Reviews For How Not To
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Reviewer: Duchess Cupcake Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: September 03, 2019 09:43 am Title: Chapter 5

Oh my god these text messages are SO PERFECT. (Down to the little Gumby in the contact pic.) Here's what makes this story such a delight: It is a real and true AU with these borrowed characters but you able to subtly include important bits of the show (Pam's jealousy over Karen, how she bottles up that emotion instead of just talking to Jim about it) and incorporate that into this World.
When she says that he "has a Karen" who doesn't have AA meetings under her belt I just wanted to come through the screen and hug her. This is so good and I just want more of these two as each other's support system.

Reviewer: Duchess Cupcake Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: September 03, 2019 09:33 am Title: Chapter 4

I really, really love how this ends because I could FEEL the pain in that first portion of this chapter. Jim's pain was so good but man his indignation and his guilt and, whew! You wrote that roller coaster so well without being over the top. I loved it.

I just want to say that this line is perfection: "I thought, for a moment, that I liked the way that those two syllables seemed to roll off my tongue." I have nothing more to say about it because it tells a thousand things on its own.

Man I wish I knew what those questions were that solicited such seemingly innocent answers.

Reviewer: SprinklesTheCat Signed [Report This]
Date: August 28, 2019 08:41 pm Title: Chapter 9

Oh, this was just as painful as I feared/expected, but still so good. Lots of layers, and I could feel Jim's regret and despair. It feels like the two of them are clearing out the sadness and getting ready to move forward in their lives.

This was so well-done. Not over the top, just a great depiction of a sad situation.

Reviewer: jloh217 Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: August 28, 2019 10:36 am Title: Chapter 9

This story keeps getting better and better! Love this different idea and perspective and how amazing the writing is! It squeezes my heart, and makes me want to cry when they feel pained, and I feel pride whenever they have a victory. Wonderful job!

Reviewer: JennaBennett Signed [Report This]
Date: August 26, 2019 10:56 pm Title: Chapter 9

I love that we finally get to the bottom of Jim’s backstory here! I’ve been so curious to have it detailed a little more. The vulnerability that Jim has with Pam in this chapter is gorgeous. I really want these two crazy kids to make it work, but I’m very concerned that maybe this isn’t where their story is headed in this universe...

Reviewer: Merria Signed [Report This]
Date: August 25, 2019 08:39 pm Title: Chapter 9

Man, I love this messed up version of Jim and Pam. Keep it coming

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed [Report This]
Date: August 25, 2019 04:00 pm Title: Chapter 9

Double review because I remember there was more I wanted to say about this chapter. First off, if I had any jellybeans left to give this story, I would have given this chapter one. So there's that.

A while back I made the analogy of how a bone or heart breaks and that fixing a bone or a heart means more pain. In this chapter we see that analogy in action. Pam had her "re-break to re-set" moment earlier when she told Jim her June 10th story. Now it's Jim's turn. I like that Pam has already been down the start of this path. Because her heart is starting to heal she can be there for Jim as he "re-breaks to re-set" his heart. However what is wonderful is that they wouldn't have gotten there without the other.

The scars of those breaks I'm sure will always remain. It's unavoidable. But the thing about scars is that they are signs that yes there was pain in the past, but that pain is over. It's been addressed and dealt with. Eventually the scars will also fade to the point where one tends to forget about them unless they deliberately look at them. It's a hard process but it's great to see that both Jim and Pam are really walking down the path of healing.

Pam and Jim dumping out that bottle was another great way to show that. They don't need the crutch of alcohol anymore. I really wish I could give this chapter a jellybean because I really loved everything here. Wonderful job.

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed [Report This]
Date: August 25, 2019 01:49 pm Title: Chapter 9

There's been a lot of build up to this moment I think. Clearly neither Jim or Pam would have been ready to share their stories with each other when they first met. However now their relationship has earned the right. They trust they've built has led to this moment. While I don't love the events that led them to this moment, I love that they're both here.

Ready to finally trust someone with not just what happened, but the feelings of what happened to both of them. That they're willing to share their guilt with each other is, yes as you said, much more intimate than sleeping with each other.

Amazing writing to show all these emotions. Canon Jim and Pam are still there. Their banter and connection still shine through. Great chapter here AG.

Reviewer: Bayjb Signed [Report This]
Date: August 25, 2019 03:39 am Title: Chapter 9

SUCH a good chapter. The emotion and bond between them in their most vulnerable moments was wow. The story is super dark, but I love it.

