Monday, January 6, 2014


By: Penelope Douglas
Published By: Penelope Douglas
Released: Available Now
Details: Paperback, 


Blurb: Goodreads

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.

Song Penelope listened to while writing Bully

BOOK REVIEW by Michelle:

I had recently bought a copy of Bully on Kindle, but then, I won a signed copy from the author.

Excited. Much.

This book gets so many wonderful reviews on Goodreads. It has sold a lot of copies. Five stars are being slapped down left right and centre. 

83% to-date on Goodreads have given 4 stars and above for Bully. And that was from 18,031 recorded ratings on the book. That is just Goodreads alone. Nearly half of those were 5 stars.

I love seeing such reader enthusiasm for a self published author.

It speaks volumes and I get excited for the author who can pull those numbers.

I really enjoyed Bully. It is a read that has you asking yourself what is this thing that was so instrumental in changing how Jared thought of his best friend Tatum.

You can't help ask yourself this question early into the book when you can see Jared being such a bully.

Up until the age of fourteen , Tatum and Jared were besties. They are neighbours. They were what best friends are made of.

Suddenly and without warning, Jared becomes Tate’s bully.

Three years of being a real pig to her. He uses others to bully her too. The more impact, the better. He is relentless.

At what would seem the click of his fingers, he can get the school to treat her like a leper.

The title Bully is very apt.

Jared. Is. A. Bully.

Jared is mean, snarly, sets up scenes that will bring Tatum down in front of others.

Tatum is a smart girl. She knows to be careful, assume the worst is going to come if she is in the same visual zone as Jared or Madoc , his mate. Madoc is one of Jared’s minions and he plays the part well.

What I had trouble with was... did Madoc even know what Jared’s problem with Tatum was? Did he just become Jared’s puppet without question—bro' code and all that?

Tatum decides to go spend a year in France and come back a better, stronger version of herself.

Go Tatum!

Time to fight back.

Now, I am going to be honest and say, I could not for the life of me understand why Tatum waited three years to put on her big girl panties and roll her sleeves up and fight back. Jared was her bestie. She loved him. 

I understand that the story is driven by the bullying... hence the title, but when I found out the reason for Jared turning his back on Tatum and the pain he inflicted emotionally on her for so long... and let his minions do it too—well, dang boy!

It was very , very extreme his behavior, to say the least.

When a best friend is going through shiz, isn’t it up to the friend to try to find out what is wrong?

Tatum didn’t tell her father, didn’t pull a Nancy Drew and try to find out why her friend became so evil and hurtful towards her and she didn’t lash out at Jared.

She knew him well, but she didn’t think of the timing?

She accepted three years of confusing bullying. Three years of being crushed. Three long years of hell.

If I had been given something really impacting on their relationship that was visible to the eye, then I could go with that. I understand there is a lead up to it, which adds to the pages turning, but ...

He was using girls for sex and Tatum could see what was going on.

What was missing from this story for me, I think was Jared’s pov. What was going through that lads head with the emotional turmoil he was inflicting on someone he once called friend.

I felt like I was getting half the story in Bully. I got to hear Tatum and see her hurt, her confusion, her sadness.


Now I get to read , Until You # 1.5 which is from Jared’s pov and I will get to listen to him and find out what was hurting him so much that he turned on his friend and shut out someone he once cared for.

I of course found out in Bully, but I didn’t understand how deeply he was hurting from Bully. I saw his reactions, his hurtful actions, his verbal abuse, his game playing, his mental challenges.

Jared is a Grade A bully.

I got to say it must have been exhausting behaving the way he did. He was trying to hold so many puppet strings. Keep guys away from Tatum, yet play with Tatum like she was an unloved toy and break parts of her off, emotionally.

I felt Tatum was too forgiving, too quick, especially with Madoc who she didn’t really have a past with, like she did with Jared.

The confusing thing for me was I actually liked Madoc in the end.


When he wasn’t being a minion, he was funny. He was likable.

But then I can’t help thinking how disappointing it was to watch someone like Madoc be a minion. Jared really was quite a commanding leader at his school.

He has power and quite a lot. He snaps his fingers and people do as he says. You really don't want to make an enemy of Jared.

I am looking forward to reading Jared’s book because I feel like a jigsaw puzzle piece to his life and reasons for his attitude were missing from Bully. I want to understand where all this hate came from. I want to hear him be sorry. I don’t really feel like I got a deep apology for Tatum from Jared in Bully. I wanted him to do something really big that showed everybody that he was the ass, not Tatum all this time.

I understand he had a family life that came with its own drama and he has his own battle scars he must live with. Tatum was his emotional punching bag.

When Tatum fought back in the classroom with an emotional weapon, her memories, I got a glimpse of Jared I wanted to know more about.

When Jared let me peek through a window of that solid wall he had built, he was mesmerizing.

I wanted inside his head.

I wanted to understand his behavior.

It was hard not to predict where the story was going to wind up.


What I didn’t see coming was—how.


That was pretty darn rough for Tatum to go through. I really liked that twist, even though it was god awful to have that done to you.

My rating doesn't really mean shiz because this book is going viral through the reading world and I am just a little opinion along the way.

I do highly recommend reading it. It is your starting point to then read Until You.

I think Until You is going to blow my mind with Jared’s thoughts and I'll probably want to hug him and break out the tissues.

The one thing I have learnt from being a mum of three kids, of which two are teenage boys is that they hold onto a lot. I can actually see an inner war going on with one of them. I do understand that some guys find it hard to express their inner turmoil and it comes out on the people they do actually love.

***This novel contains graphic sexual content and harsh language. It is only appropriate for adult readers age 18+.

Have you ever been so angry that hitting things felt good? Or so numb that you actually felt high? The past few years have been like that for me. Traveling between fury and indifference with no stops in between.

Some people hate me for it, while others are scared of me. But none of them can hurt me, because I don't care about anything or anyone.

Except Tatum.

I love her so much that I hate her. We used to be friends, but I found out that I couldn't trust her or anyone else.

So I hurt her. I pushed her away.

But I still need her. The sight of her centers me, and I can pool all of my anger into her. Engaging her, challenging her, bullying her...they are my food, my air, and the last part of me that feels anything human.

But she left. She went to France for a year, and came back a different girl.

Now, when I push, she pushes back.

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