Concerned about social media, AI, and screen time?
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the best out of media and tech.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Readers will learn about laws and sentencing for juveniles, including for charges of stalking, harassment, and statutory rape.
Don't blindly follow other people. Take responsibility for your actions. You can never know what another person is going through. Don't be cruel.
Positive Role Models
A teen is understanding and tries to help another who is going through a rough time. Two adults push a character to acknowledge her crimes and her personal issues. A teen learns from her mistakes and figures out what she values in her life.
Violence & Scariness
Teen shoves another hard against a locker. A few instances of teens intentionally bumping other teens in a harassing way. Description of a date rape in a character's past. A bullied girl's suicide is key to the story.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing and several make-out sessions that go right to the edge of sex. Characters have sex, sometimes described in first person, but it's not extremely graphic.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
"Crap," "bitch," "slut," "skank," "whore," "tramp," "ho," "bullshit," "Jesus," "ass," "hell," "a--hole," "dumbass," "damn," "f--k."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Diet Dr Pepper, Coke, 7 Up, Sprite, Taco Bell, McDonald's, Starbucks, Pepperidge Farm, Auntie Anne's, Pop-Tarts, FreeCell app, Today show, Good Morning America, MSNBC, Facebook, Twitter, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ann Taylor, Nordstrom, Forever 21, Sephora, Nintendo Wii and DS, Michaels stores, iPod, Barnes & Noble, Texaco, Mercedes, Honda Accord, Audi, Nissan, Advil.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teens drink, often to the point of getting drunk, several times. Drunk driving. A few teen characters smoke cigarettes and marijuana.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tease is about high school bullying that results in a teen girl's suicide. It's fiction, but it's based on the true case of Phoebe Prince, a Massachusetts teenager who committed suicide in 2010 after being harassed by classmates. The story is told from the point of view of one of the bullies, which gives the reader insight into why some teens behave in cruel ways, but the book never excuses the behavior. Characters physically bully, cyberbully, and hurl a lot of verbal abuse, including a steady stream of terms such as "slut," "ho," and "skank." Teen characters have sex, drink (often to excess), and smoke cigarettes and marijuana. Profanities include "f--k," "a--hole," and "crap."
Is It Any Good?
TEASE is a compelling debut novel from Maciel. When Emma Putnam transfers to Sara Wharton's school, she makes the error of flirting with and dating older, popular boys. The popular girls aren't having it, and quintessential mean girl Brielle, Sara's best friend, begins a campaign of cruelty that starts with whispers and name-calling and escalates into cyberbullying and accusations of statutory rape. The author deftly examines the issue of teen bullying from both sides, rather than painting the characters in terms of good versus evil, though there is a healthy dose of evil in one of the characters. By showing the reader the events from the bully's point of view, we see that some unhappy people spread their unhappiness around, whereas others are so desperate for approval and belonging that they let themselves be swept along by stronger personalities, eventually losing their sense of self in the process.
Maciel hooks the reader by shifting the action between present time and the months preceding Emma's suicide. We know where Sara is, but how did such a normal-seeming teen like her get there? The interactions between the teen characters, although often vapid and reckless, are authentic. Their friendships and romantic relationships highlight how difficult and complex the teen years can be for many kids. Sara can be an annoying narrator at times, becoming whiny and self-absorbed once the town turns on her in the wake of Emma's death. She initially cannot see the irony of her despair at having her life ripped apart due to her tormenting of another person. Tease leaves teen and adult readers with a lot to contemplate regarding healthy friendships, parent-child relationships, empathy, cruelty, jealousy, and compassion.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.