first time I saw As You Like It, it was an awful production and I didn’t think I liked the play at all. But a few years later, I saw a different production that was done well and I loved it. My favorite version of Romeo and Juliet is the Baz Luhrman version. I just love what he did with it. And Joss Whedon’s recent version of Much Ado About Nothing is simply brilliant (I’ve never seen a version of that I didn’t like, but his is my favorite). There’s also an old version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Christine Baranski (it was a play — possibly Broadway) that they filmed that I adore. it isn’t updated and they didn’t do anything fancy with it, but it’s really good on its own.

        Every writer has flops, though.

    1. I just read the article and this bit jumped out at me:

      “Todd currently has plans to begin posting a prequel called Before once she wraps up After 3 in the next few weeks. The prequel will be the story After, but from Harry’s point of view instead of Tessa’s.”

      1. But … that doesn’t even make any sense. It’s not a “prequel” if it’s the same story at the same time, just from a different POV. But why I’m trying to ask for any sense whatsoever in this phenomenon is beyond me.

        1. Oh gawd, make it stop! She already writes a lot of chapters with part of it from Harry’s point of view–and it’s horrible, she basically just copies and pastes the part that is supposed to be Tessa’s point and then adds a few things here and there. You basically end up reading the same chapter over.

  18. “Just when I think the next chapter is going to be a long description of the movie Tessa watches on Netflix…”

    This actually happens later in the story, though I don’t remember if it’s in the first “book” (ugh, I hate even dignifying this with the term “book”). I’m not even kidding. She watches a movie with either Noah or Harry (again, can’t remember who–it may actually happen more than once) on her laptop and actually describes parts of the movie as they’re watching it/snuggling.

    Jenny, I have to say I’ve been a big fan of your 50 Shades recaps since I discovered them while you were somewhere on 50 Shades Darker and read all of them, finding myself alternately laughing hysterically at your commentary and fuming mad at E.L. James. I went back and read them all and waited eagerly for each subsequent installment. This is my first time actually commenting, though! You put a lot of the discomfort/anger/disgust I felt reading the 50 Shades books but had trouble articulating into words (and then some!). So thank you so much for doing those recaps, both for the laughs and the serious parts. And thank you for doing these!

    So, when I saw you were recapping After, I knew I had to actually go read it. I always feel like I can’t actually shit on something I haven’t exposed myself to, you know? Which is how I ended up reading 50 Shades in the first place. Ugh.

    Anyway, so, minor SPOILERS ahead if anyone cares.

    I’ve finished After 1-3 to the point that Anna Todd has completed it, and I t is SO MUCH WORSE than 50 Shades. And I don’t just mean the writing/grammar/punctuation (which actually does improve a little bit–I’m pretty sure by After 3 she started editing her work, whether she’ll cop to it or not. You can see a difference), but the relationship itself is so much more upsetting and unhealthy and just flat-out ridiculous. There might not be a lot of infuriating victim-blaming and overtly abusive behavior in the first book, but it goes downhill FAST. The abuse and unhealthiness in this relationship just goes way beyond 50 Shades for me. And it’s glorified even more. Just felt like I had to give everyone a friendly warning!

    On a lighter note, OMG I CAN’T EVEN with Anna Todd. Until I saw in her bio that she was married, I was honestly reading the first book thinking to myself, “Not only has this woman never had sex, she’s also clearly never been in a relationship. With anyone. Even an imaginary one.” But, no. Married. And apparently she lives in Austin, so as a fellow Texan, I feel the obligation to apologize on behalf of my state for her (I feel that obligation a lot, but I think this is the first time it’s been for literary offenses).

    Also, I’m pretty sure she’s never been to college. Not knocking her for that by any means–I almost didn’t go and have several very intelligent and successful friends who either didn’t go or didn’t finish. But it affects her depiction of the college experience to such a degree that it’s really distracting. Like with her having five classes in a day. That’s totally possible–I did it one semester, scheduling all my classes on M/W/F so I could have T/Th completely free. But it becomes clear as the book progresses that she has all 5 of those classes EVERY DAY. Just like high school.

