(This story that I am reviewing is an ARC)
A gripping, controversial debut about the nature of bullying.
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. But Sara is sure she hasn't done anything wrong, because Emma brought it on herself. Sara is adamant that she was the victim - not Emma.
Inspired by a true story, TEASE is a thought-provoking must-read that will haunt you long after the last page
Publishing in the UK on 1st May 2014
I hated and loved this book. Like really hated and loved this book. It tugged at my heartstrings and made me want to throw my laptop away from myself all at the same time. I was like an overweight girl when it comes to food; knowing I don't need that bar of chocolate but stuffing it in my mouth anyways.
This book is about a young girl by the name of Emma who, due to the torments and the horrible bullying she was the target of from other students, committed suicide. This, in itself, was what made me want to curl up in a ball and cry for Emma. Her story was so...blunt and real and, most importantly, relateable. Everyone has gone through bullying at one point in their life and I know many would be able to look at this character Emma and see themselves within her. She was a strong and fiesty girl that got put down by rumours and horrible "mean girls" and instead became this depressed, paranoid blubbering girl who had no friends and felt the need to kill herself to get some peace. I was so outraged. Poor Emma. This amazing role model like girl was tormented for years and forced to put an end to it in the most unnatural way. And the thing is, this is based on a real life story. This has actually happened to a girl and so many others who's stories have not been told. It makes you wonder doesn't it? When you're mean to someone, do they ever feel suicidal? Have you ever been the reason for someone feeling like crap because of the way you act and what you say? Urgh, I really hope I have never been the cause for someone to have such horrible thoughts, I really do.
However, the oh so clever author, Amanda Maciel made sure that this story wasn't just another bullying story because, *plot twist*, she wrote it from the bullies point of view, Sara. What???? I was repulsed at the idea. What defense does the bully truly have in bullying anyone to the point of them wanting to commit suicide? In what way does Emma being a "whore" justify the way Sara treated her?
And do you know what? This Sara girl (bully) did turn out to be an absolute twat who blamed Emma (victim), blamed her for her boyfriend not being interested in her and was so desperate to keep him around that she lost her virginity to him at a party. Aw, how romantic (!)
But then, you find out a little more about her. For example, Sara has two little brothers who she looks after every single day coming back from school as both her parents work (her dad left the family when she was young and reunited with her later on) and she is also a good and loyal friend. She is also supposedly in love with her boyfriend and doesn't want to let him go (which most of us can relate to) and she accuses Emma of doing so many things but doesn't actually know the full story (which is also relateable).
I suddenly realised when reading this book - Sara is basically human. And a lot like us humans, she makes/ has made mistakes. For one, she didn't give Emma a chance when she moved to the school and put a stereotype on her. Pretty, clever and with a good personality? Definitely a bitch. Come on now, how many of us have presumed every pretty person is a bitch eh?-and get to know them later and they're actually decent people? I for one put my hand up on that one. I also do make my own thoughts and feelings towards people by putting them in categories and not realising it. Glasses? Nerd. Listens to screamos and rock music? Defo emo. Wears loads of make up? Definitely wants attention. Without me realising, I do stereotype people, and that makes me feel a hell-of a lot of guilt.
She also presumes Emma has slept with a lot of people and just is a plain bitch but she never tries to get to know her. After Emma's death however, she starts to realise what a big mistake she had made and apologises to her but, most importantly, realises her mistake of judging a girl before getting to know her.
I would definitely recommend this book if you are into the whole drama and plots with bullying in it then or want a read that'll make you cry. It made me want to cry and smile all at the same time and I genuinely liked reading this book.
I would give this book a strong 8/10