Review of Tease by Amanda Maciel

Published: 1st May 2014
Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 368


Emma Putnam is dead, and it’s all Sara Wharton’s fault. At least, that’s what everyone seems to think when 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. But Sara is sure she hasn’t done anything wrong. Emma brought it on herself. Emma stole Sara’s boyfriend. Emma stole everyone’s boyfriends. Surely Sara was the victim, not Emma. During the summer before her senior year Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment – and ultimately consider her 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.


Thank you to Hodder and Stoughton for kindly sending me a review copy. I’ve heard quite a lot about Tease from other book bloggers and all comments were positive so I couldn’t wait to get stuck in as I’ve recently developed a huge love for YA Fiction.

The narrative begins when the bullying stops, or has it? We’re in July and it all began in January. In those few short months, Sara and her bullying pals have changed people’s lives and not for the better. I absolutely loved that Amanda wrote from the bully’s point of view because we never, ever read from their side. It’s normally from the victim’s and we always feel sorry for them. In this book, we still do but how do we feel towards Sara and the other bullies? Sympathy? Anger? At first, I had no idea what to feel and now that I’ve read the book, I’m still not sure. I guess I am angry with Sara and her “best friend” for what they did to Emma, but I also feel bad for them – their lives must have been awful if they felt the need to pick on someone else.

As the plot progressed, we’re taken back in time and we witness the bullying for ourselves. The name calling, the stupid pranks, the rumours and the visits to see your parents are what bullies do day-to-day. It was literally a full time job for Sara and her friends. The entire school disliked Emma, but why? They wasn’t actually anything wrong with her, but in high school, you feel pressured to go along with what the popular kids say because they *apparently* know best. Nobody stood up to them.

A girl is dead and everyone wants to hold you and your friends accountable for what happened…

I thought Amanda’s writing was absolutely phenomenal. She hit the nail on the head when speaking from a bully’s perspective and I don’t think it could have been done any better. The language was powerful and as you read the words on the page, you wonder about your own life. Have you been bullied? Have you bullied someone? It’s really awful to think about but personally, it really helped me. I wish I had stood up to the bullies during high school and even now, comments are thrown in my direction on social media and what do people do? They either sit in silence, pretending to ignore it or they follow the leader. Bullying is absolutely disgusting and I’m really pleased that Amanda had the guts to write this book.

The only issue I had with it was the ending – it was too short for my liking and I finished thinking of what happened to Sara. Was she punished? Was she let off? It really was quite frustrating.

Twitter: @AmandaMaciel12


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