Megan ~The Never Ending Book Basket's Reviews > Bully

Bully by Penelope Douglas
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it was amazing
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Let me start this review by saying that I am dumb. So very dumb. I should have never waited so long to read this book. Waiting to read this amazing, intense, and exceptional book was so beyond dumb of me. I hate that I waited so long to read this book and start this series because after devouring this book I know that this series and this book will be joining my list of all-time favorites. Bully was exceptional in every single way. It was consuming, it was full of angst and build and so much intensity, and it had me so encapsulated within everything these characters shared right from the start. It is probably the best new adult romance I have ever read, and it is definitely one of the best books I have read this year. Simply put, this book blew me away.

From the very first page of this book I was wholly consumed with everything that was happening between Jared and Tate. From that very first chapter it is apparent that those two are not in a good place. They used to be the closest of friends, but something happened one summer, and after that nothing was the same between them. Jared has tormented Tate ever since, leading to a world of hurt for her that pushes her to study abroad for a year. When Tate leaves to go to France she is looking forward to the time away and an escape from all that Jared and his friends have done to her. Flash forward a year later and Tate is back, and better yet she is done taking what Jared dishes out to her on a daily basis. He still tries to push her buttons, but now she's pushing right back. She's giving him it as good as he gives and she's not backing down one little bit, and this has unforgettable consequences and effects on the both of them.

What stared out as two ex friends pushing each other's buttons as much as possible, soon becomes a game of push and pull that neither of them bargained for. That push and pull that's bursting with tension, build, and intensity, and the more they push and the more they pull at one another, the closer they get to falling over that edge of feeling they share. From the very beginning of this book this author writes this story in a way that hooks you into and consumes you with everything you are getting with Jared and Tate, and the other amazing characters of this world. The more you read this story and the more it all unfolds, the more you will realize that there is so much more behind what Tate and Jared do to one another. Layer by layer you will learn more about them, how things came to be the way that they are, and the closer you get to them and what they share, the more they will blow you away with all that they have.

Bully is a book that just blew me away on every level. The angst, the push and pull, the build of intensity that was so exceptional, and the level of connection you get with these characters is outstanding. Penelope Douglas's extraordinary writing brings it all to life in a way that makes it all so real, that adds a layer of needed darkness and a bit of grit and emotion filled angst, and that allows you to feel right in the thick of it as these characters see just how far they can push one another.

I have read other books by Penelope Douglas, which I loved, and this one was no different. Having read and loved her standalone novels, I knew I would probably enjoy this book, but I was in now way prepared for how utterly consuming and how gloriously intense this book would be. This book, this story, and its characters owned me. They owned every part of my mind and heart and soul while I was reading their story. They made me gasp at the moments they shared, they took my breath away at others, they shattered my heart and gave me life and made me laugh and smile and hurt all at once. They gave me it all. And then some.

The way Penelope Douglas gives you their story and their characters, while allowing you to breathe and live every word of what's happening makes this book the spectacular thing that it is. It's also what made it so that I could not stop thinking about these characters and their story while I was reading. I couldn't stop reading and feeling and thinking and experiencing, and that made this book even more unforgettable.

I have to say one of my favorite aspects of this book was the fact that it was told solely from Tate's point of view. I feel like this was her story to tell, it was her words and voice that were needed, and it was her time to say what was happening. Don't get me wrong, I am beyond ready to get into Jared's head in his book, but I loved that this story gave Tate the time to say her peace. It was what was needed, and I felt that it worked exceptionally well for the story. It also heightened so much of what I was reading because I didn't know what was going through Jared's head, I didn't know his logic or his reasoning, I didn't know why he did what he did until he admitted it, and I didn't know how he felt about things until he showed Tate, and that was what pulled me so much into this book. I needed and wanted all of that with him, and the way that Penelope Douglas connects you to Tate and allows you to be there with her as she discovers these things with him, and how he feels and thinks is extraordinary. It's what makes this story so good, it's what makes this an unforgettable read, and it's what makes these characters as dynamic and distinctive as they are.

To say that I loved Tate is putting it mildly. I loved that girl something fierce. I love that this story allowed her to come into her own in a way. I love that it allowed her to show her fire and strength, and allowed her to find herself along the way. I loved that this story pushed her outside of her comfort zone, and how it made her question everything. I love that she was a character that could be strong and fiery, but also had such an honesty and vulnerability to her. Tate was a female character that was relatable, strong, and beautiful inside and out. She was a young woman, trying to make her way through the world and what came her way, all while trying to figure out what in the world was really happening with her and Jared. Getting to be there with her as she discovered and figured all of that out was phenomenal in every way.

