What We Saw: Book summary and reviews of What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

What We Saw

by Aaron Hartzler

What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler X
What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2015
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

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."

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?

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A powerful tale of betrayal and a vital primer on rape culture." - Kirkus

"The author has delivered an important, powerful, and engrossing read that gives readers a lot to consider… A gripping narrative that begs to be discussed." - School Library Journal

"Debut-novelist Hartzler (Rapture Practice, 2013) pulls no punches in his depiction of rape culture. A stirring, important read." - Booklist

"Hartzler offers a thought-provoking look at victim blaming, the pressures of a win-at-all-costs athletic program, and the tendencies of schools and teams to circle the wagons and protect their own while hammering at the obligation of bystanders to speak the truth. Ages 14–up." - Publishers Weekly

"What We Saw is a smart, sensitive, and gripping story about the courage it takes to do what's right. If you're looking for your next favorite YA author, look no further. Aaron Hartzler's got what it takes." - Deb Caletti, National Book Award Finalist for Honey, Baby, Sweetheart

"This book is real. Like the protagonist, it's vulnerable, honest, and incredibly brave. Kate's story will be a lifeline for kids observing impossible situations and wondering where the right and wrong is in all of it. I could not put it down." - Maya Van Wagenen, New York Times Bestselling author of Popular

The information about What We Saw shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Aaron Hartzler

Aaron Hartzler has written books, screenplays, and a great number of tweets. His first book, Rapture Practice (2013) is a true story about his own life, a memoir about getting kicked out of his Christian high school in Kansas City two weeks before graduation. The New York Times called Rapture Practice "effervescent and moving, evocative and tender." It was also named one of Amazon's Best Books of 2013, and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. His most recent novel, What We Saw, was published in 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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