Category Archives: Rated A+

Review: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Title: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Women’s Fiction
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: A+ & A Recommended Read

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Summary:

Two families, generations apart, are forever changed by a heartbreaking injustice in this poignant novel, inspired by a true story, for readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale.

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge–until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents–but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals–in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country–Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

Review:

Alternating back and forth in time, Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate is a heartwrenching fictionalized account of the horrifying real-life adoption scandal involving Georgia Tate and the Tennessee Children’s Home Society.

In 1939, the Foss children are unscrupulously removed from their parents by Georgia Tate who then places the children in an abusive group home until they are adopted. Twelve year old Rill is extremely protective of her younger siblings and she is determined to escape and return to their parents. While Rill makes a valiant effort to prevent her siblings from being adopted by other families, she is heartbroken as one by one, her sisters and brother disappear from the home. As luck would have it, Rill and her younger sister are adopted by the same family but she loses touches with her other siblings.

In the present, Avery Stafford returns home after her father Senator Wells Stafford is diagnosed with cancer. In the event he is unable to continue with his senatorial duties, she is being groomed to run for his seat. During an event at a local nursing home, she encounters May Crandall, who is a resident at the home. After she sees a photo that closely resembles her Grandma Judy, Avery tries to uncover the connection between her grandmother and May.

Avery has lived a privileged and somewhat sheltered life but she has blazed her own path professionally. She is engaged to a family friend and although they have yet to set a wedding date, they are well-suited. Close to her grandmother who is suffering from dementia, Avery cannot resist trying to find out the link between Judy and May. A perplexing discovery takes her to the family vacation home where she meets Trent Turner who is in possession of  documents that belong to her grandmother.  Avery’s attempts to make sense of the puzzling bits of the information she has uncovered leads to a stunning secret that has remained hidden for decades.

In 1939, Rill’s experiences with Georgia Tate and her illegal adoptions are absolutely horrendous. Rill’s chapters begin right before they are taken from their parents until she is placed with an adoptive family. Conditions at the children’s home are appalling and she and her siblings are subject to all types of abuse.  Rill is surprisingly resilient although she continues to feel extremely guilty over not being able to keep her family together.

In Before We Were Yours, Lisa Wingate seamlessly weaves past and present into a compelling and informative novel that is poignant yet also heartwarming. The chapters which follow Rill and her siblings after Georgia Tate wrenches them from their parents are heartbreaking but highly illuminating as they shine a much needed light on a horrendous adoption scandal.  Although these chapters are dark and the children’ experiences are heartrending, Rill is a resourceful young girl who never lets her tragic past define her.  Avery’s investigation into the link between Grandma Judy and May is  life-altering and in the aftermath of her discovery, she rethinks what she wants out of life.

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate is a thought-provoking and captivating novel. The characters are vibrantly developed and incredibly life-like.  The storyline is impeccably researched and the chapters easily flow from one time period into the next. I absolutely loved and highly recommend this thoroughly engrossing and informative novel.

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Filed under Ballantine Books, Before We Were Yours, Contemporary, Historical (30s), Historical (40s), Lisa Wingate, Rated A+, Recommended Read, Review, Women's Fiction

Review: The Last Road Home by Danny Johnson

Title: The Last Road Home by Danny Johnson
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Historical (’50s, ’60s & ’70s), Literary Fiction
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: A+ & A Recommended Read

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

From Pushcart Prize nominee Danny Johnson comes a powerful, lyrical debut novel that explores race relations, first love, and coming-of-age in North Carolina in the 1950s and ’60s.

At eight years old, Raeford “Junebug” Hurley has known more than his share of hard lessons. After the sudden death of his parents, he goes to live with his grandparents on a farm surrounded by tobacco fields and lonesome woods. There he meets Fancy Stroud and her twin brother, Lightning, the children of black sharecroppers on a neighboring farm. As years pass, the friendship between Junebug and bright, compassionate Fancy takes on a deeper intensity. Junebug, aware of all the ways in which he and Fancy are more alike than different, habitually bucks against the casual bigotry that surrounds them–dangerous in a community ruled by the Klan.

