Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bully by Penelope Douglas

** 4 out of 5 Stars **


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.

First let me get on my soap box for a minute...

It's not ok to bully people.  I don't care the reason, it's never ok!  My son was bullied by a much older child last year at school and after many conversations and trips to school we finally got the issue addressed.  No child should be made to feel that way, no matter the age.

Ok so I like this book.  It wasn't my favorite but I still enjoyed it.  I thought it a little on the long side and I didn't quite understand his reasoning but it worked itself out.  I didn't like the heroine in the beginning.  I'm not one to let someone push me around.  I have a mouth on me and I tend to fight back when someone is unkind to me.  That's just my personality so I had a hard time understand her.  Once she returned from Europe I found her hilarious.  I didn't like the way Jared treated her at all but I could also see through him and I knew he cared about her.  It was really hard not to love him.  

Tate has suffered at the hands of her former best friend all through high school.  She's scared of him and what he can do to her...until she comes back from France.  She's beautiful, 5'7, long blondish hair, blue eyes and a tan.  She's a runner.  When she comes back home she has a lot of fight in her.  She has no intention of putting up with his crap anymore.  She's strong, impulsive, and a fighter...with a temper.

Jared is georgeous.  He's got brown hair, olive skin, a toned body, and a stunning smile.  He's a ladies man and doesn't date.  He's also cruel and hateful...a bully.  He isn't a nice guy to anyone but he's really out to get Tate.  They were best friends up until the summer before high school.  He has tattoos, a lantern and script on his side that says, "Yesterday lasts forever.  Tomorrow comes never."

Tate has been gone for year.  Gone from her life at home and her tormenter.  Once she returns to school she has no intentions of letting him get away with the things that Jared has gotten away with for so long.  She marches over to his house one night because of a party.  We find out that she's off limits to his friends (which was weird seeing as how he hated her) and we learn that she ain't playing anymore.  She screams cops and the people scatter."  She was always so timid about him and his best friend Madoc.  Poor Madoc ends up with a knee to a sensitive area but now he has a little respect for her.  

The next confrontation comes in the girls lockeroom and it's game on after that except Jared doesn't really do anything to her.  You can tell even this early on in the book that something is off with him about her.  He will defend her when someone says ugly stuff to her.  

There is another incident at another of his partys (they live next door to each other)  involving bolt cutters and a fuse box.  He's so angry afterwards.  He says some very ugly things to her.  Other things like this happen throughout the book.  He's constantly messing with her but she's constantly giving him back as much as he gives.  The entire time I read I just kept thinking, "There's a thin line between love and hate."  For someone who hates her so much he sure does get angry when his buddy wants to date her.  He tells him to stay away from her or else.  Madoc agrees but he's not stupid and he knows there is something under the surface between them.  She dates a guy named Ben that Jared can't stand.  We find out that the reason she's never had a boyfriend in high school is because Jared runs them all off.

The lowest point of the book for me is when he starts messing around with her best friend.  Her friend lies to her about hanging out with him and she catches them kissing in the hall.  He's doing it simply to make her mad and mess with her head.  The problem she has is that she's mad at her best friend and not at him when it should be the other way around.   

Things for them don't get better for awhile.  At one point he tells her he doesn't care if she lives or dies.  It's at that point she realizes that she has no fight left in her.  She tired and she just wants to let him go.  She just wants her freedom and she doesn't want to care about him anymore.  She stand in class one day and tells everyone a monologue and it rocks!  I wanted to stand up and shout for her.  She talks about thunderstorms calm her and ground her and how he was her thunderstorm.  She talked about how he was her rain and about how she was about him and how she loved him when they were younger.  She talked about how she felt after her mom died and how he brought life into her again.  Then she talked about what they had become and how he had spent the last few years hurting her.  She says that she knows now that none of it was her fault and she calls him a coward.  Then she calls him a drought.  

"You're a f***ing drought.  I thought that all the a**holes drove German cars, but it turns out that pricks in Mustangs can still leave scars.”

It was powerful and it devastated him.  He realized what he'd done to her.  He wanted to hate her but he never wanted to hurt her, not really.  She's free of him.  Later that night at her house she ends up walking to his and finds it destroyed and he's been drinking.  He tells her what her speech did to him.  She tries to get the bottle from him but he's beyond control.  

“I feel nothing. You are nothing to me.” 
He flinched. “Don’t say that.”

Instead of storming out or running they end up in a heated kiss that rocks them both.  She's still dating Ben and when he won't take her home from a bonfire one night she gets into a situation with another guy.  He pretty much is going to rape her but she gets the upper hand on him.  Even though she's got the situation under control Jared still beats the guy within an inch of his life.  

On the ride home we learn the truth.  After they get into a pretty funny fight where she's throwing his keys one by one into the bushes he tells her the reason behind why he did the things he did.  He was jealous   He wanted to hate her but he couldn't and he couldn't let her be with any of the other guys either so he ran them off by starting rumors about her.  He did those things because she was there and he couldn't hate the one he wanted too.  It's not an excuse and she doesn't really forgive him but they will be on speaking terms after this. 

“When I came back, I wasn't the same kid. Not even close. I wanted to hate everybody. But with you, I still needed you in a way. I needed you to not forget me.”

Following all that there is a homecoming invitation from Madoc that results in a black eye from Jared.  A friendship trying to bloom and the overcoming of a past being attempted between them, another panty dropping kiss that almost gets out of hand in the science lab, a Nancy Drew investigation that turns into some seriously hot and heavy action on his bed, a race and a chick fight where she pretty much drags a girl by the hair of her head and stakes a claim on him.  They are forming a new relationship and going public with it.  After another fight we find out what happened to him the summer before high school.

He was beaten by his father and so was his brother.  He wanted to spend the summer with Tate but he had to go.  He tells Tate that he loved her back then and when he came home after all of that had happened he went to see her but she wasn't home.  She was the first person he needed to see and when he found her she was with her family in the park and it hurt him because he didn't have that and he lashed out.  He tells her all this after he lights up their tree outside their bedroom windows with a thousand white lights.  She forgives him and he tells her he loves her and it's always been her for him.  They finally make love for the first time and it's perfect.  They spend all their free time together after that.  He sleeps in her bed every night and they are together officially from that point on...until the sex tape comes out.

I gotta say I loved how she handled this.  They slept together at a party and someone taped it.  She gets the video on her phone during a class at school and its' sent from Jared's phone.  She thinks he's betrayed her.  She thinks that everything they've shared over the past few weeks has been a lie just to hurt her again.  When he gets to her, he gets the surprise of a lifetime.  She's taking a crowbar to his precious car.  She's smashed the windows and messed up the paint job.  She isn't listening to him and she drives away.  He chases her to the cemetery that her parents are buried in and they fight.  He explains that he hasn't had his phone in two days and that he's told her that, only then does she remember.

“I love you more than myself, more than my own family, for sake. I don’t want to take another step in this world without you next to me,”

In the end we find out that it was the guy who tried to rape her and the scorned ex lover of his that did it all.  He isn't even mad that she smashed his car.  He's just relieved that she realizes it wasn't him.  He loves her and he tells her that one day he'll prove she can trust him again.

I loved Tate.  She was awesome when she decided she was gonna fight back.  The thing with the car was just funny.  Something I would have totally done!  It's a good book.  I give it 4 stars because it was a little too YA for me but I knew that going in.  I also love that you can love Jared while hating him too.  Read this one, you won't be disappointed.

My Jared/Tate


Favorite Quotes:

“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.” 

Yesterday lasts forever. Tomorrow comes never. Until you.