Posted in New Adult

Bully (#1) – Penelope Douglas

18090508Synopsis

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.

We’re neighbors, and once, we were best friends. But then, one summer, he turned on me and has made it his mission to screw up my life at every opportunity. 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 hide from him. I worried about what was around every corner and behind every door.

So I left.

I spent a year studying abroad and bathed in the freedom of life without Jared. Now I’m back to finish up high school and get the hell out of here forever. I’m hoping that after a year of breathing room, he’s moved on and forgotten all about me.

But even if he hasn’t changed, I have. I’m not interested in avoiding him or turning the other cheek anymore. We’re going to go head to head, because neither of us wants to back down

3.5 / 4 out of 5

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My Review

I’m a sucker for hate-to-love stories, childhood sweethearts and characters redeeming themselves throughout the book and this is all entwined within Bully. I am on a reading spree with authors who are attending the Edinburgh Book Event and have had Bully on my kindle for a while now, so when I found out Penelope was attending, I quickly got to reading Bully and despite myself finding it a bit slow starting, I really got into it when Tate grew some balls and fought back against Jared.

Penelope has written a great debut. She made feels all sorts of feelings throughout the book. She made me hate Jared, made me feel many of the emotions that Tate went through, from the timidness of the bullying to getting back from Europe and fighting back. Every little feeling she has, I felt it and when you can connect like that, it makes me love your book a hell of a lot.

Despite not experiencing full-on bullying (no idea why as most gingers seem to get bullied eye roll), I have had snide comments aimed towards me and I know the feeling of asking myself why I’m being aimed and that is exactly what Tate asks herself. Many people will be able to relate to Tate’s character and I think that is what makes this book a bit more real in my eyes. Most people being bullied don’t retaliate, but I enjoyed it when Tate did. When she fought back and wouldn’t let Jared hurt her anymore. I felt proud of her for that.

They always say there is a fine line between love and hate and Tate and Jared simply exhume this. They have a shared history – they were childhood friends and despite the hatred that Jared has towards Tate, inside she still felt something for Jared and it was plan to see that Jared did too – when you kind of read between the lines from what he tells Tate and especially from Madoc when he tells Tate the rumours they spread – the ones she didn’t know about and the stupid reason he went along with Jared.

I felt that Tate was weak in the beginning. With the prologue we learn a little about her bullying and how she is basically the laughing stock of her school with being pranked and embarrassed almost daily by her old best friend Jared. We see her afriad of him, afraid of the unknown, afraid of what prank is next. I could totally understand her panic at seeing Jared and her panic of needing to get away from him.

But then she comes back a year later from Europe and its like shes a new person. The year has been good to her, she seems confident, different, happier yet you know inside, she is shitting herself at seeing Jared and the final year ahead of her. Will Jared leave her alone? Will he go back to tormenting her? After a talk with her best friend K.C, she decides to grow some balls and fight back if Jared does anything.

Although I felt Bully began a little slow, I carried through and felt the pace pick up in the second half. I liked the strength that Tate had –even if sometimes she was still feeling timid, she never showed it and always fought back against Jared. I liked that she manned up to not take his shit anymore and yes, sometimes the way she handled things weren’t at best but she did what she had to in certain circumstances and although my heart pounded in some scenes, I was like Tate, slowly coming to terms with not actually hating Jared, but liking him, learning to love him again.

Jared was a complete dick. Not just a dick but a massive douchebag motherfucker for the things he did to Tate, the things he put her through. But, god help me, I learned to love him too. I could see underneath all that anger and hate there was still the young boy who loved his best friend, who still wanted her in his life, hence why he made hers miserable It was like he couldn’t let her go, and so instead of having her be his best friend, he needed to act like a royal bully towards her. We know he changed ever since that one summer and we do found out what happened…in bits. I still couldn’t understand his need to hurt Tate after that summer, but then I could see why he felt he needed to hurt her….

We do see Jared grow up. We see him conflicted over Tate, over his love/hate for her but when he gets his shit together, you do really like him. You like how he has loved Tate since forever and how he needs her. To him, she has always been his, even if he’s had a funny way of showing it and yes, it may seem a bit weird that he bullied her and now they are together but they just fit. You’ll understand when you read it.

The little things Jared does to Tate made me swoon. His way with words, the way he shred his soul to her, how he told her about his summer three years ago, to his pain, but he had one constant thing in his life – Tate. If not the way he wanted her, she was still there. I adored these two together, through the bullying, the fighting back to the change of events when actually yes, there is still that chemistry, that bond between them and thank god Tate did something to change it. That one part not only tore Jared apart, but me too and I’m glad it was kind of the changing dynamic in their relationship to where they are now!

I cannot wait to read Madoc’s book because he is a bloody hoot and I cannot wait to see more of Tate and Jared’s relationship too!

Posted in L.M Augustine, New Adult

Two Roads – L.M Augustine

e88ea-tworoadsfinalcoverSynopsis

The only person poetry-loving Cali Monroe hates more than herself is Logan Waters, the geeky kid who lives in the dorm building next to hers.

Ever since Cali’s parents told her she would amount to nothing, she has felt entirely inadequate. Friendless and alone, she takes on the mean girl role in hopes it will make her feel better–and Logan serves as the perfect target. He infuriates her with his obnoxiously long lashes, his all too perfect dimpled smile, and his complete lack of personality outside of his intelligence. It doesn’t hurt that he’s part of the reason her brother is dead, either. So Cali hates him, and he returns the favor. Thus, their prank-filled, insult-driven rivalry is born, and torturing Logan quickly becomes the highlight of her life.

