I received this book for free from Edelweiss, requested from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Balzer + Bray, Harper Collins on April 29th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: Edelweiss, requested from publisher
From debut author Amanda Maciel comes a provocative and unforgettable novel, inspired by real-life incidents, about a teenage girl who faces criminal charges for bullying after a classmate commits suicide.
Emma Putnam is dead, and it's all Sara Wharton's fault. At least, that's what everyone seems to think. 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. Now Sara is the one who's ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media. In the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment—and ultimately consider her own role in an undeniable tragedy. And she'll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.
With its powerful narrative, unconventional point of view, and strong anti-bullying theme, this coming-of-age story offers smart, insightful, and nuanced views on high school society, toxic friendships, and family relationships.
Told in the point of view of the bully, this chronicles the aftermath of a victim who committed suicide. This was a terribly hard book to read. I couldn’t accept the statements at all. With such a unique opposition to everything that happened, I still couldn’t like Sara Wharton. She seemed highly realistic, and that’s one of the things that scared me. At the beginning, I did hope for a huge character growth where we can see her change her ignorance and I’m glad to see that it did happen. I just didn’t really care all that much for her. What she went through, what happened to her, I didn’t feel pity for her. I did understand where she was coming from and that made me understand why teens do the things they do.
The whole time, I felt like Sara put the blame on Emma. A big pathetic excuse for them to crush her every single day. To damage her reputation until she was gone. Why do girls do this? What’s the point? They don’t have any remorse and it makes me so sad. It still makes me sad. I never could condone bullying and when I saw it happen, I would try to stop it. For people who couldn’t stand up for themselves. Tease is a great example of why bullying needs to stop.
Making bad decisions as a teen is what makes you grow and learn, and I’m happy to say that it did change Sara in the end. I just wish there were more happier endings in real life. I wasn’t surprised to hear that this was based on real-life situations.
Amanda’s writing will make anyone want to grab this book on bullying and its effects. It’ll stay with you for a while. Making you remember your own teenage years and what you cold have done yourself.