[Review] What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

what we sawTitle: What We Saw
Author: Aaron Hartzler
Publication: September 22nd 2015 by Harper Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 336
Format: ARC

 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?


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My thoughts:

I received this Advanced Reader’s Copy from Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much!

I did not expect to like this mystery/thriller book. First I thought that it was going to be a cliché kind-of book, but it went pretty well as the book continued to pace. This book earned a lot of great reviews and I am happy to say, that I am one of the people who will give this one.

This book has elements from the author’s life and those are what captured me, especially the part the characters live an evangelical life. I also like the part where Ben’s mom’s shelf is arranged alphabetically. Ain’t nobody got time fo dat. I read this book without reading any reviews to be surprised. There were some parts that are disappointing, but the ending was so beautiful and unexpected. And that’s what I like when reading books, blowing me away.

The topography of who I am is different now, but the continent of my heart will always bear a jagged edge, where once I knew the perfect fit of true connection. I used to wonder if I would ever fall in love and if the person who I loved would love me back.

The main character tries to solve the puzzle of what really happened to Stacey Stallard in John Doone’s house, partying all night resulted to Stacey getting raped. Kate gets along with Ben, her childhood friend and the most popular and handsome kid in the school. Their relationship is the talk-of-the-town and it is the best relationship Kate has ever had. Reporters are zeroing in on the case happened to Stacey, and asking multitudes of questions to students who were present at the party in Doone’s house. Kate, likewise, wants to solve what happened and gets guilty for what happened to Stacey.

That summary I made is not really captivating, but it really is when you look between the lines. Kate is a kind-hearted person with a strong personality. Ben is a sweet and loving person with anger issues triggered to his mom.

“Nothing is exactly as it appears. The closer you look, the more you see.”

Now, I want to read Rapture Practice, a memoir written by Aaron Hartzler himself about living with an evangelical family whilst being gay. His words in What We Saw are beautiful, and no doubt that in his memoir, it will be more beautiful.

I fully recommend this book to you, people. This book contains a lot of good things like characters, plot, cover, ending and a never-ending list of it. I can’t wait for this to be published and distributed and can’t wait for you guys to read it!

4 swords4 swords for the awesome ending!


About the author:

aaron hartzler

Aaron Hartzler is the author of Rapture Practice (Little, Brown), a memoir about getting kicked out of his Christian high school two weeks before graduation. The New York Times called Rapture Practice “effervescent and moving, evocative and tender.” It was also named one of Kirkus Reviews and Amazon’s Best Books of 2013, and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. His next book, a novel called What We Saw, will be published by HarperTeen on September 22, 2015. It’s the story of a girl named Kate whose friend is assaulted by student athletes at a party, and how Kate navigates small town politics to find out what really happened. Aaron lives by the beach in Santa Monica with his two dogs, Charlie and Brahms.

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