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What We Saw

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  7,640 ratings  ·  1,648 reviews
Kate Weston can piece together most of the bash at John Doone’s house: shots with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early—the feeling that maybe he’s becoming more than just the guy she’s known since they were kids.

But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t hav
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published September 22nd 2015 by Harper Teen
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Marla I just finished an advanced reader's copy of the book and it is not graphic nor does it use foul or inappropriate for tween age language. While it is …moreI just finished an advanced reader's copy of the book and it is not graphic nor does it use foul or inappropriate for tween age language. While it is very clear what is going on, the author didn't go into gory detail - most is left to the imagination. There is some video sharing and that is where most of the event is revealed - through the description of that video (towards the end-ish of the book).

You are absolutely correct, in my opinion; this book should be read by all.(less)
Shauna Though it's not overly graphic, the rape scene is briefly described in a couple of chapters. It may be a little difficult for certain teenagers to rea…moreThough it's not overly graphic, the rape scene is briefly described in a couple of chapters. It may be a little difficult for certain teenagers to read, but in my opinion, this book is an important one for young adults. I would say this book would be fine for a 15 year old, but just to bear that in mind. (less)

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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  7,640 ratings  ·  1,648 reviews

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Emily May
May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“You think what happened to Stacey was fair game. It was boys being boys. Just a trashy girl learning the hard way what can happen when she drinks too much and wears a short skirt.”


Do you remember the Steubenville High School rape case? Because I remember it very well. For me, it stood out among other news stories and I still recall the cold fury that washed over me whenever I read a report about it. I like to be aware of current events, but I wouldn't call myself a fo
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
trigger warning: rape
This was such a powerful book! I'm so glad I took the time to read it and I want more people to read this book, because it's got such an important message. It's an empowering story about being brave and speaking out when you know something isn't right.

video book review here:
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

Edit 04/10 : I'm not usually doing this, BUT this book is worth it : only 1,99$ on Kindle today (and only today), so if you haven't bought it already and intend to, please go.

"Words have meanings. When we call something a theory in science, it means something. Reggie, when you say that you 'can't help yourself' if a girl is wasted, that means something, too. You're saying that our natural state as men is 'rapist'. (...) That's not okay with me, Reggie."

Trigger warning : Rape.

Incoherent sente
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thought that this was a fantastic book. It does contain difficult subject matter that can be difficult to read at times, but it also has a great story-line that kept me interested while making me think. And boy was I thinking. Honestly, it consumed me, if I wasn't reading the book, I was thinking about it or talking about it.

Though it took a little while to get going, once it did I hated putting it down. I'm not sure what it is but I just really connected to this book.

"It's okay, it's going to
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“I wonder which is worse: the fear of the unknown? Or knowing for sure that something terrible is true.”

What We Saw is a book about rape. It’s about pointing out that there is ZERO blurred line when it comes to consent. It’s about what happened when a girl from the wrong side of the tracks went to a party just “asking for it” and about the boys who decided to give her what she wanted. It’s about the aftermath of being a victim who
Aj the Ravenous Reader

Buddyread with my awesome buddies, Melissa and Kimi. Click their names for their amazing reviews. <3


If I could, I would un-see What I Saw when I read this book but that would leave me back in the shadows of ignorance so I finished reading this book with the heaviest heart . But with a deep sense of gratitude, I look up to the author, Aaron Hartzler for writing the most eye-opening story about a very ugly issue that is rape. I have read
Faye, la Patata
You know how I would describe "being speechless" by something? It's when you're overwhelmed with so much emotions that words escape you. Something made you happy so much that you could only cry. Something made you so sad that your throat tightens and you can croak nothing out. Something made you so angry that you find it hard to mutter a single word because you're just fuming inside. This is basically what happened to me after reading What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler. It rendered me completely spee ...more
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-y-a

"'Boys will be boys' is what people say to excuse guys when they do something awful."

This story is told from the perspective of a 16 yr. old high school junior named Kate Weston. When we are introduced to her, she is waking up at home the morning after a big party with a huge hangover. She slowly remembers her crush and friend since childhood, Ben Cody, bringing her and her truck home safely. When she gets to school on Monday, she finds out that another girl who was at the same party may not hav
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

The closer you look, the more you see.

When Kate Weston finally saw the video that was leaked and she was able to watch the whole thing... she saw a lot more disgusting and horrific things than she imagined.

Kate along with her boyfriend Ben, her friends and many people were at a friends party one night and they all got drunker than a person should. Stacey Stallard was there and what happened to her should NEVER happen.


Kate can't remember what happened, all she knows is that her boyfriend to
Vanessa J.
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, contemporary


Boys will be boys.

