“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.

Supports the Common Core State Standards.”

– Taken from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18599901-tease)

This was a bit of a painful book to read. not because the story was badly written or the characters were underdeveloped, but because it brought into sharp relief one fact about bullying: bullies are not really aware of the consequences of what they are doing. And this is made abundantly clear by our main character, who is a bully.

In this story, the consequences are extreme: Emma, the victim, commits suicide. Even though the story jumps back and forth in time, the POV is constant. This means we don’t get to see Emma’s side of the story. What we see of her is shown through the eyes of Sara, the bully, who is not, for obvious reasons, a neutral party. There were several moments when all I wanted to to was throttle Sara. She went too far to think that was she did was normal or acceptable.

I wasn’t entirely happy with the ending, as I was expecting something harsher to happen.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


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