By Penelope Douglas
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 am not sure how I feel about this book. I have to be honest, I truly enjoyed reading it, it evoked so many different emotions from me I couldn’t put it down. However I feel like I should not have found it as enjoyable as I did simply for the fact that the love story in this book is essentially between a bully and his victim.
This isn’t just a matter of miscommunication and misunderstandings between the two characters. This isn’t the story of boy who simply teases a girl and then they fall in love. This is the story of a guy who comes home from spending the summer with his estranged father a completely different person. His best friend, the girl next door has no clue why he now hates her. They no longer spend time together or talk and if they do it’s him being a jerk to her. Rumors are started at school, boys treat her like trash and most of the girls whisper behind her back. She is the victim of pranks and public ridicule and has hardly any friends.
What makes it even worse is the fact that not only is he tormenting her but also his best friend Madoc, who doesn’t even know why he does it. There are many times that Madoc goes above and beyond simple teasing and pranks and skirts into sexual harassment. The upside of it is when Madoc does cross that line she seems to grow a backbone and makes it clear it’s not acceptable (between a broken nose and a good swift kick to his manhood) she at least is not a complete pushover.
Tate finally standing up for herself makes her feel as if she is turning into a bully herself, I am sorry but I totally disagreed with her. I was glad she stood up for herself, even when it got a little physical because frankly it needed to be done. People needed to see she was not some weak, pitiful, lesser individual. I actually thought there were times when she should have been even tougher and not backed down.
As for finding out the reasons behind the bullying I am not sure that it was enough to justify or excuse it in my book. I couldn’t really understand where Jared was coming from in that regard but it didn’t necessarily take away from the book. I still found myself completely immersed in it and I am definitely anxious to read the next one and see it from Jared’s POV. I think it will give me a better idea of why Jared chose to Bully Tate in the way he did. After reading the first chapter on the authors Goodreads page I am anxious for the next book.
To find out more about author Penelope Douglas check out her Facebook page here.
To purchase a copy of Bully at: ➸ Amazon