24 Apr 2014

Tease - Review

Available 1st May 2014

What's it about?
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.
My review
Tease was a gripping and intense novel. But not only is it a riveting read, its also one to get you thinking, specifically about the nature of bullying. The book is told from the perspective of Sara, who is blamed - along with her friends - for the suicide of a young girl because they bullied her so intensely. Going into the book, you'd think you'd hate her and find her a difficult narrator to follow but in truth, its the opposite. As I was taken back and forth between the present and the events leading up to Emma's suicide, I felt myself starting to understand her more and while I didn't agree with everything she did, I could see how it happened and empathise with her. She gets led astray by peer pressure and is mean to someone else to make herself feel better, something she knows deep down is wrong, and yet can't seem to stop herself either. But its about the end that I found most important, I was waiting to see what she'd learn from the whole tragedy and if she would feel sorry. Of course I can't spoil that for you so you'll have to see for yourself the conclusions she comes to and how she decides to go on from there but it really is a riveting read and the such a sensitive subject was handled with poise, I really have to give props to the author for such a brilliant job.
What I would like to have seen more of though, was Emma. Although the story is told by Sara, we do of course go back to events that involve Emma and whilst all the other characters are talking she never seems to say much or give much of a reaction to anything. I could never tell if the bullying made her angry, we know she was sad because she's committed suicide, but she doesn't come off as sad either, more passive, she never defends herself but she never hides away from the group either, it was hard to get a grip on her, I'd love to have known what she was thinking sometimes but they this story is about Sara I guess, so I suppose its more for the reader to think on.
But it still got five stars from me and I can't wait to see more from this author.

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