What We Saw by Aaron HartzlerWhat We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

What We Saw

byAaron Hartzler

Hardcover | September 22, 2015

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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."

Aaron Hartzler is the author of the critically acclaimed YA memoirRapture Practice. This is his first work of fiction.
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Title:What We SawFormat:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.09 inPublished:September 22, 2015Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062338749

ISBN - 13:9780062338747

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Necessary and Important Read The prose got a bit out of hand at times, there are some cliches, but overall, the story is nuanced and explores important themes such as slut-shaming, feminism, rape, blame, and media portrayal. Everyone should read this.
Date published: 2017-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Necessary and Important Read The prose got a bit out of hand at times, there are some cliches, but overall, the story is nuanced and explores important themes such as slut-shaming, feminism, rape, blame, and media portrayal. Everyone should read this.
Date published: 2017-01-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A For the Lover of Books Review Number of pages: 336 Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1 Rating (out of five stars): 3 I live in a very small town where I have never been scared to go out alone at night. I also haven’t heard about anyone near me getting raped, but maybe I’m simply too sheltered to hear about such things. For that reason, I enjoy reading books about things I am unfamiliar with like rape and the LGBTQ+ community. I like to learn. When I finished What We Saw, all I could think about was how important a book it was. I thought it was incredibly memorable. Unfortunately, 2 days later I could not remember a single thing that went on. I want to tell you how important the message was, but I can’t remember what said message even was. I remember not felling emotionally attached to this book. The writing was simply the writing you would find in any YA contemporary book, so it wasn’t incredibly moving or lyrical. What We Saw was simply your average contemporary book with a rape case in the background. If you truly want to read a book about rape, I recommend reading Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E. K. Johnston, as it demonstrates how rape could be dealt with. Overall, What We Saw was an important book that simply wasn’t memorable, earning it 3 out of 5 stars.
Date published: 2016-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read this as an adult I read this when I was 24. It was a good novel, but more importantly, it was a necessary novel. This should be recommended reading for all teenagers. It should be taught in schools.
Date published: 2016-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Can't recommend enough! 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.
Date published: 2015-10-13

Editorial Reviews

PRAISE FOR RAPTURE PRACTICE: “...a hilarious first of its kind story that will surely inspire more.”