Copy of Add a subheading 2 - Bully by Penelope Douglas - REVIEW
Contemporary Romance,  New Adult,  Romance

Bully by Penelope Douglas – REVIEW

Bully by Penelope Douglas
Published by Piatkus on 5 June 2014
ISBN: 9780451477101
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
Pages: 337
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased Book
Buy on Amazon

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Penelope Douglas delivers an unforgettable New Adult romance that toes the fine line between love and hate....
My name is Tate. He doesn't call me that, though. He would never refer to me by a friendly nickname. No, he'll barely even speak to me. But he still won't leave me alone.
We were best friends once. Then he turned on me and made it his mission to ruin my life. I was humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got worse as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to stay out of his way. I even went away for a year just to avoid him.
But I'm done hiding from him now, and there's no way I'll allow him to ruin another year. He might not have changed, but I have. It's time to fight back.

Bully is a story of grief and teenage angst but one that highlights the complexities of forgiveness and redemption.

Bully by Penelope Douglas was a refreshing change from what I usually do. Read I think it’s quite likely got me back into reading Romance again after losing my way with it around 2014.

An enemy to lover’s trope. I actually really enjoyed what Penelope Douglas did with this. Tate and Jared grew up together. They did everything together, from climbing trees and gossiping to Jared supporting Tate through the loss of her mother six years ago. Then one summer he went away and was never the same again. He didn’t want to be seen with her, he flat out ignored her existence, and he made sure her life at school was unbearable. It hurt Tate more than words could explain what losing her friendship with Jared did. She has one respite – she’s leaving for a year and going to France, maybe things will be different when she comes back?

“Isn’t it about time you fought back?”

She comes back from France and finds that yes things are better but not from Jared’s end. Tate has more fight in her, she won’t tolerate being pushed around anymore. She’s fighting back, there is no way she’s letting him take her senior year from her. It means too much to her,

Jared’s right-hand man, Madoc has experienced Tate’s wrath before. She happily lets him know physically when he’s crossed a line. This is a new side to her – she’s most definitely fighting back. She breaks up parties at Jared’s house, and she starts dating, but amongst it, is Jared watching from the sidelines with a quiet promise of making Tate cry by the end of the week.

I loved this story. Douglas encapsulates being a young adult. The drama, the miscommunication, the assumption. She did a brilliant job of making me hate him in the first half of the story…he was a bully, he lived purely to torment Tate. He even enrolled his buddies in making sure no one was interested in her romantically. I struggled to understand just how I was going to warm up to him. He was nasty and hated her and made sure knew about it.

Why was he doing it though? Had something been said as kids and he dwelt upon it? What made him hate her so much? They used to be best friends. As her best friend KC says – “it’s going to come to a head somehow.”

Jared was a character that had so much internal conflict, that the reader was left genuinely pondering what his motivations were. He was bullying her, but you could see from other actions – like keeping her out of trouble at school proved that he wasn’t at the core, a bad guy.


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Hi! My name is Penelope Douglas, and I write romance. New adult, erotica, a little contemporary… Really whatever is calling me at the moment. I believe a good writer can spin any story in a way with which you’ll connect, and I endeavor to do just that with every book I write. Not many topics are too taboo for me. I love breaking rules, and I love taking myself out of my comfort zone.

Why is that, you ask?

Well, there is a reason for everything.

I could tell you where I was born, how many siblings I have, or which hobbies I enjoy, but none of that really tells you about someone’s life. Experiences do.

As an adolescent, I was quiet, shy, and afraid. No mistakes could be made, because people would hate me or I’d be alone. So rather than run, I walked. Rather than climb, I kept my feet on the ground. And rather than say “yes,” I always said “no.” And as a result, I didn’t live.

And I still felt disposable, fearful, and alone.

What would they say about me when I was gone? Would I have regrets? Every day that I didn’t blaze a trail swallowed me up.

So I decided I wouldn’t be invisible or waste another second. I left home, went to college, and traveled. I took trains from Atsugi to Tokyo all by myself. I jumped Hiji Falls when others joked I wouldn’t do it. (I did it twice.) I climbed Mt. Fuji, and I moved to New Orleans for graduate school without knowing a single person in the city. I did what I dreamed, and I was a lot happier.

I don’t worry so much anymore, and I don’t let others’ opinions hold me back.

Be yourself, and OWN it. You know what that means? Be loud and proud. Nurture who you are and good things will come. Most importantly, your happiness.


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Facts about Me:

  1. I love taboo! I love to read it and write it, although I write non-taboo as well. 
  2. Music is my biggest inspiration. My stories all have playlists, and I am influenced more by music that any other form of art or any other authors.
  3. I need time to give you a story. Good books aren’t written fast, and I often recharge with an occasional standalone in the middle of a series. If you have ideas about how long you think a book should take or what a writer’s schedule should be, I wanted to be upfront about that. In the end, you’ll be happier with a good book rather than a fast one.
  4. I really love the rain. Like, really love it. A lot.
  5. I have a BA in Public Administration from the University of Northern Iowa and a Master’s in Education from Loyola University New Orleans.
  6. I was a teacher for eight years.
  7. I love road trips. It’s one of my favorite things in the world.
  8. My favorite movies are The Karate Kid and Dead Poets’ Society.
  9. My favorite writers are Erin Morgenstern, Stieg Larsson, and Marie Lu.
  10. I really love scary movies! I rewatch the Halloween franchise every year.

Penelope Douglas

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