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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  10,041 ratings  ·  563 reviews
The astonishing debut novel from international number one bestselling author Paullina Simons, now beautifully repackaged

Tully Makker is a tough young woman from the wrong side of the tracks and she is not always easy to like. But if Tully gives friendship and loyalty, she gives them for good, and she forms an enduring bond with Jennifer and Julie, school friends from very
Paperback, 614 pages
Published October 9th 2008 by Harper (first published January 1st 1994)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,041 ratings  ·  563 reviews

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Sep 18, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I never thought I would hate a novel by Paullina Simons, but here it is. This overly long first novel deals with the life a young woman named Tully Makker. She comes from a horribly abusive family and her background, as well as tragic loss, sets the stage for the poor life choices she makes throughout the novel.

The plot moves at a turtle's pace taking us through Tully's devastating teen years where her mother's attentions range from nonexistant to severe beatings. Tully dances at frat parties an
Claire Boag
May 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite books ever. I cried buckets when i read this the first time! You will learn to love & hate the character of Tully as she both endears and frustrates you. Fantastic reading
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this book many years ago, in my late teens and loved it.

Although I no longer remember the details, I do remember the book being long, and it taking over my life for quite a few days, as I was so taken in by the story it told. I also remember it making me cry and my heart aching.

I'm not sure whether I would appreciate it in the same way today, now I'm older and wiser, but Tully is definitely a title that has stayed with me over the years, and each time I see the front cover it fills me w
Oct 08, 2009 rated it it was ok
I’m not really sure how to rate this book. Reading it involved a lot of eye rolling and cursing out loud every other page. I think my loathing was more for the characters than for any faulty writing or for the book itself. I have never read about a character that I loathed more than Tully, which I suppose is better than being completely indifferent. I couldn’t relate to anyone in this story, which is a good thing considering they were all seemingly masochistic people who, for whatever reason, we ...more
Jun 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Tully Makker is a survivor. She survives her father's abandonment at the age of 7. She survives her uncle's "attentions" at the age of 12. She survives her mother's abusive hands throughout her childhood and adolescence. Her best friend's betrayal in her senior year of high school is the hardest for Tully to survive. She survives....but not without scars....scars on her wrists, scars that haunt her in her sleep, scars upon her heart. There are those who try to help Tully throughout her life. The ...more
Aug 07, 2011 rated it liked it
I struggled to give "Tully" three stars. This book started out really intriguing - the first third of the book I thouroughly enjoyed. As I started to get into the middle of the book, I realised that it would have greatly benefited from proper editing. It is obvious that 'Tully' is Paulina Simon's first book, and at times it seems she has something to prove.

This book was far, far too long. It repeated itself so much and drew out unecessary sub-plots with too much description. Halfway through the
Oct 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
One of the most intense books I have ever read.

Tully is about a group of high school friends that are each individually shattered by a specific tragedy that befalls one of them. And this book shows how this tragedy shapes their lives, pushes them apart, and eventually brings them back together. It follows a small group over the course of a decade and shows how people either learn to cope with grief and loss or they let it destroy them. Tully is the main character and she was horridly abused an
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There aren't enough words to describe this book. This story is not for everybody, the idealist or the faint at heart should perhaps stay away. This world isn't one happy place and those that like to pretend it is, will be offended by Tully. I felt this book to the very core. Paullina has done it for me again and Tully will go on my shelf of books I have immense respect for. I haven't picked myself off the floor yet but my heart is weirdly at peace. I would gladly go thru this roller coaster over ...more
Very intense. Brutally honest. Incredibly real. One of my absolute favorite books.

Years later, this book still sticks with me. There were just so many poignant moments in it and my heart STILL aches for this girl. This is, to me, the best Paullina Simons book (you can keep your Russians) and I will definitely re-read because I have so much love for it and would love to write a proper review immediately after reading.
Aimee Tussey
Oct 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
In my top five books of all time. I loved this book more than words can describe!
Dec 19, 2010 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Another amazing book by Paullina Simons! Would have given it five stars if I didn't have to yell at the main character so many times for being a indecisive whore. That being said, I still loved it =) ...more
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, how I loved Tully. I loved the rhythm of this book. My heart will forever leak from the anguish, the fight, and all the hurt it put me through. I've never experienced angst at this level before. It isn't over for me. I could never get over this book. I'm still holding on to it. Always will. ...more
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-books
I'm more than overwhelmed, I'm partially broken.

I think it would be helpful to get a mental image of what my poor husband had to deal with while I was reading this crying my eyes out on the waking him up in the middle of the night making sure he was happy in our marriage. (By which I mean, I woke him up...then asked him if he was happy..."I was happy when I was asleep...yes...can I go back to sleep now")?
It's lucky that my poor hubby is very aware of how baseline crazy I am
Anna Goldsmith
Oct 25, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Pessimists
Oh my god the shittiest book I have ever read. No kidding it took me over a year to read this as I just kept getting sick of Tully and her miserable existance.
Mar 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All my girl friends
Recommended to Amanda by: Randomly found
I started out this book with apprehension... oh great another coming of age story about a mistreated teenager...

However, I really liked the character Tully, and the story was original and entertaining. The author paints a very vivid picture (warning some very "naughty" scenes) and you very easily are taken back to the 80's. I would not consider this book a real "page turner," as I had no problem putting it down, but it was compelling enough to keep picking it up and wanting to know what was goin
Zoe (Attic Salt Reviews)
Dec 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
I am sorry to say that I really didn’t enjoy this book – every page making me want to give up entirely on the story. I don’t think I’ve ever rolled my eyes or scoffed in disgust so much in any book before.

