Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Until You by Penelope Douglas
The UNTIL YOU blog tour was organized by As the Pages Turn! You can find the entire blog tour schedule HERE. Read my UNTIL YOU review below and enter the awesome giveaway at the very end.

Title: Until You (Fall Away, #1.5)
Author: Penelope Douglas
Pages: 406
Publisher: InterMix
Release Date: February 18, 2014
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.

My Thoughts: The first book in the Fall Away series Bully was one of my favorite books this year. As soon as I finished, I could not wait to read Madoc's story! Then the author announced she would be writing Bully in Jared's POV. While I was excited and curious to know his side of the story, I was kind of unsure how I felt about reading another version of Bully, no matter how much adored it. I didn't have to worry though because Penelope Douglas made sure Until You was more than just a retelling.

Reading from Jared's perspective was a way different experience than reading from Tate's perspective. Which should be expected, since they're not the same person. But what really stood out to me was how I felt about Jared. In my review for Bully, I stated how frustrated and angry I got with him and things that happened in the book. Maybe it's because I knew the outcome of some events and had already forgiven him by the end of Bully, but Jared didn't piss me off at all in this book. I felt sympathy and sadness and heartbroken for him from the very beginning. I also realized I (including Tate) was too quick in making assumptions about him during certain situations, even if it was warranted at the time and he quite frankly deserved it. But what Until You made me see was that there's always another side to a story and what we assume might not always be the truth.

I'm glad Until You gave us the much needed insight into Jared's complex thought process. His reasoning for treating Tate the way he did made sense to me before. It didn't make it okay, but I understood. People have their own ways of coping and bullying Tate was his. Learning what led up to the bullying and knowing how he felt about it and what made him change for the better, though, helped to explain his reasoning even more. And he just managed to surprise me in a good way. His need to convince himself that he hated Tate always ended up with him describing her in a way that made it clear he had strong feelings for her. She was everything to him and deep down he was ashamed for having hurt her. I just loved reading how he saw her and how much he wanted her forgiveness. And of course, I loved reading all the intense, hot moments they shared in his perspective.

Another thing I enjoyed about Until You was finding out what other characters had been up to when Tate wasn't around. K.C., Madoc, Jax, Tate's father, and Jared's parents all made more appearances, and some of them made me hope we would get to see more of them in the future books. Like Tate's father, because he's awesome and badass! And like K.C., because she's not as bad as she was made out to be in Bully (which made me very happy!), and she seems to have plenty of secrets I would really like to know about. Then there's Madoc and Jax. I had so much fun reading their interactions with Jared. They were hilarious and wonderful, and both have their own complicated stories to tell. I'm so glad they are going to be featured in their own books. Cannot wait to read them!

Mad props to Penelope Douglas for making Until You its own story, instead of Bully 2.0, and nailing the male voice. That being said, I highly recommend reading Bully first before Until You because I think Tate's POV is just as important and you'll understand why Jared's story needed to be told when you're finished with Bully. Until You wrapped up any lingering questions or doubts about the Jared we met in Bully and was a satisfying conclusion to Tate and Jared's story. I'm already counting down the days to the next book in the series Rival!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase UNTIL YOU: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords
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About the Author
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.

Find Penelope: Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

Penelope is offering up (1) Kindle Paperwhite, (5) $50 gift cards to either Amazon or B&N, (5) Prize packs (bookmarks, rack cards, a custom key chain and signed copies of Bully and Until You) or (10) eBook copies of Bully up for grabs. The giveaways are open internationally. Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on December 23, 2013.
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  1. Fallon Vaughn

    Jared reminds me if my husband. I have to read this.

  2. Would love to meet Tatum! Thanks for the great giveaway! Adding to my to-read list now:)

  3. This sounds like a good read, and I like the simplistic cover.

  4. It feels like I've been waiting forever for this book since I read Bully, it sounds great I can't wait ;)

  5. I haven't read this series but the description has me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what's happen to Tatum so I will definitely be buying these soon with any Christmas Giftcards I get.

  6. Until you sounds like a fantastic read --- I love the cover! Definitely adding this series to my TBR list.

    Happy Holidays and thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com