Reviews For How Not To
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Reviewer: Assistant2theRegionalManager Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: July 10, 2019 11:11 pm Title: Chapter 6

I know you’ve mentioned your love for breaking readers and, holy hell, job well done. Here I am reading chapter 6 in bed and trying to quiet my sobs enough to not wake my husband. Gah!! So good. 💔

Reviewer: Duchess Cupcake Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: July 10, 2019 04:25 pm Title: Chapter 3

Oh! Whew! Geez! That scene in the diner! Heartbreaking but that was so incredibly realistic. Absolute perfection.

I mean, I love when we get Larisa in any story and I am Thrilled what you’ve done with her here. Really great way to draw her character and I look forward to her POV showing up more (hint, hint).

Reviewer: Duchess Cupcake Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: July 10, 2019 04:07 pm Title: Chapter 2

I was ROLLING during that first paragraph. Seriously. Rolling. I had to be picked up off the floor.

Oh, that bit about Ryan makes me feel a lot of things. It was fantastic and karma’s a bitch.

What I really, really love in this chapter is Pam’s unapologetic brazenness and her equal dose of self-loathing. God it makes her really beautifully complicated and I just love it.

I’m glad Larisa knows where he went. Now how about filling in the rest of us!!!!!

Reviewer: Duchess Cupcake Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: July 10, 2019 03:09 pm Title: Chapter 1

See. You said you were going to do it. And I watched the music video and I cried and I was prepared. But I wasn’t, really. Cause I knew intellectually that you would do great but I wasn’t prepared EMOTIONALLY for this. Not at all. Here we go...

Reviewer: SprinklesTheCat Signed [Report This]
Date: July 10, 2019 05:36 am Title: Chapter 1

This is good. So many difficult scenes in one chapter and so well written. I kind of love that Michael was the one to save her.

Reviewer: Coley Signed [Report This]
Date: July 09, 2019 05:30 pm Title: Chapter 5

This chapter is the one where I really had to remind myself that these are characters and not real people. If they were real people, I'd be handing both Jim and Pam copies of Codependent No More to read because I'm worried about their addictive personalities and how they're transferring the addiction from alcohol to each other.

Deep breaths. Good thing they aren't real people. But even as toxic as this could end up being, I LOVE their texting and the mid-afternoon conversations and the phone calls after work.

"I found a pair of nunchucks under my desk." Classic.

I really like how Jim was able to open up about how he lost his job, and not only that she listened without judgement but that she wanted to know more.

Because it's not codependency right? It's friendship. Right? Right.

Except.. ugh. The part where Pam knows she's putting up walls and hates herself for doing it and then there's the phone call with Karen and those walls weren't strong enough and now she's right back with the bottle and I'm back to worrying about both of them way too much.

Also, I loved the use of the text messages - such a great idea, and I loved the little details like the Gumby picture and Pam's excessive use of emojis.

Reviewer: JennaBennett Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: July 09, 2019 03:00 pm Title: Chapter 6

My heart. My heart. My heart. Oh bless Michael. So well intentioned above all else. I love his inclusion in this story. It’s nice to see Pam opening up to Jim (despite the worst of circumstances). I hope that she doesn’t push him away later because she’s feeling too vulnerable.
Not to be too over the top, but this story has literally been haunting my dreams so there’s that...

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: July 09, 2019 01:57 pm Title: Chapter 6

Hoo boy. Yeah, so, wow. I mean really what more needs to be said that you didn't say? First and foremost Roy here is probably one of the worst Roy's I've ever read. That he caused Pam to spiral down to the point we see her now. I don't blame Jim at all. Assholes like that should be castrated.

I do love how Jim is there for Pam. That she's become so important to him that he can forget all the shit he's wading through and just be there for her. Keep it up Jim, because that's how you keep going forward. If you can't live for yourself, live for someone else. That Pam lets him in and tells him all this shows how she's depending on him too.

So yes this is broken JAM, their connection is still there. Masterful writing with this chapter even if it was so hard to read and envision.

Reviewer: SprinklesTheCat Signed [Report This]
Date: July 08, 2019 09:04 pm Title: Chapter 1

Also need to say you've taken all of this to the next level with the screen shots. Well done!

Reviewer: SprinklesTheCat Signed [Report This]
Date: July 08, 2019 08:49 pm Title: Chapter 1

Also need to say you've taken all of this to the next level with the screen shots. Well done!

