Friday, June 13, 2014

Tease by Amanda Maciel [Review]

Tease4 out of 5 Robots!

Tease by Amanda Maciel
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Release: April 29, 2014
Hardcover:  330 Pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
My Copy: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
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.

(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
Tease is one of those "ripped from the headlines" type stories, focusing on bullying and suicide.  Inspired by the events of South Hadley High School and Phoebe Prince's suicide, Tease takes an unconventional approach by having the story narrated by one of the accused bullies.  A lot of the events are nasty and complicated.  There is a lot of anger and hatred from all sides.  But I really appreciated that Maciel didn't shy away from the hard stuff.  She doesn't condemn Emma as a bad person even though she did some horrible things, but she doesn't try to make Emma comes across as innocent or inculpable either.  And let's be honest.  Emma does a lot of stuff that is awful.  She is not always a nice girl and some of her thought process is horrid.  But at the same time, you really want her to move past her anger and selfishness and recognize the repercussions her actions have.  This is not an easy book to read, but I think it is a very well written and nuanced look at a very topical subject matter for teens. 

Disclosure:  I reviewed a copy free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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