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.
Tease by Amanda Maciel was such an interesting perspective, inside the head of the bully. It was a thought-provoking, uncomfortable, and challenging read for sure! It was also unputdownable for me, in the way you can’t make yourself look away from something awful about to happen. It was good read!
Amanda Maciel writes a character so challenging in Sara because her actions against Emma are just awful, but then you see her at home with her two little brothers and how caring she is with them and you forget for a moment how awful she acted. Sara is also kind of a whiny brat, she’s childish, and for a long time she refuses to accept any responsibility when it comes to Emma. All these things didn’t make me dislike her as much as I just felt sorry for her. She just seemed so lost and unhappy. Her boyfriend treated her badly too. Those times they were together just broke my heart. And her best friend was THE WORST. Just THE WORST.
There were a lot of things that made me reflect about my time in high school. I think I saw a lot of myself in Sara. Not the bullying parts, but the difficulty in being myself no matter what, and having the bad boyfriends, having those friends that brought me down instead of lifting me up. And I saw myself in Emma too. Her wanting to be friends with the in-crowd but only being able to find an in through the boys in the group. Being called awful names because of boys even though we were just friends. Jealousy in high school can cause so much pain. I definitely felt it, both the jealousy and pain. Thankfully things never escalated beyond the name calling, which was always behind my back anyway.
Basically, if you’re a girl, you’re most likely to relate to SOMETHING in this book. And if you’re a boy, it will hopefully make you realize how damaging your actions and non-actions can be. This makes it a great read because it can reach many, no matter what side you’re on.
But back to the story…
I thought the ending showed everyone’s true colors. It showed that people can change for the better in the face of tragedy, some more than others, but it certainly makes an impact.
Amanda says in her author’s note that one of the reasons she wrote this book was because she’d like to believe that girls like Sara aren’t vicious enough to bully a peer in hopes they kill themselves. I’d like to believe this too.
I wish bullying would go away altogether. It breaks my heart! And it breaks my heart for my daughter, who already has to deal with mean girls in the 6th grade. Lets just love and encourage and embrace. And lets teach our kids to love and encourage and embrace.
About Amanda Maciel
Amanda Maciel has worked in book publishing since graduating from Mount Holyoke College and is currently a senior editor at Scholastic. She spends her free time writing, running, or riding the subway with her young son. She lives with him, her husband, and their cat, Ruby, in Brooklyn, New York. Tease is her first novel.
Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. Afterschool job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick.
Because she might be one herself.
Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals—delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder. But with each visceral rush the line of self-control blurs.
And then a young preschool teacher goes missing. Only to return... in parts.
When Lane excitedly gets involved in the hunt for “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer that has come to her hometown, she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her birth dad and her own dark past. And once the Decapitator contacts Lane directly, Lane knows she is no longer invisible or safe. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she—or someone she loves—becomes the next victim...
5 songs that would be found on a Killer Instinct soundtrack
I’m not the type of writer who listens to music while I type. BUT I totally do while I’m plotting. Right now I’m listening to Train. I just love them. They make me happy. However, Train is not who I listened to while plotting KILLER INSTINCT. This is a dark novel and requires instrumental, haunting, and deep sounds. This list is exactly what Lane, my main character, would listen to as well. Though her mind is often in turmoil, though her actions are violent, some readers might think she prefers hard rock. Indeed she does not, and in fact can’t stand it. This is the music that would keep her focused and calm.
S. E. Green or Shannon Greenland is the author of the award winning Middle Grade spy series, The Specialists, which was an ALA top pick and a National Reader’s Choice Recipient. Killer Instinct marks her debut into the world of thrillers. It’s due out in hardcover 5.6.14 under her pseudonym, S. E. Green.
Shannon is an adjunct professor and an avid adventurer. She can be found mostly in Florida where she’s outside enjoying all the Sunshine State has to offer.
Today Lety and I have tackled this topic together. We figured it’d be easier to each do a top five, and yeah, it totally was, haha. So here’s what we came up with!
Jess’s Top Five
1. The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan – This book is written as a dictionary. Each page holds an entry to a word and as a whole it tells a heartbreaking story of a complicated relationship. It’s beautifully written. :)
2. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson – Jandy Nelson wrote this book in such a poetic way. And I love how there’s images of poems written by Lenny, the main character, on different things.
3. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher – This story follows a girl who has committed suicide and has left tapes for different people telling them how they contributed to her decision. It’s heartbreaking and eye-opening and unique. Love it.
5. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan – I thought this book was unique because, not only did it remind me of the movie The Village which I love, the main character, Mary, is not really a likable character. I hadn’t read a book before where I didn’t much like the main character but loved the story and setting overall. Also, holy emotional book!
Lety’s Top Five
1. Defy by Sarah B. Larson – What I liked the most about this book was that it had such a strong female lead. We often see strong female leads in the YA genre but this one stuck out to me as being in a different category than the rest. Alexa is an incredible swords-woman and actually better than most of the boys. She is fierce, loyal and has incredible will power. Also, when Alexa finally decides which love-triangle boy she prefers most, I was a bit surprised. Check out my review of this fantasy YA novel here.
2. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi – I am adding this one to this list based on the writing alone and because OMG that ending!! Tahereh Mafi writes unlike others in this genre, I’ve never read such colorful descriptions and metaphors. I also think what made this series unique to me was how the ending panned out. I was stunned with the ending, but I was thoroughly captivated by all the twists and turns of the overall storyline and the love triangle. When it became obvious who Juliette was going to “choose” I was actually overjoyed. I do not think it can be described as the “normal love triangle ending” and that is quite refreshing.
3. A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin – So much tragedy and chaos happens in this book. This one is my favorite of the ASOIF series so far, it is unique in that characters that you grew emotionally attached to are killed off in the span of a few pages. It’s heartbreaking, but also not what you would normally see in these epic novels. Once a hero is clearly identified, you always know that they will save the day and there will be a happily-ever-after. Not in this one.
4. Wounded by Jasinda Wilder – This was a very emotional read and what’s different about it is that it takes place during a war. And in the middle of all that chaos, killing and destruction, a love story emerges between an Iraqi prostitute and an American marine. Neither of which speak each other’s language. I don’t think I’ve ever read quite a captivating love story. This is most definitely not your typical romance story.
5. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion – I haven’t read very many zombie romance novels, but I still felt that this novel was quite different. The fact that “zombie romance” is an actual thing is distinctive in itself. Also, this book is told from the zombie, “R’s” perspective. What I also thought was interesting about this novel, is the reversal that happens with the zombies. Additionally, the way that R’s thoughts form and the things he collects was something I don’t think I’d ever seen before.
Those are our picks! What are some of yours? Tell us in the comments or leave us a link to your post!
In only a few short months, her world has changed forever. She’s on the run with Emmy, the last living dragon, and their bond is tested at every turn as their enemies grow ever closer…
He’s betrayed his mission to destroy the dragon, and now he must protect Trinity and Emmy with everything he has. But he isn’t sure he’s strong enough to save them both…
He knows each time he visits the Nether he’s one step closer to losing himself completely. But the pull of this fantasy world is becoming harder to resist each day.
By a twist of fate, this girl from the wrong side of the tracks has a chance to save the world—or at least the world’s last dragon. And she’s willing to risk everything to do so…
When a cell phone video of Emmy goes viral and the government starts closing in, Team Dragon is running out of places to hide.
Lety loved SCORCHED (see her review HERE), so I know she’s excited about this reveal.
What do you think, Lety?
Omigawd look at this cover y’all!! I can’t stop staring at it, I’m in a dragon-induced trance. Look at that lovely, lovely creature! Those piercing blue eyes, those menacing claws… those horns… those sharp teeth. Oh my! If I thought Emmy (the dragon) looked fierce on the Scorched cover, she looks downright terrorizing on this one!
I like how on the first cover Trinity (the girl) looked a bit sheepish, hiding behind Emmy’s claw, with a very uncertain expression on her face… on this cover she is up front and center and looking like she is ready to pounce and a lot more comfortable with Emmy. Not to mention, she has a very determined expression. (Extra points for the chucks!)
In the first book we were shown a tiny glimpse into the world of dragons and Trinity’s bond with Emmy. It sounds like their bond is growing stronger and Emmy surely is growing. I mean look at the size of her on that cover! Things are getting intense! Can’t wait to read what Mari Mancusi has in store for us in this sequel.
And to help celebrate this release, Mari Mancusi is giving away something really special! So be sure to enter!
Mari Mancusi always wanted a dragon as a pet. Unfortunately the fire insurance premiums proved a bit too large and her house a bit too small–so she chose to write about them instead. Today she works as an award-winning young adult author and freelance television producer, for which she has won two Emmys.
