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.TEASE by Amanda Maciel
Published by Balzer + Bray on 4/29/2014
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult
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From debut author Amanda Maciel comes a provocative and unforgettable novel, inspired by real-life incidents, about a teenage girl who faces criminal charges for bullying after a classmate commits suicide.
Emma Putnam is dead, and it's all Sara Wharton's fault. At least, that's what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma's shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who's ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media. In the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment—and ultimately consider her own role in an undeniable tragedy. And she'll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.
With its powerful narrative, unconventional point of view, and strong anti-bullying theme, this coming-of-age story offers smart, insightful, and nuanced views on high school society, toxic friendships, and family relationships.
I feel like there are two camps for Tease by Amanda Maciel: you either love it or you hate it. I loved it – so hard. Tease is a unique bully novel in that the reader gets inside the bully’s head for a change. We get to see what the driving forces are for that behavior, what would lead a teenager to verbally and socially torture a person to the point of death. To the point where suicide seems like the only way out. And because of this perspective, you are forced to take a second look at the bullies, and perhaps the victims, too. Sara is a horrible person. I hated her right off the bat. She was the kind of sickening popular girl who rode the coattails of others’ fame and popularity, who didn’t know how to stand up for herself, who rolled with the pack. She is exactly the kind of girl I loathed when I was in high school myself. And yet, somewhere along the way, besides a weird fascination with her, I developed sympathy for her. Emma Putnam, the girl she had bullied to the point of suicide, was not guiltless. And Tease reminded me that there are three sides to every story: his, hers and the truth. Or in this case, Sara’s, Emma’s and the truth. I found that bullies can be redeeming. Shortly after finishing Tease, I was able to attend the signing for it and Amanda Maciel said (and I’m summarizing), “I don’t think bullies set out to bully, and I don’t think they think they are being monsters.” Kids are kids, they don’t fully understand the consequences of their actions and we as adults shouldn’t expect them to. Not really. I didn’t at that age. Sorry if this is being preachy, I don’t mean it to be, but the book is just so awesome and makes you think. Anyway, at some point in Tease, I started to feel bad for Sara, because not only did Emma kill herself, which Sara wasn’t intending, but Sara loses everything: her friends, her social life, possibly any chance she has at a future. I think to show that the monstrous characters who put one individual through so much for simply being who she was, and then making the reader sympathize with them for it, shows such an amazing talent to make you feel. I loved the ending. And I love Amanda Maciel for giving us a story like this one.
Because I loved Tease so much, I want you to love it, too! Up for grabs is one signed copy to one winner in the U.S. You must be over 13 years old to enter and win. a Rafflecopter giveaway Giveawaywinnerwill be chosen after 7/15 and notified via email. Please make sure your email address is valid and you check it often!