    Until she gets her internship, at which point she doesn’t have to go to class anymore and works full time but still has to turn in all of her assignments (she originally says she’s going to work 3 days a week and only not going to SOME classes, but then immediately she’s working full time and not going to any of them). It’s inconsistent and bizarre.

    And the “semester” boundaries make no sense. And apparently you can add/drop any time with no consequences and transfer schools back and forth pretty much at will even in the middle of a semester. I know my college experience isn’t representative of everyone’s, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work that way anywhere. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

    I feel like I should say something nice about After at this point. Uh….uh…she DOES actually start using contractions somewhere between Book 2 and 3. That’s positive.

    It’s just…it’s just UGH. IT’S SO BAD. EVERYTHING ABOUT IT IS BAD. IT HAS NO REDEEMING QUALITIES. I once described the 50 Shades series to a friend as “three pages of awkward dialogue, something bonkers happens, repetitive sex scene; repeat ad nauseum for three books.” This takes that formula to new lows.

    Sorry. I kind of went off on a rant, there. Anyway. Thank you again for the 50 Shades recaps and for recapping these. I know I’ll enjoy reading them just as much. And thank you for your humor and your anger, both. I think it’s really important that you are saying the things you are about these books and these relationships and abuse, and especially saying them so eloquently and clearly, and also that you are able to address the rest of the ridiculousness with humor. I always pass along your blog whenever I hear someone lauding 50 Shades, and I really hope that more women read your blog and understand why this bullshit is so problematic for both individual girls/women and society at large. Good luck on these!

    1. Not only has she clearly never been to college, she clearly has also never visited a gynecologist. And she writes a lot about England but isn’t even aware of the NHC. There are many, many, many other things she includes in these books that I thought were common knowledge but she shows me just how wrong I was.

    2. Well I read some where that she is a former college student. Not sure if that means she graduated or not, but she has def been to college. Which makes it so much worse

      1. Call me cynical, but I have a really hard time believing she went to college. I mean, she isn’t even aware that you can’t skip all your classes and still pass. MOST professors take attendance and they will fail you if you miss too many. Plus, she supposedly has a scholarship and that would be very dependent on attending classes. You can lose a scholarship for missing too many.

        SPOILERS:

        Also, what four-year school allows freshmen who don’t live in town already (with their parents usually) to have a car on campus or live off campus?

        Not to mention that she’s in 101 and 102-level classes with full-blown professors teaching them AND she later has a “professor” who’s either 22 or 24 (depending on which reference you think Todd actually meant) years old. Did he start college at 10 years old to already have a Ph.D? You could have a TA who’s that young, but it wouldn’t be even a little bit unusual and Todd writes about this guy as an actual professor and Tessa is all amazed about how young he is.

        There is no way she attended college. Maybe she sat in on a couple classes. I mean, I dated a guy in law school and it was long-distance, so when I visited him I went to classes with him. I guess you could say I’m a former law student?

        1. Well, to be fair, my university let freshman live off campus freely and let them have cars if they did live on campus. BUT the school I went to was fairly small, largely a commuter school, and for those who did live on campus, it’s next to impossible to get anywhere in Houston without a car, so it was pretty much a necessity to have one. I know that’s not the norm, though, especially at larger schools.

          Excellent points, though! I had forgotten about Professor Doogie Howser (which is what I will refer to him to from now on). So, 4 years of undergrad plus 2 years MA/PhD coursework, PLUS (being EXTREMELY GENEROUS to the timeline provided–I know it takes most people a lot longer to finish their dissertation) another 2 to write and defend his dissertation… Even assuming on the high side he was 24 he must have started college at 16.

          Also, I’m going to start telling people I’m a surgeon because I’ve observed a couple of surgeries. Lol. I like where this trend is going!

        2. Ohio State allows freshmen to have cars, but you have to park off campus (which can be dicey depending on what part of campus your dorm is on) or park it in remote parking which is like three miles from the dorms closest to it, so you have to take a bus to get your car. And freshmen had to live in dorms, but I knew lots of people who managed to get around that rule. But they were lying to get around it.

        3. I went to UCSB and lived in an off-campus private dorm (not run by the university) my freshman year. And had a car.

          I agree with you on all the other points but some 4-year schools absolutely let freshmen live wherever the heck they want.

