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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.
*This novel contains adult/mature young adult situations. It is only suitable for ages 18+ due to language, violence, and sexual situations.
**This book is the first in a series but can be read as a STAND ALONE. The next books will focus on side characters from this story.
Thank you so much for stopping by Toot's Book Reviews and congratulations on having your story put to paper.
If you don't mind, may I ask you a few questions for your current and soon-to-be fans? Shoot!
In your own words, tell us a bit about your book?
Bully is about a young woman (me) fighting back against the boy who’s bullied her for years. Jared and I are neighbors and used to be inseparable, but he began finding enjoyment in tormenting me. Not physically, of course. He spread rumors, shut me out of social circles, and intimidated other boys that asked me out. This isn’t a “he picks on me, because he likes me” story. Those weren’t Jared’s motivations.
How did you feel knowing you were getting your own book?
Nervous. Jared and I have a unique story, like most people, and black and white judgments run rampant when everyone has an opinion these days. I was worried people would see it this way or that way. I’m glad so many have an open mind.
Have you read it or was living it good enough?
Jared barely leaves me alone long enough to do homework much less recreational reading.
What is your favorite scene in the book?
Penelope didn’t write my favorite scene in the book. I think she’s including it in Until You, though. LOVED the kitchen table…and so will you!
What's your least favorite scene?
When he told me that he didn’t care whether I was alive or dead.
How old were you when you were first bullied?
Growing up, there are lots of little times when we all feel left out and shut out. Jared wasn’t the first to make me feel alone, but he was the most hurtful.
How long have you two known each other?
Almost eight years now.
What was the reason you were bullied? (What made you different compared to the ones who were doing the bullying?)
You mean Jared’s overall reason? Well, I think that will give away the story and further understanding of Jared’s mindset in Until You, but a person who is bullied is being made to feel isolated and lower than low. The bully gets satisfaction from pushing others down.
How often were you harassed?
It depends. Sometimes a rumor or prank would happen every other week. Other times, it happened every couple of months. The loneliness was always there, though.
Did the school/your parents/their parents ever do anything to stop it?
No, I really didn’t tell people. I wanted Jared to make amends, tell me what was going on. I wouldn’t tell anyone, because I didn’t want a forced reconciliation. That wouldn’t have been real.
How did going away to France help?
Experience is the best teacher. Put yourself in an unfamiliar situation without all of your lifelines and see what blooms.
What would be your advice to young kids today who face bullying?
If you feel threatened at any time, seek help. I never let the words or taunts make me feel bad about myself, but it still hurt that people thought those lies about me. If it had been anyone else but Jared, I would’ve involved the adults.
Obviously Jared has some issues that are brought to light and the root of why he bullied you but after your experiences in the book, have you found peace with what happened?
Jared still tries to make up for what he did, but I’m not content to live in the past with that baggage between us. On the rare occasion he lets someone see who he really is, you know it’s real. He doesn’t say things that aren’t true, and he doesn’t fake it. Behind closed doors I know who’s really in control of him and that eases my mind.
You and Jared are a couple now, does what happened in the past color your relationship in the present or have you completely moved past it?
My reactions to things are more “colorful”.
What's your favorite thing about him?
How he only has eyes for me.
What's your least favorite?
His exploits. There are girls at my school that know him intimately, and I’m glad I don’t know who they are, because I’d want to hit them all.
If he was Ice Cream, what would his flavor be?
Rocky Road (pun intended)
What would be your perfect date for the two of you?
A road trip out of town for the day. Driving, music, scenery, no people…
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I run, listen to music, read mysteries and thrillers, and take long showers.
A few random questions....
Remedy but Seether
“Those who stand for nothing, fall for anything.”
Lastly, what are 5 things fans don't know about you or the book?
1. Jared and I can recite the entire script from the movie Clue.
2. I took a picture of Jared and me to France. Stuck it in my Leaves of Grass book and kept it there. I hated that I did that, and I never looked at it, but I needed it with me.
3. I want to have a goth wedding at the Goretorium.
4. Jared and I had a fight after our first time together. That same night. Then we made up.
5. Ummm, oh, and I like nipple piercings. On guys!
Tate, I can't thank you enough for stopping by. You are the bomb!!!
Thank you for having me!
Now everyone GO BUY THIS BOOK!!!!
Penelope Douglas is a writer and teacher in Las Vegas. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, she is the oldest of five children. Penelope attended the University of Northern Iowa, earning a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration, because her father told her to "just get the degree!" She then earned a Masters of Science in Education at Loyola University in New Orleans, because she hated Public Administration. One night, she got tipsy and told the bouncer at the bar where she worked that his son was hot, and three years later they were married. To the son, not the bouncer. They have spawn, but just one. A daughter named Aydan. Penelope loves sweets, the show Sons of Anarchy, and she shops at Target almost daily.
Penelope is offering up (3) $25 Amazon gift cards (INTL) and (5) signed copies of BULLY (US/CA) Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST 09/01/2013