Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, YA
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.
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!~
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