The story follows Tully Makker, a wild young woman, as she navigates a life filled with tragedy and hardship. The painfully drawn out plot takes readers through Tully’s teen years, where she throws herself into a life of parties, sex and alcohol in the hopes of avoiding her abusive mother all t
Alexandria Hanson
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I very much enjoyed this book because it wasn't written to please readers in the hopes of them getting the character to do what they wanted them to do. People tend to love fairytales and the idea that life goes smoothly, but this book I felt portrayed the realities of many life circumstances and decisions. It centered around a very broken and selfish woman who made poor choices and good ones. I both loved and loathed Tully Makker at the same time. The fact that she was so selfish and played arou ...more
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was Paulina Simons debut novel and I adored it ! It was a roller coaster of a read , filled with sorrow, laughter , love and disdain for the characters. I tried a few other books by this author but was disappointed as they just didn't have the same raw emotion as Tully . While not a resent release I would recommend the search to find it . ...more
May 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
PS introduces us to Tully, someone who has you experiencing lots of mixed emotions. She is a dark character with many secrets and a past that she wants to move on from, but a loveless childhood filled with anguish, abandonment and abuse is difficult to deal with. Tully makes certain choices through her life which leaves you feeling frustrated, sympathetic and emotional throughout the book.

She meets Jennifer and Julie who become her closest friends and help to fill the void and provide an escape
Reannon Bowen
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For the first 50 pages I thought I was going to give up on this book & then it clicked & I was hooked, hooked on Tully. This story is so character driven that I found myself talking to Tully as I read " oh poor Tully " " wow Tully, that's awful " " get your shit together Tully!" " what are you doing Tully?!" So many times I was holding my breath waiting to read what would happen & then my heart was a wreck. After 611 pages I wasn't ready to say goodbye to Tully. She'll stay with me for a while I ...more
Dec 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Extremely realistic character - she doesn't do the right thing A LOT. Frustrating and you want to keep reading. There is a "foreign" feeling to this book sometimes - I believe the author is Russian (?) and sometimes the American style of teenage isn't quite right. Nevertheless, Tully's actions and feelings are right on for a girl with a lot of problems. ...more
Maria Malaveci
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Tully stayed on my to read list far too long. I felt it was time to read it, being that the author Paullina Simons wrote my favorite books ever - The Bronze Horseman. Tully made me laugh, it made me cry & like no other book has done before, it made me so angry.

Pain. Sacrifice. Love. This story was heartbreaking but an amazing read. I'll never forget it.
Dec 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Tully Makker is a tough young woman from the wrong side of the tracks and she is not always easy to like. But if Tully gives friendship and loyalty, she gives them for good, and she forms an enduring bond with Jennifer and Julie, schoolfriends from very different backgrounds. As they grow into the world of the seventies and eighties , the lives of the three best friends are changed forever by two young men, Robin and Jack, and a tragedy which engulfs them all. Against the odds, Tully emerges int ...more
Jan 28, 2009 rated it it was ok
Seriously, I can't get a good book to save my life here. What this book taught me is that I can cheat on my husband numerous times, have a baby by a different man while I am still married to him, and at the end just say, "I'm sorry! I wanted you all along!" and have everything be a-ok. Oh, and I have to somehow be in Kansas.

Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I’m thankful I read this book slowly. Snails pace really. Because it was hard. So hard. Not in a negative way. But in a “it made my heart hurt” way. My feelings hurt. My eyes hurt. My head even started to hurt. Tully is a lost soul. Her whole life. I can’t relate to that personally, but Paullina made me feel for her. You’d think she a weak person, bending easily with the pushes and pulls. But she’s not. She’s strong, fierce. She’s just lost. Lost to her thought. And her voice. I’ll be thinking a ...more
Justine Crandles
Sep 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
In 2012 I was introduced to Paulina Simmons and The Bronze Horseman series. I fell in love… with Tatiana and Alexander, their story of love and courage during WWII, and the writing of Simmons. A brilliant story teller and detailed character developer, Simmons drew me in from page one. Jess, one of my beautiful friends and book clubber insisted we all read Tully, Simmons literary debut. A lengthy 600 pager, it was a while before I felt ready to give this novel a go. I am certainly glad I did.

Andie Murray
Jul 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This book reminded me of She's Come Undone, by Wally Lamb, a little bit. I liked the character development of Tully, but many of the other characters seemed to be relevant only in how they revolved around Tully. The pace of the book is relatively slow, which didn't bother me, but be aware it is a character/relationship study and is not concerned with any particular suspense or action.

As some of the other reviewers have said, Tully isn't really a very likable or relatable person. The author atte
Jean Haus
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
I hated this book when I read it. I skimmed a lot of it. But I was on a long, long road trip and ended up reading it again. Tully is not always a likable character. And there is some distance between her and the reader, which I'm going to guess Simons did on purpose. You kind of have to figure out why Tully is doing some of the awful things she does.But there are reasons--huge reasons--and after another read through, Tully made sense to me. My heart went out to her. She pushes people away and it ...more
Oct 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Tully - tortured soul or selfish whore? 2 61 Dec 17, 2013 09:18PM  
Translated to Persian 2 14 Nov 24, 2012 09:22AM  

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Paullina Simons was born in Leningrad, USSR, in 1963. At the age of ten her family immigrated to the United States. Growing up in Russia Paullina dreamt of someday becoming a writer. Her dream was put on hold as she learned English and overcame the shock of a new culture.

After graduating from university and after various jobs including working as a financial journalist and as a translator Paullin

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