On the brink of adulthood, Junebug is drawn into a moneymaking scheme that goes awry–and leaves him with a dark secret he must keep from those he loves. And as Fancy, tired of saying yes’um and living scared, tries to find her place in the world, Junebug embarks on a journey that will take him through loss and war toward a hard-won understanding.

At once tender and unflinching, The Last Road Home delves deep into the gritty, violent realities of the South’s turbulent past, yet evokes the universal hunger for belonging.

Review:

The Last Road Home is a heartbreakingly poignant coming of age novel that takes place in rural North Carolina in the years leading up the Civil Rights Movement. This powerful debut by Danny Johnson is a realistic portrayal of race relations and farm life that is incredibly relevant in today’s volatile climate where racism, bigotry and hatred are sadly once again on the rise.

After eight year old Raeford “Junebug” Hurley’s parents are killed in a car accident, he goes to live full-time with his grandparents on their tobacco farm. Junebug is deeply influenced by his surprisingly forward thinking grandparents who do not share their fellow Southerners prejudices and he forms a close friendship with Lightning and Fancy, the children of sharecroppers from a nearby farm.  Unlike his grandparents whose faith is unshakeable, he does not view his religious teachings as absolute truth and as he endures loss after loss, he is pretty much done with religion. Although his relationship with Lightning becomes tense off and on throughout the years, Junebug and Fancy always remain close therefore it is no surprise to those closest to them when their friendship deepens into forbidden love. With the ugly specter of the Ku Klux Klan looming over them and the harsh reality of the hatred that surrounds them, is Junebug and Fancy’s relationship doomed to fail?

Despite the losses he has endured and the sometimes cruel nature of farm living, Junebug is a sensitive, kindhearted and thoughtful young man. He thinks for himself and he is lucky to have grandparents who allow him the freedom to question the injustices that occur around them. Although he is accustomed to the racial slurs and epitaphs of his neighbors, Junebug never allows other people’s prejudices to sway him and he is angered by the bigotry that is so deeply ingrained in Southern culture. Even with his grandmother’s thoughtful explanation of why people are unable to let the past go, Junebug refuses to accept racism as the status quo and he will not give up his friendship with Fancy, Lightning and their parents.

Junebug’s innocence is endearing but it is inevitable that his life and friendship will eventually be touched by the ugliness of his neighbors and the Klan. Through his friendship with Fancy, he experiences firsthand the harsh reality of segregation and Jim Crow laws. Junebug naively believes his relationship with Fancy will go unnoticed by those around him and while they do not flaunt their liaison, it is only a matter of time before someone uncovers the truth about them. Fancy is much more realistic about their future than Junebug and she makes a decision that irrevocably changes Junebug’s life.

Written in first person from Junebug’s point of view, The Last Road Home is a realistic depiction of life in the South and while some of the content is difficult to read, it is a heartwrenchingly honest representation of the time period. While it would be nice to believe these dark days are behind us, recent events indicate that racism, prejudice and hatred are alive and well and now extend well beyond Southern borders. This debut novel by Danny Johnson highlights a horrifying and shameful period in American history that should never be forgotten or repeated.

An absolutely outstanding piece of literary fiction that should be on EVERYONE’S reading list.

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Filed under 1950s-1970s, Danny Johnson, Historical, Kensington, Literary Fiction, Rated A+, Recommended Read, Review, The Last Road Home

Review: When We Were Sisters by Emilie Richards

Title: When We Were Sisters by Emilie Richards
Publisher: MIRA
Genre: Contemporary, Literary Fiction
Length: 496 pages
Book Rating: A+ & A Recommended Read

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

Love and loyalty made them sisters. Secrets could still destroy them.