At the beginning of October there was something circulating like crazy around Costa Rica. A guy followed a girl in short skirts around San José and was filming under her skirts all the time. This whole affair was filmed by a witness and he spread the video around the media. Obviously there was a scandal, especially since the witness was stabbed the next day, but I’m not telling you this because it’s a good story for gossiping (if you’re interested, y
Kristin (KC)

Rape and horrific cover-ups

A gripping plot with an important message that sees its way through to its final pages. I especially appreciated the strong, unwavering characteristics of the female protagonist.

So, what was missing in it for me?
While the storyline remained solid and in-your-face, I felt its execution lacked a little depth...dishing out razor-sharp issues without enough conviction. I sort of felt like I was observing the story, rather than drowning in it — and with elements as intense
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
BR with my best girls, AJ and Kimi (AJ has a quota, so you'll have to wait for her review. Click to read Kimi's.)

I wanted to write a full blown review filled with advice, rants and quotes, because trust me, I highlighted the living crap out of this kindle...But I won't.

I truly believe this is a book you should experience for yourself. I think you should experience first hand, what society really believes. We may act like a civilized group but when it comes down to it, to the truth, we revert ba
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-ya-books
It is easy, people. Is it dangerous to flirt with a drunken guy? Yes. Is it a crime? No. Is it dangerous to drink enough to pass out? Yes. Is it a crime? No. Is it dangerous to wear revealing clothes? Yes. Is it a crime? No. Is it raping a passed out girl wearing a small skirt who was flirting with you a crime? Yes. You see? Easy. Men, stop making excuses on whether girls are throwing themselves at you, you sound pathetic, stop acting like animals, show respect, stop thinking you couldn’t help i ...more
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads, e-books, ya
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷

“Not being able to say no isn't the same as saying yes.”

I am still cleaning my shelves and trying to read the oldest books on my shelf and removing what does not interest me anymore. I sometimes need a change from fantasy and so this short but impactful book is what I have in mind when I want a change!

The book is only light in terms of weight and being a small one (300 pages) but in terms of importance, it is a huge one! I don’t know why it
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Nothing is exactly as it appears. The closer you look, the more you see.”

This was quite a shocking story, in which a girl is raped, and everyone would rather believe the basketball team when they say they didn’t do it, than believe the victim!

“Deacon may lose his scholarship anyway.”
“No way!” Will yelps.
“Terrible shame,” says Connie. “Over a dumb rumour. Well check t
Evelyn (devours and digests words)

What does it mean to say yes? To consent to a kiss? To a touch? To more than that?


My God. This book makes me feel like upturning furnitures and punching someone's face in.

What We Saw scared me worse than any horror books out there. I've never felt so terrified, or so sick and terribly angry all at same time.

Reading about demons - that I can deal, ghosts I can also handle but reading about rape is something else entirely. A different animal. It's the real horror and
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Every once in a while I stumble upon a book that reminds me of something my favorite collage professor told us, back then first year literature students, about the art of reading. About it being interactive process. It is not just you holding this seemingly harmless object in your hands, following words on paper and converting them into the pictures in your head. Books can be dangerous things. Break the rules. Bring down oppressive societies. Make people think with their own head and stop being ...more
catherine ♡
Actual Rating: 1,000,000

Trigger Warning: rape

What We Saw begins with a hangover. It's the day after a house party, and all Kate remembers are bits and pieces of the night before. But what she does know for sure, is that she got wasted, and Ben, a childhood friend, drove her home early.

But then, when a picture of Stacey Stallard unconsciously draped over Deacon Mills' shoulder appears online, the school goes into a vicious frenzy.

What is most unexpected, however, is when she accuses four of Kate'
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
" Nothing is exactly as it appears. The closer you look, the more you see."

Shocking. Disturbing. What We Saw is about a story that we're all too familiar with. A young teenage girl comes forward to police and pinpoints the star athletes of her local high school and accuses them of sexual assault.

As expected, the victim's lack of morality and judgement along with her loose upbringing is put on display and fellow students,teachers, and the general community close in and show their support for th
Buddy Read with ma girls Melissa and AJ the Ravenous Reader (Click for their reviews)

“Nothing is exactly as it appears. The closer you look, the more you see.”

First of all I’d like to thank my friend Anna (click for her awesome review) for recommending this book to me. I feel like there are some books that need to be read by everyone. It doesn’t matter if you end up liking it or not. It’s still important that you read it.


