Wow! I must say, this is good. Sometimes 1.5’s can be tricky because they are usually a retelling of the first book in the other person’s perspective. This is in Jared’s perspective, but it’s so much more than a retelling of Bully. Yes, you read the same things that happen and the same dialog when Jared is with Tate. But you get to see so much more of Jared and his life outside of Tate. It’s so raw, and emotional and makes you feel differently about Jared as a person now and not just the “Bully” that he was to Tate all those years.
Jared has baggage. He’s had a rough life with a mom who was an alcoholic and a dad that left when he was born. Jared finally gets a call from his father and says he wants to see him. So Jared goes. He hasn’t seen his father since he was two years old, and he’d like to get to know him. So the summer that Jared was gone, some bad stuff happened. When he came back, he was a different person all together. He was angry at himself and the world. The only person he wanted to see was Tate. He set out to find her and when he did, he didn’t like what he saw. He felt betrayed by her and that’s when the bullying started. For three years he bullied her. Enough that she developed her own trust issues.
As you read in Bully, Tate goes away to France for her Junior year and when she’s gone Jared self destruct’s. Not realizing that it’s her making him go crazy without her there, he get’s into some trouble. Finally Tate’s dad takes him under his wing and helps him turn himself around. When Tate comes back for Senior year, there’s something different about her. A confidence that she didn’t have before. Jared takes this as a challenge and they start their senior year off on not-so-good terms.
You really get to see Jared and how he thinks in this book of his. He is a no non-sense guy who doesn’t take shit from anyone. At first in Bully, I just thought Jared was an asshole for the way he treated Tate. In this book, you get to see the real reasons of why he is the way he is and the daily struggle that he has to go through. I mean he’s still an asshole for treated Tate like shit, but I feel like his actions can be justified by what he’s had to go through in such a short amount of time. He still has secrets that he has to keep and he still has to deal with repercussions of his actions while Tate was gone.
I think I liked this book better than Bully(and I loved that book,) but because I feel like I got a lot more out of it, I am leaning more towards this one. I felt more connected to Jared’s character this time around. This is technically considered a stand alone novel, but I highly recommend reading Bully first. It just makes more sense to read Tate’s perspective and then when you get to read this, you get a whole better understanding of everything. Especially with the other side characters as well.
This book is definitely a New Adult novel. It has strong language, violence and descriptive sexual content. Fantastic sexy read, but recommended for people age 18 and over.
For a review of the first book Bully, please click the link. http://www.itty-bitty-books.ca/contemporary/bully/