After Chapter 22 – Creepy response

Previously: A throwaway day because Hardin wasn’t around.

Samantha: Hokay so, Tessa is getting ready to go to her first class of the day. I read the last chapter and I still have no idea time wise how we got here but it’s a new day so I am not poking it. Landon is waiting for her and they start heading to class, you know, the one that Hardin is also in. Landon asks after Tessa’s weekend and she says it was terrible. She asks him how his GF, Dakota, is and he becomes really happy and starts talking about her.

Tessa uses this time to zone out and wonder about her own relationships, like a good friend. Does Noah get happy to talk about her? IDK, girl, probably not, brothers usually don’t. (M: He wouldn’t want to express any emotion that would seem untoward. Or something.) She continues not listening to her supposed friend as they walk into class and notices that Hardin isn’t there. The class starts talking Pride and Prejudice, “a magical book that I wish everyone would read,” and dammit Todd, stop making me associate annoyance with P&P.

Marines: I love Pride and Prejudice. And unapologetically, mostly because I’ve been reading it for more than half my life. Point is that for as much as I love it, I don’t think I’ve ever described it as magical…? I know that word is used to describe things that don’t contain magic per se, but still. 

Okay, maybe I just want Tessa to stop talking about P&P. 

Samantha: Accurate. That adjective made me think that Todd has probably never actually read it herself.

The class flies by and then awkwardly Hardin is suddenly talking. I just went to an author event where she talked about all the millions of edits that books have to go through before publishing and I just don’t understand.

Mari: Tessa looked for him and he wasn’t in class. She sits in the front and doesn’t see him come in. Suddenly, he’s behind her. I guess there could be an entrance in the back of that class but my money is on this book did not go through millions of edits.

Samantha: Hardin notices Tessa’s haircut and then, omg, his dimples start communicating with Tess????????

“He wouldn’t mention the kiss in front of Landon, would he? Those dimples, deep as ever, tell me that yes, yes he would.”

Oh wow. I guess we’ve entered a sci fi novel now where facial characteristics are sentient. That’s sort of an original concept, I guess. Can’t wait to see how this new plot point progresses!


Samantha: Tessa panics and pulls Landon out of the room while Hardin laughs at her, per usual. Landon asks her wtf that was about. She says she just doesn’t like being around Hardin. Landon comforts her that at least she doesn’t have to see Hardin too often. Tessa’s internal monologue gets super paranoid and decides this is a weird thing to say instead of a general comforting tactic. Does Landon know about the kiss??????? Nope. It turns out that Hardin’s dad is dating Landon’s mom. Tessa and I have the same “what?????” reaction because how is this going to contribute to the story in any meaningful way? How random.

Mari: I really wonder if this has anything to do with real life 1D drama between Harry and L-whoever. But by “really wonder,” I mean “I thought about it for a second but I’m not invested enough to fall into a Google black hole.” Sorry y’all! 

Samantha: Tessa immediately starts throwing selfish questions about Hardin’s life at Landon, instead of talking with him about this life bomb he just took a risk and shared with her, his new friend. Damn, this girl is giving Bella Swan a run for her shitty friend money. Landon tells her that Hardin’s dad is from London but lives close to campus. Him and Hardin don’t get along (SHOCKER) so he asks her not to mention it to Hardy. Bets on how long it will take her to bring this up to Hardin anyway? (M: 2 to 3 stolen kisses from now.)

Tessa gets back to her room and calls Noah but he doesn’t answer. Then we get so many sentences of her and Noah backstory that is just really uninteresting. They’ve known each other forever, they are both old souls, and Noah went through the intense shit with her dad with her. Basically he was a scary drunk and Tessa would hide in the greenhouse from his drunk fits. She texts a guilty I love you to Noah and then decides to take a nap.

