Hello! Long time and no post! Today’s entry is a list/review of the 32 books I am decluttering from my book collection. I am moving and do not need to take all of my books with me. These ones that I will be sharing with you are either ones I did not enjoy or ones that I know I am not going to re-read in the future. Enjoy!
Today’s book review is about Amanda Maciel’s debut novel called Tease. Tease follows the story of Sara Wharton, a teenage girl, who has been charged (along with 3 friends) for the bullying and harassment that ultimately lead fellow classmate, Emma Putnam, to commit suicide.
I am a sucker for YA high school novels that involve bullying/mean-girls-being-mean, but getting what they deserve in the end. A book that I can read in a couple hours, but still enjoy and be done with. So, that’s kind of what I was expecting from this. But it surpassed my expectations.
The novel is set both in the present day as well as the past (up until Emma’s death), all told from Sara’s perspective. While Sara was mean, she wasn’t the mean girl; that would be her best friend Brianna, who is the stereotypical mean girl in every YA novel (rich, pretty, vapid, extremely mean). But that doesn’t stop Sara from following her every whim and enjoying it. She doesn’t seem to ever regret any of the mean things she’s said or any of the mean pranks she’s done (either to Emma or to others), and that added an element of surprise to the story.
I mean, Maciel, played devil’s advocate for the reader. She shows us some moments where Sara’s not a complete bitch and you kind of feel sorry for her home life, but then you remember she did harass a girl until she committed suicide. And yes, all of the pranks she did were actually terrible, and you’re left wondering whether you sympathize with Sara at all because you don’t want to.
Sara was a realistic character because it seemed like how a teenage girl may react in that situation. She was clearly bothered that she was charged with this crime, but she bottles up her emotions, doesn’t talk to any one about it, but does not wholly regret what she did either because she believed Emma was just as mean/rude/vapid etc. as she was. It was a nice contrast in relation to other books about bullying where the author makes you feel sorry for the bully. I didn’t feel sorry for Sara at all; she got herself in that situation, but she did grow as a character by the end of the book.
Overall, a nice change to read when it comes to YA bullying/teen angst, and I look forward to more of Maciel’s novels in the future.
Just last week I picked up Gillian Flynn’s novel Sharp Objects and read it in about three days. Flynn has previously written the bestseller Gone Girl, as well as her other novel called Dark Places. Both of these novels I have read and enjoyed, but surprisingly, I prefer Sharp Objects to either of these two books.
I recently picked up four new books from Chapters and read one of them in the span of about three hours (I was hankering for some books and a quick read!) so here is my review of Lane Davis’, I Swear.
I Swear is about a girl named Leslie who decides to take her own life after (what we learn while reading) relentless bullying throughout high school by a popular girl named Macie and most of her friends; Katherine, Beth, and Jillian. The book follows the course of the aftermath of Leslie’s suicide in which each chapter is from the point of view of a different character; either Katherine, Beth, Jillian (all former frenemies of Leslie), and Jake (Jillian’s twin brother and Leslie’s closest friend).
While much of the book revolves around what happened to Leslie, a large part of each character’s chapter is the hold that the character Macie has over each of them. She was the ring leader in everything and manipulated everyone around her, so it was interesting to read from each character’s POV to see who exactly was friends with her and why.
I enjoyed the fact that even after Leslie’s death and after the girls knew that they probably had a hand in her suicide with their manipulation and scheming, they were ready to turn on each other if given the chance. This helps to show the idea of a dog-eat-dog world, one so rampant in high school and “girl cliques”.
It did get confusing to read from every character’s POV, even if Davis labelled whose chapter it was. Half the time I would be reading, and then have to to flip back to the beginning of the chapter to realize who I was reading about.
I gave the book a 4/5 on GoodReads, and I would have given it a full 5 if it hadn’t been for the ending. Up until the last three pages, it had been going along pretty smoothly, but I felt that there wasn’t enough justice served to the antagonist in the novel. As well, suddenly the story flipped at the last second to be about one particular character’s path to her destiny and it kind of just threw me for a loop.
Aside from that, the book is a decent read. It shows the hard times and heartaches of (cyber)bullying with teenage girls (to an extreme but nonetheless) as well as what it means to truly be a friend in the very end. It’s a pretty easy read too, but you might need to grab your tissues if you’re as emotional as I am.