Author's Response: Yay! I'm so glad that they worked :)

Reviewer: JennaBennett Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: July 08, 2019 08:18 pm Title: Chapter 5

The graphics worked for me & they worked for me, like it was a really fun additional layer having them in there - I thought I wouldn’t really like it, but I did! It took the story to a whole new place of clever creativity.
I’m very interested about this Karen inclusion! I always like seeing her as a friend (to either Pam or Jim). I feel like there’s so much potential for that. I hope Pam is kind of off base in her fears. Although, I’m really wondering if we’re going to get a merger with Karen based on that set up!
It’s so nice to see Pam and Jim building their friendship in that Pam and Jim way...
Also, we’re starting to dig deeper into Jim’s background which I am very excited about! Can’t wait to see where you take this next.

Author's Response:

I'm so glad that they worked, yay!

I struggled with how I wanted to include Karen, but I'm really excited for her part coming up here, and I hope you will all enjoy her, too. 

Yes, the backgrounds are coming together soon! I'm a little nervous about it, but hopefully the buildup will pay off! 

Reviewer: SprinklesTheCat Signed [Report This]
Date: July 08, 2019 07:38 pm Title: Chapter 1

Thank you for the bits you've given us, but there's MORE. The devastating parts are coming, I just know it. This chapter was so good. I can *feel* how the two of them are with each other. Fragile but maybe finding something to live for.

Author's Response: Oh, trust me, the devastating is on its way. I'm such a sucker for breaking characters (and readers, if I'm being honest), so hopefully y'all will hold on for it all! I am glad that you are enjoying it!

Reviewer: Coley Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: July 08, 2019 06:07 pm Title: Chapter 4

This is my favorite chapter yet! I loved Jim and Larisa having a moment over condiments, and I love that in the following week, Jim was able to function a little easier - even if it was just as simple as having meals with her and not locked in his room.

Pam's AA jokes have been a consistent highlight of this story, even if I do feel bad at laughing at them.

I really like how each week they get a little more comfortable with each other, and their Thursday night routine, and this one felt so much like a first date and it was really sweet how they were kind of opening up with specific details of their lives, but still respecting each other's boundaries of what they weren't going to talk about.

Gumby and Pamcasso - I love this more than I should.

Coconuts vs Lavender, hmm? This story is truly going to wreck me later, isn't it?

Author's Response:

It was probably my favorite to write, up until chapter 5, because they are starting to get more comfortable with each other. 

It most definitely is going to wreck a lot of people. I'm going to have a lot of enemies at the end of this. And I'm really not that upset about it. 

Reviewer: Coley Signed [Report This]
Date: July 08, 2019 05:44 pm Title: Chapter 3

Let's just get all of my questions out of the way - It's been a year since what? What does Michael know? What police report? Why doesn't Jim talk at meetings? Where did he go after he left Pam's house?

As destructive as it is, I really love the idea of Pam and Meredith being booze buddies at work.

But then this whole scene at the end with Jim getting mad at Pam and Larisa finding him tearing apart the kitchen? I don't know which one of them is more broken at this point, but Jim is clearly Going Through just as much as Pam is and I know it's not a competition over which of their stories is going to make me feel more things, but ugh - I'm really stressed out over Jim's current state of being here.

I mean, I'm stressed about Pam too, but Jim's the one crying on a kitchen floor right now.

Author's Response:

I love that you are asking literally every question that I'm leaving seeds for *snickers* In due time, grasshopper!

The kitchen scene also wrecked me, if that makes you feel any better.  

Reviewer: Assistant2theRegionalManager Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: July 08, 2019 05:22 pm Title: Chapter 5

I just LOVE your writing. All. Of. It. I really enjoyed this chapter and how you’ve woven their stories together. Phenomenal!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! :)

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed [Report This]
Date: July 08, 2019 01:10 pm Title: Chapter 5

Ok, so first off the graphics are working just fine on this end.

Now, about Jim and Pam here. I do really like that they're spending so much time like this. Getting to know each other, building a friendship. Nice to have some more backstory on Jim here. Yet we still don't really know WHY he started drinking. So I'm sure there's more to that story that will come out.

I do feel bad for Pam here. In one sense you have her acting similar to canon-Pam. Hearing one thing, jumping to a conclusion, and not talking to Jim about it. She's doing a lot of self-projecting here. Just the name of another woman and she automatically thinks that woman is also in AA and has given her the backstory to go with it and a reason to shut down. Of course that's very fitting with this Pam too.