When not writing about fanciful creatures of myth and legend, Mari enjoys goth clubbing, cosplay, snowboarding, watching cheesy (and scary) horror movies, and her favorite guilty pleasure—playing videogames. A graduate of Boston University, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Jacob, daughter Avalon, and their dog Mesquite.
Mari is pronounced like the name Mary.
Mancusi is pronounced man-COO-see.
In this fun, scorching-hot eBook original romance by Ruthie Knox, a cross-country bike adventure takes a detour into unexplored passion. As readers will discover, Ride with Me is not about the bike!
When Lexie Marshall places an ad for a cycling companion, she hopes to find someone friendly and fun to cross the TransAmerica Trail with. Instead, she gets Tom Geiger—a lean, sexy loner whose bad attitude threatens to spoil the adventure she’s spent years planning.
Roped into the cycling equivalent of a blind date by his sister, Tom doesn’t want to ride with a chatty, go-by-the-map kind of woman, and he certainly doesn’t want to want her. Too bad the sight of Lexie with a bike between her thighs really turns his crank.
Even Tom’s stubborn determination to keep Lexie at a distance can’t stop a kiss from leading to endless nights of hotter-than-hot sex. But when the wild ride ends, where will they go next?
So Ride With Me had the distinct advantage of having a hero named Tom who loves cycling…because my fiance’s name is Tom and he loves cycling. Haha My good friend Ginger pointed this out to me because she knew both of those details about him. Thanks, Ginger!! But the similarities ended there. Though it was still a fun detail.
One thing I love about Ruthie Knox’s books is that they always feel like such big stories. They’re written so well that you feel like it’s more than the actual number of pages. Ride With Me was like that. Since the timeline of this book is a few months, I think Ruthie made it work so that you felt it was a longer story than it was, IN A GOOD WAY!
I loved the character’s progression and growth in this book. While their common interests complimented each other, their personalities started off on opposite ends of the spectrum. I loved seeing them learn and grow and open up.
I know that sounds like a super chill experience those two went through, but holy rollercoaster! No. It was anything but. First, Tom wouldn’t talk. Then Lexie wouldn’t talk. They disliked each other at first, but completely lusted for one another. Then they were friends, then more, then not. It was an awesome ride, y’all! The whole time I was just rooting for them to work it out and make it. In the smexy department, this book is a total WIN. The romance is steamy yet romantic.
Ride With Me also made me want to take cycling across America. It’s a nice thought, but I doubt I’d ever do it. I’d rather drive my way across America. But it was really cool seeing it through the eyes of Lexie and Tom.
I can’t wait to read more romances from Ruthie Knox. I’ve come to really enjoy them! I hope you guys will check them out too!!
About Ruthie Knox
USA Today bestselling author Ruthie Knox writes contemporary romance that’s sexy, witty, and angsty—sometimes all three at once. After training to be a British historian, she became an academic editor instead. Then she got really deeply into knitting, as one does, followed by motherhood and romance novel writing.
Her debut novel, Ride with Me, is probably the only existing cross-country bicycling love story. She followed it up with About Last Night, a London-set romance whose hero has the unlikely name of Neville, and then Room at the Inn, a Christmas novella—both of which were finalists for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award. Her four-book series about the Clark family of Camelot, Ohio, has won accolades for its fresh, funny portrayal of small-town Midwestern life.
Ruthie moonlights as a mother, Tweets incessantly, and bakes a mean focaccia. She’d love to hear from you, so visit her website at www.ruthieknox.com and drop her a line.
Maggie Carpenter is ready for a change— and to leave her ordinary life in South Carolina behind. But when she accepts a scholarship to the International School in London, a university attended by the privileged offspring of diplomats and world leaders, Maggie might get more than she bargained for.
When Maggie meets Hugh, a twentysomething British guy, she finds herself living the life she always wanted. Suddenly she’s riding around the city in a Ferrari, wearing borrowed designer clothes and going to the hottest clubs. The only problem? Another guy, the one she can’t seem to keep her hands off of.
Half French, half Lebanese, and ridiculously wealthy, Samir Khouri has made it clear he doesn’t do relationships. He’s the opposite of everything Maggie thought she wanted…and he’s everything she can’t resist. Torn between her dream guy and the boy haunting her dreams, Maggie has to fight for her own happy ending. In a city like London, you never know where you stand, and everything can change in the blink of an eye.
You guys! This book was so gooooood!! I was completely hooked from the start!
