Until You by Penelope Douglas #Review

Posted January 29, 2016 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 15 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Until You by Penelope Douglas #Review
Until You

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
four-flames

Series: #1.5 Fall Away
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance
Published by NAL
Released on January 5, 2016
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

Get it at: add to goodreads

Not sure what the best way is to read this one, but I chose to read it back to back with its companion novel, Bully.  Bully is book one and should definitely be the first of the two read as this one follows the same time line, but fills in the other line along with adding more to the layer.

At this point, I am emotionally exhausted reading the two together which is why I wonder if a little distance might have helped.  But then again, I was so caught up in the story that there was no resisting flipping from Tate’s POV to Jared’s.  I will, however, be taking a break before reading Maddox’s story since I think it will be a tough emotional read, too.

Reading Bully was hard.  Jared really was the unlikeable bully of Tate’s life and caused a lot of pain for her.  The end explained it, but didn’t justify it.  So yes, tough story.  But that was nothing to getting it all from Jared’s POV in Until You.  The author brilliantly balances things on a knife’s edge so that the reader gets all the darker and grittiness that is in Jared’s head and his actions toward Tate while still managing to keep me, the reader, cheering for him to find his way out of the dark into the light.

This is a companion novel telling the same story as Bully from a flipped perspective, but fortunately, it is not an utter rehash.  The whole time I was reading Bully; I wanted to know what Jared was thinking.  And with this book, I got it.  There were many scenes away from the ones with Tate, but even the ones with her felt so very different because Jared was so angry and confused and lived in a dark world of his mind.  The abuse and neglect this kid took was staggering and painful.  His outlet choice was cruel and wrong, but understandable.  Even though I had the other story, this one was almost like reading something new.

My only real niggle was that final scene.  There was the huge climax and satisfying denouement and then the author slipped in another plot thread.  Things ended on a high note, but because of the issue that the plot thread presented, I was not entirely satisfied.  It felt more of a Happy for Now with ominous things on the horizon.  Not that I don’t plan on continuing with the series to follow the lives of this group of coming of age young adults, but this end left me uneasy for what is to come.

All in all, I found this companion novel strengthened the story and added even more depth to an already impressive story.  The first book was borderline for teens, but this one is more New Adult in nature even if the age group are still in high school- too dark along with more extreme content.  So I’m changing my recommendation for the series to those who enjoy hot and emotional New Adult Contemporary Romance.

My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #23 NA
Literary Pickers #23 Grandfather Clock
Bad Boys #6

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Anna@herding cats&burning soupChristy LoveOfBooksLornaMary KirklandSophia Rose Recent comment authors
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Red Iza
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I wasn’t sure if I would read Bully one day. It’s on my list, sure, Sometimes I’m inclined to, because of the reviews it go, sometimes I’m not because well, it’s about a bully and I’m afraid it will be too emotional. However, I already read several books I wasn’t supposed to like/love and it ended up well anyway, so I’ll finally give it a try. And I like what you said about Until you, that it was not a rehash. I recently read Oblivion, Daemon’s pov of the Lux series, and as much as I enjoyed it, there was… Read more »

Sophia Rose
Guest

I know what you mean about being scared of Bully and this one. I noticed Bully when it was still with a different publisher quite some time ago. I put it on my list, but hesitated. I was offered this pair a little while back and again, I hesitated. The author doesn’t try to prettify Jared or his actions which earned lots of respect points for me- she called him a Bully and wrote him as such, but she also showed why and made me as the reader feel it all the way. This pair of stories wrung me out.… Read more »

Lekeisha
Guest

As much as I despise any kind of bully, I’m open to reading this series. Sounds intense.

Sophia Rose
Guest

It truly was intense, Lekeisha. I like that the author made it feel like I wasn’t being forced to like bully Jared. He really wasn’t nice or likeable to Tate. The reader’s sympathies are with her then understanding comes, but it still doesn’t change what he said and did. I think that is what made it worth the read- the author doesn’t try to make a bully look good.

Carole's Random Life
Guest

I like the sound of this series. I don’t remember ever reading the same story but from different perspectives in each book. If done right, I am guessing it would be amazing. Great review!

Sophia Rose
Guest

It was amazing, but also exhausting emotionally. 🙂 I made the mistake of reading them one after the other and was drained. There are a couple more books in the series, but I’m going to wait on them. I need to regroup before diving back into the angst.

I’ve only read a couple books with companion books. One time, I didn’t like the companion book and the other time, it was great. I think it depends if it feels like a rehash or if you’re getting something truly new.

Carole's Random Life
Guest

I like the sound of this series. I don’t remember ever reading the same story but from different perspectives in each book. If done right, I am guessing it would be amazing. Great review!

Sophia Rose
Guest

It was amazing, but also exhausting emotionally. 🙂 I made the mistake of reading them one after the other and was drained. There are a couple more books in the series, but I’m going to wait on them. I need to regroup before diving back into the angst.

I’ve only read a couple books with companion books. One time, I didn’t like the companion book and the other time, it was great. I think it depends if it feels like a rehash or if you’re getting something truly new.

Mary Kirkland
Guest

I kinda like emotionally exhausting books. I’ve read a few and they really stick with you.

Sophia Rose
Guest

I think you’re right. They really do. I read these almost a month ago and I still have moments when I think about them.

Lorna
Guest

I have read reviews of Bully and didn’t think it would be one I would like. So much emotion. I can only imagine how wore out you were reading them back to back! However, I am glad you enjoyed the read ultimately. Very thoughtful review!

Sophia Rose
Guest

I was iffy on reading these b/c of the bully element and they were indeed tiring, but you’re right, I’m so glad I read them, Lorna.

Christy LoveOfBooks
Guest

I love this series to pieces, but I skipped this one. I saw Penelope say she wishes she would have added his POV in Bully, like the rest of the boos have dual-POVs. I agree. I’ll probably still read this eventually, because I miss these characters. After you’ve read them all, go read all of her extras. I love that she still continues with little scenes.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Oooh, extras. Thanks for the tip. Actually, not getting Jared’s POV was my only real issue with Bully. This is that and more. Wow is it more. I’m taking a break before jumping back in for book three to give my emotions a recharge. LOL

Anna@herding cats&burning soup
Guest

Hrms so I need to try her soon it seems, yeah? I have one of her books from a different series I believe (it’s likely going to be in my blogger shame list lol). They definitely sound like they put you through the wringer. Those are amazing sometimes but definitely get needing a break before the next one.