          1. Oh, and I didn’t use my car on-campus because a) I lived two blocks from it and b) parking permits were stupid expensive and everyone has a bike there. I could have bought a parking permit, but there was no good reason to.

        4. Professors taking attendance is completely ridiculous to me, and so is the university “allowing” students to live or not live somewhere.

          I went to uni in Canada and students are treated like adults. You can apply to live on campus if you want but it certainly isn’t required. o.O
          As for skipping class, in my STEM classes missing a lab was a bad idea because they were worth such a big chunk of the grade, but in class like calculus where the grade is mostly the exam, you don’t even need to show up.

          So yeah, another data point showing not all experiences are alike and that, apparently, Canada is far less restrictive of uni students than America.

    3. I work in administration for my alma mater (one of the biggest universities in the U.S.) and it always cracks me up when I come across a story like this that treats things like add/drop, course scheduling, and transferring to another institution like things that can be accomplished with extreme ease, in the bat of an eye. Because nahhhhh.

      Add/drop? You have a deadline to do that by; if you withdraw after that deadline, it’s going to screw your GPA, big time. Transfer work? First we have to get the transcripts, which can take weeks. Then scan them into a digital repository. Then you get audited for equivalency–it’s automatic if your school is in our system, but if you went to Podunk Junior College in 1987 and we’ve got nothing to compare your farm science course to, we have to get our evaluators to figure it out. Granted, most people don’t care about this, unless we tell them “no, we don’t accept this course or this CLEP score.”

      I also had exactly one course as an undergrad that met daily, and that was Japanese. I was a studio art major, which meant three-hour-long classes two days a week. I can believe professors teaching survey courses, since all my art history courses were taught by actual PhDs, but everything else was taught by grad students.

      1. That drove me nuts too. And at a lot of schools dropping/changing classes not only messes with your GPA but also costs a lot of money!

  19. Oh God, curves in all the wrong places. That’s been a mark of bad fic sincethe Gossamer archive was new (I think I may have just reallyd dated myself). It’s one of the two phrases that will cause me to immediately stop reading a fic. Immediately.

    My other instant-abort phrase is “he picked her up bridal-style.” $5 says we see it before this thing is all said and done.

    1. Yikes, that should be curves in all the *right* places, and even I know “really” isn’t spelled with a d. Forgiveness please.

      I’d still put money on Tessa being picked up “bridal-style” at some point, because this seems like that sort of fic. Right or wrong, God Speed to you Jenny for wading into the god-awful fray once again.

  20. Oh, and one more thing I forgot to include in my TL;DR post above. Right now the literary parallel is Pride and Prejudice, but it later starts to shift back and forth between that and Wurthering Heights, I assume so it can parallel both 50 Shades AND Twilight. So, yeah. Be prepared for that bullshit. It gets even more overt and ridiculous.

  21. I was hoping for slightly more blatant plagiarism. I am a little disappointed that Harry hasn’t had to save Tessa from being hit by a car or a bicycle… (I am a fan of ellipses, but I do use three dots rather than two) unless that’s the way she discovers she likes him whenever she gets around to realizing that.

    I guess that could still happen yet.

  22. I also find myself wondering how the stick-up-the-butted Tessa ended up going to what seems, in the story, to be such a big partying school. It wouldn’t have been anywhere near her first choice, so she must not have had very impressive credentials. And yet she is such a great serious student.
    I mean, it wouldn’t be because of money. In the type of world Tessa lives in, she should be able to get a big scholarship to any school she wants.

    1. I wasn’t really paying attention at the beginning but this is set in Washington, right? Is she supposed to be at UW? Or is she just from Washington and went somewhere else?

      1. I’ve kind of forgotten, but I just presume that no matter what school it is supposed to be, nothing resembling reality will be anywhere in view.

  23. The way she portrays college classes reminds me of many Bollywood films that have university settings. Almost every Bollywood film treats university like high school with characters more worried about being popular on campus and freaking about the prom or “big dance” while attending classes that have a high school-like feel to them.

    1. Yep. Because almost everyone goes to high school, but not so many to college. Therefore, “High School” is something the writers/directors/producers think the viewers can generalize and identify with, whereas, college, not so much, for some reason.