I See London takes us on a wild ride through London’s night clubs, holidays across Europe, and Samir. Oh, Samir. And yes, it even gives us a look at what it’s like to attend university in London. Man, how I wish I’d gone to university in London. It sounds awesome! I loved the diversity of the characters. You have all kinds of nationalities and it all just worked. Really cool. :)
I loved the friendships Maggie forms while there. They weren’t all easy, but definitely worth it in the end. I didn’t want to read about bitchy roommates being bitchy just because and I’m so happy it didn’t turn out that way. Maggie’s group of friends knew how to have fun, and they liked to party a lot, but they also knew when to get serious about school and they let Maggie back off of partying without giving her a guilt trip. Real friends!
But the best part… Oh, yes, I’m going there! The best part was Samir and the make-out sessions to end all make-out sessions! Sometimes I forget how much fun making out like that was. When it doesn’t have to go further, but the wanting to is so intense. Chanel Cleeton writes great make-out scenes, you guys.
Maggie and Samir were very similar personality wise. The difference was that Maggie was trying to repress that side of her. She wanted to be the good girl and Samir could see right through her, which of course scared her to pieces. I felt for Maggie’s parental situation. Her mom left when she was little and her dad is in the military, which means she hardly ever saw him. It sounded like her grandparents were good to her but of course it’s not the same. I hope we get a resolution to that in the next book because it did feel like it was left hanging.
Like the synopsis mentions, Maggie meets Hugh and tries not to think about Samir much. Hugh is older than her and a lot more experienced in life. He’s a wealthy club owner who likes to date around. He’s a really nice guy and really patient with Maggie because he knows she’s a virgin. I was glad to see he was a good guy about that because most guys wouldn’t have stuck around in that situation. But Samir was who she needed to end up with!! Yeah, sure, he’s a player and he’s hiding something huge regarding his future, but he’s irresistible!
I definitely can’t wait to see how it all plays out in London Falling, the sequel to I See London. Great job, Ms. Chanel Cleeton!! I don’t much enjoy New Adult books but this one was just the right amount of fun, and college, and not too much angst. I definitely recommend you guys check it out. :)
About Chanel Cleeton
Originally a Florida girl, at seventeen Chanel moved to London to attend an international university. In the four years that followed, she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, learned how to dance, travelled through Europe, and made lifelong friendships. Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever. But fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise, when an American fighter pilot with smooth dance moves, swept her off her feet.
Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure in South Korea. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she is happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, puppy cuddles, and her fighter pilot husband. Chanel writes New Adult contemporary romances and Young Adult thrillers. Her New Adult debut, I SEE LONDON, will be released by Harlequin (HQN) on February 3, 2014, followed by a sequel, LONDON FALLING, later in the year.
Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the Lily Throne, and Aelwyn Myrddn, bastard daughter of the Mage of England, grew up together. But who will rule, and who will serve?
Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. With the help of her Head Merlin, Emrys, Eleanor has maintained her stranglehold on the world's only source of magic. She rules the most powerful empire the world has ever seen.
But even with the aid of Emrys' magic, Eleanor's extended lifespan is nearing its end. The princess must marry and produce an heir or the Empire will be vulnerable to its greatest enemy, Prussia. The two kingdoms must unite to end the war, and the only solution is a match between Marie and Prince Leopold VII, heir to the Prussian throne. But Marie has always loved Gill, her childhood friend and soldier of the Queen's Guard.
Together, Marie and Aelwyn, a powerful magician in her own right, come up with a plan. Aelwyn will take on Marie's face, allowing the princess to escape with Gill and live the quiet life she's always wanted. And Aelwyn will get what she's always dreamed of--the chance to rule. But the court intrigue and hunger for power in Lenoran England run deeper than anyone could imagine. In the end, there is only rule that matters in Eleanor's court: trust no one.
Today is the release of Melissa De La Cruz’s THE RING AND THE CROWN and I could not be happier to be able to share in the excitement!!
Check out these beautiful images showcasing three of the ladies in THE RING AND THE CROWN (I’m missing one for Isabelle, who is also very intriguing and strong from what I’ve read so far.)
Also! The book trailer is one of the best I’ve seen, and not only because it features one of my all time favorite songs by an all time favorite band, but because it’s beautiful and captivating and it leaves you wanting to find out what is going on! Take a look…
Here’s the full song and music video featured in the trailer… <3
MELISSA DE LA CRUZ is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling series Blue Bloods, which has three million copies in print. She spent many summers on Shelter Island, which served as the inspiration for the fictional town of North Hampton. She lives in Los Angeles and Palm Springs with her family.