Tease - Amanda Maciel [DNF Review]
First of all, a disclaimer: I did not finish this book. It's very possible that the main character might have completely redeemed herself by the end of the book, but I just couldn't stick it out any longer in order to find out if that would happen.
Tease is a book about bullying, but it's told from the perspective of the bully, rather than the bullied. I've read a couple of books where this has been done really well (Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall being the best example), but Tease really fell flat for me. The main character, Sara, has absolutely ZERO sense of remorse or shame for her actions, despite the fact that the girl she bullied, Emma, committed suicide. The focus of the book is the preparation for trial as Sara and her friends are going to be tried in a court of law in conjunction with Emma's death. Throughout the entire first half of the novel, Sara just doesn't seem to get it -- she keeps blaming Emma for "starting it all" and creating the situation that basically forced Sara and her best friend Brielle to start bullying her in the first place. Now that Emma is dead, Sara blames both her death, and Emma's parents for starting this court trial, for ruining her life.
When the book started, I thought that the focus of the book would be Sara coming to understand the ramifications of her actions, to feel remorse for the devastating effect that her actions had on another girl's life. There is so much pain in so many girls' lives and novels like this one could really make a difference and show a bully what their actions can do to another human being. By the time I decided to DNF the book, I was so heartbroken and upset with the fact that the author could have created a truly powerful story, a book that would reach out to both bullied teens and bullies and show them how to change and be better. Instead, I was left with a sour taste in my mouth, and feeling like this book will do more harm than good if placed in the wrong hands.
I was really surprised to see that there are quite a few five star ratings on Goodreads, so clearly this story has positively impacted quite a few readers. Perhaps you may be one of them, but I most definitely am not -- this book was a complete and utter disappointment.
Note: I received an e-galley of this book from Edelweiss. The fact that I received this book for review did not influence my opinion of this book in any way.