10 minutes into her nap, there’s a knock at the door. Even the text of this book is like “JFC, of course it’s Hardin.” (M: It’s literally only ever been Hardin or her mom. Of course it’s Hardin.) Tessa tells him that Steph isn’t here and then leaves the door open and goes back to her bed. She also tells us that Steph has given Hardin a key to their room and ????? Did we already know this? Not cool Steph. Don’t give out keys to boys who make your roommate uncomfortable. He makes himself comfortable on Steph’s bed to wait and Tessa pretends to go back to sleep until her alarm goes off. Riveting stuff.

Hardin is really amused that Tessa set an alarm for a 20 minute nap like it’s this weird thing but… it’s not? I can easily nap for hours if I don’t set alarms? He asks her if she’s OCD and just… stop. Stop doing this. Stop reducing an actual mental health disorder to punchlines and interchangeable with “quirky behavior.” STOP IT GOD DAMMIT.

Tessa responds that she’s not crazy, so, cool. Glad we are continuing the bullshit by calling people with actual mental health problems “crazy”. That’s neat.

Image result for i'm always angry hulk gif

Mari: I’m glad Todd decided on some casual ableism just to highlight how strange it is that Tessa took a 20 minute nap, something that is of course, not strange at all. AAAAAHHHHHH.

Samantha: He comes over to where she’s sitting on her bed and throws her class notes onto the floor like an ABSOLUTE TOOL. This is not cute. It’s gross, especially because I’m sure he will only be rewarded for it. He does this to some of her other notes until she’s so infuriated she pushes him away from her stuff. He justifies his bullying actions by saying that she messed with his stuff when she was in his room. I don’t know if I’m remembering correctly but I think all she did was pick up a book? Right? She didn’t rearrange the furniture? I mean yeah, it’s weird when someone touches any of your stuff but I don’t think it warrants this creepy response.

Mari: She literally just picked up a book. He’s throwing her school notes on the floor. HE’S A DICK. 

Samantha: She yells at him and goes to shove him again and he grabs her wrists and pushes her against the wall. Oh no you guys this is all so terrible. I think that any justification for Hardin grabbing her like this would be that she was shoving him but I don’t think that’s valid? He was messing with her stuff and I think the implication was that she was pushing him away from it, not aggressively pushing him? Imma look to Mari for a second opinion because that’s always a good idea.


Samantha: Jesus fuck.

Tessa thinks about how she wants to make him let her go and leave and put her stuff back, all reasonable requests in this fucked up situation. But she can’t because she’s “mesmerized” by his eyes. Shoot. Has Hardin been a vampire this whole time? Did we walk into a Twilight spinoff?

Mari: Wasn’t it at least Fifty Shades inspired? It’s the Twilight spinoff spinoff so that’s cool. 

Also, since I’ve been having fun calling out these romance story tropes I hate, “my mind is saying no but my body is saying yes” for the lose. 

Samantha: She finally says “Hardin please” and isn’t sure if she’s begging him to kiss her or let her go. COOL. He moves one hand off of her wrists and Tessa legit thinks he’s about to slap her WHAT THE HELL? Why are you so into a dude you legitimately think is capable of hurting you whyyyyyyy?

Mari: And WHY would he be moving to slap her in this scenario? If it’s all so sexually charged as the author would want us to believe, in order to forgive the pushing and holding and grabbing, WHY WHY WHY when Hardin moves does Tessa think SLAP?

BECAUSE IT ISN’T SEXY. It’s physical intimidation and whether Anna Todd knew it, her mf character knew it and is afraid to get slapped by the boy she’s a second away from kissing. 


Samantha: So then of course he kisses her because all of this is really sexy. They make out for awhile and it’s the most magic non fumbly kissing session ever. They make it to the bed and Tessa decides she is not stopping this time. He takes her shirt off and she worries that her bra is too boring for the well sexed Hardin. He tells her that she’s sexy while I wonder where my life went wrong. (M: Please still love me.) Before things can go much further, however, Steph puts her key in the lock. Tessa flies off Hardin and tries to get her shirt back on. Obvs Steph can tell what was going on and is THRILLED.