      That doesn’t really explain the popularity of “The Paper Chase”, except, well that’s not very realistic either, is it? Although, the seventies were cold, and everyone wears a lot of wool sweaters and jackets and hats and scarves…

      And now I’m thinking that maybe lots of the writers/directors/producers had some, well, problems with college; maybe they really didn’t like that creative writing class and that soured them on the whole deal?

      1. The Paper Chase is about law school. Every single person I have ever known who’s attended law school has told me it is a very accurate portrayal.

        1. So, they all only had one serious professor who was like John Houseman, whose office was a very polished spacious library?

          And they all went to Harvard Law? Because, there are some thing rats just won’t do.

          My law school friends joke about it. It’s a bit like Cleveland. So, yep, it’s really that bad. Heh!

          1. So, when I wrote my previous comment I had never actually watched The Paper Chase. I just finished and I still don’t see what the joke is. I mean, yeah, it’s a fictional story but I was engaged to a second year law student (New England School of Law) and that was pretty much what he and his classmates went through. The pressure, people dropping out, etc. I even sat in on some classes and while they weren’t quite so intense, they were pretty serious.

            I have a family full of lawyers and considered law school at one point. All the lawyers I knew told me I should watch that movie and then decide if I still wanted to do it.

            And they didn’t only have one professor. The movie just specifically focused on that class because the main character was obsessed with the professor. I don’t mean to argue, but your assessment of the film is a bit simplistic, I think, and misses the point.

          2. Hi Renee!

            Well, The Paper Chase was also later a TV series full of angst, and it was all based on an angst-ridden “coming of age story” book. Now, that you mention it, I was actually thinking of the TV series. So, I’ll have to go back and watch the movie again now.

            The thing is that it didn’t portray law school in the Bollywood manner as like high school only older. However, it *was* unrealistic in other ways, which what I was joking about.

            The author of the book admitted that the character played by John Houseman was actually an amalgam of at least three of his law school professors, and it is a common TV/movie simplification to have only one or two teachers or professors interacting with the main character students even though that is highly unrealistic in college or law school.

            Also, it’s a common joke in academia that TV and movie professors have very much more spacious and luxurious office space than they do in real life. “Wait a minute… he’s just a law professor, and, given his age, he’s probably emeritus, too! He’s not the Dean of the School of Medicine!”

            Anyway, I thought it only fair to mention the unrealistic aspects of The Paper Chase even though it was much more realistic in other ways than the Bollywood version of college.

            Still, my Harvard Law student friends back in the day did poke fun at The Paper Chase. They couldn’t have used it as a “cautionary tale” with me since I was already in graduate school by then… So, too late!

          3. It sounds like the TV show was very different. The movie doesn’t really show his campus office, only his study at home. And I didn’t get the impression that Hart only interacted with one professor, rather the movie simply focused on Hart’s obsession with that professor and the rest were irrelevant to the story.

            I wouldn’t expect a work of fiction to be 100% accurate, though. People who told me about it meant the movie, though, not the book or show.

    2. “I would pay good, good money to get a P2P book where the author uses Moll Flanders as an allegory for the romantic theme of their story.”

      That would be hilarious, and deadly as satire. Make it fun, too, for most people who are only vaguely aware of this stuff, and you’ll have a following

  24. I’ve spoken to all of my professors and they all knew my name, but I was one of those students. The kind that this author is trying to make Tessa into.

    Like others have said if shes such a bookish person why doesn’t she a) have any books and b) not just go to the library. I read constantly and always have a book with me especially when I went to college.

    4-5 classes is normal, but most are say Tuesday/Thursday and Monday/Wednesday. You can sometimes make all your classes on the same day unless you are taking courses that only have class a semester available.

  25. Actually where is Tessa’s phone? This is set in 2014 right? She’d have a smartphone (most likely the way her mother is) and she could entertain herself with that.

  26. Jen, you might be liking the 1D kids a bit more today. Just read an article about Zayn & Louis smoking pot and pissing off their fans.

    1. I read that as “pissing on their fans.” Which gave me the sads, cause they seem like such nice boys who wouldn’t pull a Bieber style stunt like that. So was the smoking pot and pissing off their fans related?

