Friday, May 16, 2014

Book Review: Tease by Amanda Maciel

Title: Tease
Author: Amanda Maciel
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: April 29th 2014
Length: 336 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, bullying, suicide, friendship, love
Source: Publisher 

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.

Summary by Goodreads

TEASE was a book I hadn't originally planned to read. Then a copy showed up on my doorstep and I decided to give it a try. I wasn't blown away by the story, but was more often engaged than I thought I'd be. TEASE tells the story of Sara who is accused of bullying fellow student Emma. A girl who is dead now. Chapters about Sara's current situation and the months before Emma's suicide alternate. They are about ten pages each which makes it easy to read short chapters in between your daily activities.

The 'now' chapters consist mainly of lawyer and therapist visits. Sara is worrying about the upcoming trial and is trying to sort out her feelings about what happened with Emma and figure out her role in all of it. I wasn't always happy with her and her learning curve was kind of slow. It was almost immediately that I knew I wouldn't be able to get inside her head, wouldn't get to close too her. But Sara's new relationship to a boy from summer school was why I wanted to keep on reading, making the 'now' chapters those to look forward to. 

Bullying, the actual important and central part of the story was the aspect I was least interested in. Sara, her best friend Brielle and other friends were really mean to Emma. Their schemes were repetitive and circling around the same thoughts of hatred and resentment. When I pick up a new YA contemporary novel I want to read a story that's basically positive, someone looking for love, building new friendships, rekindling old friendships. I guess I just wasn't in the mood for such a negative and problematic story like Sara's. Her family life isn't looking too harmonious either and all her friendships are practically nonexistent. I know that the story of a girl who kills herself because she's been bullied is tragic and is mostly made up of dark thoughts. This kind of story is important to prevent bullying and alert people who see it happening and have decided to ignore the symptoms until now. But how about a little more perspective and hope for the future? 

Also, I can imagine that additional chapters from Emma's perspective could've worked for TEASE, too. They could've given us a more complete picture of the whole story. 

3/5 *** TEASE - A dark and tragic teenage drama with an important message.

Amanda Maciel's debut novel is a read for everyone who is into the more problematic and tough kinds of stories. If you follow Sara's case you'll learn what it means to be on the bully side and to be confronted with the legal effects of your actions. The story strongly concentrates on all the incidents that lead to the suicide of one girl. Sara and Emma's case is based on a true story, making it all the sadder and most unfortunate. It should be read as a cautionary tale.

"Natalie heaves a big sigh. 'I know, but it's just not. People are sad and angry and they just want to see how sorry you are.'
But that's the thing right there.
I'm not sorry.
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." ― p. 9

TEASE you might enjoy WICKED GAMES by Sean Olin, about a few very mean intrigues and games that are getting out of control. VIVIANE DIVINE IS DEAD by Lauren Sabel is the story of a girl who is threatened and has to go on the run. This one sounds like a very fun story if you are looking for a lighter read. And you could also like THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher, a touching story about a girl who committs suidice. 

* Click here to read an excerpt of TEASE!

* Want to meet Amanda Maciel? Check out her event schedule.

* For further information about Amanda and her books visit her Facebook page.

* Thanks to Harper Collins International for sending me an ARC of TEASE for review! 


  1. I feel like I need to be in the right frame of mind for this type of read otherwise it's just not as impactful. I like the sound of this one, especially because it's based on a true story, and so will consider reading it in the future. Great review!

  2. Great review sweetie. <3 I also have an ARC of this book. But I'm not sure about how it is written :( I don't like that style. Sigh. But I am interested in the book :D I'm glad you liked it. <3 I hope I will too.

  3. It's to bad that this one didn't do it for you. Bullying is off the charts right now, and society is struggling to take is seriously. While, it's to bad this one wasn't a five star review for you, I am glad this book exists.