Hardin leaves (does this mean the chapter is almost over?) (M: Hang in there) and Steph wants to know the How What When Where Why of the situation. Tessa denies it because it isn’t “regular” whatever that means and reminds Steph she has a boyfriend. Steph thinks that this doesn’t mean she can’t mess around with Hardin but like… it does? Usually? IDK. (M: It means that to Tessa and Noah, which is what’s important here. If it doesn’t mean that to Tessa anymore, she’s gonna have to talk to Noah…) Tessa tells her that on Saturday they kissed after some “creep tried to hit on” her. YOU GUYS THAT WAS NOT SOMEONE TRYING TO HIT ON HER. THAT WAS A SEXUAL ASSAULT ATTEMPT. We have to start using the real language for this shit.

Mari: Also, if your love story starts with a kiss directly after an attempted sexual assault like maybe skip that part for your future children? 

Samantha: Tessa tells her that it’s all terrible and wrong because she loves Noah and Hardin is a super butt.

Steph thinks that it could be a good idea for her to learn about sexual stuff from Hardin and Tessa wonders if this means him and Steph hooked up. She asks and Steph gives a hard no but then clarifies that they never had sex. Just messed around for a week or so. Tessa gets pissy and jealous, even though Steph is really just being supportive and honest and shit. Steph continues that Hardin is basically the Harry Styles of having sex with ladies on campus. Tessa decides to stay away from Hardin and I beg the workers at this Panera to spike my tea.

Steph tells Tessa that she could have fun with Hardin but she could also get really hurt if she developed feelings. Steph, honey, don’t you know that Tess is going to *change* Hardin? That she’s different from the other girls? Pay attention.

They spend the rest of the night gossiping about everything that isn’t Hardin and so the chapter ends.



Next time on After: Todd uses Pride and Prejudice to comment on her own love story like an ass in Chapter 23


Samantha (all posts)

I'm a 25 year old graduated English major who now works in a library and a bookstore in order to really drive that point home. I can often be found singing too loudly (poorly) in the car or spending some time (hours) on Tumblr. I am a lover of Harry Potter, the Spice Girls, and too many other things.

Marines (all posts)

I'm a 20-something south Floridan who loves the beach but cannot swim. Such is my life, full of small contradictions and little trivialities. My main life goals are never to take life too seriously, but to do everything I attempt seriously well. After that, my life goals devolve into things like not wearing pants and eating all of the Zebra Cakes in the world. THE WORLD.

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  • Brooke

    This story has about as much to do with 1D as The Phantom of the Opera has to do with actual ghosts, so no need to disappear down a Google black hole in search of something nonexistent. (I think.)

    • Samantha

      Lol okay, thank you.

      • Charlie

        Yep. I am a 1D fan and it has absolutely zero to do with the, their personalities or inner relationships b/n them and their families.

    • Alicia

      The story itself doesn’t have much to do with 1D but the characters are based off the guy’s looks, plus Anna Todd constantly markets it as a 1D fanfiction, and in every interview it’s, “This book started out as a 1D fanfiction”. So she pretty much uses the band anyway as a marketing tool, which I kinda think is wrong.

      • Brooke

        That is so wrong. She’s borrowing their success.

        • Alicia

          I’m glad to see you agree with me. She published a book called “Imagines”, where people from Wattpad wrote fanfiction starring celebrities, with “you” as the main protagonist. Basically, so you can place yourself in say some romantic position with Justin Bieber. “Imagine Justin Bieber creating a romantic scavenger hunt for you” and so on. I don’t know how many stories are in there, but there’s a lot. And I don’t know how she got around using celebrity’s names without their permission (which is generally a big no-no when we try to get fiction novels published). when she had to change the names of the 1D guys for her “After” novel when she got it published. Plus, I think her using 1D makes the novel seem to parents like it wouldn’t be harmful for their pre-teens to read. “Oh it was a 1D story, it can’t be that bad”. Sorry for the rant but it just bugs me every time I see an interview with her and she throws 1D’s name out there all the time.