      1. No. There was a picture of them with a joint labeled ” joints lit” or something like that and that lead to their fans being upset and shredding tickets in anger at their “outrageous behavior”. Not planned pissing off.

  27. I can tell you all why Tessa has no books, she watches Netflix and thinks it’s the same thing. Wait until they are finally in love and start quoting P&P to each other. Only, they use quotes from the Keira Knightly adaptation. You know, the one with the quotes NOT IN THE BOOK!

    1. I really hope there’s a subplot where Tessa writes an essay on Pride and Prejudice, but it’s about the 1995 series and not the book, so she gets a really low grade and is forced to read the book, becoming very disappointed that there’s no scene where he dives into a pool and emerges, wet and glistening.
      And then Harry loses interest, cos he’s actually interested in literature and not just faking (as evidenced by the books in his room) and Tessa learns not to pretend to be something she isn’t. The End.

  28. You should probably add “virginal heroine with no sexual experience” to the similarities to 50 shades. Other than that fun recap. I hate Tessa she is like black hole!

  29. Noah being a plant means he is Tessa’s monitor, so Tessa might be a clone and oh god I just ruined Orphan Black didn’t I.

  30. Well, Professor Harold Hill’s at hand. This fan fiction’s going to have a boy band. And sure as The Lord made little green apples, that band’s going to be in college.

  31. It is pretty infuriating. Ditto on the English lit degree and loving reading. Maybe that’s why we’re all seeing right through Tessa supposedly being bookish? Maybe this is what the average not-fond-of-reading person thinks we are all like: smug, dull prudes? I hope not.

    Aw, I love Jane Austen. But this idea that only the classics are worthy reading material is indeed just as stupid as thinking that only vintage films and music from the fifties is good. If you think that you simply need to try different modern stuff. There’s good to be found in every era.

      1. There are some classics I absolutely love and others I … just … can’t. lol

        But I love good books. Period. I’m in love with Harry Potter, A Song of Ice and Fire, The Help and many, many other modern books. In high school, I devoured anything Sydney Sheldon.

        But I also love Sherlock Holmes, Dickens, Victor Hugo and many others. I also don’t think a book being contemporary makes is lesser than the classics. I think ASOIAF is a magnificent work of literature but so many people look down on it because it’s “new” and popular. They forget that Shakespeare was once new and popular …

        But, yeah, I was never, ever, ever, ever like the characters in these books and I’ve been a reader for longer than I can remember. I’m just not pretentious about it.

        1. Thank you! You can love the classics and contemporary works. ugh!
          Yeah, some of the classics make me ehh. I told someone that I felt that Shakespeare was overrated and I though they were going to burn me at the stake.

    1. That’s my thing, she is an English Major she should have tons of books around. Also, she apparently got homework from her one day of classes, and I’m pretty sure some of that included reading books.

      Nah see the thing about thinking that the classics/vintage movies etc.. are good is to prove how intellectual you are. It’s a very hipster thing, like I’m better than you cause I appreciate these things.

      1. Ah, the hipsters strikes again. I don’t think I’ll ever get them.

        Being smug about what you like is so… unappealing. Doubly so if you’re only pretending to like something.

  32. I have to go to work soon, but some thoughts:

    1. Introducing yourself to the professor…odd. I only did that in college because I have Tourrettes Syndrome (NOT the swearing thing, that’s copralalia) and I felt the teachers needed to know.

    Other than that, I only talked to professors to ask questions or voice concerns, or if I needed help. Or sometimes I just wanted to practice my German/Spanish/French. So, it’s not like I never talked to my professors, it just wasn’t often.

    Also, I do not get Mr. Darcy’s appeal at all either. But then, I also don’t understand romantic and sexual appeal, so that MIGHT not be saying too much. I did watch the movie (we had to for school) Pride and Prejudice, and I was just so confused the entire time I had no clue what was going on.

    Has this person actually ever BEEN to a college? In any one class I go to, there are likely to be people already there as early as 15 minutes before the class actually starts. This could be due to a variety of reasons I won’t get into, however, it is not that uncommon to show up early for a class and find 5-10 people already there.

