Bully [Fall Away, #1] by Penelope Douglas
New Adult, Romance
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Once inseparable, Jared and Tate were the best of friends since they were children. Jared helped Tate cope with the loss of her mother and Tate helped Jared during those rough divorce days. Years go by and there’s nothing they couldn’t face without each other’s help. When Jared came back from freshman year summer break, things took a turn for the worst. What came back was a cruel Jared that Tate didn’t know existed. Time passed and the cruelty didn’t stop. She was demeaned, humiliated, gossiped until school became an unbearable hell.
When Tate left for France for her junior year as an exchange student, she couldn’t have been more relieved. She’d hoped that the year off from being around Jared would help him get over whatever animosity he feels towards her.
But fast forward to a year later and not much has changed. He still hates her – couldn’t stand to be in the same vicinity. Tate, however, has had enough. This time, she swears she’ll fight back. She refused to be Jared’s punching bag. One way or another, she will force him to tell her exactly what she did to make him hate her so much.
This book was indirectly recommended to me by Alexa of Collections. I follow her blog and have mentioned before how much trust I put in her reading choices. She posted a cover reveal for the companion and was completely sold by the synopsis alone. Well, she didn’t disappoint. This book didn’t disappoint.
To be honest, I was a little worried about how the story would go. I am not a fan of the title and had some anxiety with how far the bullying would go. Going into it I just knew that Jared would rile me up. Well, he did – one way or another.
By the second half of the book, frustration set in. I was ready for the big confrontation; I was ready for Tate to find out what made Jared turn on her. I was also frustrated with the palpable tension between them. I mean, let’s face it: anyone could probably guess one of the reasons Jared was antagonistic was because he was jonesing for Tate and really, Tate was the same way. I expected an explosion of epic proportion. And when it finally happened, I thought the fireworks was a bit of dud. The reason was a little juvenile, but was to be expected considering how young he was at the time. He continued to antagonize Tate just because it had become a part of his routine. At a certain point, he’d reached the point of no return; there was no turning back.
This book is everything you would expect from a New Adult read: sensitive issues, language, alcohol use and of course, sex. Surprisingly enjoyable despite all the negativity the title alludes to and would make you want to read the companion, stat. I know I want it.