After Chapter 52 – All about that bowling.

Previously: Tessa finally dumped Noah.

Samantha: My mindset for starting this chapter is just having a Google tab of anger gifs open.

Marines: A Snark Lady is always prepared. 

Samantha: The chapter begins with our new couple sitting awkwardly on the bed, not knowing how to proceed. Hopefully far away from the bed. (M: AMEN.) She sits in his lap, and I am saved by Steph, Tristan, and Nate coming in. Nate wonders if they’re fuck buddies, and Tessa says they aren’t but neither her nor Holden clarify any further. Nate starts telling them about how Slutty Molly did a strip tease at the party and got completely naked. I just have to go with Molly is completely empowered and in control of her sexuality cause anything else is too depressing/rage inducing. Hardin smirks (like a douche) and says “Nothing I haven’t seen before” (like a douche). Tessa gasps in shock, and Hardin’s face falls.

Oh no, is the poor cruel boy upset that his cruel words hurt someone? DOES ANYONE HAVE THE WORLD’S SMALLEST BAND-AIDE HANDY?

Mari: They were literally just talking about why the Molly thing bothers Tessa. Way to go, Hardin.

Samantha: Tessa internally spirals about how maybe all of this was a bad idea because she never had to worry about STI’s with Noah. Basically. She wishes Hardin didn’t have such a voracious sexual history. I wish she would realize the girls Hardin has slept with is not the problem with Hardin.

Steph invites her to come bowling with them but Tessa declines, and hopes Hardin will as well. Obviously he leaves with them, so Tessa ponders their new situation some more. Will he miss her? Will anything change? Will a plot ever emerge?

Mari: It’s more likely that more girls who have slept with Hardin will appear, but I’m only basing that on the evidence of plotlessness for the past 51 chapters.

Samantha: After an hour of studying Tessa decides she wants to text Hardin but realizes they’ve never exchanged phone number, so she calls her mom. (M: ?) They chit chat and I am reminded that this story has only been a month of time. 4 weeks. All this nonsense and angst and non-drama has taken place over only 4 weeks.

During the call she gets a text from Hardin because god forbid he’s not involved in any scene, even a call with her mother. He tells her she should have come and she tells him that he should have stayed. Then Hardin tells her that he’s already left to come pick her up and she better be ready, EVEN THOUGH SHE PLAINLY TOLD HIM SHE DIDN’T WANT TO GO BOWLING.

Image result for frustration gif

She thinks about how demanding he is and DISRESPECTFUL AND CONTROLLING ARE NOT THE BEDROCK FOR A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP. Tessa gets off the phone with her mom (who’s “disdainful” about Tessa calling her back, a weird emotion choice) and changes. She goes to brush her teeth and Hardin is waiting for her when she gets back, like a horror movie. She thinks he’s going to hug her but he just heads for the door.

In the car, Tessa thinks about how much she hates bowling and how codependent she feels. It’s like, Anna Todd is right there, almost fully acknowledging the awful, but then pretends its all romantic anyway. Hardin assures her that it will be fun ’cause everyone will be there. Tessa hopes this doesn’t mean “part-time ho Molly.”

Image result for slut shaming gif

Mari: Can we all pause to acknowledge that Todd has been building this moment of them getting together for 50+ chapters, right, and we finally get here and so far it’s been a few pages of whether or not they should go bowling. WAY TO KILL THE MOOD, WEIRDO. WHY WOULD THIS BE A GOOD CHOICE?

Samantha: We have a tag for this! #SenseThisDoesntAnyMake

Hardin finally clues in that Tessa really doesn’t want to go, because apparently saying no once wasn’t enough, and suggests going to his house. He puts a hand on her thigh and she puts a hand over his and this image makes me vom a little.

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They get to the frat house and head up to his room. They sit on the bed and Tessa wonders if Molly was at the bowling alley. Hardin says yes and wonders why she wanted to know. I am not here for Tessa slut shaming but it’s valid to feel weird around your new bf’s ex, which she has made clear she does, so Hardin is being willfully ignorant to suit his purposes. Again.