Now I will admit that for many parts of this book Jared Trent comes off as the biggest butt in the world. And don't even get me started on Madoc. (Though let's also talk about how much I need that man's book in my life too!) Jared is not an easy character. He is rough around the edges, he pushes the boundaries and breaks the rules, and he says and does things he shouldn't. He is an ass....but let me tell you, through every word of this story Penelope Douglas gives you so much with him and allows you to understand that there is so much more behind what he is saying and doing. She shows you him, she shows you that there is so much bursting beneath that surface of him that he's holding back, and she increases that mystery with him through every word. She makes his character equal parts alluring and bad boy goodness. She makes him a man that you know you shouldn't want, that you know you should stay far away from, and she draws you into him. Word by word, page by page, and chapter by chapter. She hooks you into him, she blows you away with what she shows you with him, and she shows you that what you think you know about Jared is just the start.

What I got with both of these characters as this story unfolded was everything. It was raw and gritty and mean and wonderful and so full of glorious build and heat and intensity, and I loved every amazing word of it. I loved how it consumed me, I loved how it made me question everything I thought and felt, I loved how it gave me these characters in every way, and I loved how it gave me a story I know I will never forget. What you get with Jared and Tate as they push each other to the edge, as they get closer and closer to realizing what's really happening between them, and as they see just how far they can go, will blow you away. It will give you so much of them, it will give you so much of this amazing world and series, and it will have you knowing that you are reading one helluva book.

Penelope Douglas seriously wowed me with this book. She gave me two characters with a world of hate and hurt and feeling between them, and she showed me what it would be like to turn their world, and mine, upside down. She brought it all to the page of this book, and I for one can't wait to devour the rest of this series. I need more of these characters, I need more of what they all share, and I need more of the unforgettable dynamic that comes out when they are together. I can't recommend this book to you enough!! It was one of the best books I have read in a good long time, and it wowed me on every level with what it had to give. Trust me when I say that this book is one you do not want to miss!
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Quotes Megan Liked

Penelope Douglas
“We never lost that. As much as I tried, I
could never erase you from my heart. That’s why I was such an asshole and kept guys away from you.
You were always mine.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“Are you mine?” I asked as I wiped my tears.
He kissed the corners of my mouth softly, and I felt heat rise up my neck. “Always have been,”
he whispered against my mouth.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“Yesterday lasts forever.
Tomorrow comes never.
Until you”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“Tate, you’re mine, and I’m yours. Every day you’re
going to realize that more and more. When you believe it without a doubt, then I’ll have earned your
trust.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“He smiled to himself. “Because she made you.” And he wrapped his skinny arm around my neck and yanked me into his side. “You’re the best friend I’ve ever had, and I wanted to tell her ‘thank you.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“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.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“I was going to Homecoming with the one person in this school who made my skin crawl, I was getting attention from a gorgeous, star football player that I could care less about, and I was having wet dreams about a potential sociopath who acted like he hated me most of the time.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“I held Madoc by the inside of his elbow and held Jerod closer to me by the bicep. While a month ago I never would've thought I'd be with these two, I felt at ease. "Totally. This is the start of a great friendship." I jostled Madoc's arm playfully.
"It could be the start of a great porno, too," Madoc deadpanned, breaking into laughter.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“I like storms. Thunder torrential rain, puddles, wet shoes. When the clouds roll in, I get filled with this giddy expectation. Everything is more beautiful in the rain. Don't ask me why. But it’s like this whole other realm of opportunity. I used to feel like a superhero, riding my bike over the dangerously slick roads, or maybe an Olympic athlete enduring rough trials to make it to the finish line. On sunny days, as a girl, I could still wake up to that thrilled feeling. You made me giddy with expectation, just like a symphonic rainstorm. You were a tempest in the sun, the thunder in a boring, cloudless sky. I remember I’d shovel in my breakfast as fast as I could, so I could go knock on your door. We’d play all day, only coming back for food and sleep. We played hide and seek, you’d push me on the swing, or we’d climb trees. Being your sidekick gave me a sense of home again. You see, when I was ten, my mom died. She had cancer, and I lost her before I really knew her. My world felt so insecure, and I was scared. You were the person that turned things right again. With you, I became courageous and free. It was like the part of me that died with my mom came back when I met you, and I didn’t hurt if I knew I had you. Then one day, out of the blue, I lost you, too. The hurt returned, and I felt sick when I saw you hating me. My rainstorm was gone, and you became cruel. There was no explanation. You were just gone. And my heart was ripped open. I missed you. I missed my mom. What was worse than losing you, was when you started to hurt me. Your words and actions made me hate coming to school. They made me uncomfortable in my own home. Everything still hurts, but I know none of it is my fault. There are a lot of words that I could use to describe you, but the only one that includes sad, angry, miserable, and pitiful is “coward.” I a year, I’ll be gone, and you’ll be nothing but some washout whose height of existence was in high school. You were my tempest, my thunder cloud, my tree in the downpour. I loved all those things, and I loved you. But now? You’re a fucking drought. I thought that all the assholes drove German cars, but it turns out that pricks in Mustangs can still leave scars.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“There were so many times when we were kids, growing up next door to each other, that I thought Jared was the greatest. He was sweet, generous, and friendly. And the most beautiful boy I’d ever seen.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“There was a time when I had all of his attention and loved it. As much as I wanted him to leave me alone, I also liked how he seemed surprised. I liked the way he was looking at me right now. And then I remembered that I hated him.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“What was worse than losing you was when you started to hurt me. Your words and actions made me hate coming to school. They made me uncomfortable in my own home.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“You were my tempest, my thunder cloud, my tree in the downpour. I loved all those things, and I loved you. But now? You’re a fucking drought. I thought that all the assholes drove German cars, but it turns out that pricks in Mustangs can still leave scars.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“He was giving me the same look I got Wednesday night right before he kissed me, and I knew I hadn’t imagined anything. It was anger and desire mixed together to make something hot enough for my knees to go weak.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“I want to touch you.” His words were against my lips now. “I want to feel what’s mine. What’s always been mine.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“Jared gripped me tighter. "If you beat metal long enough, it turns to steel.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“I didn’t want Ben. Plain and simple. I wasn’t going to be one of those silly girls in a love triangle romance novel who couldn’t choose. Not that I was in a love triangle, but I never understood how a girl can’t know whether or not she wants a guy. We can be confused about what is good for us but not about what we truly want.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“He put a hand to my face and guided my eyes to his. "We never lost that. As much as I tried, I could never erase you from my heart. That's why I was such an asshole and kept guys away from you. You were always mine."

