What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

WhatWeSawWhat We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

Rape Abuse & Incest National Network…Every 8 minutes, Child Protective Service responds to a report of sexual abuse. 93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker.

When a group of teenagers get together for a high school party with lots of drinking, it’s hard to say exactly who did what and when things went so wrong. Kate knows she had too much to drink from the headache she wakes up with. She also knows she was taken care of by her best friend, and (just maybe?) boyfriend Ben. But what about the other girl? What about Stacey, the girl in a video who has no memory of the events that get posted online when all is said and done? The basketball stars are quick to deny any wrongdoing and almost everyone seems convinced that there’s been no foul play. But Katy’s not sure, and she’s not sure if she can let it go either.

This book is based on the very real Steubenville high school rape case in Ohio, 2011. It sheds light on a tragic reality of intoxicated partying that can turn girls into victims and boys into perpetrators. And then there are all of the bystanders who witness and do nothing to stop it, and those who condemn the young girl for her clothes, her poverty, and her drunkenness. Although light and romantic at times, this is a heavy fiction account of an ongoing and serious issue for the young people of today. Read it and ask yourself, what will you do when you are at the party?

Review by Sarah Rosenkrantz


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