Mari: Your face just fell like 10 seconds ago, my man, when you hurt Tessa i.e. Molly. REMEMBER.

Samantha: They talk about how she’ll always be around and Tessa tells him she doesn’t want him to sleep with her anymore. Tessa also thinks “She acts like she likes me, when I know she doesn’t“. We’ve been reading this book for over a year but has there been any indication that Molly secretly hates Tessa? I cannot remember and it seems likely this is Tessa Projection. Tesjection.

He tells her she doesn’t have to worry about that and clarifies that he didn’t tell anyone about them because it’s their business. Then he starts touching her bare skin and Tess, Mari, and I all know what’s coming but THE CHAPTER ENDS.


Mari: I hate everything. 


Next time on After: DAMMIT in chapter 53.



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 Bad Slayer

    I have been catching up on the game of thrones recaps but I have to admit, these are more fun simply because this….erm, book, is so much fun to snark. Missed this one.

    Of course Molly dislikes Tessa but I don’t think she dislikes her more than Tessas own mother dislikes Tessa. I think Molly finds her condescending and judgemental and, as I would, thinks she’s an asshole but that’s about it. Also, I think Molly wants the “more” with Hardin and is hurt/jealous that he wants it with Tessa instead. Actually, (No spoilers) Molly is the LEAST assholey character in the whole damn series (even Noah has his moments later).

    Also, also, did y’all see the new trailer for the last 50 movie? Ahahahahahahahahaha….it looks terrible!

    • Samantha

      Noah shows up again later??? I can’t say I’m surprised just……man.

      • The Bad Slayer

        Oh, sorry. I guess that was the spoiler. Whoops.

        • Samantha

          Haha, no worries!

  • Kimberly

    I tried to read this nightmare when it was one big never ending “thing” on Wattpad. I couldn’t get through it, which says a lot because I have weird OCD that requires me to finish anything I start no matter how awful. I assumed it would be cleaned up and made readable when it was actually published and then I might be able to complete it, but it appears that didn’t happen and I’m going to just have to be content to consider these recaps the only completion I’m getting. So thank you for your sacrifice!

    • The Bad Slayer

      I too have that compulsion and it’s a bitch. It’s the same reason I had to watch the 2nd 50 movie and read all 3 books. Like, I have to finish things. But this one was truly a test of my sanity. I made through, but barely.

      • Kimberly

        Yup, I’m embarrassed to admit some of the things I’ve read and watched.

    • Samantha

      We are here for you!!! And the alcohol.

    • Furious Strong

      I’m an obsessive completionist too, but I gave up after 30 chapters of this dreck on Wattpad, which is really saying something. I don’t read sequels to things I hate (unless it’s bad in an entertaining way), but I almost never give up on books. But I couldn’t manage this, it was just too boring.

  • Joy

    “The chapter begins with our new couple sitting awkwardly on the bed, not knowing how to proceed.”
    I really wish that’s how this relationship proceeded for the rest of this book. I don’t think it will.

    • Samantha

      I’m sure going to dream though.

    • Sarah

      “The chapter begins with our new couple sitting awkwardly on the bed, not knowing how to proceed.”

      So like the end of The Graduate, except not on a bus and terrible.

  • Alicia

    I wonder if none of these people know how to knock? If Tessa was on Hardin’s lap when Steph, Tristan and Nate came in, she’d have to be awfully quick at getting off Hardin’s lap + looking like she didn’t JUST climb off his lap a millisecond ago.

