Monday 28 April 2014

Tease by Amanda Maciel


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.


When I first started reading this, I already had some assumptions of how I was going to feel towards the main character Sara and I already hated her for driving a girl, Emma to suicide. But Tease tells Sara's side of the story; the story that no one else is listening to because they have already made up their minds about her as a girl is dead so Sara's completely in the wrong, isn't she?

I thought the premise for this novel was really good and was extremely thought provoking. Sadly Tease is based on the true event of six teenagers in America being charged as the result of another student's suicide, but Amanda has given the accused's side of the story from main character Sara.

Sara really doesn't believe that she did anything wrong. In Sara's eyes, Emma stole her boyfriend so she is in the wrong, and she can't understand why no one apart from her understands this. As the narrative flits back and forth between the events leading up to Emma's suicide and the aftermath, we really get to know Sara's character and her friends in detail.

I actually started to see Sara's point of view and I didn't want her to end up in prison because I started to see the good in her. Although, I hasten to add that she was not the innocent party that she kept thinking she was as she had made a girl feel so bad about herself that she drove her to suicide. A lot of the time I hated Sara and hated that she felt so desperate to fit in with her BFF Brielle, that she would do practically anything, especially when it concerned being mean to Emma as that was when Brielle showed the most interest in Sara. She needed a wake up call and act on her own instincts that what she was doing to Emma was wrong. I know she was hurt by her boyfriend going off with Emma, but why couldn't she that it was her boyfriend that was in the wrong, not Emma.

Amanda's narrative was incredibly powerful and she really gets across teenage school life and dialogue really well. Even though this was hard to read at times, I had to keep picking it up. We already know what happened but I wanted to know what led up to this tragedy and what would happen to Sara. 

I think the message that the author is trying to get across in this is that as we all know, school is a tough place to grow up. We are trying to fit in and it's a time when we make mistakes and there's no one to guide you through it. I was bullied at school and I still have bad dreams about it sometimes, but I wasn't completely innocent either. I said and did some hurtful things that I massively regret when I was 16. Bullies are horrible, of course they are, otherwise they wouldn't be bullies, but maybe they are trying to reach out too? We just can't see it because of all the hate they project. This is why Tease is so great as it really gets you thinking about both sides of the story.


Tease is available from Amazon UK and Waterstones


  1. I am really glad you liked this one. I have been thinking of requesting it because seeing a story about suicide and bullying from the bully's point of view is really interesting.

    It is good that you saw some good in the character. At the end of the day these people are just kids who do not get the concept of consequences! You are a bigger person than me because by the looks of the synopsis I would not be able to see past the bullying side of things!

    Thanks or sharing & great review :)

    Alex @ The Shelf Diaries

    1. That's exactly how I felt at first, but once you start to read about Sara, she's not as bad you think she is. I would definitely recommend as would love to know your thoughts :). Thanks as always Alex xx

  2. Glad you enjoyed it Laura :)
    I loved how by the end of the book you couldn't tell who was in the wrong. I'd really liked to have a second book from Emma's point of view. I think it would be really interesting and there were still a lot that could be covered xx

    1. Yes it was cleverly done like that, I think it shows everyone played a little part in what happened to Emma, even those that weren't the main characters like Beth (I think that was her name) as she would try and get in with Sara and Brielle by saying mean things about Emma. But when Emma died, she was all upset.

      I would love the story from Emma's POV! I think that should be Amanda's next book and answer some remaining questions! xx

    2. It definitely didn't hold back or idolise any individual character, which I liked. It's a difficult situation to write about and I liked that it was gritty and real. Brielle needed a good slap though!

      Maybe we should suggest it too her ;) xx

    3. Oh definitely with Brielle. Horrible character! Yes we definitely should! :D xx