Tease – Amanda Maciel
Released: 1st May 2014 (UK)
Summary from Goodreads
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.
For me, this book was not good. I probably shouldn’t have read it after the reviews I’d already saying that it wasn’t a great book, but I decided to go ahead and form my own opinion. My own opinion, sadly, is very similar to a lot of other peoples. It’s an issue book, I don’t know what I was thinking. Issue books don’t really appeal to me, they are too frequently preachy, and as a twenty-three year old I feel like I have learnt the lessons the books are so often preaching about. So, essentially, I read these books and find the message is so often what I would view as common sense.
So, the message of the book is sound. Bullying is bad. I mean, that’s a no brainer. It also teaches that so often people have their own public persona which they have developed to prevent themselves from getting hurt. People are often not who they appear on the surface, a good lesson, especially for teenagers. I think people often forget that people aren’t always who they pretend to be, especially true when you’re at school and you are attempting to either draw attention to yourself, or avoid it. SO the whole bullying and not taking people at face value are some excellent lessons, but a boring one. It is an excellent lesson for teenagers, as I said, so the book did well in promoting that message.
That wasn’t my issue with the book, though. It has a good message, the execution is shoddy, though. I had no sympathy for Sara, which is true for everyone at first. She doesn’t present herself as too likable. I expected to read a book from the bully’s perspective and find that the bully (Sara) grew and learnt significant lessons, especially with all the fallout which had happened in the book. I don’t feel like you got that though. Any lesson Sara learnt, any character development which occurred felt forced simply to help support the message which Maciel wanted to put across with this book. Nothing felt genuine. I don’t feel like Sara felt any genuine remorse for her actions. You read the book with her continually blaming everyone else for what happened. Where was the message of owning up and taking responsibility for your actions?
I don’t think the book was well executed. It was a good idea to try and have a moral book about bullying, writing from the perspective of the bully, but I feel the story was forced, rather a natural progression. I don’t know. I am a firm believer that people should read a book for themself before forming an opinion. This is just my opinion. You may feel differently.