As children in foster care, Cecilia and Robin vowed they would be the sisters each had never had. Now superstar singer-songwriter Cecilia lives life on the edge, but when Robin is nearly killed in an accident, Cecilia drops everything to be with her.

Robin set aside her career as a successful photojournalist to create the loving family she always yearned for. But gazing through a wide-angle lens at both past and future, she sees that her marriage is disintegrating. Her attorney husband is rarely home. She and the children need Kris’s love and attention, but does Kris need them?

When Cecilia asks Robin to be the still photographer for a documentary on foster care, Robin agrees, even though Kris will be forced to take charge for the months she’s away. She gambles that he’ll prove to them both that their children—and their marriage—are a priority in his life.

Cecilia herself needs more than time with her sister. A lifetime of lies has finally caught up with her. She wants a chance to tell the real story of their childhood and free herself from the nightmares that still haunt her.

As the documentary unfolds, memories will be tested and the meaning of family redefined, but the love two young girls forged into bonds of sisterhood will help them move forward as the women they were always meant to be.

Review:

When We Were Sisters by Emilie Richards is a heartrending, poignant and healing novel that highlights both the positive and negative aspects of the foster care system. This riveting story about two foster sisters, Robin Lenhart and Cecelia, is a sensitive and realistic depiction of a system that is oftentimes woefully overburdened and underfunded.  And most heartbreaking is the all too real fact that the children who end up in foster care through no fault of their own are the ones who pay the highest price when the system fails to adequately protect them.

Cecelia aka CeCe and Robin grew up together as foster children who are consider themselves sisters of the heart. As adults, their lives took them in very different directions but there is absolutely nothing that can destroy the bond they forged as kids.  While CeCe is a wildly famous and popular singer/songwriter, Robin put her career as a photojournalist on hold to stay at home with her two children, Nik and Pet.  Although still deeply in love with her lawyer husband Kris, Robin is slowly realizing that everyone she knows seems to be moving on with their lives while hers remains exactly the same.  After surviving a car accident that took the life of one of her best friends, Robin accepts CeCe’s offer to become the photographer for a documentary about foster care.  While it is a difficult yet cathartic journey for both women, will long held secrets and long forgotten memories destroy the lives they have worked so hard to build?

Robin has always found it difficult to give voice to her dissatisfaction but in the aftermath of the car accident, she is much more open and honest about her discontent.  She takes full responsibility for letting Kris take advantage of her but she is no longer willing to continue on their current path.  His long hours and heavy workload mean little time spent together as a family and Robin is tired of  allowing him to put his career first.  Kris is not at all happy about her decision to accompany CeCe but Robin refuses to change her mind and their once close marriage slowly begins to crumble under the weight of his anger and inability to see things from her perspective.

CeCe is a strong willed survivor who tackles life on her own terms.  She lets nothing and no one stand in her way as she sets about accomplishing her goals.  Although she has achieved success beyond her wildest dreams, CeCe is still haunted by the events of her childhood and she hopes that facing her past will finally put her demons to rest.  At long last ready to face her worst memories, CeCe jumps headlong into the foster care documentary but as she soon discovers, nothing can prepare them for the sheer terror awaiting them as they confront the horror they experienced at one of the hands of one of their foster families.

CeCe and Robin’s reasons for participating in the documentary are quite different yet this decision serves as a catalyst for change in both of their lives.  Robin’s marriage is in crisis but for the first time, she is finally putting her needs first despite her discomfort.  She is also taking an important step once she begins talking about her problems instead of keeping silent.  CeCe at long last reveals the darkest parts of herself and her past and although she continues to try to maintain an emotional distance from everyone but Robin, true healing does not begin until she takes a chance on love.