    I’ll read the rest after work. Thank you for the interesting reading material, Jenny. I enjoy reading your After posts.

    1. I talked with my professors all the time but I went to a very small school that didn’t do the big lecture model, my classes ranged from 4-20 students with most being around 12 that were heavy on discussion. It was also the type of liberal arts school where most professors asked you to call them by their first names, occasionally one would be referred to as “Doctor Firstname/Lastname” but never “Professor”. Even at more traditional universities I don’t think “professor” is generally used as a title instead of Dr/Mr/Ms/etc.

    2. Somehow, I got the impression that Tess was supposedly attending a fairly large state university which also seemed to have a reputation as a party school. Now why Tess decided to go to that school rather than a women’s college, especially given her mother’s, ahem, views… Better cafeteria plan?

      So, when she prides herself on being such a polite little student who insists on introducing herself to the professor, I’m picturing one of those big lecture hall introductory classes with lots of freshman, an actual professor, and well over fifty students. And then I get this vision of what the author/Tess imagines should happen on the first day of class, with all the good, polite students lining themselves up, maybe in alphabetical order even, to introduce themselves to the professor as though the professor is hosting a party.

      Of course, then I have this perverse urge to go to my alma mater and convince a bunch of freshmen on their first day in one of those huge lecture classes that formally introducing themselves is socially acceptable polite behavior which the professor expects. For some of my professors, I’d have to go back in time, but some of the older ones have the most flabbergasted expressions on their faces in my imagination, and that’s a good enough reason for time travel for me.

  33. “Yeah, they’re going to beg her to come with them, because no party was ever truly fun until she arrived. And then Legolas swings in on a vine and kisses her.”

    LOLforever

  34. I really don’t understand how Tessa has “nothing to do or watch” in her dorm room just because her computer broke. Does she have not books to read? Can she not wander the hallways to see who has their door open and is looking for company? Can she not post her own long and winding story on Wattpad? (Oh, why am I even bothering to wonder about this flimsy plot device?)

    One thing I find weird about this college is that there was apparently no frosh orientation. All of us freshman girls in my dorm got the chance to bond before any returning students appeared.

    1. This was my thought. Like doesn’t she have a ipod or a smart phone or books, magazines etc…. to keep her entertained. Like instead of going to the party she didn’t want to go to she could have wandered around her dorms or campus and see what’s going on.
      Yeah, like what kind of terrible freshman orientation did this place have, that they didn’t tell them about different things to do on campus. Or where none of the freshmen bonded or whatever.

    2. I’ve actually been wondering about this and I think that it’s just another of those situations where the heroine doesn’t want to have any control over her life, so she looks for flimsy excuses to make it seem like she just has to go along with everyone else. “Oh, my computer broke, I guess I’ll have to go to that party that I secretly-want-to-go-to-but-pretend-I-don’t and see that guy I totally-don’t-but-do like. Obviously that is my only option reader. It is kismet. Woe is me.”

      She has Anastasia Steele Syndrome where she wants someone to ‘save’ her from her autonomy. And, I mean, look at what she puts up with from Noah, her boyfriend. She acts like she’s helpless to him tattling on her, and he can treat her like garbage because they’re ‘in love.’ And when she stands up for herself with Harry, it just entails her doing things she thinks appeal to him.

      Next he’ll be all “Little miss priss would never get at tattoo” and she’ll come back on Monday with a full-body inksuit.

      1. Next he’ll be all “Little miss priss would never get at tattoo” and she’ll come back on Monday with a full-body inksuit.

        We can only hope Tessa does something that exciting! And then visits her mother …

    3. I went to a very small school and still never lacked for options of things to do if my computer was broken. Especially since we had a Library (several actually) with computer labs and, you know, books. And it stayed open late on Friday nights . . .

      There’s suspension of disbelief, and there’s trying to hold back a Colorado river of, “that makes no sense whatsoever.” And I don’t like this story or this heroine enough to try and build a Hoover dam.

