Review: Rival by Penelope Douglas

From the New Adult sensation and New York Times bestselling author of Until You

Madoc and Fallon. Two estranged teenagers playing games that push the boundaries between love and war…

She’s back.

For the two years she’s been away at boarding school, there was no word from her. Back when we lived in the same house, she used to cut me down during the day and then leave her door open for me at night.

I was stupid then, but now I’m ready to beat her at her own game…

I’m back.

Two years and I can tell he still wants me, even if he acts like he’s better than me.

But I won’t be scared away. Or pushed down. I’ll call his bluff and fight back. That’s what he wants, right? As long as I keep my guard up, he’ll never know how much he affects me….


“I knew exactly how I felt about Madoc. And I knew why I felt that way. I hated him. I hated what he did to me. But why in the hell did he hate me?”

My thoughts (Simona):

“But we were different now. I wanted only his pain, and judging from the girl he’d come home with last night, Madoc was still the same. A user.”

I’ve just finished Rival and I don’t think I’m ready to read another book although my TBR is  full, but I can’t, my mind is still on Madoc and Fallon’s story, because their story was the best  I’ve read so far.

Let me start with a confession, the truth is that in Bully I disliked Madoc, I thought he was narcissist, egoist, full of himself, a boy that doesn’t think to much before he talks, but I never was so wrong about a character. You see, at the end of Bully we found out that Madoc had a plan, and that’s why he was supporting Jared’s behaviour and joined it to make Tate’s life miserable, but all the time he had a plan. When he tells Tate why he treated her so bad, I started to change my mind about Madoc, I started to see that he had a brain and he used it! And that was the start of my rid, when I decided to wait and see what he have hidden behind his appearance.

“Fallon and I were a lot like them. Only I didn’t love her, and she didn’t love me. I was infatuated with her once— and loved that she let me take my pubescent urges out on her— but we weren’t in love.”

Rival it’s a real story for me, amazing, and beautiful where two tennagers try to find out how to handle their feelings, because when you love someone at only sixteen it’s really hard to handle your emotions. That’s what happened with Madoc and Fallon, they played with fire and they got burned. It’s hard, at only their age to love and to live with the feeling that the person you love had left you. Madoc and Fallon’s relationship never has been easy because they loved each other but everything between them started with the fire of hate. Once you follow that path it’s really hard to admit that you probably hate to love the other person. It’s strange but pretty simple, actually.

” It would’ve been easy to hit him. To toss an insult back at him. And while I despised her weakness, I understood one thing that II hadn’t before. Jared was an ass, but he was an ass who could hurt her. She was in love with him. “

You see, Fallon it’s different from the other girls, she has her own fashion style resemble with Tate’s if you want a hint to picture her better. She is wild, and it’s not afraid to say what she has in her mind, she is realist, and with her feet down on earth. It’s very different of how Tate was when Jared was bullying her. Fallon knows that nothing is more scary that your own feelings. I personally believe that when you keep them inside and you don’t let them out, you will win because no one can figure out what you are hiding in your heart as long as your face doesn’t expose them.

“Fallon affected my body in weird ways. But only because she’s different, I told myself.”

I’ve talked only about how much I love this book, right? I know I compliment this book so much but I just love it, I love how Ms. Douglas wrote it, it’s so addicting that I think I found my new drug, and I became an addict of her books.

“But that was two years ago. She wasn’t sexy to me anymore. Now she was lethal.”

In Rival we meet a totally different Madoc, it’s like we stumble in the path of a sexy, smart, dominating bad boy who knows what he wants, who matured all of a sudden. I know what Fallon had done to him and I’m sad when I remember how Madoc was feeling in those times, but I think he needed this. He needed to grow up, he needed to learn how to lead and not be lead. I’m proud of him and I learned so many things about life by him, and for this I’m really thankful. I’ve learned that you need to be happy in the present, you need to think of your future but just that, to think, life is to short to say “I will be happy but not now, maybe next week” ; NO you can choose when to be happy. You can be happy right know if you want so. Your heart, your emotions, are lead by you, so take your pants on and lead them as you wish! Lead them like Madoc and Fallon lead theirs and they ended up in a war of love and hate! But in the end, that was the best love story I’ve read by now. It was “RAW and REAL”!

“Whether or not he still wanted me, I knew he wouldn’t want anyone else to have me.”

About Jared and Tate, they are such a lovely couple, a piece of my heart remained with them and we found in Rival, a Jared that grew up, that changed himself and became the man that I always knew that he could be, but with Tate’s help of course. I think I’m starting to care for Jax because his lines were memorable, and he gained my respect, saying that he likes a specific kind of girls for him and not the ones that look at him like he were a toy or something like that.

“He was here. We were alone. We were angry. Déjà vu.” 

So I have just great words for this book, I read it in one stand, and I advice you to read Bully first because it’s more pleasant to see Jared’s change, and Madoc’s progress. Besides, do you want to miss how Tate breakes Madoc nose? That scene was memorable!

My rating 5/5

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