I love books that make you think, that make you consider all the sides of the story. Which is exactly what Tease did for me. With a story about suicide, you usually see it from the victim's point of view, or that of their friends or boyfriends. But with Tease, you see it from the point of view of one of Emma's tormentors, Sara.
Sara is a complex character that is hard to love. Despite everything she did, she's adamant that what happened to Emma wasn't her fault and doesn't understand why Emma's parents have filed a lawsuit against her. The story is all from her point of view and switches from the past, when Emma was still alive to the future, a few months after Emma's suicide. Throughout the story you can see Sara questioning her actions as the story progresses and in the future you can see her finally realising the consequences of her actions and apologising for them. I didn't like her too much at the beginning of the story, however I listened to her and by the end I understood her better and even started to like her too.
Sara is following around Brielle, the only truly spiteful character in the story. She has had terrible things happen to her in the past, however that doesn't forgive what she does. Unlike Sara, who is just following her around most of the time, Brielle is the one who instigates all of these things, nearly every idea, from the Facebook page to the cardboard sign comes from her. Even after Emma's suicide she shows no remorse for what she has done.
Even Emma is no saint. She didn't go all out to make herself likeable in the first place, sleeping with every guy she could find. Now I'm all for enjoying yourself but the guys she slept with tended to be other people's boyfriends. Then there was a rumour that she called Sara a tease for not sleeping with Dylan, which is where the title came from. I do with we have a few small chapters from Emma's point of view, as I was never sure if she did or said anything that other people said. We only meet her a couple of times in the story and she gets no more than a few sentences.
The story also shows how people react to the death or someone you knew, from Emma's boyfriend trying to get on with his life to the people who try and profit off of a death in some way or another, a couple of girls tried to pretend they were her friend all along despite also bullying her. I learnt at the back of the book that this is based on a very similar true story, which makes me wonder just how many cases there are like this every year.
Tease is a great debut novel from Amanda, which many complex characters and a storyline that really made me think about all the different people involved in just one person's suicide and what happens when they gone. I look forward to seeing what else she has to offer!