After Chapter 44 – Small dumpster fires.

Previously: Hardin and Tess went to the same coed shower to shower.

Samantha: The chapter starts with Tessa telling us she stopped to use the toilet. Cool. She then notices that Hardin isn’t in her line of sight so maybe he went off with those 1 dimensional girl characters. (M: 1D joke? I love it.) (S: Thank you for catching it.) She also realizes he didn’t bring any clothes so he’s just gonna be putting on dirty clothes after his shower. Don’t any of you stress, though, he’s still going to look the best apparently. Phew.

She gets back to her room after an uneventful shower and finds Hardin sitting on her bed. “Take that school girls,” she thinks and okay. What does this make you?

Marines: You mean apart from the kind of girl who sees every other girl in direct competition to herself, even with nothing to back up that position? Um, also a schoolgirl.

Samantha: He comments on how long it took her and she comments on how he’s supposed to be nice now and we all groan in perfect, exhausted, unison.

Tessa sits down for some scintillating sentences where she tries to put on eyeliner. She gives up and Hardin tells her she doesn’t need it. We get it, Hardy, you’re a cliché. She tells him he likes it and he makes fun of her for wanting to take all day to do it. He then catches himself and apologizes but like, your default setting is to be a dick to the girl you supposedly like. Why does she even want to wait around for you to “change?”

Mari: It’s been like 5 minutes and he’s had to catch himself being rude twice. WHY DOES TESSA WANNA DATE HIM?

Samantha: Hardin puts on a t-shirt from the trunk of his car as they head out car shopping. Tessa compliments his white tshirts and he compliments her ass in those apple bottom jeans. Tessa pats herself on the back for wearing them. Mentally, because literally would be just slightly weirder. Hardin then makes fun of Tessa’s plans of seeing a Prius because they get good gas mileage, and I’m so glad we brought him along. This time though Tessa is laughing along and this book really wants me to think this douchey behavior is cuter than his pervious douchey behavior. Nah. (M: How are we supposed to keep up?) Hardin tells her she’s cute sometimes and remember how Tessa has a boyfriend she promised not to cheat on again?

They don’t find a car, Hardin tells a Zed anecdote, and they stop for frozen yogurt. While they’re eating, Hardin’s dad shows up cause we that dramz.

Image result for drama gif

Ken invites Tessa over for dinner and assumes she’s his girlfriend. That’s a real leap of an assumption there, Kenny, just cause two people are eating yogurt together. Hardin grumpy cats that they can’t come and Tessa is somehow SHOCKED, SHOCKED at him being a dick to his dad. (M: Where was she when he was destroying daddy’s home and also saying, “I hate my dad”?) She then accepts Ken’s offer for dinner? Which is strange? If the person I was with, platonically or romantically, very clearly did not want us to go to their parents house I wouldn’t overrule them on the spot? Definitely not without talking to them and trying to understand their feelings? Am I crazy?

Mari: This is the tough spot bad writing puts you in because Hardin is a dick but Tessa is wrong like what even do we do? 

Samantha: Drink, probably.

She also says that she’s a friend of Landon’s and Hardin’s eyes blaze at her like small dumpster fires. After Ken leaves, Hardin kicks a chair across the room? Of the yogurt place? Like a crazy person? He storms out and Tessa rushes after him.

Tessa is inconsiderate and Hardin is the worrrrsssssst.



Next time on After: A fight in Chapter 44.


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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  • Sarah

    Do good YA books just not exist any more? I know I remembered reading them when I was a tween/teen. I DON’T remember this endless yammering about romance with assholes – though to be fair that’s not exactly the kind of thing I seek out.

    • Samantha

      I think they exist but that we’ve also created a culture where these asshole characters are more norm than not. Sadly.

  • Joy


    • Samantha

      We could just write fanfic of the fanfic where actual real life is applied to these books.

  • Blinvy .

