Monday, April 28, 2014

Tease by Amanda Maciel

Sara, her BFF Brielle, and three boys that they are friendly with are all in big trouble.  Emma Putnam committed suicide and the blame is being placed solely on them.  They are all being charged with bullying, harassment, stalking, and/or assault.  Sure Sara didn't like Emma.  Yes she maybe said and did some mean things to her.  Yes it was her goal in life to get Emma to transfer out of their school.  But did she force the girl to kill herself??  Did she put the rope around the girl's neck?  And why doesn't everyone see that Emma isn't exactly the angelic martyr that the media is making her out to be?  She had flaws too.  She did some things that were not so nice herself.

As the trial nears, Sara is finding out that being branded a bully and a villian is a lonely existance.  Her whole life exists in a lawyer's office, visits to her therapist, summer school, and the agonizing wait to see exactly what sort of consequences her actions will have.

Amazing book!!!  I really connected with this book in a big way.  It's about mean girls and the other side of the story.  Not the victim's side... the other side.  Because every story has 2 sides right?  And the thing is, if I read this from the victim's side, I probably would have HATED Brielle and Sara with a passion.  But reading it from their side... I didn't hate them at all.  I freaking related.

I remember being in high school... people were not nice to me at times and I was not nice to them.  And yeah it usually was over some guy.  I remember feeling exactly like Sara when it came to boys-- when having a boyfriend and being with someone who is considered "cool" meant everything.  How my whole freaking day would hinge on whether I got a call or an IM (yeah texting didn't exist back then) from whatever guy I was into.  To think about how much energy and emotion I wasted on such dumb relationships honestly exhausts me.

I've seen a lot of bad reviews for this book and mostly it's because people are appalled at Sara not having remorse for what she did to Emma.  And I see where they are coming from... but I also think it is unrealistic to believe that everybody in this type of situation would instantly feel responsibility.  Sara did not kill Emma. Emma killed herself... and a lot of the reason why Emma killed herself had to do with things she did to make herself a target.  If you go after the popular girl's boyfriend and CHEAT with him... you have to expect some backlash.  I didn't agree with what Sara and Brielle did to Emma all the time, but I can see why they were pissed at Emma.

A main focus in this book is the friendship between Brielle and Sara.  How Brielle is the dominant friend and Sara is always tip-toeing around her.  Wanting to still be Brielle's favorite friend, wanting to be in the in-group, wanting Brielle's approval for whatever reason.  Holy shit can I relate.  I had a friend A LOT like Brielle.  She wasn't the queen bee of our school (she didn't even go to my school), but I always felt like I had to be careful around her.  And we weren't nice girls.  If someone went against us, we held a grudge.  I wouldn't say that we were bullies, but we definitely had a few battles with other girls for various reasons (like I said earlier, mostly over some guy).

I loved everything about this book.  I loved how it wasn't stereotypical victim-loving.  I loved the writing and the dialogue.  And I loved how this felt like real high school.  Sometimes I felt uncomfortable relating to these "mean girls".  And I can't lie, sometimes I really hated Emma as well.  She definitely didn't do herself any favors.  But I think that's the whole point of the book, to show you that this kind of stuff is complicated.  There is no black and white sometimes.

OVERALL: A book about bullying that shows you the flip-side.  It's not about the bullying victim, it's about the bullies.  It shows how life isn't always black and white, good and bad.  I want everyone to read this because I think it shows a really important perspective.  It gets a conversation going at the very least.

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 4/4

How I got this book: Thanks to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for allowing me to read and honestly review this book
Date Published: 4/29/2014


  1. We're review twins today! I reviewed this too. :-)

    Anyway, such a great review!!!! Sara is a tough, tough character but she is someone that is basically everyone at some point. Really the book was very well done and I was 100% impressed!

  2. oh myy god, this book sounds amazing. I love reading books where they FINALLY change the pov's up. Like The Book Thief is about the German side, but now the Jews side. Don't get me wrong, the Jew's side of the holocaust is important, but I feel like a lot of people hated the German population because of it. Anyways, Loved the review. I am definitely added this to my TBR :D

    Amber @ bookish wonders

  3. Interesting premise for a book, I might have to check this one out. Great review!

  4. Great review! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. As you know, I wasn't as keen, but I still think it's a good, solid read that is definitely going to give us all something to talk about.

  5. This sounds fabulous, Michelle and I have a gift card so maybe this one will go high on the list to buy :D