Monday, May 23, 2016

Review: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

What We SawWhat We Saw by Aaron Hartzler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One wild party threatens to tear the town apart.

Kate Weston was there but it was mostly a blur. She was pretty wasted. Luckily, her boyfriend Ben made sure she got home safely. Then a picture of one of the girls at the party starts making the rounds on social media, and Kate wonders if everyone is telling the truth about what happened.

In this ripped-from-the-headlines plot, Hartzler heads straight for the issue of sexual consent and does not flinch. Add in the standard rumor mill and the residual evidence left on social media and WHAT WE SAW hits uncomfortably close to home. But this book tackles the subject head on and doesn't settle for the easy answers. Ultimately, it finds it's way to an honest and brave conclusion.

While WHAT WE SAW dismantles the rape culture arguments, it also provides a tender moment of positive consent. Kudos to Hartzler for providing this contrast for readers. While we need to speak bluntly about what isn't consent, we also need to be clear about what consent is. This book does both.

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