Review of “Tease” by Amanda Maciel

Tease by Amanda MacielA review by Maria.

I had wanted to read Tease by Amanda Maciel because I had met the author at a book signing and the premise sounded fascinating. Tease is about the bully’s point of view instead of the victims. In main character Sara’s point of view, she and her friend Brielle were a little bit mean to the new girl, Emma. And soon after Emma goes and commits suicide. Now Sara and her friends are up on criminal charges of bullying and harassment. However, Sara believes it is all Emma’s fault. Emma was going around hitting on all the boys in school and then sleeping with them, but then she made the mistake of going after Sara’s boyfriend. Sara believes that Emma wanted the attention and wasn’t as much of a victim as everyone made her out to be.

Tease is a quick read but I wouldn’t call it an easy read. The author goes from present to past every chapter and the only way to differentiate is the months set as chapter headings. Occasionally I would think I was in the present but was really in the past and had to keep flipping back to figure out which tense I was in. However, Maciel was very good at creating character arcs and transformations.

This novel was difficult in the sense that the main character was really unlikeable. In fact, for much of the book I hated Sara. Even when her life turned upside down and everyone hated her for bullying and called her a murderer, she would show a little slip of humanity and remorse but then she’d screw it all up again by insisting she didn’t do anything wrong. However, this novel was very interesting to get in the mentality of why people bully others or do cruel things to each other. Most of us can relate to the victim and how awful it might have been for them but very few of us want to relate to the bully. It was fascinating getting into Sara’s mind and learning how she’d justify what she did. The only frustrating thing was never finding out for sure why Emma committed suicide, if it was because of the terrible bullying or for attention like Sara believed. This book was not a happy novel but it’s worth the read if you’ve ever been bullied or were a bully.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

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