After Chapter 24 – Very pure intentions.

Previously: Tessa and Hardin yelled at each other a lot in class.

Samantha: So Tessa can’t focus on studying and decides to try a shower. Showers are a sort of magic so it helps relax her, and she realizes that she’s nervous and confused when it comes to Hardin. I mean, can you believe it? She’s nervous and confused when it comes to Hardin! Wow.

Marines: She “realizes” this even though we’ve suffered through 24 what-are-chapters of her being nervous and confused when it comes to Hardin. This girl is 139 characters short of a full Tweet.

Samantha: She hopes their “fun” activity tomorrow (gags) goes well.

When she gets back to her room she finds a note saying that Tristan is taking Stephanie off campus for dinner. Tessa thinks that Tristan is nice “despite his over use of eyeliner.” How magnanimous of you, Tess. Then she thinks about how her and Noah will never double date with them because Noah is a judgmental jerk. I maybe adlibbed a little. (M: Yeah, but only a little.) She calls said Judge Judy and they have a boring conversation during which Tessa does not tell him that she’s hanging out with Hardin. Are we still pretending he’s her boyfriend? Yes? Alright, if you say so.

The next day Tessa and Landon walk to class and Hardin teases her about their “date” and Landon is shocked! and appalled!. Tessa corrects Hardin that they are just hanging platonically and Hardin further confirms that he’s not a real human by saying that’s the same thing.

Image result for nope gif

After class, which speeds by because Hardin doesn’t talk, Landon warns Tessa to be careful and Hardin jerks at him. Tessa tells Hardin to be nicer since they’re practically brothers. Hmmm did we have some sort of pool going to see how long it would take Tessa to blab about knowing this? We did? Great, that will be all the late night tears for me then. Tessa lets herself off the hook by thinking that Landon only meant not bringing up specifically Hardin’s relationship with his father. Right, sure, okay, you’re still a Good Person then, girl.

Mari: Especially when she’s not cheating on her boyfriend! 

Samantha: Hardin tells her that it’s none of her business (shoot am I agreeing with Hardin???) and threatens to shut Landon up. With his fists, you guys!

Mari: THROAT PUNCH? Because Tessa is 100% an Elizabeth Wakefield


Tessa tells him to knock it off and asks where they’re going. Hardin says nowhere because he needs to POUT NOW and storms away. Tessa takes this as an opportunity to call him bipolar in her head so that I get to put another tally in the Tessa is the Worst column.

In her dorm, Zed, Tristan, and Steph are hanging out. Zed tells Tessa she looks nice and they all chat together for a bit (M: like normal people) until Hardin storms in (M: like a dick). Steph tells him that he should have knocked “for once” and I’m not really sure why this time was different. Hardin jokes about having seen Steph naked in front of her new beau and the Hardin is the Worst column is just lighting up today. Hardin sits on Tessa’s bed and she wants to tell him to gtfoff but doesn’t even though she would be completely within her decency rights.

Zed announces that they’re going to the movies and Tessa should totally come with. Before she can speak for herself, Hardin jumps in to possessively say that he and Tessa have plans. Errybody is shocked. Tessa then says that her mind screams “No!” but her body obediently nods and gets off the bed??? If your brain is yelling at you in italics and an exclamation point, that’s a pretty big red flag.

Mari: If your mind is sending signals to your body and your body is like LA LA LA LA LA, I’d get that checked out by a medical professional.

Samantha: They head out to Hardin’s car and he opens the door for her. When Tessa just stares at him instead of meekly saying thank you like a good girl, I guess, Hardin snarks at her like a dick (it still works). She’s all wtf you just said you didn’t want to hang out?

“Yes, I did. Now get in the car.”

God he’s the wooorrrssssttt.

Tessa inner monologues the realization that Hardin is only hanging out with her so that she doesn’t go to the movies with Zed. (M: Woooooooooow.) Cause fuck open communication and non-manipulation, amiright?

“Now get in the damned car. I won’t ask again.” 

