Friday, August 30, 2013

Review: Bully by Penelope Douglas

Title: Bully (Fall Away #1)
Author: Penelope Douglas
Pages: 290 pages
Format acquired: eBook (Kindle)
Publication date: June 17th 2013
Source: Purchased from Amazon
Buy the book: Amazon

My name is Tate. He doesn't call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all.

We're neighbors, and once, we were best friends. But then, one summer, he turned on me and has made it his mission to screw up my life at every opportunity. I've been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to hide from him. I worried about what was around every corner and behind every door. 

So I left.

I spent a year studying abroad and bathed in the freedom of life without Jared. Now I'm back to finish up high school and get the hell out of here forever. I'm hoping that after a year of breathing room, he's moved on and forgotten all about me. 

But even if he hasn't changed, I have. I'm not interested in avoiding him or turning the other cheek anymore. We're going to go head to head, because neither of us wants to back down.

(Image and summary taken from Goodreads.)


I've never condoned Bullying but Penelope Douglas makes it look so good! Bully isn't just about hot guys who (emotionally) beat you up, it's about finding your voice and standing up for what you think is right. If only real life bullying scenarios ended like this, everyone would be happy and satisfied. I cannot even properly express how much I love this book, it immediately jumped into my Favorite-Books-of-All-Time list and my mom constantly hounds me about this because I always reread Bully when I'm not up for anything new. I just loved this book, and let me tell you why...

First we have Tatum to Jared but Tate to everyone else. She doesn't really come off strong when you first meet her, she's still vulnerable but slowly getting to the point where she's too pissed off to be scared as well. All she really needed was that one little push to send her over the edge. Even though Tate leaves for France (for a year) at the end of the first chapter, it's only really just the beginning. Ever since that faithful night one year ago, Tate's personality and attitude took a turn... for the badass. Gone was the weary bullied teenaged girl and out came an empowered take-no-shit-from-anyone attitude-d woman with a vengeance. Tate is a woman, hear her roar! She was no longer resigned to the bullying and now she fought back, and that definitely shocked the heck out of Jared. I loved the growth of Tate's character because you really saw how she matured and grew up. I really respect the hell out her too! Even though she lives by herself, she is still such a responsible person because she wants to keep her father proud of her and that makes her all the more awesome.

There's a very obvious tension that flows between Tate and Jared right from the start of them book. It's the type of tension that could either result to them mouthing off the other or tearing each other's clothes off (I'm sure you know which one I was rooting for.) It stems from the question as to why Jared was bullying her in the first place; why he was so interested in not just her dating life but her life in general; and who the heck is Jared, really. It's all very vague but rest assured, the fog will be cleared up by the latter part of the book. It was all very... unexpected.

Jared was an enigma throughout the first part of the book. Tate had a deep connection with him due to the fact that they were childhood friends and even her father cared for him but then one day (when he came back from his summer "vacation"), BOOM. Instant personality change and that's when he started targeting Tate. So we ask, why? All I can really is, you should read it for yourself. I'm going to be honest and say that I didn't particularly like Jared, at the start. Sure, he was really hot and mysterious-like but his complete a-holey ways threw me off. It was when Tate had her monologue that I really saw the change to Jared's personality but was it really a change or did he just have all that hidden somewhere in there? Oh well, as long as we actually got there.

One thing this book has is steam. Lots and lots of steam. The kind you get when you shower with really hot water and it literally fogs up the glass and mirrors, yeah, that kind of steam. I loved the push and pull that happened between Jared and Tate, it made their love/hate relationship all the more fun to read about. But it wasn't all just fun and chasing games between the two, there was a deeper level to their relationship as well. As things started to unravel and secrets were revealed, it just makes you question whether they'll be able to make it through all that unscathed. My heart literally hurt as I was reading about what really happened. It was very painful to read but that's the reality, things like that really do happen. And I was just happy that they had each other to cope. (I tried to be as vague as possible.)

I have never had so much fun with secondary characters more than I did with this book before. Madoc, KC, Tate's dad and even Piper and Nate made the experience so much more memorable. Especially Madoc. That guy is crazy and insanely fun but you can also see that he definitely has a deeper (and darker?) side. I can't wait to read more about him in Until You (Jared's POV) and Rival (Madoc's story). He really gave the book a more humorous perspective that lightened its normally strained vibe.

Penelope Douglas' books are without a doubt going to be my addiction for the next months to come because I will seriously not rest until I've read them all. I've had a taste and I'm definitely coming back for more. I am going to put on my serious hat and tell you that you need to read this book ASAP. Like, stat! It is so goshdarn good that I can't contain all my feels. Bully is the perfect mix of heartaching drama, a beautiful yet undoubtedly hot romance and unexpected humor that I'm sure any reader would enjoy, I know I did. It was beautiful, poignant and 100% satisafying. I can't wait for my next Penelope Douglas hit!



  1. Replies
    1. HEE. <3 Thanks for stopping by, Penelope! I seriously loved your book something fierce.