June 28, 2013

Title: Bully

Series: Fall Away

Author: Penelope Douglas

Published: June 17th, 2013 – Self Published

Pages: 290

Story Synopsis: 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..

I put Bully (Fall Away #1) on my top shelf!

My thoughts..

So here’s a little timeline of how my Wednesday went…

8am. Starts reading Bully.

9:30. Holy freakin’ awesome!! Omggggggg… I LOVE this book!!

10am. Dies all over self from the wicked UST in Bully.

10:15am. Is still dying from the wicked UST in Bully.

10:30am. Texts Celeste “MUST READ THIS BOOK. RAWR.”

11am. Either cries or screams at Kindle. It’s a blur, I can’t remember. Read the book, you’ll understand then.

11:08am. Still crying or screaming.

11:45am. Jared is my new book boyfriend. *swoooooooooooooons*

12pm. NO! NO! Damn you Jared.. Falls out of love with Jared. BOYS ARE SO DUMB!

12:05pm. Falls back in love with Jared.

12:15pm. Makes mental note to buy a faster car and learn to race because it’s super hot. Daydreams about Jared and loses spot in book.

12:30. Finishes Bully. *happy sigh* FANTASTIC! Pats self on the back for accomplishing NOTHING this morning. Stalks Checks out Penelope Douglas online. Starts a countdown clock for book 2!

I am in love! As if you couldn’t tell! I loved this book! The storyline. The characters. The fast cars. The music. The tree. EVERYTHING!

Tatum Brandt and Jared Trent are next door neighbors and life long friends, but everything changed one summer after Jared returned from visiting his estranged father. Suddenly, the Jared she knew and loved, the boy that grew up holding her hand and that supported her through her mothers death, evaporated, leaving behind a brutal and broken guy that now despised every breath she took and was willing to do anything necessary to make her life a living hell.

For years, Tatum suffered at the hands of Jared’s horrid behavior and inexcusable attempts to destroy anything that could bring her any type of happiness or normalcy in high school. She’s utterly bewildered and heartbroken about Jared’s change of heart and needs to get away from it all so she decides to spend a year abroad in France. Her thought process is simple; if she’s gone long enough, Jared and the others that bully her day in and day out will just forget about her.. Seems logical, right? Well Tatum’s returned and Jared didn’t forget. In fact, he’s worse now than he was before. And she’s fed up entirely with his cruelness..

“Do you know what this is?” I took my middle finger and patted the corner of my eye with it. “It’s me, wiping away the last tear you’ll get.”

The story and their relationship..

As odd as it may sound, the relationship dynamic between Tatum and Jared, both the positive and painfully negative aspects of it, is what intrigued me most about this book. While it was sad and painful to read at times.. knowing that he was ruthlessly stomping all over her heart over and over again.. I knew that there was so much more to the story than what was being revealed.. and man was there ever! There’s a sweet and sour past between these two, as well as a very fiery and intense attraction and chemistry.. I loved the way the story unraveled slowly as Tatum and Jared struggled both within themselves and with each other.

There were a lot of other elements that perfectly supported and added to the storyline.. The mutual love of fast cars, the importance of memories and mementos, the references of great music and being able to see the transformation in Tatum as she went from doormat to bad ass. Bullying is something that unfortunately happens so commonly nowadays and sometimes we don’t want to be reminded of how mean and abusive kids are to one another, but I can tell you honestly that it was awesome to see Tatum’s backbone grow stronger with every single thing Jared and his friends threw at her until one day she just decided to finally push back! And regardless of all the humiliation and “hate” being thrown at her, she could never bring herself to hate him back. She may have tried to bury her feelings for Jared, but they remained intact and strong, but hidden because of his ruthless behavior.. She loved him. She’d always loved him. And once you love someone, they’ll always be in your heart.

Like I said earlier, the chemistry is off the charts with these two! There’s so much push and pull throughout the story too. They are constantly dealing with their feelings of anger, disappointment, love and lust, which makes for some crazy hot sexual tension. No really, RAWR!

“His mouth was so hot, and I couldn’t help but wonder how good the rest of him would feel, too.

“I’ve wanted you for so long,” he whispered, his breath on my lips was like a drug drawing me in. “All the times I’d see you next door.. it drove me crazy..”

Jared is one swoon-worthy dude too. He’s reckless and relentless with tattoos and a beautiful body I’m seriously drooling as I type.. His past is painful and he acts out trying to ease that pain. His character is mysteriously complex and complicated with many layers and it’s likely that you’ll hate him then love him then hate him again then love him even more. Tatum and Jared are perfect compliments to each other but I will admit that it does take a good part of the story to understand why. There’s some unforeseen twists and turns that pushes their relationship to it’s limits and the way Tatum and Jared uncover their past and grow because of it is unique and totally captivating. I know people will question how could Jared have hurt Tatum as much as he did if he loved her so much.. but, if you really think about it, you only hurt the ones you love and the only way to “hate” someone is to have loved them first..

“I want to touch you. I want to feel what’s mine. What’s always been mine.”
“Are you mine?” I asked as I wiped my tears.
He kissed the corners of my mouth softly, and I felt heat rise up my neck. “Always have been,”
he whispered against my mouth.”

Would I rec?

Absolutely! I loved the progression in this book and the way the characters grew and developed right before our eyes. The story dealt with some sensitive and realistic points but for me, it was easy to handle because the writing was so structured and well done. This is the first book I’ve read that’s been focused about bullying and the effects it has on people and while I typically would of been hesitant to read it because of my own past, I found myself completely immersed in this story and fascinated by the strength of these two awesome characters. Well done, Penelope Douglas. Well done! I can’t wait for book 2!

Happy Reading!


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