    While I personally wouldn’t strip tease at a party, and would probably not really want to be at a party where said strip-teasing is occuring, it’s none of my business to judge people who want to, I guess, do that? -shrug- It’s not like it’s really going to affect me in the long run. But of course Tessa and readers must take any second they can to judge Molly for her sexuality. Sleeping with multiple guys?! -gasp- Strip-teasing at a party???!! -double gasp-

    Okay, Tessa, if you JUST became official to someone 2 minutes ago, and he doesn’t introduce you to his friends as his new girlfriend, also makes a crude comment about the fact that he’s seen his ex-fuck buddy naked before, need I say that this isn’t exactly a promising start to a new relationship? She acts as though Hardin’s sexual history is yet another thing to be shocked over when she was WELL AWARE of this going into the relationship. Of course it’s probably going to come up in topic when they’re with his friends, but if he wasn’t a douche, he would kindly ask his friends not to mention Molly or the MANY other girls in front of his girlfriend, because it upsets Tessa. I guess it’s part of a constant reminder that Hardin doesn’t do romance. I’d feel a little uncomfortable if a guy I’d just started dating was always gloating about people he’d slept with.

    Reasons why a new relationship might not turn out in the long run (This is starting just before/after they become official):
    1) He admits that he can be cruel but he doesn’t know how to act like a decent human being, just before saying that he wants to be more with you.
    2) Not knowing how to proceed seconds after declaring that you’re official.
    3) He doesn’t introduce you to his friends as his new girlfriend.
    4) Makes comments about past fuck-buddies (especially girls you have expressed your distaste for) to his friends in front of you.
    5) Leaves you behind to go with friends to hang out.

    Yep. Great start, Tessa and Hardin. So romance. Much swoon. This is the infamous #Hessa that has many teen and young adult girls dropping their panties and claiming they want a Hardin. They want their own broken, lost bad boy that they can fix right up with their unconditional love.

    Can someone hand me a barf bag?

    I need to add another reason to that list of mine up there as to reasons why their brand-new relationship may fail in the long run:

    1) He admits that he can be cruel but he doesn’t know how to act like a decent human being, just before saying that he wants to be more with you.
    2) Not knowing how to proceed seconds after declaring that you’re official.
    3) He doesn’t introduce you to his friends as his new girlfriend.
    4) Makes comments about past fuck-buddies (especially girls you have expressed your distaste for) to his friends in front of you.
    5) Leaves you behind to go with friends to hang out.
    6) You’ve never asked for each other’s phone numbers.

    Another thing I hate, is when these heroines (Bella, Ana, Tessa) use the word “demanding” in place of “controlling” or “manipulative” or “disrespectful” to describe their love interests. As if “demanding” is somehow less of a “negative” trait and more of a hot, sexy trait?

    I don’t think Tessa thinks that many good or positive thoughts about Hardin, either. “Aww he’s so sweet he hugged me and introduced me to his friends as his gf even though he normally doesn’t date” is what she should be thinking right now instead of “He’s so demanding telling me that I’m going bowling with them whether I want to or not but oh well he’s coming to pick me up so I can’t say no – but he said he wants MORE with me he’s never wanted that before and he can be decent sometimes, my heart is in lurv”.

    Hardin at LEAST introducing Tessa to his friends as his girlfriend just after they get together would have been SOMEWHAT of an improvement, would have perhaps shown that he has the potential to change and wants to be a better person for her? But nope, he can’t even give Tessa that.

    And yeah, it’s totally weird that Todd used their first moments as a couple together as a way to show more of Hardin’s controlling issues – forcing Tessa to do something she doesn’t want to do, AKA bowling. He goes to her place with the intention of getting her to go bowling, but then changes his mind and they go to his place instead (aww, how sweet). Tessa wanted him to stay at the dorms with her, but since it’s something that Tessa wanted, it’s never granted. Because it always has to be Hardin’s way, because he’s just so demanding. Dreamy.

    • Sarah

      of course Tessa and readers must take any second they can to judge Molly for her sexuality. Sleeping with multiple guys?! -gasp-

      Because it’s so much better to be non-sexually dating one guy and going down on another on the side. If they were poly or the book presented their judgmental attitude as hypocritical it’d be one thing but we’re genuinely supposed to side with Tessa here.