I absolutely LOVED the beginning and the ending
“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”


Aaron Hartzler, an American author, pens his debut novel involving teens, assault, lies and mystery, What We Saw that accounts the story of a high school teenager who investigates the sexual assault on her friend in a small town. Withstanding the prejudices and unimaginable controversies, this young girl fights against the society, which gets enveloped by the darkness of a rape, to find out the
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Kate Weston wakes up hungover and trying to recall details of the party she had attended the night before at a fellow classmates house. She vaguely recalls her childhood friend and crush taking away her keys and seeing that she got home safely and it quite thankful.

Unfortunately, not everyone at the party had someone looking out for them. A photo shows up of online of Stacey passed out over Deacon’s shoulder the next morning and then Stacey is accusing several members of the basketball team of
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh wow. I can honestly say I don't even know where to begin with this book. Within the first few pages I was a bit thrown because I hadn't expected it to start out the way it did.

As the book progressed and became more and more in depth I found some chapters very hard hitting, and I was getting frequently upset, however that is in no way a bad thing. I think it shows how hard hitting this book actually is. As I've said before this is based on truth, and with past cases that have been on the news
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“All I’m saying is there are rules. You don’t get wasted. You don’t take off your top. You don’t flirt with raging drunks. You don’t dress like a slut. You have to play by the rules. If you don’t, this is what happens.”

I remember the Steubenville case (if you want to read about it). I was sixteen and I remember wondering why this particular case was getting so much attention. Unfortunately these kinds of things happened every day, but why did this case get such nationwide coverage,
Jennifer Masterson
This book didn't flow well for me and was slow. Then the pace picked up and then it slowed down again. I tried but I can't get through this one. YA is not my genre though. Only some YA books work for me.

The book packs a powerful message so if you enjoy YA try it. I'm in the minority. Most people gave it 4 and 5 stars. I'm not rating it.
Quick review for a quick read. Note: Some discussion of rape and rape cases in this review, so possible TW for those reading this review.

This book is very hard to read, but I felt it was a necessary and completely compelling narrative. I'll admit I didn't hear all that much about Aaron Hartzler's "What We Saw" before it was released, but it took my attention considering a number of horrifying cases of recent mention in media. This I believe was inspired by the Steubenville High School rape case,
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it

This is the most uncomfortable reading experience I ever had.
This is not a bad book, it's a very important book, and in that sense it's a great book. Feeling uncomfortable reading it is the point I think, but it surprised me, I was gagging and near throwing up and weirdly this is not the strongest book I read, it's not gruesome (not like some other books anyway). I can almost guarantee that you'd be ok reading it, maybe not ok but it wasn't that bad.
But something, I have no idea what, but som
Mrs. Kristin
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
To say I loved this book makes me feel....odd, but I did love it. It was beautiful, brilliant, and haunting. My immediate reaction after reading this was that this isn't a book about rape and it is 100% a book about rape. What made this novel truly transcendent is it's ability to weave a multi-layer story, have different narratives on our culture and daily life, and have it all work together so smoothly you hardly notice these subtle clues the author leaves around the story.

There are so many th
Joce (squibblesreads)
Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.

This book not 100% perfect, but it was 100% important.

Why are girls so often told that if they just put on some more clothes that they wouldn't be "in danger of getting raped" anymore? Why are these girls just looking for attention? In so, so, so many rape cases on the news, we see them highlighting how so-and-so was a party girl, or used substances in a way that was "risky". In contrast, the rapists are framed as nice boys, ones who had futures in sports and academia. Case in point: t
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book blew me away. The writing, the characters, the depth and development of the plot, the FEELSSSS!!!! Seriously, this is a book that needs to be passed around and shared. This is a book that will make you think twice, that will engage you, but it will also entertain you as well. It's simply fantastic.

Full RTC.
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Ready, Set, READ!...: Chapters 1 - 8 36 11 Nov 24, 2016 10:38AM  
Ready, Set, READ!...: Question section. 2 10 Nov 09, 2016 07:39AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler - Restarting September 4th 2016 24 78 Sep 06, 2016 08:18AM  
Better Read Than ...: March 2016 What We Saw *Spoilers 1 21 Mar 31, 2016 11:51PM  
Mrs. Anderson's E...: what we saw 1 5 Mar 13, 2016 01:47PM  
Crazy for Young A...: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler → Start Date: December 25th, 2015 24 21 Dec 27, 2015 07:37PM  

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Aaron Hartzler is the author of Rapture Practice (Little, Brown), a memoir about getting kicked out of his Christian high school two weeks before graduation. The New York Times called Rapture Practice "effervescent and moving, evocative and tender." It was also named one of Kirkus Reviews and Amazon's Best Books of 2013, and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. His second book, a novel ca ...more

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