Trigger warning for rape and sexual assault.
When a classmate of Kate’s presses charges against four of her classmates and a picture circulated of Stacey passed out on Deacons shoulder, the whole town erupts in controversy and small town mentality takes over. Kate can’t remember the night of the party, but she starts to question everyone who says it didn’t happen, including her old friend and new romantic interest Ben.
In the past year or so, I have read quite a lot of books dealing with the sensitive issue of rape. I wouldn’t call them enjoyable, but they’re certainly important. What We Saw is one of those important novels because it tries very hard to rip apart all of the horrible notions that a victims of sexual assault have to deal with from small minded people; a lot of the characters blame the victim – what she was wearing, if she was drunk, if she was flirting with the rapist. It also has the important message that bystanders who do nothing at all to help, who are present when it happens, who knows who did it, who knows that it actually happened – they’re complicit in the act.
It was a difficult book to read, especially at some points in the novel, but it has an important message, and I think Aaron Hartzler has dealt with the topic extremely well, and he is a fantastic writer so I really connected with the characters and Kate who was on search for the truth.
A book I would highly recommend.
MY RATING: ★★★★★