      • Alicia

        Exactly, Tessa’s so innocent that going behind her boyfriend’s back by being sexual with someone else and having feelings for someone else definitely doesn’t make her a “whore” or “slut” as she loves to refer to Molly as. It just means she’s “confused”. Molly, however, sleeps with Hardin + other guys, so that doesn’t mean she could have internal problems or just enjoys sex? Why does it matter to Tessa so much? Oh, but Tessa and Hardin haven’t actually had sex yet, which doesn’t count as cheating, and doesn’t make her a slut, right?! Or that’s what the readers are led to believe. Another double standard is that Hardin has slept with multiple girls but Tessa STILL wants to be with him. At first she judges him but that quickly stops once she has feelings for him or whatever. Hardin sleeping with multiple girls? He’s just an angry boy who doesn’t know love. Molly sleeps with multiple guys? SLUT.

  • Sarah

    I’m making Empowered!Molly my headcanon, just so you know.

    How has this been 52 chapters? NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. Grr. I’d be tempted to write a spitefic from Molly’s POV but I can’t even bring myself to care that much.

  • Mae

    “She wishes Hardin didn’t have such a voracious sexual history.”
    She knew this before he ever touched her, so why is she still whining about it now? And does she plan to only date inexperienced virgins for the rest of her life? That’s easy to find at 18, but not so much at 30. Oh wait, I forgot, women are supposed to be married mothers by then or else they’re old maids. Blech.

    “has there been any indication that Molly secretly hates Tessa?”
    Tessa doesn’t seem to have any bearing whatsoever on how Molly behaves or what she does. If anything, I get a sense of utter indifference to Tessa’s existence. Which, as we all know from reading shitty books, can’t happen to the heroine. Ever. So, it must be hatred steeped in jealousy because the heroine is too pretty and has the best man. Or something.

  • Blinvy .

    Last teaser: sitting on a bed possibly going to have sex.

    Payoff: Nothing happens, they go bowling instead

    Is it just me, or is it getting really steamy in here? She really knows how to ramp up that sexual tension with an explosive payoff.

  • Em

    This whole series is made even more disturbing when you’re a fan of actual Harry Styles because the dude is a human cupcake. Like, he’s the exact opposite of this dude Hardin, preaching about feminism and LGBTQ+ positivity and literally everyone who meets him (and I’m using literally in the correct form) highlights what A NICE GUY he is (which is kinda weird? I often wonder what on earth he’s doing in these 10-minute interactions to have everyone captioning their selfies with him with stuff like ‘NICEST GUY I’VE EVER MET’. Does he pay their college tuition? Does he go around handing out cookies? So odd). His tour merchandising is embroidered with the phrase ‘TREAT PEOPLE WITH KINDNESS’. Like, this is the extreme opposite that we’re dealing with here. The only sort-of-similarity is that the media paints Harry as this dude that constantly sleeps around, but he’s always denied it and in the past few years has even like, looked annoyed and snarky when it’s brought up. Also, he said he doesn’t label his sexuality and that the gender of his romantic partner isn’t important, so the whole ‘is he gaAaAaAaAy’ that was borrowed from 50SOG seems kinda hilarious in hindsight.
    He knows about this book. He was asked point blank about it recently. I don’t think he’s even read a chapter, though. The only comment he made about it was ‘I hope he’s getting more than me’ (sex, I presume) like, laughing it off and changing the subject. But (spoiler alert) as much as it’s repeated that he sleeps around, Hardin doesn’t actually get around that much (I only like, skim read the first two books in the Wattpad form, but he really only ever seems to sleep with Tessa). It’s not like, an actual big plot point of the story, so I think Harry was just told the character based on him was a douchebag and he assumed this douchebaggery was just borrowed from his media image.
    Anyway kutgw guys. I’ve been laughing my ass off at these recaps for the past five hours.