Book Review: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

what we saw

What We Saw

Release date: September 22nd

4.5 stars

The day after Kate Weston gets drunk at a party, she tries to piece the night together. She did shots with Stacey, probably too many, Ben took her keys, brought her home, and she went to bed. Then a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon’s shoulder makes its way on the internet and Stacey is pressing charges against four guys who were at the party. The whole town is caught up in the aftermath and Kate wonders if anyone has all of the facts. She finds herself questioning everything: including where was Ben after he brought her home?

This book sounded like a powerful read just from the description but I was unprepared for just how much it would shake me. There were times when the conversations between characters were so unflinchingly honest that they were hard to read.

I really liked Kate as a character. I liked that she questioned things when everyone else jumped to the basketball players side and that she wanted to find out the truth, not for gossip, but because the truth needed to be told. She showed a lot of growth as she struggled with herself over what was the right things to do, who to trust, who to protect.

It was a fast read because I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t want to put it down. I wanted Kate to find out the truth and for someone to get justice. The book was based off a real case – which made it all that much harder to read, and the reactions of the people in that town definitely felt realistic. The good boys from good homes versus the girl in revealing outfits from a broken home.

This is the kind of book that can open conversations that need to be had. Nothing in this book was sugar-coated. It showed that words and actions hurt but so can doing or saying nothing. It showed how people can be very defensive about their own privacy but uncaring about someone else’s privacy. It showed how facts can be twisted to suit a need. It showed how slut-shaming and victim-blaming add to rape culture even if the conversations are only between friends. It showed a lot in its 336 pages.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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4 Comments

Filed under books, favorite book, must read, reviews, ya books

4 responses to “Book Review: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

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  3. Pingback: Comparing Before and After: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler | Overflowing Bookshelves

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