Tease By Amanda Maciel
Published April 29th 2014 By Balzer + Bray
Summary: 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.
Tease is a powerful and gripping book that will keep you engaged from the first page.
Tease is so hard to review, and even as I write this I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it. The main character, Sara, isn’t a likeable character. She’s horrible, mean and tries too hard to justify her actions. She comes across as a child, ignorant and cruel. But I think that’s the point of Tease. It’s not supposed to be compelling, and it sure doesn’t want you to feel sorry for Sara.
In many ways, Tease is powerful. Perhaps even powerful enough to deter someone from bullying or recognize what they may think is harmful teasing could lead to bigger and more awful consequences.
Tease goes into the mind of a bully, or rather, into the mind of a mean girl who unconsciously bullies. Sara isn’t a mean girl, not really. She’s heavily influenced by her best friend Brielle and she’s desperate to keep up. Sara keeps up with fake appearances and goes to the extent of giving up her virginity just to have a conversation with Brielle.
Tease unravels the harsh reality of bullying. How it affects the families of both the bully and the bullied, how harmful teasing can be. Tease briefly discussed rape and the idea of consent though it was glossed over. There is a lot of slut shaming and victim blaming and it all comes with consequences.
Tease is one of the most powerful and compelling books I’ve read this year. It is so realistic and having it written in Sara’s POV made it even more powerful. I finished the book feeling unsettled, wishing she got more of a punishment but on hindsight, having to live with the regret of what you’ve done to another person is punishment enough.
Compelling, gripping and painful, Tease is a must read.