Is that a threat? Can I call the cops on Hardin? Tessa, literally against her better judgement, gets in the car. She turns down the music and Todd legit uses the word “scolds” for how Hardin talks to Tessa. Then Hardin says that Zed doesn’t have the best of intentions, unlike Hardin’s which are fucking pure I guess. (M: Saintly.) Maybe that’s why he can’t say vagina, his intentions are too pure. (M: That’s basically poetic.)

“Oh and you do? At least Zed is nice to me,” Tessa says and there’s no word yet on why she’s here and not there when her self, except for her down there, doesn’t want to be here. They playful banter (I guess) about music and Harry Styles pushes his hair back. Tessa dares to ask where they’re going and Hardin mocks her for needing to know everything all the time. (M: Um, yeah, like when a human dumpster has me in his car and is transporting me somewhere…?) Then he starts talking about his car and Tessa zones out to watch his lips and I cannot stop thinking about that Taylor Swift song that’s supposed to be about Harry Styles.

The chapter very abruptly ends with Hardin “harshly” telling her not to stare at him but then also smiling right after saying it. Like a murderer.


Next time on After: Swimming in their underwear God help us in Chapter 25


Samantha (all posts)

I'm a 25 year old graduated English major 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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  • The_v_from_the_sub_B


    • Very hard.

      • The_v_from_the_sub_B

        Painfully and with teeth.

  • Christie Greenwood

    Why does anyone think this is sexy or romantic? It’s bloody terrifying. He’s a serial killer in the making. Crikey. o.O

    • I really want to ask people why they think this is sexy or romantic, but I’m actually afraid of the answer.

      • Anonyme

        Was thus book written before or after 50 Shades? Because this Hardin guy (I didn’t know about this book until I found Snark Squad) sounds totally like Christian Grey.

        • Mae

          It was written after 50 Shades. Todd has said that’s her favorite book and it inspired her. There are *so many* bits and pieces that are directly taken from ELJ. So this is essentially a fanfic of a fanfic of a shitty YA series. The end result is to make Twilight look like actual literature by comparison.

  • Blinvy .

    I just love when a guy yells at me to get in the fucking car and then refuses to tell me where he’s taking me. Did I say love? I meant to say that is terrifying and anyone in that situation should probably be dialling 911 and/or tuck and rolling it out of that car as fast as possible.

  • Mae

    You know how you snark ladies often write “And then she dies” in other recaps? I kept thinking that during their drive. In fact, I think that often when Tessa is with Hardin.

    I also laughed when Hardin yelled at her to stop staring at him. That tells me she was doing some creepy fixated gaping at his lips since it would otherwise be normal to look at someone while they’re talking to you.

  • Catherine

    Noah sounds like a dick too. Tessa has such bad taste in men! I wanna take her aside and give her a mug of hot cocoa and then smack her on the nose with a rolled up newspaper.

    • Brooke

      Waste of good cocoa.

  • Alicia

    Uh it took her this long to realize that Hardin makes her nervous and confused? Ugh. It’s funny how the “big revelations” in books like these are usually something we, the readers, figured out long before the main characters did, because they kept talking about it.

    I’m not sure why Steph would have bothered leaving Tessa a note this time, considering all the times she’s randomly been gone from the dorm without a warning or a note, but okay.

    Yep, Noah’s the judgmental one. Now that Tessa has been hanging around these bad, tattooed characters everyday since college started, she’s bff’s with all of them and never judges them anymore bc she fell for a boy with tattoos. LOL right.

    Omg, of course Landon is shocked and appalled at them hanging out, because OMG Hardin NEVER hangs out with girls, because he doesn’t date. Tessa must be super special snowflake.

    And yeah, Tessa’s a blabbermouth, hopefully after this Landon no longer gives up his super secret things to her that he doesn’t want her telling Hardin, but I doubt it. Also, it’s not that great to have a “friend” (crush) who threatens to beat up anyone who makes him upset, but Tessa probably already thinks that she can change Hardin into a Good Person like she is, if she just shows him that she cares enough.

    Way to make fun of bipolar people, Tessa. What happened to you being this Good Person, this holier-than-thou saint that is not judgmental anymore? Guess that didn’t last long.

