If you gulped through reading or streaming 13 Reasons Why, Tease is the book for you.
Provocative, unforgettable, and inspired by real-life incidents, Amanda Maciel's highly acclaimed debut novel Tease is the story of a teenage girl who faces criminal charges for bullying after a classmate commits suicide. 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.
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.
Inspired by a real-life case of bullying and suicide, editor Maciel's debut novel depicts a harsh environment of name-calling, both face-to-face and via social media, and girls policing other girls' behavior. When new student Emma seems to have eyes for Sara's boyfriend, Dylan, Sara and her best friend Brielle label Emma a slut. Maciel isn't telling Emma's story she's telling Sara's, in sections that alternate between the escalating bullying and the aftermath, with Emma dead and Sara stuck in summer school and her lawyer's and therapist's offices. It's hard to be with Sara as she insists that it's Emma's fault, that "No one hung the rope for her," but as Maciel reveals Sara's desperate efforts to hang onto a social viability that's tied to Brielle and Dylan, the pressures of her world become clear. It's to the author's credit that she doesn't make Sara immediately sympathetic, but the end, with Sara moving forward in a way that incorporates what happened rather than denying it, although welcome, feels rushed. Ages 14 up.
A perfect summary of what bullying feels like from the bullies perspective.
Makes you think
This book helps you consider both sides of the story, not just that of the victim, and is an excellent read.
Sounds like a good message
Hopefully this will be a story worth crying over