Bright & Bully: A Novel Review – Pupils who bullied other students in their prep school, or played the “bully” role in cliques and groups may have formed a bad character. This is the premise of this novel. A former cheerleader turned teacher writes about what her former students did to her, and how she discovered a way to help her students. One of the scenes involves a student being sent to a boys’ boarding school. The author provides details on the type of boys and girls the student was involved with and what types of relationships they had.
Bright and Bully features three different chapters that each take you into a different part of the story. The first chapter takes place in a clique where cliques are formed and there is a lot of distrust between members of the cliques. They all want to be the leader, but they are never able to establish that position because they all think alike. They also all tend to make fun of each other’s mothers and in return the mothers do not understand the true nature of the cliques. As the relationship between a cheerleader and her cheerleaders deteriorates the cliques become enemies instead of friends.
The second chapter takes place in a school environment where a girl known as Nerd sends out constant dare requests that the cliques must complete in order to win a prize. The first mission takes them to an abandoned cabin that has a metal detector and they are to search for something. As they complete the quests they are given tips on how to approach women, how to attract girls, and other valuable information. Each of the girls has different reasons for completing the missions, and in the end they must work together in order to finish the game.
The third chapter takes place in a school carnival where various cliques are competing for a prize. As they compete the main mission is to get to the top five. As you complete the tasks you earn points and depending on your rank you will receive gifts. Among the gifts are cars which you can take to your home garage. The cars have special features such as air suspension and hydraulic shocks which help increase your speed and handling.
The fourth chapter sees a new member of the cliques named Ryder who joins the group. Ryder has a crush on Rosewood and starts pestering him. One of the missions allows you to chase and bully Rosewood. However he soon learns that he has been stood up by the other greasers. He then decides to form his own clique which includes him, Scout, Pax, and Kingston. All the girls except for Rosewood eventually fall in love with Ryder and join his gang.
The fifth chapter takes place at a boarding school called Rainy Day. The novel begins when two boys, Travis and Zach try to rob the rich Mr. Pickles. While they are doing so they accidentally kill him. Shortly thereafter, the police find out and the investigation reveals that a serial killer known as Leatherface is the actual father of one of Zach’s classmates named Jake. He escaped from a mental institution called St. Palsy because he committed suicide by stabbing himself on the school bus. The opening scene takes place on the bus where Zach and Travis are getting ready to go somewhere and discover the location of Mr. Pickles’ home.
There are several cut-scenes including a school fair and a scuffle between two boys. There are also several canon events such as the death of Rosewood’s mom and the subsequent search for her killer. There are also several Easter scenes including the Egg Party, the Palsy Press, and the Class Prayer. Rosewood also appears in the novel and several other episodes.
The newest novel in the series, Bully: Scholarship Edition, has received rave reviews from critics and fans. It’s actually darker than the original book, which was probably a good thing. I like twists in story and this one is quite different from the originals in that it tackles the bullying instead of only concentrating on the murder mystery. I’m also a big college fan and this book brings that back to life in a way that the other books have not. I highly recommend this one.