I am so sorry I haven’t posted in a while! Yes, life has been extremely busy. My family recently bought a house, and there are tons of renovations being done, so we are all sleeping out on mattresses in the living room. This Monday I’m leaving for camp, which really made me want to post at least once before I leave.
Today, I am reviewing a book that’s a little different from the other books I’ve talked about. Bully: A True Story of Highschool Revenge by Jim Schutze falls into the true crime genre. For those of you who don’t know what a true crime book is, it’s pretty self-explanatory . . . The author tells the story of a true crime, delving into all the details of the victim, the killer (s), the history of the location, and the trial. Be wary though . . . accuracy isn’t always the author’s priority. Sometimes true crime books are extremely accurate (like the one I’m going to tell you about,) but many others can elaborate, exaggerate, or minimize for drama’s sake.
Now that you are familiar with true crime, let’s get started.
Lisa Connelly was unhappy with herself. She considered herself fat, unpopular and unlovable. However, when her friend Ali set her up on a date with the handsome bad-boy “stud” Marty Puccio, things seem to be looking up. Lisa and Marty fell in love, even though he physically abused her on occasion.
Lisa attributed this to Marty’s best friend, Bobby Kent. Bobby was even more violent than Marty, going to the point of hurting, bribing, and threatening him. Finally, the angry and insecure Lisa made a decision that Bobby Kent, the bully, must go.
However, Lisa and Marty weren’t the only people who wanted Bobby Kent dead . . .
What’s really fascinating about Bully: A True Story of Highschool Revenge is that actually happened. Yes, I totally can understand how it feels to be insecure and angry, but I cannot fathom someone resorting to murder because of the anger inside of them. However, people do feel like that’s their only way out, and even though it’s certainly not an excuse, but it’s still something to be sympathetic over. Still, they deserve whatever punishment that they got, and that’s what we’re going to talk about next.
Another thing about this story that fascinates me is the trial. Seven teenagers were involved in this murder, and got different degrees of punishment depending on their involvement with the crime. Most of the teenagers, including Marty Puccio and Lisa Connelly plead not guilty, resulting in life in prison sentences. I find it shocking that they plead not guilty, and their lawyer’s arguments were incredibly interesting.
It’s an intense book with lots of language and other somewhat mature elements. Basically, this is a book that’s interesting and takes a lot of thinking. The author does a beautiful job of portraying each of the characters as the evil people they are, but opens the window for a little bit of sympathy.
As far as accuracy, most of my research indicates it is. I’ve read several articles, and watched a documentary on the case because I found it so interesting.
The book asks and then answers several fascinating questions . . . What drives someone to believe that murder is the only way to relieve whatever’s bothering them? Why were they so reluctant to get help from somewhere else? What compels someone to stay in an abusive relationship and blame it on someone else?
Should you read Bully: A True Story of Highschool Revenge
Gosh, I don’t know. Like I said earlier, it’s an intense book with some mature elements. These kids that schemed to kill their friend weren’t nice little kids that had been taught to respect adults and be kind to others. These kids are well . . . bad, and bad kids do things that are very much wrong other than murder.
Bully: A True Story of Highschool Revenge fascinates me, and if you chose to pick it up, I think it’ll fascinate you too.