Saturday, November 29, 2014


Title: Tease
Author: Amanda Maciel
Edition: Paperback
Published: April 29, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 328
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Trailer: Not available.


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.
Bullying, suicide and peer pressure have always been a hot topic. I've read several novels that tackle such issues and the emotion I've encountered has been the same -- it stings. Reading Tease made me ache in a disturbing manner because somehow at some point, I've been through this.

Sara will soon face the court together with her high school group. They were facing a lawsuit from Emma Putnam's parents because apparently, they harassed, stalked and bullied her to her death. Sara wouldn't back down because she knew she didn't kill Emma. But she was terrified. She wasn't allowed to talk to her best friend and boyfriend, her separated parents weren't there for her and she the hate she felt for Emma has the power of a thousand suns. She's never been alone in her life and all these things she's going through, she blames Emma. Emma got it all figured out by dying and making their lives hell.

Brielle. I've never seen such strong character that could pull off anything. Aside from the fact that her family is wealthy, her entire attitude screams *back off*. She's so manipulative and wouldn't take no for an answer. Her adventurous take on things around her would have been fun if she isn't hurting people. Her strong facade masks so much and affects people around her in a very negative way. This power she gets from bullying only makes her worse. Instead of influencing others to be their best, she's the other way around. It appears like, she wanted to be the only one to reign the school. It wasn't explained in the story how she was brought up, but it looks like she didn't have a happy childhood. And this is the outcome.

Dylan. I liked him at first because he's safe to be considered the boy next door. I liked his silent-type attitude and he's not pushy. Basically, he doesn't take advantage. However, I wish he could have ended things with the person he's seeing a decent way.

Braden. He's fantastic. That is all I can say. Fantastic. Fantastic. Fantastic. Well, I wish I could have known more about him though. His new found friendship with Sara can be a totally separate novel!

Emma. I tweeted Maciel about Emma if there would be a companion novel or sequel in Emma's POV. I would really love to know her side of the story. Why she decided to call it quits and how dark she's really going through. It would be an amazing novel if there will be one because we'd get an overall understanding of the WHYs in her story. I would really love that. Only, I wasn't really a fan of Emma. She's really a flirt.

Sara. The novel is from her POV which I absolutely adored. She's a little rebellious, easily manipulated but I loved her honesty and straight forwardness. She's very true to herself and she's not afraid to do what she thinks would make her happy. I feel her hate with Emma because at some point in my life, I FELT THE EXACT SAME HATE. Only, I didn't do anything about it. Sara's too clingy to her best friend Brielle and would just do anything she's told to do. It's like Brielle's words is where her life depends on. Even if she's doubtful, if it comes out of Brielle's mouth, she'd do it. Which in reality, we have that piece of attitude in us especially when it comes to the people who matter so much to us. Only Sara took it to a whole new level. She would have done things differently but it was too late and I respect the way she took responsibility of her actions. I believe her all the way, though. I've seen the goodness she has the entire time.

I believe that some parts of this story happens every day. Different people react to things differently and there's just one line I'd like to share from my favorite novel, We Were Liars: BE A LITTLE KINDER THAN YOU HAVE TO.

Tease is a strong novel exposing issues we face day after day in a different light. It tries to heighten awareness and tries to make life bearable in simple good things we can do for others. Amazingly written, Tease brings tears, magnifies loss, and expounds pressure in an well-wrapped up everyday story.

Thank you for the review copy, HarperCollins International!

"The thing about having one really good friend, one person you talk to all the time about everything, is that you stop really talking to anyone else. You sort of talk to other people, but mostly you have your one person and that's enough.

And then one day, maybe for a good reason or maybe out of nowhere, you can't talk to that friend anymore, and you suddenly realize you can't talk to anyone else. Like, it's physically impossible. No one understands you except that person. it's like you speak another language, and the other person who also speaks it is gone."
"Don't add silence to your list of regrets."
"I look down and see my hands uncapping the pen, turning the notepad right-side up on my knees. My mouth is dry, my stomach is in knots, my life is over, my heart is broken.

I start to write."
"When the doors are open big gusts of cold air sweep into the car, and suddenly it smells damp and earthly, that early smell that tells you all the snow and ice is melting and someday the sun will come out again. And maybe it will, for some other girl."
"Something about this small glimmer of happiness feels wrong, but I can't think about that. I just hold onto the glimmer, the shred. I let myself feel a tiny bit happy. Even though it kind of hurts."

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