"Are you mine?" I asked as I wiped my tears.

He kissed the corners of my mouth softly, and I felt the heat rise up my neck. "Always have been," he whispered against my mouth.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“You were the person that turned things right again. With you, I became courageous and free. It was like the part of me that died with my mom came back when I met you, and I didn’t hurt if I knew I had you. Then one day, out of the blue, I lost you, too. The hurt returned, and I felt sick when I saw you hating me. My rainstorm was gone, and you became cruel. There was no explanation. You were just gone. And my heart was ripped open. I missed you.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“I’m sorry,” he whispered. “I know I can make this up to you. Don’t hate me.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“If I ever lay my hands on you,” he said low and husky, “You’ll want it.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“Letting yourself be vulnerable isn't always a weakness. Sometimes it can be a conscious decision to draw the other person out.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“Acting like you don't care is not letting it go.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“She gave me a sad smile and did what good friends do—gave me a second slice of cake.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“We can be confused about what is good for us but not about what we truly want.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“few simple rules: respect your elders, take care of your body, finish what you start, and solve your own problems.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“Madoc cleared his throat. "Dr. Porter. Nate and Piper bumped into each other."

Oh, my god. I was convinced. Madoc was an idiot.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“Who had left a balloon?

“I brought your mom the balloon yesterday,” Jared admitted as if reading my mind.

“Why?” My voice shook. It was nice of him to do something like that.

“Because chicks like pink stuff.” He shrugged his shoulders and made light of his gesture. He didn’t want attention. He never did.

“Jared,” I scolded, waiting for a real answer.

He smiled to himself. “Because she made you.” And he wrapped his skinny arm around my neck and yanked me into his side. “You’re the best friend I’ve ever had, and I wanted to tell her ‘thank you.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“
I like storms. Thunder, torrential rain, puddles, wet shoes. When the clouds roll in, I get filled with this giddy expectation. Everything is more beautiful in the rain”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“You were never clingy or a nuisance, Tate. The day you moved in next door I thought you were the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I fucking loved you.”
Penelope Douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“Honey, I loved your mom. We all did. And I know she meant well, trying to teach you to be strong, since she knew she wouldn’t be here to guide you through tough times. But honey, letting yourself be vulnerable isn’t always a weakness. Sometimes, it can be a conscious decision to draw the other person out.”
penelope douglas, Bully

Penelope Douglas
“I love you more than myself, more than my own family, for Christ’s sake. I don’t want to take another step in this world without you next to me,”
Penelope Douglas, Bully
tags: jared


Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 31, 2017 – Shelved (Kindle Edition)
August 15, 2017 – Started Reading (Kindle Edition)
August 16, 2017 – Finished Reading (Kindle Edition)
August 17, 2017 – Shelved

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Rachel Yes, yes, and more yes!


message 2: by Megan (new) - added it

Megan  ~The Never Ending Book Basket Thank you Rachel!!! 💜


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