But when Cali’s parents set them up on a blind date, she begins to realize Logan might not be as boring as she always thought. He shares her love of poetry, takes a sadistic pleasure in making fun of crepes, and he makes her blush when he calls her smile pretty.

And hey, maybe those long lashes of his aren’t that obnoxious after all…

Two Roads is New Adult Romance about finding love, standing out, and learning to embrace who you are. It contains some language and mild sexual content.

4 / 5 Stars

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My Review

*I’d like to thank L.M for an EArc copy of Two Roads in exchange for an honest review*

Since Click To Subscribe, which can I say I ABSOLUTELY LOVED, was released, I have been highly anticipating L.M’s next book, Two Roads. I was lucky enough to dedicate a week on my blog to L.M which ended in a teaser from Two Roads. It was small enough to make me excited for this book.

When I saw Two Roads in my inbox, I quickly finished my book just so I could demolish his book and become engrossed in Logan and Cali’s hatred for one another, the fun and awesome pranks they play on each other and the pain they both feel for Cali’s deceased brother.

It is L.M’s first venture into the NA genre and one that he obviously should not worry about because he nailed it to a T.  I literally devoured the whole book in a day and constantly tweeted my love for it….and how I always seemed to be crying. Seriously, even at parts that weren’t even sad I was crying. But as I say, if a book makes me cry, then it’s a great one and Two Roads definitely should be on your TBR list. So just go on put it on their now, because you will regret not reading it otherwise.

You will giggle, smile, cry, swoon, shout at your kindle for the two of them to just get together and also draw your own conclusion on some of the things happening throughout the book – I know I certainly did. L.M’s writing really is fresh – he adds in humour, fun nerdy words and a romance mixed in with great pranks, emotional scenes and he makes you feel and become a part of the story. You care about Logan and Cali.

Cali hasn’t been herself for over four years, not since her brother’s death. Her parents aren’t supportive in her career choice and want her to work for them so she has a love/hate relationship with them. When she gets to college, she spots the one guy she has hated for years – her best friends brother Logan. That is where the pranks begin

My heart went out to Cali. Once an outgoing girl, she is now pretending to be someone she is not, someone who ‘sleeps around’ and acts like a complete bitch, but it’s a façade she’s hiding behind to stop the pain and grief and guilt she is constantly feeling about her brother’s death. The only thing that makes her happy is reading/writing poetry, and of course Logan; but only when she is pulling amazing pranks on him. That is when she also feels alive.

I really enjoyed her journey. Her journey with finding her true self, finding love, finding forgiveness, and most of all letting go of all the guilt she had locked inside. There was this one scene that cut me deep and all the floodgates opened. It’s where you see her accept everything in her life, see her forgive and embrace herself, her true self, with no hiding anymore. You feel proud of her for getting this far and for Logan being there throughout it all.

Now Logan. Geeky maths boy who wears geeky math tops and drinks cold hot chocolate. For a maths boy, he is kind of a ladies man, and I know I would be swooning after him – well I was throughout the book. He was Cali’s brother’s best friend and he, just as much as Cali, suffered with pain, grief and guilt over his death, but he too, learnt to keep it locked away and act like he is now fine. When Cali first gives him crap, he seems this as an opportunity to keep an eye on her so he retaliates and shows how much he ‘hates’ her too.

He’s a secret poetry lover and when he and Cali are put together on a blind date, that’s when they begin to talk, no pranks, just talk and he finds out that Cali loves poetry too. There is this convention that month and Cali is umming and ahhing about going, so he does whatever he can to make her go with him. Pulling pranks, texting her constantly until she goes with him.

That weekend is what changes everything for the both of them.

Logan is really sweet. He’s caring and lovely and so freaking funny with the pranks and the texts to Cali. No matter how much he ‘hated’ Cali, it was clear to see just how much he loved her and would do anything to make her happy – the pranks obviously did. But he wanted her to stop the anger, let go of the guilt she felt and be herself, and that’s why he wanted to keep her in eyesight and in his life, even If it meant doing to pranks on her.

Despite the ‘hate’, the romance was sweet and you really root for both of them to get together, so when Logan told Cali what he did, you just want to hug the crap out of him and be like “I KNEW IT LOGAN, I BLOODY KNEW YOU HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT.” Ohhh what an utter babe he was.

I really liked seeing both Cali and Logan happy in the end. Although it was inevitable how the ending would happen, it was a great journey to get to where they go to!

I loved the theme of poetry. I admit, I am never going to be one for poetry, but L.M actually made me interested in it, in the poems mentioned and used in Two Roads. Made me understand about poetry and the meanings that are and could be behind the words. So I’m still not a fan, but thank you L.M for highlighting the importance of poetry in Two Roads, I loved how it brought Logan and Cali together.

I also loved all the pranks that Cali and Logan devised up for each other, they were pure entertaining and funny and you could see just how much Cali needed to do this to Logan. And despite the one prank that went waaay too far and actually hurt them both in what Cali did, the rest of them were funny and childish and exactly what awesome pranks should be. Something tells me L.M is a master in pranks…. Remind me never to get on the wrong side of him 😉

So if you are looking for a book full of pranks, poetry, two people who hate each other but secretly love each other but can’t admit it due to the past then Two Roads is definitely a book worth reading. You should really invest your time reading it, because you won’t be disappointed at all!