          • Brooke

            …what the actual fuck.

          • Alicia

            It makes me shake my head in disgust when I see it advertised somewhere.

   if you wanna check out how laughable it is.

          • Furious Strong

            I can’t believe she got paid for that “Imagines” book. It probably was a lot of money too. Goddamn, I need to get a new career (or not, because I’d feel slimy making money from something like that).

          • Alicia

            I saw it in my bookstore, and I’m pretty sure it was $20 or around there. I don’t know how much she got paid personally, but you can bet it was likely as much as the “After” books mostly due to her popularity. My bookstore never seemed to sell out though, and I don’t see them there anymore, so I don’t think they carry them anymore that I’m aware of.

            I know, I would feel slimy, too, making money off of someone else’s name, especially without their permission. Anna Todd clearly doesn’t care, though. She even has people writing fanfiction about her, now. I’m sorry but if I were a celebrity and saw some “author” making money off of my name without my permission, I’d be suing. I’m not sure why Todd hasn’t been sued yet or how she got away with it.

  • Alicia

    Last chapter ended with it being Sunday afternoon and her wondering what Steph is up to, so I guess, no party yet. Darn, I was so looking forward to reading about Tessa whining for pages.

    It also annoys me how Tessa claims to be “listening intently” but her mind is constantly wandering to either Hardin or her brother/boyfriend Noah. She does this pretty much every time she talks to someone who isn’t Hardin. Even when she’s with Noah and “listening intently” to his stories, her mind is constantly wandering to Hardin.

    I’m thinking that even if Anna Todd claims she read P&P, she likely just skimmed through it and picked parts of it out so that she could claim she read it and has knowledge on it. Which it’s made clear that she doesn’t know what the other classics are supposed to represent.

    I have heard that books go through millions of edits before being published, but I’m pretty sure that some books manage to slip under the radar. For this one, it’s probably because they were speed-publishing, which I think was about six months after they announced the book deal Todd got.

    So Hardin magically shows up in class where Tessa (who’s sitting up front) didn’t notice him come into the classroom, and his dimples tell her that yes he would tell Landon about their kiss, even though Hardin himself said that he didn’t want it broadcasted about him and Tessa kissing. Tessa’s all paranoid about everyone figuring out by looking her and Hardin that she kissed Hardin. I find it weird.

    Tessa’s a VERY shitty friend, I don’t know who’d be more annoying to be friends with, her or Bella. Since she probably knows that Hardin won’t answer her personal questions, she has to go through Landon and now is basically gonna use Landon to find things out about why Hardin is so mysterious and rude.

    I would be annoyed if my roommate had given a key out to her friends so they could just come in whenever, no matter what I was doing. And no, it’s not weird to have 20 minute naps. I’ve done it many times. It doesn’t make someone OCD? Just gives Hardin another excuse to be an asshole, I guess.

    And it would piss me off even MORE if that person just invades my personal space yet again by throwing my school notes everywhere. It’s not a matter of, “If a guy teases you and is mean to you it means he likes you” as Todd wants to make it out to be. That’s just fucking rude and gross. And yes, all she did was pick up a book in his room. She didn’t throw all his books onto the floor?

    Her pushing him away from her stuff doesn’t justify him grabbing her roughly and pinning her against the wall. THIS IS NOT HOT. And if you fear that a guy you’re thinking about kissing is about to slap you, WHY ARE YOU STILL NEAR HIM?? WHY DO YOU STILL WANT TO KISS HIM? Hardin’s using physical intimidation to make Tessa think that she wants him to kiss her, even if she is afraid he might slap her? Idk.