Despite its sometimes dark and gritty subject matter, When We Were Sisters is surprisingly uplifting and hopeful. While Robin and CeCe experienced traumatic life altering events, they also had positive experiences with foster parents and family members who truly loved them.  Emilie Richards presents a fair and balanced perspective of both the good and bad elements of the foster care system.  A beautifully rendered and impeccably researched story that has a realistic storyline that does not shy away from difficult or sensitive topics, this incredibly moving novel is an emotional and healing journey that will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

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Filed under Contemporary, Emilie Richards, Harlequin, Literary Fiction, Mira, Rated A+, Recommended Read, Review, When We Were Sisters

Review: Liars and Losers Like Us by Ami Allen-Vath

Title: Liars and Losers Like Us by Ami Allen-Vath
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Length: 240 pages
Book Rating: A+ & Recommended Read

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss

Summary:

Keep calm and make it to prom night—without a legit panic attack.

For seventeen-year-old Bree Hughes, it’s easier said than done when gossip, grief, and the opportunity to fail at love are practically high-fiving her in the hallways of Belmont High.

When Bree’s crush, Sean Mills, gives her his phone number, she can’t even leave a voicemail without sounding like a freak. Then she’s asked to be on Prom Court because Maisey Morgan, the school outcast nominated as a joke, declined. She apologizes to Maisey, but it’s too late. After years of torment and an ugly secret shared with their class’s cruel Pageant Queen, Maisey commits suicide. Bree is left with a lot of regret…and a revealing letter with a final request.

With Sean by her side, Bree navigates through her guilt, her parents’ divorce, and all the Prom Court drama. But when a cheating-love-triangle secret hits the fan after a night of sex, drinks, and video games, she’s left with new information about Sean and the class Pageant Queen. Bree must now speak up or stay silent. If she lets fear be her guide, she’ll lose her first love, and head to prom to avenge the death of the school outcast—as a party of one.

Review:

Liars and Losers Like Us by Ami Allen-Vath is a captivating young adult novel that is the perfect blend of teenage angst, humor and romance.  However,  Ami Allen-Vath deftly incorporates true to life, hard-hitting issues into the storyline and this is what makes it an absolute must read for readers of all ages.

Bree Hughes is well-liked by most of her classmates but she prefers to stay out of the limelight.  However, she is thrust into the middle of drama when she, her best friend Kallie Vale and the much bullied Maisey Morgan are nominated for prom queen.  Bree also has a serious crush on Sean Mills but since she is too shy to approach him, she spends a lot of time daydreaming about him.  Much to her surprise, Sean asks her to help him on a class assignment, but when the two continue hanging out together, she is uncertain whether or not they are just friends or if they are dating.  In the midst of the normal teen angst, Maisey commits suicide and leaves Bree a letter that she is too afraid to read.  She is still trying to make sense of Maisey’s death when her relationship with Sean hits an unexpected snag. With her life in chaos and prom fast approaching, Bree is finally forced to change her unhealthy way of dealing with her problems.

Bree is a very appealing and likable character who, on the surface, seems to have it all together.  But there is a lot going on her life that she is keeping to herself.  Her parents have recently divorced and while Bree is glad her home life is much more serene, she refuses to deal with her feelings over the changes in her life.  At the same time, she and Kallie are drifting apart since Kallie spends most of her free time with her boyfriend.  Bree is completely blindsided by Masiey’s suicide and she experiences a ton of guilt that she did not do more to stop her classmates incessant bullying.  She is also confused about why Maisey left her a letter but no matter many times she tries, she cannot bring herself to read Maisey’s final words.

Bree’s relationship with Sean is very sweet and slowly transitions from friendship to romance.  Their interactions are mostly fun and laidback and while Sean eventually opens up about what is going on in his life, Bree keeps quiet about the problems in hers.  She retreats when things get rough but Sean never gives up trying to get through to her.  Their romance is mostly trouble free but when Bree learns distressing news about him, she pulls away from him, refusing to allow Sean to tell his side of the story.  However, this is the impetus she needs to finally find a healthier way to deal with her problems and by prom night, Bree’s self-confidence gives her the courage to publicly speak about Maisey’s suicide.

