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Blurb: 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.
Ok – This book was strange for me. When I think of Bullying? I’m thinking very cruel things – kids being mentally tortured throughout school etc… and it’s something I am all too familiar with. So, from my personal experience I take the term very seriously.
The book’s title – although Jared does bully Tate there’s an underlining issue going along with it. He does seem to relish in torturing her with his friends. Making sure no one asks her out, or spreading rumors about her at school. I just didn’t really feel the true bullying going on. And Tate? She seems so much more together than someone whose a victim of this stuff. Sure, she lost her mom at a young age – and her dad works all over the world. She’s alone a lot of the time, and an easy target because if it. But she really seems to have a good head on her shoulders and I kept wondering why she’s allowing Jared and Madoc get away with all their crap. I wanted her to stand up for herself like she did in her head whenever something happened. OPEN YOUR MOUTH! She kicked Madoc in the balls and broke his nose – so obviously, she hasn’t had a problem standing up for herself.
But as things progress we find out the truth and we realize why Jared is the way he is. Is it a good enough excuse? Not by a long shot – I thought Tate should kick him in the nuts too. And part of me thought she let him get off way to easy.
For someone that made her life a living hell – as she put it, why would she even consider allowing him back in her life again? But that’s the moral of the story…. their relationship was stronger than the adolescent bullshit they did to each other. And Tate needed to get over everything he had done to move forward in her life period.
I gave the book four stars because it is well written, and though it was hard for me to get into at first? Once I got deeper into the story it grabbed me and I really wanted to know what was going to happen next. I may not have agreed with everything – and I’m not above arguing with fictional characters 🙂
Check out Penelope Douglas’s Fall Away Series –
Book 1: Bully
Book 1.5: Until You
Book 3: Rival
Book 4: Native