By: Melanie | April 14, 2014 | (25) Comments

Review: Tease by Amanda MacielTease by Amanda Maciel
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, YA
Pages: 336
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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.

During 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 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.

In this powerful debut novel inspired by real-life events, Amanda Maciel weaves a narrative of high school life as complex and heartbreaking as it is familiar: a story of everyday jealousies and resentments, misunderstandings and desires. Tease is a thought-provoking must-read that will haunt readers long after the last page.

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I can definitely see where Tease lost it’s appeal. It’s written from the perspective of a bully–Sara. She’s not vaguely sorry about Emma Putnam’s suicide. Even though she and her friends are accountable for it according to the public. We have chapters that take us back to the time when Emma Putnam was still alive, but in between we get to see Sara’s current life. One that is falling apart fast. It’s like she cannot go anywhere without getting a dirty look from a passing stranger. Like she go a day without having to see her lawyers and therapists.

Emma was a boyfriend-stealing bitch right up until the day in March when she killed herself. I didn’t do anything wrong, but she totally ruined my life.

Like most people who have read Tease already, I wasn’t a huge fan of Sara. She’s melodramatic, has a cold heart and is a bitch. She’s part of the reason why a girl is dead but Sara doesn’t care at all. But, I liked how we got to look into the head of a bully. This was an extremely refreshing premise and I found myself up late trying to see how the book would wrap up in the end. Sara’s got a typical teenage personality. She tries whatever she can to climb to the top of the high school food chain and fit in. Heck, she had sex with her boyfriend just so she could be even closer friends with Brielle. Brielle is the Queen Bee. Their friendship is toxic, but also very fascinating in the sense that there are only a few books that have toxic friendships.

“Skank.” I think it’s Brielle hissing the word for a minute, and then I realise it was me who just said it. It feels good. I say it again. “What a total skank!”

There is a hell lot of slut-shaming in Tease. And a hell lot of carelessness/impulsiveness in the main character. These were probably the main factors that made me cringe. But it’s reality. Words like skank, bitch, slut–they get thrown around all the time at most high schools. In Tease, those words are almost on every page. If you really hate it, then this book isn’t for you. But I believe that it’s important to read about the view of bullying from the bully’s mind. And this was exactly that. There are real people in high school who are just like the ones in this novel. And I really appreciate the author for giving this topic a try. In fact, she did a darn awesome job!

A realistic take on bullying and how it effects the victim and the bully, and how careless actions can lead to big problems, Tease is a brilliant novel that needs to be read.

~Thank you Balzer & Bray for sending me this copy!~

3.5 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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25 Responses to Review: Tease by Amanda Maciel

  1. Huh, for some reason I missed that this was from the bully’s POV. I mean, it’s right there in the blurb, so what have I been on?! It sounds like a fascinating read, Mel, even if it wasn’t one that completely blew you away.

    By the way, I’m still not over how pretty your new blog design is. *pets blog*
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Tour Stop: A Photographic Tour of She Is Not InvisibleMy Profile

  2. I have to say, I couldn’t finish this book myself, but I do feel the same. The slut-shamming is realistic and such, but I just couldn’t connect to anyone in that story, not one single person, so I dropped it, but I do personally feel that I fall in the middle. It was a good premise was being executed well, but it won’t float everyone’s boat whatsoever. Fantastic, short and sweet review hun 🙂
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…Book Review – No and MeMy Profile

  3. Siiri says:

    You know, it’s funny how people don’t like the fact that this book is so.. idk how to explain it. Hate the MC thanks to her being a bully, even though it very clearly hints in the synopsis that this is a story from the perspective of a (potential) bully. I mean, this is totaly wrong, I know! Slut-shaming, bullying–it is all so freaking wrong, but I mean.. didn’t people read the synopsis before they requested it? O.o I’m actually intrigued by the bully’s perspective and just as you, I think that it’s important to get both perspectives on things. I like how this is different even if I don’t have to approve the way th people in this novel behave. I’m glad you enjoyed as a whole, Mel!
    Siiri recently posted…Review: Four Seconds to Lose by K.A. TuckerMy Profile

  4. I’ve been seeing so many DNFs for this one, mostly for the slut-shaming, which I’m definitely not a fan of, so I’m probably not going to read this one. I really do like that it’s from a bully’s perspective, though. That seems to be something I’ve never read about even if I come across these sort of things in some blurbs. I’m glad you liked it more than other people did, Melanie! <3
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…Discussions & Confessions: Why Book Blogging is AwesomeMy Profile

  5. This sounds fascinating but I don’t know if I would enjoy it. Maybe I’ll try the first few chapters. Great review 🙂
    Bethzaida (bookittyblog) recently posted…Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover ReviewMy Profile

  6. Bullying books often work well for me, and this sounds like a pretty deep novel. I’m definitely going to need to give it a go. Great review, Melanie!