Maisey is  an absolutely heartbreaking character and it is impossible not to feel empathy for the suffering she endured.  Bullied by her classmates for years, she is miserable and just trying to survive until graduation.  But she reaches her breaking point when she is nominated for prom queen and becomes an even bigger laughingstock to her classmates.  Maisey lashes out in anger when Bree makes a half-hearted attempt to comfort her, but it is definitely a case of too little, too late.  There is more going on behind the scenes with Maisey than anyone could possibly imagine and this, too, plays a role in her decision to take her life.

Light-hearted with darker undertones, Liars and Losers Like Us by Ami Allen-Vath is an engaging and thought-provoking novel that tackles some very worthwhile subjects with sensitivity and compassion.  The characters  are well-developed with true to life flaws and imperfections but this is what makes them easy to relate to.  The novel is well-written with a realistic storyline that has depth and substance.  The ending is poignant yet uplifting and the epilogue is very heartwarming. I absolutely loved and highly recommend this phenomenal young adult novel to readers of all ages.

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Filed under Ami Allen-Vath, Contemporary, Liars and Losers Like Us, Rated A+, Recommended Read, Review, Romance, Sky Pony Press, Young Adult

Review: All the Things We Never Knew by Shelia Hamilton

all the thingsTitle: All the Things We Never Knew by Shelia Hamilton
Chasing the Chaos of Mental Illness
Publisher: Seal Press
Genre: Contemporary, Non-Fiction, Memoir
Length: 312 pages
Book Rating: A+ & A Recommended Read

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

Even as a reporter, Sheila Hamilton missed the signs as her husband David’s mental illness unfolded before her. By the time she had pieced together the puzzle, it was too late. Her once brilliant and passionate partner was dead within six weeks of a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, leaving his young daughter and wife without so much as a note to explain his actions, a plan to help them recover from their profound grief, or a solution for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt that they would inherit from him.

All the Things We Never Knew takes readers on a breathtaking journey from David and Sheila’s romance through the last three months of their life together and into the year after his death. It details their unsettling spiral from ordinary life into the world of mental illness, examines the fragile line between reality and madness, and reveals the true power of love and forgiveness.

Review:

All the Things We Never Knew is the absolutely heartbreaking account of author Shelia Hamilton’s experience with her first husband’s battle with bipolar disorder and his subsequent suicide. This deeply emotional but incredibly powerful story is unflinchingly honest and shines a much needed light on mental illness and how easy it is to overlook, excuse or explain away loved ones’ symptoms and behavior.  A courageous and heart wrenching story that will help raise awareness and hopefully destigmatize mental illness and suicide, I HIGHLY recommend this extraordinary memoir to all readers.

Right from her very first encounter with her soon to be husband, David Krol, Sheila Hamilton was smitten. Attracted to his enthusiastic zest for life, she fell fast and she fell hard for the successful contractor.  Sheila and David soon married and they were both overjoyed when she gave birth to their daughter, Sophie. However, their picture perfect life begins to unravel when Sheila learns of David’s infidelity and despite her decision to remain married, their marriage never quite recovers from his betrayal. This discovery was an important red flag and it was just one of many symptoms of David’s undiagnosed bipolar disorder that Sheila overlooked in the course of their ten year marriage.

When Sheila married David, she was a highly successful and well respected television newsreporter and it is almost incomprehensible to understand her decision to stay with him. Her choice was not made lightly and while well-intentioned, living with David became unbearable in the face of his increasingly erratic behavior in the years to come. Although it was impossible not to notice his mood swings, irrational outbursts and unusual sensitivity to lights, sounds and smells, she never connected these symptoms to any type of mental illness. Denial, lack of information and little knowledge of his family history made it impossible to put the pieces of the puzzle together until David’s condition deteriorated and he was hospitalized when she finally worked up the courage to begin divorce proceedings. It was during this time that Sheila uncovered the shocking state of his company’s finances and learned that David was deeply in debt. Before she could get to the bottom of the financial mess, David was released from the hospital, and he committed suicide, leaving Sheila and Sophie reeling with grief and trying to comprehend what drove him to take his own life.

