What I Saw Review

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Title: What I Saw
Author: Beck Nicholas

First Published: March 2016
Publisher: Harlequin
Source: Harlequin Australia (Thank you so much for the review copy)

In no way did the receiving of an advance copy render my opinion of the book.


One punch will shatter a town. But is anyone ready for the consequences of telling the truth? A stunning new YA novel about the complicated romance between a girl with everything on the line and a boy with nothing to lose following a king hit incident that leaves the high school golden boy in a coma, from the author of FAKE.

My Thoughts

Once I heard about What I Saw, I had to read it. A good girl – one who has a scholarship in fact – doesn't really want to do the good ‘deed’ and a bad boy who didn’t do the bad ‘deed’ of putting someone in a Coma. I’m not going to lie, but this book hit home. What I Saw pulled at my emotions, clawing at heart, making me feel the feels because of its premise which is a topic that is important and popular in my part of Australia.

Rhett, one of two protagonists, was a bad boy who cared so much for his sister and that was what I adored about his character. He grows on you and he turns out to be another boy who everyone just assumes to be the bad guy; but he turns out to be, basically great guy with a big heart. The other main character for What I Saw, isn't really as great as Rhett (character development and personality wise). She's always uptight and is expected to do what her family (parents) say, when deep down she wants to break free and pursue whatever she wants. Callie’s voice was very hard to read at times because she wanted to be perfect but she didn’t. (??) She’s just very confusing at times. Plus her, I guess ‘motivation’/’reason’ to tell the truth was just a very bad one. A VERY BAD ONE. Couldn’t she have come forward because it was the right thing to do? Rhett encouraging her not to come forward too was also just ‘ugh’. I didn’t like this interaction. It was my least favourite in the whole book. I so badly wanted to put some sense into Rhett and tell people not to assume things as well.

These two characters were great but at times they felt too cliché. I mean I love this cliché, good girl and bad boy falling in love but they were indeed just undeniably unbearable at times. See, the two characters fall in love in a short amount of days. (Yet I really don’t know if I should label it as Insta Love because these kids go to school together, they’ve known each other before the incident happen, but they didn’t have romantic feelings for each other. It’s quite confusing really.) The romance just occurred and conjured real fast. If the two characters had feelings for each other before the incident or even if the storyline dragged on into weeks or even months, I think I’d love this romance sub plot, but I didn’t, I just tolerated it. See, the romance felt like it overrode the main message of the book and this is why it was very uncomfortable and unbearable to read.

Additionally, Rhett and Callie’s voice were hard to differentiate. They were very similar – VERY similar – and for the first couple of pages I didn’t even feel drawn to the pair. They both eventually grew on me but not to the extent of actually loving the pair, just liking them, and having the ability to tolerate them too.

What I Saw had a great premise but I like books with plot twists and actual heart breaking growth in the main characters and this didn’t occur – at all. I mean we saw the snowballing and the aftermath of a king hit (a punch) but done in the voices of two characters whose voices were merging and becoming way too similar, it didn’t feel right, but it did feel authentic and that’s probably why I kept on reading.

That’s why What I Saw is such an important book. One Punch deaths are occurring in my city and is a crime that is taken very seriously in Australia at the moment. I’ve witnessed suburbs mourn and friends losing a school mate. It’s hard to process that a kid my age lost his life to alcohol fuelled violence. What I Saw will be an eye opener for many and confronting for all the right reasons. The message the book tells through Rhett and Callie is a fundamental one for all youths in Australia.

I would definitely recommend this book for those who’d be interested about the topic of king hits in books. That’s probably the only topic I’d recommend this book for as the other storyline (the romance) isn’t something I really enjoyed.

The Verdict

1 comment on "What I Saw Review"
  1. Thank You Lisa ! It was one of many and I'm glad I chose to remake it into that beauty. Oh and yes, it's an Australian title so it doesn't have that much 'international' reach or audience.


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