Book Review: Tease by Amanda Maciel

Tease by Amanda Maciel

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Published April 29th 2014 by Balzer + Bray

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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.

Supports the Common Core State Standards.1600167_10152164384800908_58508561_n

There a so many books that are devastatingly sad, but serve no real purpose other than to make the reader emotional. Think, Nicholas Sparks-ish books, at the end of the story you haven’t learned a great lesson, you have simply just cried over a sad situation that characters were involved with.

Tease, serves as a warning and a lesson. The impact Go Ask Alice had on previous generations is the same level of colossal teachings that can be found within the pages of Tease. The fact the narrative is inspired by real life events brings the contemporary much closer to home for the reader.

Tease is centered on the world of teenage girls and the evil they are (often unaware) of inflicting into other lives. EVERY girl on the planet has spoken bad words about another girl, whether it be a friend, an enemy, or the most common bullying—talking bad about someone because they are different. Females (and males) are capable of cruelty beyond any imagination. With teenagers, often the hatred towards other girls is planted from a doomed relationship with the opposite sex.

The story of Tease teaches us to be accountable. To think before we speak; to think before we act. Not every person has the strength they like to exhibit to their peers.

Sara serves as both the protagonist and antagonist, something I have never experienced in my bibliophile life. We see her side, of how she felt she was in the right. How she refuses to apologize as she feels she hasn’t done anything wrong. She didn’t kill Emma, Emma killed herself, and therefore the responsibility is all on Emma’s shoulders. We see this behavior every single day. A girl hates another girl because she is prettier, her hair is shinier, ‘ and matches her jacket just right’. Instead of spinning this jealousy into a positive (sending out kind words and compliments) we often choose the ugly side and stoop to hatred. Isn’t that just heartbreakingly sad? The prettiest girl, will think she is a horrid person simply because others are jealous.

Emma is in the wrong by having relations with Sara’s boyfriend. But, true to mean-girl fashion, the hatred over a cheating boyfriend is directed to the girl. Girls get lost with loving someone too much and refuse to see the boyfriend as the enemy. Instead, the girl is shamed and the act of cheating is one-sided. Sara and Brie taunt Emma, and barely even regard Dylan as being the bad guy.

What?

This really got me thinking. WHY do we do this? What happened to the loyalty for other members of our sex? What happened to GIRL POWER? I am certain this situation can be related to universally. I’m not proud of this, but when my younger self was cheated on, the hatred was unleashed on the girl, not the dimwit of a boyfriend. Why is this okay?

It is NOT okay for girls to call each other sluts and whores. Hearing these words from another girls mouth is often more damaging than the acts of any male. There are so many times throughout Tease where Sara is uncomfortable with the level of torment Brie has delivered to Emma. STEP UP! By stepping up against your peers you’re not only preserving your peace of mind, you may in the long run be saving a life. Bullying is more damaging than we can possibly imagine. Imagine the roots of a two hundred year old tree, how firmly rooted and widespread into the earth these roots are. Ever try to dig up an old tree? Virtually impossible without destroying all the surrounding area. That is what bullying does to the soul. It plants bad seeds that sprout and root themselves into our mind. Once they are there, it is impossible to remove them. Once the bad seeds have been planted it only leaves room for more bad to grow…

Imagine how sad suicide souls must be…that their only outlet to happiness is an ending. In most cases before these souls ever even had a beginning. Growing up, we are all awkward, weird and feel like no matter what we don’t fit in. You are supposed to live long enough to get past that, to find out who you are, to discover your destiny—to leave a mark on this world. Leaving this world so young, and by CHOICE, you miss out on so much. You destroy the people you leave behind. It’s heartbreaking that the world is capable of so much evil that after only 17 years of life, people choose to leave.

We all like to think we are the good guys, but every person on this planet has dispensed gossip. This generation has it the absolute worst. Social media is the perfect outlet for bullies to target victims and ruin their lives.

Think before you speak, please…I can’t beg this enough. Don’t make something you feel for a second, be something you are going to permanently regret. The taunts of bullies stay with you forever. You can be the most confident person on the planet, but on a rough day, those evil words spoken about you will haunt you.

Tease should be implemented as mandatory reading for ages 13+

About Lisa Lunney

A Canadian gal that firmly believes words can change the world. An avid reader, writer and Autumn/Winter lover. She excels at communications and writes for pleasure and profession.
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One Response to Book Review: Tease by Amanda Maciel

  1. This book sounds like it has a majorly important lesson! You never know how your words are going to effect someone.

Thanks for the read.

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