  35. And it seems only eighteenth/nineteenth century literature is “quality.”

    One of my characters in my WIP recently referenced Gone With the Wind in a thought, which I guess makes me a philistine … and proud of it. ;-)

  36. Actually, the freshman seminar I went to in university told most students that in an auditorium full of 300 people, the professor isn’t going to notice you. But if its in a subject thats important to you, go and introduce yourself to your professor. I didn’t but thats because I have horrible shyness. Though my English lit classes were all under 30 students and all my English professors knew my name.

    I bet she doesn’t know Jane Austen was an astute (and seriously sharp) satirist. UGH. :P

  37. Why are people reading this? I mean, not this the recap. It’s great. But the actual “story”. And why the hell is it getting a book AND movie deal? OMG my head.

    I mean, okay I have read, and written, some pretty bad fanfiction in my day because I was just that into the fandom. Have I gotten so old? Maybe I need to revisit the fanfiction sites.

    /end rambling

    1. I still write bad fan fiction. My excuse is, I’m trying to improve on my weaker areas. Smut is an excellent breeding ground for embellishing descriptions ;)

      I had no idea of this story until this blog. I know there’s a LOT of 1D fan fiction on Wattpad, and a lot of it has a high readership. Guess publishers are blowing off twilight fans now? Anyway, I read 50 shades before Jenny’s recaps, and I just can’t do it again, I’ll stick to Jenny’s awesome snark!

  38. We’ve bounced back to Pride and Prejudice, have we? Lol. The bullshit has come full circle. I guess she thought referencing Tess would be too plagiarific, so she decided to reference the book that was referenced in the book that the book she plagiarised was plagiarising.

    Fuck, my head just exploded.

    It fills me with terror that some of you are saying that this gets worse than 50 Shades. Partially because I’m enjoying just laughing at it so far, my eyes leaking and sides hurting, not having to worry about getting Hulksmash!mad and frothing about misogyny and abuse being romanticised. Partially also because I don’t want to picture something worse than 50 Shades, because that seems akin to looking Cthulhu in the eyes.

    Wtf, you guys. Just wtf. This is getting published? In a 6 figure deal? With movie rights? To quote Futurama’s Professor meme: ‘I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.’

    1. She just posted the next chapter of the last book today along with her little “note” she always puts at the end of each one-not only does it have a movie and publishing deal, she’s now got someone hawking “After” jewelry. Oh the humanity!!

        1. Oh.My.Gawd!

          I’m thinking the average age of the “book’s” fans is maybe 15-20 years old (if that). No way they can afford that crap and what parent in his or her right mind would spend that much on a piece of jewelry the child is more than likely no longer going to want in a year???

          And, seriously??? Who wears a ring with fictional characters’ nicknames on it? I might get one with my name or my child’s, but not “Hessa.” Ew.

          1. I agree, that is really bad. And expensive. NUTSO! I know that there is all kinds of Hunger Games jewelry, but it’s mostly emblems, not names or anything as weird as this is.

        2. I don’t understand how enough of these could have been sold for some to be labelled “Best Seller” unless that means those are the only ones bought at all. If that’s not the case, then I just don’t get it.

          1. Ah, never mind. I figured out that Jewlr is a custom jewelry site.
            They’ll make any symbol you send to them, apparently, and then anybody can make it say any name they want…

            For example, I just “re-designed” the Seattle pendant to read the closest I could get to “This Fucking Guy”:
            http://www.pinterest.com/pin/52846995602283234/

            And here is what a Chedward/Anabella hearts pendant would look like:
            http://www.pinterest.com/pin/52846995602283239/

            So, apparently the world hasn’t completely ended yet. Only partially.

  39. I’ve read ahead,it’s too vile. Jen,please take care of you if carrying on with recaps. So much just copy pasted from 50 Shades,and if I were Harry Styles having my name used like that? Why is being seen as so romantic to cry and argue through a relationship? These fucking people!

  40. The only reason I can think of for her to be taking five classes that meet every day of the week is if all five were foreign language classes.

    Just think how much more interesting this would be if the heroine were taking Swahili, Uzbek, Mayan, Urdu, and Tagalog.

    1. I’m expecting My Immortal to get a book deal and movie rights any day now. Why not, if Twilight, 50 Shades, and After can? It’s not the four horsemen of the apocalypse, it’s the four pieces of horseshit fiction of the apocalypse.

