Review: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

25 April, 2016 / 2 Comments

book review

What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

what we sawMy Copy: ARC eBook, 239 pages
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Kate Weston can piece together most of the bash at John Doone’s house: shots with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early—the feeling that maybe he’s becoming more than just the guy she’s known since they were kids.

But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same question: Where was Ben when a terrible crime was committed?

This story—inspired by real events—from debut novelist Aaron Hartzler takes an unflinching look at silence as a form of complicity. It’s a book about the high stakes of speaking up, and the razor thin line between guilt and innocence that so often gets blurred, one hundred and forty characters at a time.

My Review

This was a good book. It definitely delivered good messages to its readers.

The story is about a girl who claims she was raped at a party, but nobody believes her. Almost everyone sides with the popular jock boys (even some of the adults!) because they believe that the girl in question was asking for it by the way she dressed/acted.

This idea is absolutely ridiculous. I can’t believe people would take the side of the accused over the complainant in a case such as this, no matter how “slutty” the girl dresses.

This book says it’s inspired by real events. I’m left wondering which parts happened and which are fiction. I work in a law office and I know how delicately sexual assault cases are handled. I just find it hard to believe that so many people would take the sides of the alleged rapists over the victim. However, I’m not doubting it could happen. It just seemed a bit too much to me.

I liked the main character (who is actually not the victim – the main character is a third party who we follow while she tries to figure everything out). She is strong and brave and I sympathized with her.

This book was an interesting read. I wish it would have captured my interest a bit more, but it did a good enough job.

Best Aspect: Uniqueness/Message
Worst Aspect: Romance

4 stars blue

Looking for more opinions of this book?

 3/5 rating from Divergent Gryffindor

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Posted 25 April, 2016 by Sam in Book Reviews, Books / 2 CommentsTags: , , , , ,

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2 Responses to “Review: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler”

  1. I think I won this a while back but I haven’t gotten to it yet. I’m actually not surprised that the worst aspect of this book is the romance; it doesn’t really seem like the type that NEEDS romance. However, still glad you enjoyed it and hopefully I will, too!

    Thanks for stopping by Princessica of Books!

  2. I’m kind of curious to read this, but honestly the topic really makes me nervous so I might not. D: And it’s interesting to get the perspective from someone who actually works with law! I see a lot of media attention going to people who are claiming rape and how often they’re ignored, but I don’t know much about it really. STILL. A grand review! 😀
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

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