3 May 2014

YA Review: Tease by Amanda Maciel

Tease by Amanda Maciel

What they say: 

A gripping, controversial debut about the nature of bullying.
Emma Putnam is dead, and it's all Sara Wharton's fault.
At least, that's what everyone seems to think when 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. But Sara is sure she hasn't done anything wrong, because Emma brought it on herself. Sara is adamant that she was the victim - not Emma.
Inspired by a true story, TEASE is a thought-provoking must-read that will haunt you long after the last page.

  • ISBN: 9781444918717
  • UK Release May 1st by Hodder Children's Books / Hachette Children's Books

I received a copy via Books With Bite in exchange for an ‏honest review!

What I say: Wow!! It took me a while after finishing Tease to write my review because I had to sit down and collect my thoughts. I really wasn't sure what to make of Amanda Maciel's controversial story.

I'm not sure about you, but bullying is always a pretty touchy subject for me. I'm always anti-bullying and I find the notion of empathising with bullies difficult. The really clever part of Tease is how Maciel analyses the role of the bully & asking these questions by putting her characters and readers through the ringer. Be warned Tease is very emotional.  

Perhaps as a result of the current worrying trend of online bullying, trolls, teen depression and suicides, Maciel analyses the effects of bullying on teens. She asks who is really to blame and to what extent are we responsible for our actions?! 

Told from Sara's POV the book looks at new girl Emma's suicide and shows the struggle to place blame. Is outspoken and bratty Sara to blame? Or is Brielle? Or the guys? Or should Emma herself be held responsible?

I really don't like it when women and young girls in particular like to 'slut' shame (think Mean Girls) and sometimes I really despised Sara and Brielle and their cronies, but then at other times I'd end up pitying them (which I was generally uncomfortable with).

We see Sara's actions before Emma's suicide and then her literally be put on trial after Emma's death. A vast amount of Tease is uncomfortable, but then that's exactly the point! I've seen some pretty harsh criticism of Tease for supposedly glorifying bullying and promiscuity in teens, but, to me at least, this is not what the story is about. Maciel points out the wrongs in 'slut' shaming and in bullying - us girlies need to stick together! 

There were a few moments when the teen language seemed a little unnatural and when I found things a little slow and my attention began to wain. However, in general I found the story compelling, yet difficult. Emma and Sara will definitely stay with me!

4 Stars in my Sky!

Book & Author Links:

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