    Tessa: “I’m so pissed off this jerk just messed up all my notes so I’m gonna push him away – what the he’s grabbing me – oh no he might slap me – wait he’s kissing me that makes it all better I don’t want to stop I want to lose my virginity to an asshole but he’s hot so it’s okay”

    Yeah, Steph’s views of having a boyfriend are kinda messed up. Tessa having a boyfriend means she kind of CAN’T mess around with Hardin. It’s called loyalty and respect for your boyfriend. Oh but it’s okay for Tessa to do it because her boyfriend is boring. Steph encouraging Tessa to hook up with Hardin because it might help give her sexpertise so long as Tessa doesn’t develop feelings for Hardin…sorry but I don’t think that’s right. Sure, maybe if Tessa was SINGLE she could do such things, but it’s not as hot if you don’t have a boyfriend you gotta sneak around on.

  • JA Jenks

    “Steph is really just being supportive and honest and shit” *** Nah guys. TRUST NO ONE***

    I can see where Todd got confused up there, because when you’re in a relationship and you’re into each other, and things are getting sexually charged, being pinned against the wall can actually be really hot. However, Todd doesn’t seem to know the difference between a healthy encounter and sexual assault. This will be a continuing theme.

    • Samantha

      I know, I figured, I was just so done with Tessa’s thoughts by the end of the chapter she could have said the sky was blue and I’d have been like “NU UH”.
      Agreed, that can be hot, its definitely the fact that the next sentence was she was thinking he was going to slap her and the fact that he’s only been gross so far that makes it not good.

      • aqua_13

        The “I think he might slap me” part was the first time (and certainly not the last) I exclaimed, “are you f***ing kidding me?” out loud to absolutely no one (thank God I wasn’t reading this in public). Fear has no place in sexy times. Such an irresponsible message Anna Todd wrote with that one little sentence. 🙁

    • “”Steph is really just being supportive and honest and shit” *** Nah guys. TRUST NO ONE***”

      I second this.

    • The Bad Slayer

      Did you read them all…cause yeah. And i can’t wait until we get into the Molly shit. I was such a Molly in college.

      • JA Jenks

        Girl, Molly tho. I enjoyed her. As nasty as they tried to make her out to be, and she definitely had her moments, she was at least fun.

        • The Bad Slayer

          She was fun. Did you read the Wattpad version or the actual book?

          • JA Jenks

            Oh it was wattpad all the way for me.

          • The Bad Slayer

            Ditto. I looked up the official book ending though because i got to the end and was like, WTF, 298 chapters and thats how you end shit? No. I demand resolution. The books do give a better ending. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t hate it. I mean, despite all the repition (which didn’t need to be SO much even though it made sense in the end) and some if the questiinable themes, it was okay.

          • JA Jenks

            What?! I had no idea there was an alternate book ending!! Ah man! Something to look up- because the Wattpad ending was so frustrating!

          • The Bad Slayer

            Its free just google After Book 4. Its like the first website. But youll have to get to like the 134 tab to pick up where Wattpad left off. I guess some things are a little different in the official book but Im not reading it again for what will probably amount to little more than grammar corrections and expansions of a scene or two.

            It was frustrsting! Like, she legit could have added 1 more chapter to make a satisfying conclusion. Whatever, I’m just looking forward to digesting everything here. I have so much to say already but i don’t want to spoil anything for those who care.

  • Christie Greenwood

    OMGUGUYZ this is so romantic and sexy! #alternativefacts

    * weeps *

    Screw you, Anna Todd, and shove your rape culture bullshit down your throat. You suck, and that’s an actual fact.

    • Samantha

      Nice distinctive use of actual facts versus alternative facts! Are we all drunk yet?

  • will there be another party soon? aww i miss those….:-DDDDDDD

    • Samantha

      Oh god I can’t! 😛

  • Da Bomb From Guam Mafnas

    The “my mind is saying ‘no’ but my body is saying ‘yes'” trope makes me weep.

    • Samantha

      It’s so so obnoxious.

  • The_v_from_the_sub_B

    Soap operas in the 1970s were not so fakey overwrought.

    • Samantha

      Lol. Maybe we should snark that instead.

