on Bully (Fall Away #1) by Penelope Douglas.

Hello again.

One of the recent factors that convinced me to start a blog was Goodreads. Since I was young, I have loved reading. However, in the past two years I stopped reading books and instead watch movies and TV shows. Excessively. Goodreads showed me how many great books there are for me to read instead of just fanfiction (I will definitely address this again). And I explored the world of new-adult genre. I’ve read around twenty new-adult books in the past few weeks so I decided to start with them until the end of the holidays when new episodes of TV shows are coming out!

Anyway, my first book to review is Bully (Fall Away #1) by Penelope Douglas.

So how did I come across this book? Because of my lacking romantic life I decided to get lost in a love story (pathetic, I know). I googled “love-hate relationship books” and this one was quite high on the Goodreads list. The rating were quite high as well, however the top review was only for 1* which made me a bit sceptical. Now moving on to the actual reading.

Synopsis:

bully

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.

(*may contain spoilers*)

I read it in one night. It’s not surprising though, I usually get caught up in a book very easily, if the storyline is somewhat compelling. In the beginning of the book when we meet Tate, I was excited for the rest of the book. When Tate comes back from France, I found myself liking her more but I get a bit annoyed by the fact that she doesn’t get that people find her attractive. This is a problem I have with a lot of books because the girls do own a mirror and know that they are not ugly looking. Her best friend K.C. also wasn’t my cup of tea, I disliked her for the whole Jared thing. I would feel different if this was real life but as the best friend of the main character? I do not approve. HA.

Jared and Tate scenes were all very descriptive, especially the sexual tension between them (it’s a new-adult genre) which was very exciting and I did find myself rooting for them. Although the problem that I had with the storyline was that Jared “suddenly” realised that what he was doing to Tate was wrong after her monologue, which I did not find strong enough to change or get through to Jared. After that, I would have actually liked more of the building towards their first kiss because I felt it was a bit abrupt. While reading the book we do understand that Tate does not actually hate Jared despite the horrible things he had done to her but I was a bit disappointed that she kissed him back straight away. He did eventually have to work for it but for me it still did not compensate enough for the bullying he had done. Saying that, I must admit that while reading I developed a soft spot for Jared Trent. The storyline was not unpredictable (some twists were there though) but overall I enjoyed the book very much. I know that a lot of people who did not give this book a high rating had some issues with “slut-shaming” and a super hot “tortured-bad-boy” which I totally understand. “Slut-shaming” is something that I don’t like and I wish writers would avoid it but it seems like a necessity in this type of story where a villain is needed. The “tortured-bad-boy” is a cliché but it’s something I did intentionally look for and I liked Jared despite being a total douche. Yes, it’s not very realistic to fall in love with someone who bullied you for years but it’s a fictional story. Story that I found compelling, entertaining and while reading it, I did care not only for the main characters (Madoc, Jared’s BFF brought great comical relief!).

A lot of people find new-adult genre as trash that is not well written. Bully is not going to be a classic that will be put in English lit syllabus but I think it’s one of the better stories in the new-adult genre (believe me, there are some that I absolutely hated and I’m going to write about them some other time). Overall, Bully left me first with mixed feelings but I ultimately decided that I enjoyed it and could close my eyes to some issues I had with the book. Bully’s storyline is from Tate’s point of view and after finishing the book I wanted to read it from Jared’s POV, which is the second book of the series – Until You (Fall Away #1.5), so I think that the book delivered and met my expectations.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Thanks for reading,

Know-it-all

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