Review: Bully by Penelope Douglas

(Fall Away, #1)
By: Penelope Douglas
Publisher: Penguin Intermix
Published: Feb. 18, 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance


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.



1thoughtsTate and Jared used to be best friends. They were attached at the hip since they were little kids but one summer Jared went to spend the summer break with his absentee father and came back changed. He was for all intents and purposes a bully to Tate. He was cold to her, spread rumors about her, and did things that would ultimately make her cry. Tate has no idea what brought about the change. All she knows is she misses the friend she used to have but she’s done putting up with his bullying.

“You were my tempest, my thunder cloud, my tree in the downpour. I loved all those things, and I loved you. But now? You’re a fucking drought. I thought that all the assholes drove German cars, but it turns out that pricks in Mustangs can still leave scars.”

I’m on the fence with this book. On one hand I devoured it. I wanted to know what Jared would do next and how he would react to the new Tate who wasn’t going to be pushed around anymore. While I knew why Jared randomly snapped (it was really no shocker) I was interested to see what that had to do with Tate. In the end, I was still not sold on his reasoning behind it all. However, with that being said, I was drawn to him. He was cringe-worthy at the beginning of the story but he slowly wormed his way in and I found myself wishing he had his own POV. I need to know what was going on inside his head. So, I’m glad that he actually does has his own POV in the next book. Because let’s be real here, harassing the girl you love because of something that happened to you over the summer really doesn’t add up. Especially when you say that you didn’t know that your making her cry was really affecting her. Really, dude?

Tate was an interesting character to read from. She has been bullied by this guy for so long that just the thought of him twists her insides. She usually tries to go out of her way to not be around him and has basically shut herself away from everyone else leading up to this book. She stops attending school functions, she doesn’t go out on the weekends, she pretty much just stays home and away from everyone from school. However, when she decides to take no more of his crap, she does a 180 from how she was reacting to him and instead of being on the defense, she goes on the offense. Seeing her try to take back control of the situation she was in was an interesting thing. Something that I can relate to since I, too, was bullied in high school and on my senior year decided that I wouldn’t take it any more. While I didn’t go cutting my bully’s power to their house or anything extreme, I definitely started my first day of senior year much like Tate’s. When my attacker started their harassment, instead of looking down at my feet and running the other way, I looked them in the eye and pretty much conveyed that I was done playing their game. The fact that Tate goes on the offensive and sort of has moments of “this chick is off her rocker” was of no surprise to me. I mean, if you are pushed and bullied for an extended period of time, two things are going to happen. You are going to snap and it will be of the self-destruct variety, or you are going to snap and start fighting back for yourself. Tate snapped and started attacking her attacker. An attacker that used to be her best friend. Someone she loved and trusted. I’m not really shocked at some of the things she did.

There is a lot that goes on in this book that I was not surprised by. It kind of follows the same formula as far as new adult books go. However, I really enjoyed it and cannot wait to get inside Jared’s head to figure out how he didn’t realize he was bullying Tate for all those years when all he meant to do was push her away. I really need to know what was going on there. So, it stands without reason that I will most definitely be following up with the next book. I just hope it doesn’t fall under the “dnf” that so many companion novels I read fall under. I’ll be crossing my fingers and hoping that it’s both an entertaining read and not a complete retelling of this book.


1favequote“You’ve already made me cry countless times.” I raised my middle finger to him slowly, and asked, “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 ever get.”


6 Thoughts on “Review: Bully by Penelope Douglas

  1. Hmmm interesting, I bet he can’t bully her anymore after this, I’m sure she got him wrapped around her fingers

  2. Hmm I have one of her other recent books that was sent for review and I didn’t get to in time. It’s on my list for next month to try and get to. You have me curious about her πŸ˜€

  3. Hmm, not sure if this is for me, I hate bullying, but I am happy you liked it.

  4. Color me intrigued! I’d think being in the bully’s POV would help the book, but glad you enjoyed!!

  5. I really liked this one too, Kristin, although I felt the same way you do about certain elements. I’ve yet to read book #2 but I’m eager for Jake’s POV. I do think my favorite thing about Bully was watching Tate stand up for herself…that was some awesome. πŸ˜€ Great review and I look forward to seeing your thoughts on book 2.

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