Until You - A Fall Away Novel (#1.5 Jared's POV from Bully) by Penelope Douglas.
What they say: Have you ever been so angry that hitting things felt good? Or so numb that you actually felt high? The past few years have been like that for me. Traveling between fury and indifference with no stops in between.
Some people hate me for it, while others are scared of me. But none of them can hurt me, because I don't care about anything or anyone. Except Tatum. I love her so much that I hate her. We used to be friends, but I found out that I couldn't trust her or anyone else. So I hurt her. I pushed her away.
But I still need her. The sight of her centers me, and I can pool all of my anger into her. Engaging her, challenging her, bullying her...they are my food, my air, and the last part of me that feels anything human.
But she left. She went to France for a year, and came back a different girl. Now, when I push, she pushes back.
***This novel contains graphic sexual content and harsh language. It is only appropriate for adult readers age 18+.
What I say: I was really conflicted when I read Bully (review here) because as much as I should hate Jared (and at times I wanted to smack him) I just couldn't seem to be able to write him off. Until You is a retelling of events for Jared's POV, along with some great new scenes.
After reading Until You I feel less conflicted about Jared and although I couldn't totally forgive his actions towards Tate I did find it easier to understand him and his motivations. This book adds a level of empathy for him which didn't exist in Bully (I always though Tate was too forgiving) and I felt genuinely bad for his suffering. It was good to get more Madoc (I think his story is up next).
I think the main thing which is clear after reading Jared's POV is his obsession with Tate; he loves her even when he doesn't want to, so he hates her. I suppose it's easier to hurt the ones we love.
I also enjoyed seeing Jared's jealousy firsthand and his guy double standards (you know where he sleeps around but hates the idea of Tate having done something similar). One particularly sweet moment was a flashback to when he saw a young Tate with another guy.
I actually preferred this version of the story because seeing Jared's justification helped me to understand him. It becomes clear how Tate calms and helps him when nobody else can. I was waiting for his eureka moment where he realised instead of bullying Tate he should have been confiding in and loving her.
4 Stars in my Sky!
My fav non-spoilery quotes:
- And that's when I saw it. The end. The death in her eyes. The absence of emotion. The surrender of everything good between us that we'd built this past week.
- I hurt her, not because I hated her, but because I hated that I wasn't strong enough to not love her.
- but my anger ran deeper than my love for her that day, and right now, I couldn't face what I'd done.
- I preferred black, but I liked that Tate surprised me. My good girl in pink. A good girl that was bad only for me.