Author's Response:

There is definitely more story coming out!

Also, just wanted to clarify that this Karen *doesn't* have AA in her backstory, and that's what Pam was noticing as the wedge for why she was different than Karen ;)

Thanks for reading! 

Reviewer: Coley Signed [Report This]
Date: July 07, 2019 07:50 pm Title: Chapter 2

I have at least 17 more questions after reading this chapter, beginning with why is Pam kicking a foot-shaped bruise into Roy's chest and ending with who does she think she's proving right about what?

"Jim from AA was a good enough lay." might be my favorite opening sentence of a chapter for all of 2019.

And look, we all know how I'm a big fan of adding Ryan into Pam's storyline like this, but the fact that he couldn't finish? I loved that because yeah, it sounds like he didn't deserve to anyways.

I'm not sure what it is about the bulk of this chapter - but seeing Pam trying to push Jim out of her place hit so many feelings - like, she's exasperated and panicking that he's still there, but she still finds Sleepy!Jim adorable (obviously) and it's so sad that she just wants him gone so she can drink.

But Sleepy!Jim is 12 kinds of endearing and I really appreciate his trying to get her number after everything, and making sure he'll see her next week.

Damn, that end scene with Pam and Larissa? I so *get* Pam's amping herself up to set Larissa straight and warn her away from Jim... so to see that taken away from her with the realization that she's Jim's sister - it's just a lovely, heartbreaking moment and I LOVE that Larissa can't just turn off her immediate response to try and take care of Pam.

Oh look, I have another question - where did Jim go?

Reviewer: Coley Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: July 07, 2019 07:19 pm Title: Chapter 1

I'm already so obsessed with this story. Literally the last place I'd thought I'd ever want to see Jim and Pam is at an AA meeting, but well, here they are and here I am loving it and needing more. Pam's making jokes and Jim's staying mostly silent - this is a new dynamic for these characters and I really like the switch.

I have so many questions - mostly why's, and a couple of how's, but I'll patiently wait for the answers because honestly, I'm just here for reading broken JAM as much as you are for writing them.

Author's Response: It's the most strange concept I've ever taken on, and I'm glad you're enjoying it!

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: July 04, 2019 09:16 pm Title: Chapter 4

You mean I'm free forever of AP style anything? Really for true? *needs a moment while his bottom lip quivers in joy and single tear trickles down his face* Thank you.

Okay, now that I have that out of my system. I'll admit AG that when I've seen updates for this story a twinge of nervousness hits me. Mainly due to the subject matter. Reading about Jim and Pam as broken as they are here is tough. This chapter was a nice break from that.

I know it's trite and everything, but even still even some progress is progress. I know there are still huge emotions that they're not ready to delve into this early in their relationship. I fully expect there to be more shouting, screaming, and probably more than a few more tears shed on both of their accounts before all is said and done. However this chapter, where we don't have any of that was a nice break.

Again echos of canon Jim and Pam here in their banter at the diner. In the show when they're at their best, Jim and Pam always have an easy back and forth that's a lot of fun to watch. That we get a taste of that here is great to see. Not only for their states of mind right now, but I can see the foundations of a more meaningful relationship starting to be built as well.

Great job as always.

Author's Response:

You are free!

I know it's hard to read, and I knew going into this that not everyone was going to like it, but honestly, this story has been screaming to get out of me, so it had to be done *shrugs*

Thanks for reading! 

Reviewer: JennaBennett Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: July 04, 2019 04:24 pm Title: Chapter 4

Pamcasso - my heart... I like this tentative kind of friendship that you’re building. All these little glimpses into what may have happened for Jim are certainly piquing my interest! I say this every time, but I can’t wait to find out his back story in this! I have to ask, because I love Dan + Shay in that very casual fan who gets into their music when it randomly plays on Spotify way, if I listen to/watch the music video for the song will there be spoilers for this story? Am I better off saving it for after?

Author's Response:

Ahh, Pamcasso. Yes, I honestly live on tiny glimpses. Love a good buildup! 

So, the thing about the music video is that it will basically give away the ending. The entire "back story" though is all my own craft, so that will be up to you to decide! But, either way, great song, and great music video. 

