Emma Putnam is dead, and it's all Sara Wharton's fault.
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.
This is a new perspective on an age-old story of high school bullies; told from the bully's perspective, you find yourself sympathising with her! Even without Emma's side of the story, I found myself torn between the bully and the bullied, often yelling at the book to talk, not terrify! But enough of that for a moment; alternating between before and after Emma's suicide, you see how Sara's life rules and ruins around Emma's misdeeds.
So here's the deal: even now that's I've read it, I'm still not sure if I liked Sara or not. In the 'after' she was whining quite a lot, how the lawsuit was ruining her life and I could understand her frustration but it was pretty insensitive. But in the 'before', she was being pulled around by Brielle, whom I could tell straight away was the real mastermind bitch behind the whole thing. Even though I have no idea what Emma stealing Sara's boyfriend had to do with her, or why she had to take it so far. Brielle was heartless and fearless, which is an especially terrifying combination in a teenage girl. Meanwhile, I could see that Emma wasn't completely faultless, she was flirting with any and every guy, made out with Sara's boyfriend, I mean I can't say I approve of the way the girls handled it but I can understand the anger. They were forming opinions on her without getting her side and it was deeply unfair, especially since I've been where Emma was.
As you can see, I can waffle for years about this deeply personal issue and this book bought up so many different perspectives on it, mostly because it was told from the bully's point of view. There were so many emotions rolling around, both before and after, that I was getting dizzy, not to mention annoyed with so many people. Even Emma at least at one point! And myself a little bit, that I was sympathising with a horrible girl that drove someone to that brink. But somewhat luckily Sara made up for in the end, in the best way she could. Which wasn't much when a girl was dead, but compared to Brielle, it was obvious that Sara felt that guilt and desperately wanted to make some kind of amends.
I don't know if you can tell, but this was a difficult book to review. It was bought up horrible emotions, heartbreaking issues, and a very difficult and, more awfully, common situation that was quite hard to read knowing what was coming. And even though it appears that only Sara learned something from all this, even too late, it's a step in the right direction.
Published 1st May 2014 by Hachette Books. Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.