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

Bully - Douglas


By Penelope Douglas

Series: Fall Away, Book 1

My Rating: 5 Stars

Tate and Jared used to be best friends. But one summer that all changed and Jared turned against her. Tate spent the better part of high school looking over her shoulder and around every corner because of his pranks and bullying. But she’s leaving and hopefully he’ll forget all about her while she’s gone. But if he doesn’t then she’s done hiding from Jared and his friends. She’s going to live her life now and Jared isn’t going to stop her.

I loved this book. Tate is a sad, lost kitten in the beginning of the book but her year away gives her some perspective on her life. When she returns from her year abroad, she’s ready to actually live her life and enjoy her last year of high school, Jared be dammed. In the end, Tate turns into a strong, angry character who is ready to face her fears head on. It’s great. Jared is terrifying in parts. Douglas does an exceptional job of creating characters that ooze the bullying attitude. There were parts where I feared for Tate, but she didn’t back down. She learned to stand-up to her bully and gain some ground. She developed self-respect, strength and confidence proving bullies don’t have to win if you don’t let them. In addition, to Tate’s transformation, I loved that she held onto her feelings of love and friendship, despite how Jared had treated her. She was willing to forgive and let go so they could both be free of each other. Even if she never learned what caused them to not be friends anymore, she was able to find her closure so she could go on with her life. Tate was such a strong character…a truly good person. As for Jared, you may not like him as much.  He’s your typical bad boy, though there is something under that mean outward persona that implies there may be more to his attitude and overall reaction to Tate.  I was thrilled to discover that book 1.5 will give more insight into Jared.  I hope it’s as good as book 1.

Bully, is Penelope Douglas’ first book in her Fall Away series. Book 1.5 is from Jared’s perspective but it’s not meant to be read without reading book 1. Checkout my review for Until You. If you are a big fan of realistic young adult or new adult books then you’ll like this series. Be sure to check them out.


2 thoughts on “Book Review: Bully by Penelope Douglas (Fall Away, #1)

    • Yes, I think she does. In the second book in the series, Douglas focuses more on forgiveness and redemption. I think that’s why I liked these books so much. There is more to them than just a love story. I like my characters to have some actual substance. Sadly, that’s often lacking in the New Adult genre.

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