Reviewer: jloh217 Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: August 22, 2019 12:55 pm Title: Chapter 8

Wow. This chapter is so good! I don't usually review (I know, I know, I'm that annoying silent creeper) but I just had to tell you how well-written this was! It brought out every emotion I've ever felt, sneaking peeks at other people's Instagrams, and perfectly captured every bit of it. Well done! :)

Reviewer: Merria Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: August 12, 2019 03:03 pm Title: Chapter 8

I am sooooo glad you updated. I’m obsessed with this story!!!! I can’t wait to read what happens next. Did Jim’s girlfriend die? Was he maybe drunk driving???? I can only speculate and hope that Jim and Pam’s relationship keeps growing. I love the dynamic you’ve created between the two. I hope there’s more interactions among them next chapter 😊

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: August 11, 2019 08:24 pm Title: Chapter 8

I think Jim's words are telling here. The calm before the storm. I mean don't get me wrong it's wonderful to see both of them home with their families like this. It's great to see warmth coming back in their lives. I just get the feeling that since we've had Pam's breakdown moment, now we're about to get into Jim's. If that's the case thanks for giving them a day of peace before that storm breaks.

Anyway, like I said it was great to see them like this. That Jim's family really is behind him now is great to see. Not just Larissa, but Pete too.

I really liked the Pam section. That she's internalized everything and made it into her war cry as you said was a powerful scene to envision. Obviously there are still scars on her heart and likely always will be. But now she's starting to look past them. Way to go Pam.

I also get why she's so nervous about anything Jim related too. Here is a guy who really gets her. She wants to hold tight, but there's still fear there. Fear that if she opens her heart again it'll get trampled again. Legitimate fear to be sure. But then Penny shows up with the words of wisdom she needs. Great line there with Penny telling her to be careful with her heart and his. Penny's not saying keep your heart closed, she saying treat it gently. It's still healing and still fragile but it's getting stronger.

I didn't really watch a lot of How I Met Your Mother so the references went by me, but knowing your skill as a writer, I'm sure they were on point.

Reviewer: Guten Schriftsteller Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: August 11, 2019 06:44 pm Title: Chapter 8

What did that Sarah do to Jim I await every new chapter and check the most recent story’s daily just for this.

Reviewer: JennaBennett Signed [Report This]
Date: July 28, 2019 12:38 am Title: Chapter 7

I loved that we got Karen’s perspective in this chapter too. I also love that you’re not setting her up as a love interested in any way. Definitely a few more hints at Jim’s history too - enough to leave us intrigued. I’m enjoying this story so much!

Reviewer: warrior4 Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: July 24, 2019 11:11 am Title: Chapter 7

After the bodyslam that was last chapter, I'm glad you didn't really go into more really heavy stuff with this chapter. It feels like everyone needed some time to decompress. The opening bit with Pam and Jim getting breakfast and going to the park did that very nicely too. It seems that very slowly hope is starting to bloom back in their lives. It's fragile and small at this point, but it's there.

I liked how you had Karen. Yes, she's direct but she's also not harsh. That's a difficult balance to achieve, but she pulls it off well with Jim here. She pushes Jim just enough out of his comfort zone to get him to take a look around, but not so far as to cause him to panic and regress. Great way to use her character like that.

Seeing Penny was also good. She clearly loves Pam and Pam clearly loves her. That Penny is there to keep Pam honest about any booze in the home as well as her confidence that Pam can make progress was wonderful to see.

Jim and Pam's bond keeps growing. I love that they are there for each other. That they want to be there for each other. I hope we get to see more of that as the story goes on.

Reviewer: SprinklesTheCat Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: July 24, 2019 03:00 am Title: Chapter 7

Your dialogue is so good. I forgot I was reading and just fell into this.

Reviewer: Guten Schriftsteller Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: July 18, 2019 05:29 pm Title: Chapter 1

God I love this story and I’m so so so ready to see what you do with it.

Reviewer: late2theprty Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: July 17, 2019 05:08 pm Title: Chapter 1

So we'll written,such a divergent from the Pam and Jim story. Thank you for making Michael a savior in this story. He comes off as a buffoon in so many stories. Impatiently waiting on the next chapter.

Reviewer: late2theprty Signed 1 [Report This]
Date: July 17, 2019 05:08 pm Title: Chapter 1

So we'll written,such a divergent from the Pam and Jim story. Thank you for making Michael a savior in this story. He comes off as a buffoon in so many stories. Impatiently waiting on the next chapter.

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.

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