- “Tease” by Amanda Maciel
- Realistic Young Adult Fiction
- Read as an ebook
- 4/5 stars
- Finished August 14, 2017
If you gulped through reading or streaming 13 Reasons Why, Tease is the book for you.
Provocative, unforgettable, and inspired by real-life incidents, Amanda Maciel’s highly acclaimed debut novel Tease is the story of a teenage girl who faces criminal charges for bullying after a classmate commits suicide. 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.
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.
I read and watched “Thirteen Reasons Why”, and although I read the book forever ago, I still found myself caught up in the hype of the tv show. When I stumbled across this book, however, I wasn’t sure how it was going to be. I’ve read books about bullying and often they come off as really heavy-handed, or adults talking at teens rather than using an authentic teenage voice.
However, I was very impressed with this. Maciel seems to capture the teenage mean girl voice in a way that actually felt fresh. This story isn’t 13 Reasons Why, it’s the flip side of that. It’s the story of the bully, so this may not be something people who struggle with those triggers would want to pick up. Sara is one of the bullies in new girl Emma’s life, because for reasons explained in the book, Sara feels like Emma is stealing her boyfriend.
High School girls are mean, and this book flips between the present day, where the girls are facing a trial because of Emma’s death, and the past, showing the bullying Emma went through. However, we see all of this through Sara’s eyes, which made it different to me than many of the bullying books we see. I found it interesting to read from a bully who was very unapologetic, who believed that what she did was okay. We don’t see too many of these characters, and we don’t get in their heads much in literature. On top of that, they aren’t typically deep characters. I don’t know if I can say that I enjoyed this book because it was deep and dark obviously, but I’m very glad I read it, and would recommend to others.
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