Series: Fall Away #1
Published by Self-Published on June 17th 2013
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
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My name is Tate. He doesn't call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all. 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've been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to stay out of his way. I even went to France for a year, just to avoid him.
But I'm done hiding from him now, and there's no way in hell I'll allow him to ruin my senior year. He might not have changed, but I have. It's time to fight back.
I'm not going to let him bully me anymore.
***This novel contains adult/mature young adult situations. It is only suitable for ages 18+ due to language, violence, and sexual situations.
Bullying is something that’s unfortunately very prevalent among youths. Regardless of whether it’s subtle or blatant, verbal, physical, and cyber bullying is degrading, humiliating, and devastating for the victim. I was intrigued by how extreme bullying could start—seemingly out of the blue—between two people who were once inseparable best friends and destined to be more.
I really admired Tate’s spunk. She’s a fighter, not a whiner. She’s also extremely independent—a necessity since her support system is limited. Her single father is working in Germany for three months, and Tate is living alone in the meantime. This part of the story was like a thorn in my side that I couldn’t ignore. What responsible parent leaves their high school daughter unsupervised for three months? Umm… none.
Some of Jared’s tactics seem oddly childish for an 18-year-old, and his brooding gets stale. However, I enjoyed the parts of the story that deal with Tate’s feelings of isolation and her reluctant attraction to him. There’s great magnetism between Tate and Jared, but he never fully won me over.
Jared’s motivations remain a mystery throughout the majority of the book. When all the details finally come to light, it’s clear why he’s so callous. However, I felt that years of relentlessly brutal behavior were completely avoidable. I know victims don’t always report bullying; however, some of the actions by Tate’s classmates are so inappropriate and threatening that it’s hard to believe she wouldn’t at least confide in her dad.
The climactic ending is a page-turner, and one of the highlights of the book.
Ultimately, I think perhaps I’m just too old for this teenage soap opera. Bully will most likely appeal to readers who love reformed pricks, and especially to those who enjoy young adult/new adult novels.