    I’m sorry but if I had a roommate whose friends were constantly in and out of our room, even with her there, I’d lose my shit. I like my privacy, and wouldn’t let one of my friends intrude unless I asked the roommate if it was okay if I had a friend over. Plus, I’m not sure why Steph let Hardin have one of her keys so he can show up even when she isn’t there, as he as already done multiple tims. How many copies of that key does she have?

    Also, ugh how gross of Hardin to joke, in front of her new beau, about seeing her naked, but of course nobody says anything to reprimand him because that’s “just how he is”.

    Dear Tessa: If you don’t want to go with Hardin, YOU CAN SAY NO. If he tries to manhandle you again, call the campus police. But probably nothing would be done since Hardin’s dad is the chancellor, but whatever, at least you’d have brought the attention to Hardin’s dad that his son is a prick around women.

    And of course, everybody is SHOCKED that Hardin has plans with a girl, because OMG HARDIN DOESN’T DATE. Did we forget that yet? No, because it’s rubbed in our faces about how strange it is that Hardin is hanging out with Virgin Tessa, therefore she must be super specials.

    And now Tessa has to be shocked that Hardin did something somewhat gentlemanly for her, like open the car door. Wow, he’s totally changing. He’d NEVER do this for anyone else.

    I’m pretty sure if your new “friend” doesn’t want you hanging around other guys, that’s a fucking huge red flag. Most guy friends don’t care who you hang out with. They know you can have friends other than them. But Hardin’s having some sort of pissing contest with Zed for some stupid reason, and he tells her that Zed doesn’t have the best intentions so the readers are left to think that this is Hardin’s fucked up way of “protecting” her. Even though he just sounded like he threatened her by saying “Get in the car. I won’t ask again.” #thingsamurdererowouldsay And yet Zed doesn’t have the best intentions?

    It also drove me crazy how Hardin would get annoyed at Tessa for asking the simple questions. “Where are we going?” “OMG DO YOU HAVE TO KNOW EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME”. Seriously, if you manhandle and threaten me into a car, I’d like to know where we’re going? I think it’s meant to make him mysterious since he doesn’t answer questions directly like a normal person. But it just makes him look like a douche.

  • Purva

    NOPE. Maybe it’s just me, but I have this instinct to generally not trust people around me unless they have proved themselves to be trustworthy. Still, going to an unknown place is something I would never do with anyone, except probably my parents, my best friend, and my boyfriend. This gave me super rapey, creepy vibes that I am reallllly uncomfortable about.

  • JA Jenks

    This was a short “chapter” to get you primed for the panty explosion that’s on the horizon.

    These “books” make me laugh and then sometimes weep for the young impressionables that will read these and not see the insanity. Twilight, 50 Shades, After- all of these and so many more, are being consumed by girls younger and less jaded and world weary than we are. We need to take this into consideration for a moment, a whole slew of girls are being bred that abuse (mental, physical, sexual, emotional, grammatical) is normal and even expected. This is terrifying to me. I have a 4 year old and I’m so scared for her.

    However, if we take away the very real consequences these “books” can have on the population and just take them at the trashtastic tales that they are, then it’s a fun read with a lot of opportunities for laughing out loud and pounding wine. Pounding so much of the wine. And weeping through your laughter. Oh and spontaneous panty explosions.

    • Alicia

      Maybe when your daughter is older, you can show her these books and tell her that this is most definitely not a “romantic hero” and they are men she should watch out for, not fall in love with. Also, point out all the red flags in these books and teach her that abuse can not only be physical, but mental, verbal and emotional. I’ve heard way too many idiots defending these books by saying, “But these books aren’t abusive because Hardin doesn’t hit Tessa”. They clearly don’t understand emotional abuse. It can be just as bad and leave a lasting mark that makes women question their future life choices, such as picking out a suitable partner.

  • Sarah

    That’s not a date. That’s a hostage-taking.

  • Regina

    A fanfic of a fanfic and it’s soooo baaad.