  7. I’m so torn about whether I want to read this book or not. I think it’s interesting that the book is written in the bully’s POV, but at the same time, I can tell that I’m going to be really annoyed and frustrated with the main character, especially with all that slut shaming. I’m still glad you thought this was a realistic though. Great review!
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted…Blog Tour Stop: Unfixable by Tessa BaileyMy Profile

  8. Hershey says:

    This book sounds a bit interesting but I’m not too sure whether I’ll like it. Nice review 🙂
    Hershey recently posted…Review: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M.ValenteMy Profile

  9. Zoe N. says:

    Hmm…I’m with Nick. I’m not sure whether I’m going to read this or not. It sounds intriguing being from a bully’s perspective and all, but, on the other hand, I feel it might hit a little too close to home…? I think I’ll request it and try a chapter or two and see where it goes from there. It sounds like the kind of read where if you really “click” with it, it will be great, but if you don’t really click with it, you might get really annoyed with it.

    Glad you liked it overall Mel, and, as always, brilliant review! <3
    Zoe N. recently posted…Prisoner of Night and FogMy Profile

  10. Chantelle says:

    I’ve heard so many mixed reviews, I’m so curious though! It sounds like there might be an unreliable narrator, and books like that fascinate me haha
    Chantelle recently posted…Review: Sweet Reckoning by Wendy HigginsMy Profile

  11. This sounds like a hot mess, and honestly, the negative reviews (not saying yours is negative, but the ones I’ve seen on GR) make me want to read this more. I loved flawed characters and I also find it odd that people aren’t liking this because the girl isn’t likeable. Generally, most bullies aren’t. I requested this on audio, excited to read it.
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…Let’s Talk About…Sex in YA!My Profile

  12. I’m interested in the premise of this book, because I was bullied in 3rd grade by a 5th grader. But I think bullying in high school is much different. It’s interesting to know what goes inside the head of a bully. Awesome review, Mel!
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…Review 157 : Life in the Palace by Catherine GreenMy Profile

  13. This is an interesting premise. I think it would be difficult to be in the head of someone who is so mean though, without feeling sorry about Emma’s death.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Review: B is for Beer by Tom RobbinsMy Profile

  14. To be honest, flawed characters with lots of issues, and situations that make my cringe, usually end up being a story I really enjoy. I think the realistic nature of stories like this really hit me hard and leave me respecting the author (for writing such a tough, touchy issues story) and the characters for what they went through. I appreciate the heads-up on the more negative aspects, such as slut-shaming, etc. Great review, Melanie! 🙂
    Lisa @ Lost in Literature recently posted…Review: The Chapel Wars by Lindsey LeavittMy Profile

  15. I read a similar book like this last summer and I for the life of me can’t remember the name. Anyway it was eye opening but nothing I want to revisit. I do like that this focuses on bullying and it is told from the bully’s POV, but still this isn’t for me.
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Review: The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel GaynorMy Profile

  16. Good to see you end up liking it more than I did, Melanie. I guess it might be because of my bullying past, but I definitely couldn’t appreciate these characters. And the slut-shaming, horrible..
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Let it go #1. Talker 25 & Tease.My Profile

  17. Oh dear, the main character here sounds terrible and the slut shaming! Oh dear. I liked how you said it was realistic though, but it sounds a bit TOO much here.
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  18. Howdy! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came to check it out.
    I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will
    be tweeting this to my followers! Fantastic blog and outstanding design and style.
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  19. Great review Melanie 🙂 It’s interesting to see another book on bullying and its impact on people. I might go and check this out when I can.

    Can’t get over how pretty your blog is!
    Eugenia @Chasm of Books recently posted…Review: FangirlMy Profile

  20. Amir says:

    I would definitely not be comfortable in reading this book as I absolutely hate bullying but this is definitely a different read. Not only are we in the head of a bully, but an unapologetic one at that…even after something this serious happen. I don’t think I can ever read something like this but thank you for this different perspective, I know a lot of people didn’t enjoy this one. I can understand but I also admire its realistic portrayal of a bully. Great review!
    Amir recently posted…Review: Unfixable by Tessa BaileyMy Profile

  21. Melliane says:

    I think it’s interesting to have something different like that because it’s not a perspective we usually have and I think it’s original. I’m curious about the whole thing I confess. Thanks for the review.
    Melliane recently posted…Neptune Noir: Unauthorized Investigations into Veronica Mars by Rob ThomasMy Profile

  22. I’m kind of on the fence for this one…do I want to try it, do I not. *makes challenging life decisions* I think it sounds unique and interesting, especially from the bullies perspective. But all the slut-slamming and bitching kind of makes me feel old and exhausted already. >_<
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith (yawn)My Profile

  23. I don’t know why but from the blurp, I kinda imagined Pretty Little Liars back there. Though I haven’t read the series yet, this kinda looks similar. I’m not really a fan of these kind of books. But I am intrigued with the story.
    Jules @ Jules Bookshelf recently posted…Book Review: Pivot Point by Kasie WestMy Profile

  24. Reading this right now and you’re right when saying it’s a very refreshing premise, and a very refreshing point of view. I don’t like bullies and I do not condone their behavior, but for once, I, too, am curious what’s going on inside their heads. And you’re right, slut-shaming sucks. If things were to follow my way, that would be a super thing of the past and I would force everyone to quit it, but it’s a reality then and it’s a reality now. It exists. Why? Because people have already found it so normal, so common, and they don’t know the consequences of their words and actions. That’s why we need more books that give an awareness of the effects of such words, whether it be in the perspective of a victim or a bully or a bully-turned-victim.
    Faye @ The Social Potato recently posted…ARC Review: The Treatment by Suzanne YoungMy Profile

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