Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bully by Penelope Douglas

Bully (Fall Away, #1)

Bully by Penelope Douglas

First in the Fall Away series

3.5 stars

Tate and Jared used to be best friends. They were inseparable, but now Jared hates Tate. She isn’t sure what she did or why he suddenly hates her. He’s spread rumors and made Tate isolated from her peers, but now Tate is going away to France and when she comes back she’s a completely new person. Tate will not let Jared belittle or hurt her anymore even if it means hurting him back. I don’t know why I picked up Bully when I did. To be honest, I downloaded it as a Kindle freebie and didn’t plan on reading it any time soon. Then reviews started popping up on my GR feed. I mean a lot of reviews and they were all pretty good ones. They didn’t all have glowing reviews, but they all seemed to find Bully enjoyable. I impulsively picked this up after I logged off GR and found myself halfway over 50% at 1 in the morning. This book kept me up and while it is pretty ordinary in plot and it’s obvious what will happen next, I didn’t want to put Bully down at all. Douglas has a way of writing that, even when predictable, is totally entrancing and un-put-down-able. Bully is by no means amazing, but chances are you’ll find yourself enjoying the book. I had a few problems with it here and there, but they didn’t bother me enough to make the book less enjoyable. I need to address this because it bugged the crap out of me while reading and still bothers me even thought I read this book back in June. Why is this book categorized as New Adult? What’s so NA about it? Yeah, there’s sex, but Tate and Jared are in high school the whole entire time. NA is only NA if it’s in college years. There’s no point in putting a label on a book that isn’t NA. As far as I’m concerned this is YA because the characters are, like me, in high school. Just because there’s a sex scene shouldn’t make this book NA. The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend has sex scenes, but it’s still considered YA. Why can’t Bully just be considered mature YA? This just really bothers me and it makes me want to scream because I just don’t get this whole genre thing. Anyway, back to the book.

The main female character is Tate. Tate is pretty stereotypical for heroines in contemporaries now days. I’ve been coming across a lot of heroines that are:
A) Into cars
B) Fixing cars
C) Working or doing something that guys enjoy doing
Is this a new trend? I don’t like it. What’s wrong with a character wanting to do their nails or read a book? Why does Tate have to love cars and racing? It just seems like another cliché. Tate isn’t a bad character, but she isn’t exactly always likable. Tate has backbone though. One of my favorite things about Bully was when Tate’s friend said that she was becoming the bully that Jared was to her. After this comment, I started realize how right her friend was. Tate was becoming meaner and meaner as the story progressed and it was getting to the point where I started hating her. I’m not sure when, maybe after the class scene with Jared, but I started to like Tate again. By all means, Tate’s redemption felt a little rushed, but it was still believable.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 8

The main male character is Jared. Jared is a huge douche canoe. When we are first introduced to him I thought he was a jerk and he just kept getting worse and worse as the story went on. Still, I couldn’t help but want him to change and end up with Tate. I honestly just don’t get why Jared was mean to Tate in the first place, if anything he needed her. I don’t get why he decided to be captain of the dick team and ruin her life when he needed her. Yea, it’s explained and I kind of get his reasoning, but his reasoning is stupid and I wanted to slap him in the face and coddle him at the same time when we heard the whole story.

Jared does have some swoon worthiness in him. In all honesty, I don’t really like Jared, but at the same time I love him. This confuses me on my feelings. I don’t like this. Jared needs to either be swoon worthy or punch worthy and he is both, which frustrates me completely.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 7.5 (I’m so conflicted!)

The Villain- High school drama… high school drama everywhere!

Villain Scale: 5

Does anyone remember Tate’s friend’s name? I can’t. I’m trying to remember but I just didn’t like her friend at all. Was it Kayla? I think it was probably that, but I’m just going to call her Fake-Idiot-Friend (FIF). FIF makes me want to scream. She is literally one of the worst friends I’ve ever come across and if I was Tate I would’ve dropped her like a sack of potatoes. She was just so stupid and such an idiot. FIF just needs to leave the premises. I don’t like FIF and will never like her. Just because Tate forgave her for her idiotness doesn’t mean I will. What was Jared’s friend’s name? Nate? Eh, he’s irrelevant. The only time I saw any value to him was every time Tate would hurt some part of his body, which happened quite a bit.

Character Scale: 7

Bully is definitely a fun read. It’s addictive, heartbreaking, shocking, and just totally hot. It may not be the best book out there and some things will frustrate some people, but it is definitely worth reading!

Cover Thoughts: Courtesy of my first status update because it explains my thoughts on it. "Why do so many New Adult books have this cover? It's called originality people. Embrace it." I still stand by this claim because I’m still seeing this generic ass cover pop up on other books. 

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