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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
I, Bully is a work of fiction in the coming of age, social issues, and interpersonal drama sub-genres, and was penned by author Roy Dimond. The work is intended for the young adult reading audience and upward and handles the sensitive topic of cyberbullying, both from the perspective of the victim and the bully in the situation. Our protagonists are Hannah, a young girl from a well-to-do family, who perceives that she is invisible and unheard because of her older sister. Whereas Eric, her fellow eighth-grader, is swamped by unwanted attention because of his bad attitude and difficult home life. So when Eric and Hannah clash with disastrous results, so begins a quest to really understand someone who is totally opposite to you in every way.
Author Roy Dimond has crafted a fascinating, touching, and emotive work of YA fiction with plenty of relatable moments and endearing characters to offer readers. It is, of course, easy to feel sympathy for Hannah at once, so the real beauty of Dimond’s writing comes from the portrayal of the surly and volatile Eric, who is realistically and unapologetically described throughout the tale. It is this proximity to reality and the close narration of the author that allow the novel to become something deeper, bringing out the light and dark in both protagonists as the story goes on. The dialogue was also very effective, serving to display the unique traits of the characters whilst handling the more raw and sensitive moments of the plot in a truly powerful way. Overall, I would highly recommend I, Bully to fans of well-penned social justice novels, contemporary school fiction, and for YA fiction enthusiasts everywhere.