LitStack Review: Until You by Penelope Douglas

Title: Until Youuntil you
Series: A Fall Away Novel, Book #1.5
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date:  December 5, 2013
Tour Organized by: As the Pages Turn

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. I hate that I can’t let her go. 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. She centers me, and I can pool all of my anger into her. Engaging, challenging, bullying her–call it what you will–but it’s my food, my air, and the last part of me that feels anything human.

But then she went and screwed everything up. She left. She went to France for a year and came back a different girl.

Now, when I push, she pushes back.

*This is Jared’s point of view and a companion novel to BULLY. It can be read as a stand alone, but reading BULLY first is strongly encouraged. Having Tate’s point of view will help you appreciate Jared’s side more. This is NOT Bully re-told.

This is Jared’s story.

How are bullies made? It’s a tough topic and one that Penelope Douglas explored in her debut novel, Bully.

Jared Trent is a bully. But not getting enough affection as a child or being indulged and entitled, didn’t transform him from a sweet, caring friend to the asshole he became.

Tatum Brandt is the focus of his anger, but it isn’t because she’s been cruel. It’s because she has always been the focus of Jared’s world.

In Bully, Douglas delved into the hidden aspects of a bully; one that gets sick pleasure from terrorizing the girl he loves more than anything. (Think of that obnoxious third grader pulling your braids on the playground, then multiply that by about a million).

In the second installment in the Fall Away series, Until You, readers are given a first hand account of Jared’s mindset during the events in Bully and they are privy to what really made Jared a bully.

It is a heartbreaking, satisfying story that Douglas’ readers will not easily forget. In Until You, we see what Jared was up to while Tate spent her Junior year in Europe. We see the devastation her absence left on Jared; we see his irresponsibility, his anger and then, finally, he utter relief when she returns.

Also visible, are the inter-workings of secondary characters we met in Bully. Tate’s father, for example, stepped up when Jared’s misdeeds nearly cost him his freedom. It was James Brandt that set him on the straight and narrow and challenged him by explaining how a real man behaves:

I call it the ‘Fuck up, own up, and get up’ policy. Make a mistake, admit it, and move on. We all screw up, but a man solves his problems. He doesn’t make them worse.

But it was Jared’s transformation and the growth evident in Douglas’ writing that made Until You such a wonderful read. Laughter, annoyance, anxiety all filtered in my head as I read this book and by the end I began to wonder how long I’d have to wait until the next installment in the series.

With characters that are well arced and a story that will have your cheering, Until You is the perfect read to fill any romance lover’s stocking this Christmas.

Favorite line in the book: “You should try everything once. Except crystal meth.”

Highly, highly recommended.



Buy the Book!


Amazon UK:




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 12/23/2013.

Rafflecopter giveaway

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.