The chapters alternate between the events of Sheila’s and David’s ten year marriage and valuable insight and staggering statistics about mental illness and treatment options. This information is often provided in the context of Sheila’s experiences with David but these resources would also be helpful to anyone whose life is affected by mental illness.  The narrative also offers a thought-provoking and compelling argument about the role genetics play in inheriting such illnesses. It is also provides an eye-opening discussion on how personal experiences and family history can affect the way someone deals with a loved one or acquaintance who suffers from a mental illness.

All the Things We Never Knew is an unforgettable and poignant story about Shelia Hamilton’s marriage to a man with an undiagnosed mental disorder. Although sometimes difficult to read, this heartrending memoir is as educational as it is heartbreaking and it is a book I highly recommend.

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Filed under All the Things We Never Knew, Contemporary, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Rated A+, Recommended Read, Review, Seal Press, Sheila Hamilton

Review: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

what weTitle: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Fiction
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: A+ & A Recommended Read

Review Copy Purchased by Review Site

Summary:

Critically acclaimed memoirist Aaron Hartzler, author of Rapture Practice, takes an unflinching look at what happens to a small town when some of its residents commit a terrible crime. This honest, authentic debut novel—inspired by the events in the Steubenville rape case—will resonate with readers who’ve ever walked that razor-thin line between guilt and innocence that so often gets blurred, one hundred and forty characters at a time.

The party at John Doone’s last Saturday night is a bit of a blur. Kate Weston can piece together most of the details: Stacey Stallard handing her shots, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early. . . . 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 questions: Who witnessed what happened to Stacey? And what responsibility do they have to speak up about what they saw?

National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti calls What We Saw “a smart, sensitive, and gripping story about the courage it takes to do what’s right.”

Review:

If you are only going to read one young adult book in your life, then that novel should be What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler. This is a book that matters. This is a novel that is real life at its darkest but also at its most hopeful when one person is willing to speak up when others are not.   What We Saw is a story that has the power to change how people think and it needs to be on every person’s and every school’s reading list.

What We Saw is written in first person from Kate Weston’s point of view. A junior with a promising future ahead of her, she, along with several of her classmates attend a party at one of their classmates’ home while his parents are out of town. After downing a few too many shots of tequila, her longtime friend Ben Cody makes sure she gets home safely and then he returns to the party to retrieve his car. The next day, social media (esp. Twitter) blows up with tweets, comments and pictures from the night before.  One of the pictures going around is one taken of Stacey Stallard and she is drunk, passed out and slung over the shoulder of one of the school’s popular basketball players. By Monday morning, whispers about Stacey begin and before the week is over, four popular basketball players will be charged with sexual assault. What really happened that night might have remained a mystery, a case of “he said, she said”, if not for Kate Weston. Kate does not like how everyone is trashing Stacey’s reputation and she does not like the fact that no one seems interested in knowing what really happened to Stacey. Kate wants to know the truth and she is willing to go against her parents and her friends to uncover it.

Sadly, What We Saw is a fictionalized account of an actual case that happened in 2012. Aaron Hartzler’s portrayal of this case is remarkably true to life and it is sometimes incredibly hard to read, let alone fathom. The storyline challenges society’s kneejerk reaction to place the blame on the victim and it also challenges many biased beliefs that a woman is “asking” to be raped because of flirtatious behavior, the way she dresses or drinking a little too much. Various discussions offer a thoughtful commentary on what constitutes consent and more importantly, these conversations make it clear that the inability to say no is not an implied yes.  A well written, thought-provoking young adult novel that I highly recommend to readers of all ages.

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Filed under Aaron Hartzler, Contemporary, Fiction, HarperTeen, Rated A+, Recommended Read, Review, What We Saw, Young Adult