What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler
Published on September 22, 2015 by Harper Teen
Genres Young Adult, Abuse, Mystery
Buy on Amazon http://amzn.to/23BRg6n
What We Saw is based around the main character of Kate Weston. When the book begins, Kate is trying to piece together what happened at John Doone’s party the night before. She can remember a few things; taking shots of tequila with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking driving her home early because she is pretty drunk and the feeling that they are now more than the friends they have been since they were kids. Then a picture of Stacey shows up online the next day, half dressed and hanging over Deacon Mill’s shoulder. Stacey soon presses charges against four of her classmates and the whole town goes ballistic. Kate continues to stumble upon facts that she can’t ignore, but every answer she gets leads to another question. And underneath all of it, she wonders where Ben was when such a crime was committed and what she should do with the information she finds.
This book was inspired by real events and that makes all the more important, not that the subject of rape or assault should ever be taken lightly. This is the first book I have read by the author, Aaron Hartzler and I thought it was an amazing book. The author does a great job at writing a story about this subject matter. It’s a book that I really think everyone should read, especially high school and college aged readers. As the description of the book states, the book looks at silence as a form of complicity. Keeping quiet about something that you witnessed or learned about later is just as bad as lying about it. This book also takes a lot at how social media is such a part of everyday life now and how it effects situations such as these. This book explores a lot of other topics including friendship, love, relationships, family, how social media plays such a huge part in our lives, abuse and how the decisions we make effect so much more than we really think about. It’s about doing the right thing, even when you know that will be the hardest thing to do.
Throughout this book, the author wrote in song lyrics from popular songs during scenes when music was playing. Songs such as “Timber” by Pitbull and Kesha to “Do What You Want” by Lady Gaga. You read the lyrics and although you have heard the song many times, it’s the first time you really see the lyrics. “She says she won’t, but I bet she will.” Sounds innocent in a popular dance song, but break apart those lyrics and there is a whole other story. I really encourage everyone to read this book. It was very well written, difficult to read at times and I cried more than once, but it is such an important book.
“Nothing is every exactly as it appears. The closer you look, the more you see.”