January 30, 2015

Book Review: Bully (Fall Away #1) by Penelope Douglas

Bully (Fall Away, #1)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Get a copy here!

This is my first time reading Penelope Douglas’ writing. I heard a lot about this Fall Away series but never really thought of picking the books up until last month when I was in challenge to read some book from authors whose writing I’ve never read before. I chose this book as one of the tbr candidate because of the cool cover. Well, I kind of have a thing for silhouetted photography…
So my opinion is, I pretty satisfied of my choice. Even though I was a bit raising eyebrows when I began to read the book because of the issue pulled here was something that I always hate in real life: Bully. Well I know it would be about that (the title screamed so) but I just never really knew about bullying that is done by opposite gender. I was a bit worried that it would involve something physical, because if it was I surely would put this down right away. But of course Ms Douglas knew better than to issued such extreme act of bullying. And damn if it didn’t surprise me, but Bully just proved me that even this theme of story could pull the right heart string of people if written through a thoughtful plot.

Tatum Brandt never knew why in the world the only best friend she ever had hated her. She never knew when it started. She never knew why it started. All that she knew for sure was the summer before freshman year that they spent away from each other had something to do with it. Everyone knew how inseparable they used to be before. Playing, laughing, crying ―all done together, comforting each other and the adjoined tree to help some sneaky sleepovers. They were things that forever etched on Tate’s mind. But there was one eighty degrees differences standing between them now. The funny Jared Trent, the soft-hearted, the nicest boy, her childhood hero Jared was no longer there. Tate didn’t know where he had gone. Was he lost his way during that one mysterious summer? Jared who stood up in front of her with all his sour expressions, cocky smirks, heartless acts, and sharp insults was no longer her best friend. It should be easier if Jared acted like this to everyone, but no, he preserved those to Tate only. Only God knows why.

Bracing herself to survive this year, Tate knew better not to attract more ‘devil’ acts before her departing to France for a good one year. But everyone had their limits, even the weak Tate. Showing him she actually had limit that night should have taught Jared to back down. But a year later when she came back, apparently that didn’t quite kick some senses on his brain. But the ‘Tate now’ was determined to set a clear line to Jared’s stupid bullying acts. He could keep going for all she cared, but she wouldn’t be the weak Tate anymore. Now it’s time for him to deal with the coming storm.
Jared Trent never knew that she would turn out like this once she’s back. He didn’t know whether to like the change or not. But at least this new version of Tate was easier to deal with than the one who always chose to back off and gave her a confused pleading stare. He could deal with the fierce Tate much better. But as things went on and on, before they realized things had shifted into something that caught them unguarded. The table was turned and with the push from Tate’s touching monologue during class, Jared was left thinking back all the years of bully and that one summer that made their friendship fell apart. 

Could something that once damaged make its way to heal again? 
But more important, would it want to be healed again?

It was hard to decide what I feel about Jared’s character when I read this. I never meet a bully before, moreover a guy bully whose object is a girl. But at some points, Ms Douglas showed us that Jared after all is a human who has a reason behind his act. And somehow I kind of understand what he felt. How something could change one’s life and demeanor totally fascinate me. In bullying, there’s always a kind of ‘domino’s effect’ on it. How Jared became a bully, how Tate later became ‘a bit’ like a bully, these reasoning was quite understandable for me even though still I don’t accept the act at all.

Meanwhile, I loved Tate’s character. It is always good to see a girl stand up for herself from the harms on her surroundings. And the monologue she’d done in front of class was enough to make my heart totally ache for her. It was heartbreaking. And once again somewhere around the flashback of their childhood, I cried again. Kiddo Jared was so adorable and lovely… something he said when they visited cemetery kept ringing in my head. It is so simple yet so wise.

“They don’t want you to be afraid of them. They just want to be remembered.”
-Jared Trent-
This is, I know, going to be a good start for me to continue reading another book of Penelope’s. I hope that the next book on this Fall Away series that I’m going to read will be this good :)


Post a Comment