  • Jamie Miller

    I’m gonna go with Todd only saw the P&P movie. The Kiera Knightly one. And that’s all. Didn’t read P&P, didn’t watch the BBC version with Colin Firth. She probably only saw it once, too.

    • Samantha

      She saw it once and mostly half asleep while texting.

  • TayciBear

    “Before things can go much further, however, Steph puts her key in the lock.”

    At first I thought you meant the author. Then I realized this isn’t Twilight and I got super confused.

    • Samantha

      Lolololol I love it so much more if it’s the author putting a lock in it.

    • The Bad Slayer

      OMG! Do you think Steph was named for SMeyer?

  • Catherine

    I had hoped that the ‘my body is saying yes thing’ died in the 80’s creepy power dynamic romances but I guess not. And Anna Todd couldn’t have grown up on those she’s our age. SHES OUR AGE.

    • Samantha

      She’s so disappointing. TO WOMANKIND.

      • Brooke

        To humanity in general.

    • Alicia

      -warning, this comment has spoilers, if you don’t want to see them then keep scrolling lol-

      Yep, if your mind is saying no, RUN. It’s not hot to cheat on your boyfriend. It’s not hot to have an affair. It’s so disrespectful, if that guy’s been there for you all your life and now you just meet some hot guy and want to fuck him while still date your bf at the same time. You know, if another girl was running around on her boyfriend, Tessa would think of “omg that girl is a slut” but it’s okay for Tessa to do it. Ugh it pisses me off. And what if it was Hardin who was in a relationship, Hardin who was the loyal one to his gf until bad girl Tessa came along. Everyone would be calling Hardin a jerk for cheating on his gf with Tessa. No one would be rooting for Hardin and Tessa to get together. Noah didn’t deserve what Tessa did to him, but it’s okay because Tessa ends up in an abusive and toxic relationship, which is what she gets for leaving her good, kind boyfriend for some asswipe. Noah deserves better. -possible spoiler below, if you don’t want to read look away now, wish I could somehow hide spoilers on here-

      I don’t want to give away spoilers, so I’m sorry, but Tessa never once has any remorse mostly after her and Noah break up and she immediately tries to be “more” with Hardin, which lasts all of a day until Hardin does something stupid to hurt Tessa then she doesn’t speak to him and avoids him for like a week. But she still has no remorse at all for what she did to her ex. This happens fairly soon ish, so you’ll see what I mean. I’ll comment more about it when it does happen. Just had to get it out there that it really pisses me off when someone has no remorse for hurting someone and immediately tries to get with the person they had the affair with. Imagine if Noah had cheated on Tessa? She’d be playing the victim card all the way through the rest of the book and of course everyone would feel sorry for her. No one feels sorry for Noah because he was so boring and wore cardigans and the same boring cologne, and Tessa didn’t feel the fire ignite when she made out with him like when she makes out with Hardin, so Tessa going behind Noah’s back with Hardin is hot.

      Ok, sorry for the rant. It’s hard to hold back sometimes.

  • The Bad Slayer

    Legit, I finally finished reading all of the books and…I think I see what she did there. Maybe? I mean the end came and I ended up thinking, “Oh, okay. That actually made some sense.” I don’t know if was reading into shit or Todd stumbled to a fairly decent ending but it worked. Or i was still drunk.

  • Charlie

    Btw have I mentioned how much I hate the name Hardin? It’s so unsexy. I know she wanted the ship name to still be “Hessa”, because she already had merchandise and the fans were invested in that ship name, but Why Hardin when Harvey or Henry were perfectly available? And if those sound too much like Harry, then Hayden, Harper, Hunter , Hugo, Hector. Why in the world would she chose “Hardin”?

    I also find it kind of insidious that she kept the first letters of the names of all 1D members (Harry -> Hardin; Niall -> Nate; Zayn -> Zed; Liam -> Landon (another weird name btw); Louis -> Logan), it just feels to me like “This is not a 1D fic!” *wink wink*

    Also: I am super up for some consensual slapping, but the key word here being consensual!