      1. I just read the first three pages of My Immortal. THAT NEEDS TO BE A MOVIE. I feel like getting some Monster High dolls and making a stop-motion version.

  41. Damn Jenny,
    there is so much to read through, is she naming her Tessa because of the Thomas Hardy novel that Ana thought was so romantic?

    You are truly a great writer, you are funny, and introspective, you have a voice. There is still literature being written but it seems like it’s all about money, and after the 50 shades crap, the publishers realized that there are a lot of cretins out there who will read thrash and think they are literate. Something to that effect.
    I like to write too, but never took it seriously.

  42. So, Harry doesn’t allow anyone in his room and now there’s a little boy who apparently really likes trains. I’m telling you all, this is NOT about 1D. This is secretly Sheldon Cooper fanfic.

      1. Jenny hasn’t gotten there yet, but one of the characters has a 4-year-old son and he REALLY likes trains, I guess, because Harry keeps commenting on the kid and his trains.

  43. I just came across this comment, wow…this is only part of it, but you get the general idea: (I edited it both in spelling and grammar)
    “Thank you for writing such a great book that will be in my memory even when I am no longer obsessed with One Direction, this may sound stupid but this book has taught me a lot about life and how love works.”

    Yes, this is a book promoting obsessive/abusive relationships and this person thinks that is how love works. Heaven help us.

    1. i finally finished (as far as it’s written, anyway) and in fairness, the characters actually recognize and acknowledge their dysfunction and try to change it. What’s truly sad about that comment is that even the characters know they’re a mess and this reader misses that entire point.

      (Still a POS book, but it has one or two redeeming qualities.)

      1. Yeah, I will agree that they do acknowledge how messed up they are–but like you said, the reader misses the point, and I wonder how many others did too. I am especially bothered because this book is aimed at a particular age group that is suffering from testosterone/estrogen poisoning and can’t always think or reason well. How many young girls reading this will think it’s a healthy relationship? I used to think that the majority of young people had some common sense. Then I stumbled across a comments section on Yahoo.

        Last year before I discovered Jenny and her blog (YAY!), I was doing some research on FSOG. I stumbled across a question section that was aimed at young people with questions about sex. I don’t care how many years have gone by, but young people STILL are as uncomfortable talking to parents and adults about sex and love as they were when I was growing up. They instead turn to their peers and others in their own age group for info and advice. And as it was back in my day, they are still horribly misinformed. My favorite question was from a young man (I think around 17) who had recently started a sexual relationship with his girlfriend. His question–”whenever we have sex, her eyes roll back in to her head and she starts shaking, twitching and jerking”. He wasn’t sure what was happening. I wanted to post–”way to go dude, you rock her world!” But I was really amazed at the responses from other young people–”she’s having a seizure, she should seek medical help” and “she should really see a doctor, that’s not normal”. Not ONE response suggested “hey, I think she is having an orgasm!” Not one.

        This past week we had two twelve year olds stab a friend many times all because they wanted to impress “Slender Man”–a fictional online character. Wow. The problem isn’t with our media so much as it is with parents who don’t take the time to sit and talk to their children, or find out what they are doing, what they are interested in. We are seeing too much bad behavior that is media influenced because these kids aren’t getting any guidance at all. It makes me sad.

  44. Tessa, you just mentally erased someone’s appearance to make them more attractive to you because you don’t like their style. You are the last goddamn person to talk about someone’s personality ruining them. Your personality is like a Godzilla poo landing on an apartment building. Your personality is the third Matrix movie. Your personality is like rayeeeayyyn on your wedding day and a free ride when you’ve already paid. Your personality is the series finale of How I Met Your Mother. You are a black hole of total suck, and I hate you more than Anastasia Steele.

    This has got to be the best thing I have read this year , I laughed so hard I snorted and slapped my thighs ,You are a comic genius .

  45. Can I please hug you? EVERYTHING about your analysis is right. If I may add some characteristics about Tessa’s Mary-Sue’sness :
    Perfect, charismatic, modest, prude, and the list goes oooon, and oooon.

    I can’t believe the book has gotten published. The Internet makes talentless,mediocre, hormonal teenagers/grown people look like geniuses. Bleh with this world!

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