Genre: NA, contemporary | This review contains spoilers!
This book has been in my TBR shelf for quite some time. I can’t tell why exactly, but I had this feeling it was going to disappoint me and…
Ding ding ding! I was right.
First of all, bullying. Okay. By reading the synopsis, you get that Tate is, at some point, bullied by her – let’s say – love interest. Let’s stop there for a minute, shall we? Is it just me or that sounds terrible? Could anyone at any point fall in love or remain in love with someone that is bullying them?
Even being skeptical and having those important questions before starting the book, I decided to put my reading pants on and give it a chance. Believe me, I sort of get the appeal of the classic “bad boy is mean to good girl because he secretly loves her“. So I just hoped for the best and prayed that this story was not going to be a “bad boy bullies good girl because he secretly loves her” because that, my friends, I could never understand.
The worst part is that this book was indeed what I suspected. The love interest, does in fact bully the female character. And that very same female MC stays in love with him regardless. Now, the saddest part was that what I just mentioned is not the only negative aspect of the book. I hate to say this, but not even the array of characters made any sense. Let’s break it down.
Jared, the bully. Jared and Tate are best friends for years, until Jared goes away for a whole summer to his (spoiler alert: abusive) dad and comes back changed. And when I say changed, I mean he comes back, finishes off any childhood friendship with Tate and turns her life into high school hell. If you were not popular during that part of your life, you know how big of a deal that is. Not only not being popular per se, but being made fun of by the popular kids. That’s terrible and a huge deal and, unfortunately, happens all the time. That is something that can turn a teenager’s life miserable. Bullying is present and a real problem. So excuse me if I just don’t buy the whole I did it because I love you thing. Jared made Tate miserable during 2 years, he spread nasty rumours about her and he made sure no guy approached her, leaving Tate with only one friend, K.C. And what a friend by the way.
K.C., the “best friend”. She is supposed to be Tate’s bestie and in my opinion her character butchers the term of friendship in the first place. K.C. encourages Tate to live her life and try not to think about the bullying and the bullies. All good there. Then, K.C. finds out her boyfriend cheated on her and she goes and hooks up with – brace yourself – Jared! The bully!? Let me stop you there, Penelope Douglas, because if that’s your definition of friendship there is something wrong with you. K.C. entangles herself with Jared knowing how cruel that boy was to her supposed best friend. But apparently it’s ok because he is so hot and popular and deep down such a good boy. If that didn’t send you away running, let me add that even if he was in fact a good boy deep down, and even if he had asked for redemption and stopped the bullying, how good of a best friend is one that doesn’t realise that Tate has been in love with him all this time!? Not a good one, no. Or at least not an observant one. But let’s go back to Tate and the fact that she has been in love with her bully.
Tate, the “good girl”. As I said, let’s pick this up where I said that Tate has loved Jared all the time. Yes, that. This is not a drill, it’s real. During the first chapters I couldn’t believe my eyes. But the obvious crush on her bully is not even the worst, Tate’s
almost bipolar track of thoughts was also disturbing. She would go from how much she hated him to how hot he was on those jeans and shirt and blah blah blah. I tried really hard to understand her and put myself in her position and I came up with nothing. I can see that Tate was in love with the guy Jared used to be, but what I could never understand is how could she not fall out of love if said guy is making her life miserable in the present. A part from that, let me highlight how aggressive Tate’s character was. It’s not once and not twice but 4 times that she punches somebody (who might have deserved it) in the face. But still, even if someone deserves it, violence? Yikes.
To conclude, I would like to highlight that as hurt, broken or traumatised someone could be (Jared), if that person’s way of proving that you are the love of their life is by isolating you and bullying you… That someone doesn’t love you. And I think you should get away real fast.
Rating the Bibliothèque: 1/5