For a reader who has a short span of attention when it comes to books, it’s tough to engage on something that doesn’t suck me in immediately. Bully may not have struck me good in the first two chapters but after that, i couldn’t simply put it down without an internal battle. I think what really made me so anxious to finish it is the underlying intrigue of the clash between our two ex-bestfriends characters. Childhood friends turned enemies turned lovers will never get old for me, love-hate themes are always fun to read especially in the YA genre.
A book doesn’t have to be potent and very conflicted for it attract readers, sometimes we like it easy but exciting, simple but sensible, and with the right crafting of characters, it will be a sure hit. Bully is that book for me, i had fun most of the time reading it. Really, despite the cruelty and disrespectfulness at some encounters, it was amusing to read about two masochistic individuals. Haha!
Tatum has been the main target of Jared’s bullying since three years ago, but before that they were the best of friends. When her life at school went beyond what she can tolerate, she decided to spend one year to study abroad assuming that’s enough time for Jared’s unfathomable hatred to subside. When she got back to finish her senior year, nothing much have changed with Jared which woken up the beast in her as well. She’s not just the victim anymore, she started fighting back.
Through all those years, Tatum was on the receiving end of all of Jared’s pranks and she never even thought of retaliating knowing that it will just worsen things. But since Jared didn’t budge, she decided to step up the game and fired back at him every single time. You see, no matter how much they openly express their disgust to one another, i didn’t really feel that the hate was genuine. I didn’t hate Jared for being rude to Tatum and i didn’t resent Tatum for revenging, what they did to each other is a lame excuse for love.
It wasn’t revealed until later on the book the real reason of Jared’s sudden change of heart towards Tatum, after he spent one summer vacationing with his Dad. My heart broke when i found out his back story but somehow i think that his reason for the bullying is vague, there must be something more. It can’t only be that he can’t hurt the people he hates that’s why he targets Tatum. Despite that, i gave this book a swooping 5 stars because Jared’s POV is coming and i know the author’s got some explaining to do, and i was absolutely entertained!
Okay so for me this book was 50% about dreadful pranks, 30% drama, 20% romantic. Perhaps the next installment/s will tackle more about their romantic relationship, since they were clearly done pulling useless pranks to each other. I just feel that there’s something more to this two racer-at-heart couple.
In the brief moment it took me to make my decision, I took one final survey of him. It was such a shame. Jared was stunningly gorgeous, and once upon a time, he was a good guy. If things had been different, I could be his. Once upon a time, I thought I was his. But I wouldn’t be sacrificing my pride to him. Ever. Again.
I’ll have you in tears in no time.”
“You’ve already made me cry countless times.” I raised my middle finger to him slowly, and asked, “Do you know what this is?” I took my middle finger and patted the corner of my eye with it. “It’s me, wiping away the last tear you’ll ever get.”
…letting yourself be vulnerable isn’t always a weakness. Sometimes, it can be a conscious decision to draw the other person out.
I’m not strong. I’m not a bully. I’m not happy. I knew what I needed to do.
I like storms, thunder, torrential rain, puddles, wet shoes. When the clouds roll in, I get filled with this giddy expectation. Everything is more beautiful in the rain. Don’t ask me why. But it’s like this whole other realm of opportunity. I used to feel like a superhero, riding my bike over the dangerously slick roads, or maybe an Olympic athlete enduring rough trials to make it to the finish line. On sunny days, as a girl, I could still wake up to that thrilled feeling. You made me giddy with expectation, just like a symphonic rainstorm. You were a tempest in the sun, the thunder in a boring, cloudless sky. I remember I’d shovel in my breakfast as fast as I could, so I could go knock on your door. We’d play all day, only coming home for food and sleep. We played hide and seek, you’d push me on the swing, or we’d climb trees. Being your sidekick gave me a sense of home again. You see, when I was ten, my mom died. She had cancer, and I lost her before I really knew her. My world felt so insecure, and I was scared. You were the person that turned things right again. With you, I became courageous and free. It was like the part of me that died with my mom came back when I met you, and I didn’t hurt anymore. Nothing hurt if I knew I had you. Then one day, out of the blue, I lost you, too. The hurt returned, and I felt sick when I saw you hating me. My rainstorm was gone, and you became cruel. There was no explanation. You were just gone. And my heart was ripped open. I missed you. I missed my mom. What was worse than losing you was when you started to hurt me. Your words and actions made me hate coming to school. They made me uncomfortable in my own home. Everything still hurts, but I know none of it is my fault. There are a lot of words that I could use to describe you, but the only one that includes sad, angry, miserable, and pitiful is “coward.” In a year, I’ll be gone, and you’ll be nothing but some washout whose height of existence was in high school. You were my tempest, my thunder cloud, my tree in the downpour. I loved all those things, and I loved you. But now? You’re a fucking drought. I thought that all the assholes drove German cars, but it turns out that pricks in Mustangs can still leave scars.
We can be confused about what is good for us but not about what we truly want.
Yesterday lasts forever. Tomorrow comes never. Until you.
We never lost that. As much as I tried, I could never erase you from my heart. That’s why I was such an asshole and kept guys away from you. You were always mine.
You taste like a Starburst, and you look like the sun.
The lantern is you, Tate. The light. I got it after I got in trouble last year. I needed to clean up my act, and my mom decided to do the same thing with her drinking. We both picked one thought that would get us through the day. A dream or a desire…
I love you more than myself, more than my own family, for Christ’s sake. I don’t want to take another step in this world without you next to me. Tate, you’re mine, and I’m yours. Every day you’re going to realize that more and more. When you believe it without a doubt, then I’ll have earned your trust.
"I am yours. I just…wasn’t sure if you were really mine.” “Then I’ll make you sure.”
But I want to make sure I never lose your trust again. I want to be one of your lifelines, Tate. I want you to need me. So…The heart is me. One of your lifelines. I took Jax with me today to pick it out.
I was his. And he was mine. We had never been gone from each other. Both of us were shaping the other even though we didn’t realize it. And now we were complete.
I am not a graceful person. I am not a Sunday morning or a Friday sunset. I am a Tuesday 2am, I am gunshots muffled by a few city blocks, I am a broken window during February. My bones crack on a nightly basis. I fall from elegance with a dull thud, and I apologize for my awkward sadness. I sometimes believe that I don’t belong around people, that I belong to all the leap days that didn’t happen. The way light and darkness mix under my skin has become a storm. You don’t see the lightning, but you hear the echoes.
By Anna Peters (via rauchwolken)