book review // tease & the one safe place

31 May 2014

Title: Tease
Author: Amanda Maciel
Publisher: Hachette Children's Books
Publication Date: May 1st 2014
Pages: 268
Source // Format: For Review, Finished Copy
Summary: A gripping, controversial debut about the nature of bullying.
Emma Putnam is dead, and it's all Sara Wharton's fault.
At least, that's what everyone seems to think when 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. But Sara is sure she hasn't done anything wrong, because Emma brought it on herself. Sara is adamant that she was the victim - not Emma.
TEASE is a thought-provoking must-read that will haunt you long after the last page. -goodreads
I'm not going to rate this book because right now i can't sort my thoughts into boxes and label them 'positive' and 'negative'. There is no denying that Tease is an ambitious book. It explores a subject that people rarely like to talk about, a subject people prefer to hide away and forget, so in this respect: i absolutely loved Tease. How it made an impact on me however, was because something happened in the blogging world just as i was reading this book that put things into perspective and displayed how real this story was. Tease may be fiction, but it happens every day, and that is what made this book special. i was relatively impartial towards the main character and in some ways she irked me - Amanda Maciel never took sides, so the book was quite an objective novel to read. In one way i thought this was better for the type of subject the author tackled, but i would have liked to feel a little more while reading. I never really connected with the characters in a way that would have blown this book out of the water for me. The main thing that really really annoyed me was how unapologetic the main character was. the consequences of what she had done never really impacted her and it made me want to slap her.
Tease will make you question your own actions, simple things that happen in life that you think are fine - and will open your eyes to the world of bullying. Whether you are an observer, a victim or otherwise, this book will instill the need in your heart to become more aware of your actions and of those around you. It will illustrate the absolute need for not brushing things off that you believe are okay, and it will present you with an understanding of what could, and can, make someone tip over the edge for good.
huge thanks to the lovely Cait over at Hachette for sending me this book free of charge for review purposes. 
Title: The One Safe Place
Author: Tania Unsworth
Publisher: Orion Children's
Publication Date: January 2nd 2014
Pages: 256
Source // Format: For Review, Hardback, Finished Copy
Summary: Those who enter the Gabriel H. Penn Home for Childhood only get to leave one way...
In the near future the gap between rich and poor has become insurmountable. Life as a street child in the big city is only made bearable by who, and what, you know. And by the rumour circulating of a haven for children, a place of true safety. This rumour appears to be nothing more than a fairy-tale until Devin, and his new friend Kit, meet someone who promises to take them there. But when Devin and Kit arrive they begin to understand the real price of safety...
A disconcerting vision and a beautifully imagined novel of suspense and adventure from debut author, Tania Unsworth. -goodreads
I'll admit, the cover drew me in; but then i started reading it and couldn't stop. The One Safe Place is probably one of the most versatile books i've read this year: anyone from the age of 8+ could read it because the themes it tackles are dealt with with such care, there is no romance - there is just friendship and it was so refreshing. the writing in this book, while simple was vibrant and effective in conjuring up images of scenes in my head and the characters were really easy to warm to. the world Devin lives in is so terrifyingly possible that part of me just wanted to put the book down and never finish it because i could see this happening so vividly in my mind. Tani Unsworth's debut novel is one for keeps: with enough action, friendship and smooth plots to keep the story flowing, you won't want to put the book down until you have reached the end. I think the thing that initially made me love The One Safe Place was the fact that it was so unique and different for a dystopia: it wasn't set in the US, the main character was not a teenager and does not end up saving the world, it was just an original, real novel that did not disappoint.
*thanks so much to the lovely nina from orion for sending me this free of charge in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. 

4 comments:

  1. Great reviews!

    Tease sounds like an emotional read. And I'd really want to slap the MC the entire way through too if she kept acting like she was innocent. Totally get you when you say you can't give the book a rating - happens to me way too often! Usually with books I just didn't feel much about whilst reading! :3

    I knew nothing of this The One Safe Place until this post! It sounds awesome! :O And friendship? No romance?! YES. I NEED something that refreshing! I love girl-boy friendships where one of them ISN'T in love with the other. -.-

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  2. Both of these novels sound perplexing. Tease sounds like it brings out some thing you want to avoid at all costs, while The One Safe Place confronts the reality of poverty and living on the street. None of these books it seems like have large daring action filled plots, but rather more social justice books. I think I will pick one of them up. Thanks for another great set of reviews!

    Amelia @ YA Bookologists (ya-bookologists.blogspot.com)

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  3. I really liked Tease, I thought Sara did come to terms with what she'd done but I can understand why you hated her. She was pretty annoying, especially in the 'before' where she just followed Brielle around.

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  4. I've seen Tease in the bookstore and I've always wanted to read it (and never got round to buying it! Sob) You're review has convinced me to get up and go get the book (soon). Yep!

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