From the back cover*

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?

    • Cover Art:  The blue and grey of the spray paint on the wall gives the appearance that there will be reputations at stake in this book. The door gives the appearance of a Pandora’s Box waiting to be opened. It’s understated in a way that makes you want to pick up the book and read the back cover*.
    • Overall:  This is an important book with a big message. It’s an uncomfortable, but necessary read. However, if I ever have to read the tagline again, I may have to scream. I. Get. It.
    • Prose Style: There is nothing poetic or BIG about Hartzler’s writing style, but I think that may be part of his point. The lyrics in songs, the polite way people turn their heads when someone does something wrong, all those are little things that can have huge consequences.
    • Favorite Quote: “Don’t judge a book by its cover. Mom is always saying that, but most of the time, I think that’s exactly what people are asking us to do: Please. Judge me by y cover. Judge me by exactly what I’ve worked so hard to show you.”

You can purchase your copy of What We Saw here.