Review of Tease

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.
I really had no idea what I was getting into when I started Tease. I enjoyed the cover and went from there. I was surprised by the content, but definitely believe that bullying is a huge problem in our American culture. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to be a teenage girl in this day and age, especially with social media around now. Luckily I was never bullied but I can imagine how hard it would be to deal with.

  • The story was modern and definitely something that needs to be talked about and brought to light.
  • The main character, Sara befriends a girl who she thinks will help her popularity, give her companionship and help her fit in. But that relationship is toxic and draws her “down the drain.” She starts doing things and saying things that she normally wouldn’t, plus she doesn’t stand up for what she believes is right and wrong. I have had that happen in my life and it is so easy to see how quickly you can change with bad influences.
  • The story moved from present to past to show how the situation with Emma really evolved. It was interesting to see how the changes happen and how both sides of the situation seemed to make bad decisions.
  • For a YA book, this one stayed in line with teen attitudes, thoughts and actions. Sometimes the teens act too old or too young, but this seemed to be right on.
  • The story still make Sara seem like she didn’t really comprehend her actions. I wanted her to feel more and it just felt surface at the end. Almost the whole book felt surface. The author said she wrote it because of a similar situation and I almost feel it needed to come from “the horse’s mouth” to give the true depth to the story.
  • I really wish that we could have had part of the story from Emma’s POV. Since suicide rates in this country are rising yearly, I think knowing how someone who is bullied really feels may shed light on the situation.


  1. I saw this at the library, and was about to pick it up, until I remembered that I have a hard time dealing with secondhand guilt. I hate bullying, and reading about it makes me sick.

  2. i usually stay away from bulling stories they frustrate me too much. that said, this seems like fine enough book but i dont think ill read it, feels like too much guilt and violence. but the cover is great, i love the cover!
    Boyanna @The Bookmaidens

  3. Oh it's too bad it wasn't as deepen as you would have liked. The topic is interesting though.

  4. I've read quite a few negative reviews of this that say Sara isn't a character that's easy to sympathise with because she doesn't show any remorse, so I really think that'd irritate me.

    The whole 'bad influences' thing is such a cop out. It's the worst excuse ever, especially for something as serious as bullying. Nobody else is responsible for your behaviour but yourself, and trying to shift the blame off with 'peer pressure' etc. is ridiculous. If you're too much of a coward to go against the grain and stand up for what's right, you're just as culpable. So Sara sounds like she'd get on my nerves a bit!

  5. Sounds good, but I would be like you -- want more depth and realization. Great review.

  6. Great review! I am very interested in reading this book. Also, I agree that the cover is great.

  7. I actually really enjoyed this one- well, enjoyed isn't the word, but you know what I mean. It wasn't as heavy as I thought it would be, probably because of the perspective it's coming from, which I was glad or that, because I stay away from bullying ones since it just makes me angry. And while yeah, Sara was hard to deal with, I could get where she was coming from too, and I think, the whole thing about Tease is the perspective from the bully, and that what she did she didn't think of bullying, which is the whole issue. There's a fine line between teasing and bullying. But, it also shows that the person being bullied isn't completely innocent either. Did she deserve to be bullied? No. But she has to own up to her own actions too.

    I mean, I get it, I was bullied- not like that, but high schools shit, it's just something that is and no matter how much you do to try and stop bullying, it's going to be around. It's a human thing.

    Kirsty @ StudioReads


I'd love to hear what you thought of the book or others you think I will like! Please share your thoughts! Thank you for the thought, but I am not participating in awards.