Reviewer: SprinklesTheCat Signed [Report This]
Date: July 04, 2019 10:01 am Title: Chapter 1

AG I'm loving this story. Holding my breath with each chapter to see what gets revealed.

Author's Response: Thanks so much! I'm really enjoying writing it :)

Reviewer: BecauseOfYou Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: July 02, 2019 08:19 am Title: Chapter 3

When I first started reading this, knowing it was alternate universe, I did not expect Dunder Mifflin to be involved. So when I discovered that this Pam was still our DM Pam and not some AU version working at some random coffee shop it wrecked me even more... just knowing this broken Pam is our sweet warm caring DM Pam, ugh. But honestly with Jim not there for her I could see this as as path for her. Here’s hoping Jim can join her there one day and all can be right in their worlds again.
I do have a guess about what happened to Jim therefore I have a very strong gut feeling this story may completely wreck me. I am fully aware of what you are capable of.

Author's Response: I labeled it AU since they don’t meet in the office, and since Jim isn’t working there, but I do plan on having different cast members pop in and out throughout! It’s definitely going to be gut wrenching but that’s what I take pride in, haha. I take your last couple sentences as a huge compliment, so thank you :)

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed [Report This]
Date: July 02, 2019 04:17 am Title: Chapter 3

First off, I did really like that Pam can't get Jim off her mind. The reasons why are clearly so much different than in the show, but at least it has echos of the connection we usually see with them.

More hints of past darkness here which is fueling Jim and Pam's spirals. They're both not just broken but shattered. Time for yet another weird analogy by yours truly, that I'll also probably keep using and expounding on as this story progresses, but it fits.

When one breaks a bone, if it's not set right it will heal incorrectly. The thing is, setting the bone can sometimes be just as painful as breaking one in the first place. People clearly don't want to be in pain so sometimes they'll forgo having the bone be set correctly, thus the bone heals improperly and the net result is that the arm or leg won't work right. In order to regain full use of the limb, the bone needs to be re-broken and then re-set so it can heal the proper way. Again a very painful process many feel they can't go through. And the whole process can't help but leave lasting scars that only serve as a reminder of the past trauma.

The heart is the same. The initial breaking hurts, repairing the hurt often makes one come face to face with whatever it was that broke the heart in the first place, which also hurts. People don't like pain so they'll find and use any excuse to avoid more pain if they can. "No one will/can/could understand," "At least it's just booze, not something worse," "I can handle things just fine on my own." That last one particularly is a really tough bastard of a lie. I've seen people break down weeping on my ambulance cot when I ask them that if they're doing so well, why are they in the back of an ambulance on the way to the Emergency room, sometimes for the umpteenth time that week.

That it's so easy to see Jim and Pam here and that it's so easy for me to draw that comparison is testament to your writing. Like I said last chapter, even though it hurts to see Jim and Pam like this, you're writing them in a very real way.

I do very much appreciate the bright spots that are Larissa and Penny though. Even the darkest night can't snuff out the light of a single candle. Here's hoping that both Larissa and Penny can stay as the candles for Jim and Pam.

Author's Response: I definitely plan on incorporating Penny and Larisa a ton in this story. They’re kind of my secret weapon. I’m glad that, even broken, this Pam and Jim still resonate with their true characters. What a great metaphor! But I won’t hold you to AP 12 English style psychoanalysis for every chapter ;)

Reviewer: JennaBennett Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: July 02, 2019 12:45 am Title: Chapter 3

I love how you’ve brought Larisa’s point of view into this too. I’m dying to know Jim’s story, & the trauma that’s led to this...
Pam’s connection with Meredith is kind of lovely to see - given the circumstances. It’s probably not the healthiest connection, but it makes a lot of sense.

Author's Response:

Thank you! I’m trying my best to incorporate characters from the show in this twisted little world, and I’m glad that it’s resonating :)

Oh, trust me, we’ll get to Jim’s story, and Pam’s, too ;) 

Reviewer: JennaBennett Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: June 28, 2019 10:40 pm Title: Chapter 2

Boy, oh boy, I feel like this fic is going to break me... but hopefully, ultimately, in a good way! You’ve definitely got me interested in this first couple of chapters. I’m dying to know more about what you’ve hinted at Pam’s history and whatever has gone on for Jim to have them both in a super dark place.
Looking forward to seeing where you go from here!

Author's Response:

My goal for every fic is to break my readers, so I’m glad that it’s working ;)

Thanks so much for reading! 

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