    OMG he’s changed so much!!! Wait, no he hasn’t changed at all. I remember this chapter and I seem to recall her laughing at how hard it was for him to try to be nice. Like what the fuck kind of message is that? “He’s trying to be nice to me but he just wants to be rude and it’s like so hard for him to be nice to me. Isn’t he dreamy?” Said no girl ever who has any brains at all.

    • Samantha

      It’s SO WEIRD. I am truly confused.

  • Mae

    “Tessa sits down for some scintillating sentences where she tries to put on eyeliner.”
    Uh oh, she’s putting on that whore eyeliner? You know that’s Todd Code for clit tingles are incoming.

    So, he mocks her for wanting a Prius and then suddenly a Prius is no longer the car she buys? Coincidence? I forget what kind of car she winds up getting, but so help me it better not be an Audi submissive special ala 50 Shades.

    The one time she stands up to Hardin and overrides what he decides for her is the one time she should have kept her mouth shut, IMO. She has no right to interfere with their obviously tense family dynamics when she doesn’t even know WHY they’re so tense to begin with

    • Alicia

      For real though, I wouldn’t want to invite myself to dinner if my fiance was having conflicts with his family. I’d just feel super awkward. As an introvert I hate conflict, or watching other people have conflicts.

    • Samantha

      Or a freaking Volvo a la Edward Cullen’s dealership.
      Yeah I was so uncomfortable with her jumping in like that. And then I was uncomfortable sorta sticking up for Hardin. It was a rough time.

  • The Bad Slayer

    Like small dumpster fires…how apropos.

  • Alicia

    “Take that school girls”? She’s celebrating a victory because Hardin’s showed up in her room uninvited again rather than hooking up with the random girls who were giggling at him? Tessa complains about every other girl acting immaturely and yet she is the most immature one. Hardin’s only been mean and rude to her and, after spending most of the first quarter of the book telling us she hates him, she suddenly decides she likes him and wants more from him because he’s nice to her sometimes. She also, let’s not forget, cheated on her boyfriend of 2 years with him, multiple times, and wanted to continue to do so if Hardin had not ratted her out. But she still has this holier than thou complex that needs to fucking stop. Also, why would you wanna date a guy if you’re worried that he’s just going to go fuck every girl who looks at him? Talk about trust issues much?

    I also found it weird that Hardin’s dad just assumed that Tessa was his girlfriend (does he not know anything about his son at all, including that he doesn’t want to date?) and it was irritating that Tessa just accepted an invite without taking Hardin’s feelings into consideration. Hardin obviously has some conflicts with his dad. Why would Tessa insert herself into their family drama? I personally find it awkward when my fiance has conflict with his mom while I’m there. I would rather not go to dinner with them if they are just gonna be bitchy with each other. The one time Tessa decides to do something even though Hardin doesn’t want her to is the wrong time.

    Wow, Hardin being VIOLENT again and kicking a chair across the room just because he’s angry, which in turn would humiliate anyone. I’d be super embarrassed if my fiance got angry and smashed something around in a public place. He has never gotten angry with me in public before. Hardin’s changed so much, that Tessa laughed at his attempts to be nice and here he is once again being violent because it doesn’t take much to anger him. WHAT SANE GIRL WANTS TO BE WITH SOMEONE LIKE THAT?? Him trying to be “nice” clearly doesn’t last very long.

    I just keep asking myself why this is considered good writing, and why it’s in the romantic section instead of the abuse-tastic section which they should include in bookstores. Also, like I said, he’s once again showing his violent tendencies. Tessa should be scared and running for the hills because it should remind her of her father’s behaviour towards her mother. If Hardin can act this way while sober, well she already knows how he acts when he’s drunk, too. But OH, Hardin’s violent, but it’s different than her father, because he won’t hurt Tessa. Right, I forgot. This whole “He’s violent but not towards me” excuse that Tessa constantly uses really makes me rage.

    • Samantha

      I’m so glad that we all agree it was super inappropriate for Tessa to accept. Also, yeah, so weird that Dad was like “this rando female next to my son must be his gf!”