Book Review: Bully by Penelope Douglas

“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.”


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.

At the beginning of the book, I wasn’t sure about how I felt about Tate and her bully, Jared. It didn’t sit well with me that a bully could end up with sweet Tate. Usually stories about bullies and bad boys were cute, but Jared’s bullying was far from cute. It was downright cruel. However, as the story progressed, bits of Jared’s emotions and motives showed, but never enough to actually understand what was happening in his mind. We were just as confused as innocent Tate.

In the end though, the reasons why Jared did what he did were revealed. I like how it wasn’t an obvious or logical reason because that’s how life is. Sometimes people do things not because you did something to them but because they’re mad about something else. This is usually what bullies go through. Bullies are usually the ones that need love the most.

“Because you were there. Because I couldn’t hurt who I wanted to hurt, so I hurt you.”

The book deals with very real emotions that happens in the real world. It shows what certain situations can do to people and how different people react to different situations.

“This is how bullies are made.”
“Acting like you don’t care is not letting it go.”

I’m still not sure how I feel about the ending. I do like how Tate didn’t give in and forgive him so easily. I’m all for forgiveness and second chances, but I feel as if it cultivates violence as an expression of love. It teaches that when boys (or girls) are mean to you, they actually like you and so girls (or boys) feel like it’s their job to change someone and they take on these “projects” to turn bad boys  into good boys. Girls (and boys) should know that it’s not their job to change someone and that they shouldn’t put themselves through the torture of someone ignoring them and playing with them just to change them. Sometimes it’s not worth it, so you have to check and see if someone is worth it. If they’re changing you into someone you don’t like, then they’re definitely not worth it. Do all you can do then let them go, after all, if it’s true love, it will conquer all.

“But it’s easy to say you’ve tried and then just walk away. It’s easy to say that you can’t force help on someone that doesn’t want help and then walk away. … Sometimes it’s the best medicine to be vulnerable, to let it all out and let him see how he’s hurt you. Then you can say that you’ve tried.”

I’m looking forward to reading Until You though, because it’s the story said in Jared’s point of view, and I feel like if I see it through his eyes, I’ll be more forgiving and understanding.

What I can say for sure is, the book has some very hot and steamy scenes that will send tingles all over.

P.S. I’d like to thank my friend Shayne for recommending this book and reigniting my love for books.


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