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I Belong

Review: Bully by Penelope Douglas

BullyTitle: Bully

Author: Penelope Douglas

Genre: NA Contemporary Romance

Series: Fall Away (Book #1)

Publication Date: February 18, 2014

Format: Ebook, 333 Pages

ISBN 10: 0451477103 (Intermix/Penguin)

ISBN 13: 978-0451477101 (Intermix/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Bridget


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. No, he’ll barely even speak to me.

But he still won’t leave me alone.

We were best friends once. Then he turned on me and made it his mission to ruin my life. 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 stay out of his way. I even went to France for a year, just to avoid him.

But I’m done hiding from him now, and there’s no way in hell I’ll allow him to ruin my senior year. He might not have changed, but I have. It’s time to fight back.

I’m not going to let him bully me anymore.

Quick & Dirty: Steamy romance that instantly hooked me. But after thinking back about the story I started to have second thoughts on how much I liked the book!

Opening Sentence: “No! Turn here,” K.C. shrieked in my right ear.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Tate is getting ready to start her senior year of high school. To say that high school has been a living hell is an understatement and the reason why is Jared Trent. Years ago they were best friends and they did everything together. But the summer before their freshmen year Jared left to live with his dad and when he came back he wasn’t the same. The boy Tate had grown up with was gone, and in his place was a mean spirited person that did everything in his power to make Tate miserable. It got so bad that she actually moved to France for a year aboard to get away.

Now that she is back, Tate is determined to not let Jared ruin her last year of high school. She will no longer sit back and take his crap anymore, if he wants a fight he’s going to get one. What Tate doesn’t expect is the way Jared reacts to her new feisty personality. Jared was always gorgeous, and Tate hates that she finds him attractive. As things start to heat up between them, Tate finds herself falling for the boy that has single-handedly ruined the last few years of her life.

I liked Tate, but I didn’t love her. Let’s start with the things I did like. She is a sweet, intelligent girl that has had a rough time in high school. Getting bullied by one of your ex-best friends would be really hard and I felt like she dealt with it maturely. I loved the fire in her personality, and she had some really great moments in the story. But there were also some things that really bothered me. I just felt like she was playing with fire when it came to Jared. I understand forgiving him, but completely trusting someone that has proven time and time again how cruel they can be is just plain stupid. It was hard to wrap my mind around the whole concept, but I will admit that their chemistry was explosive. While I was reading the story the way Jared treated Tate didn’t bother me so bad but after finishing the book and thinking back about it, I started to not like it as much. Jared’s behavior was unacceptable, and there would be no way I would ever date someone that treated me that way no matter how crazy our connection was. Because of this, I felt a disconnect with Tate and it made me not like her character as much. But at the same time there were things I really loved about her as well.

With Jared, I don’t even know where to begin. I had a love/hate relationship with Jared. I didn’t like that he got away with treating people like dirt, but there was something about him that I found really attractive. His broody, don’t-care attitude was intriguing and of course the fact that he is drop dead gorgeous also helps. There were moments when I would see glimpses of this amazing guy that I couldn’t help falling for, but then he would show his nasty side and it was a pretty big turn off for me. In the end, I think he was written really well, but I wish I wasn’t so torn about him.

Bully was a very interesting read for me. While I was reading I really enjoyed the story, but now when I think back on it I actually am having second thoughts on how much I liked it. My reasoning for this is the way the whole bullying concept was presented. I get that there are bullies, but I feel like Jared didn’t have to pay for how horrible he treated Tate. It’s almost like he got away with being a jerk to her for years all because he was angry at something that had nothing to do with her. He took out all his frustrations on Tate, and I felt like she forgave him way too easily. I get that in real life people get away with stuff like this all the time, but the more I thought about it the more it left a sour taste in my mouth. But with that being said, I was really engrossed in this book while I was reading it, so I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it. The characters were developed really well, and the romance was very sexy! This is my first book of Douglas’, and I found her writing to be exceptional. I definitely plan to read more of her work. I actually have the next book in this series and I am curious to see where she goes with the story next. Overall, I would actually highly recommend this to all new adult romance fans. While there were some things I was torn about, I still think it was worth the read!

Notable Scene:

He jerked me again. “You wanted to hurt me? Did you get off on it? It felt good, didn’t it?”

Was he talking about me or him?

I tried to keep my face even, but my body tingled everywhere. His scent was all around me as he leaned in. Our bodies were melting together, our lips were so close. When I felt him harden between my legs, I squeezed my eyes shut, too afraid of why I wasn’t struggling anymore.

Taking a deep breath, I opened my eyes and stared boldly at him, my pulse throbbing in my ears.

He’s nothing to me. Nothing.

“No, I didn’t get off on it,” I answered calmly. “I feel nothing. You are nothing to me.”

He flinched.

“Don’t say that.”

The heat from his mouth wafted around me as I leaned in. “Nothing,” I repeated, barely a whisper. “Now, get off__”

His mouth crashed down on mine, drowning out my protest.

Fall Away Series:

1. Bully

1.5 Until You

2. Rival

3. Falling Away 

4. Aflame


FTC Advisory: I purchased my own copy of Bully.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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