Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Review: What I Saw by Beck Nicholas

Title: What I Saw
Author: Beck Nicholas
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Harlequin via NetGalley

One punch will shatter a town.

Is anyone ready for the consequences of the truth?

Callie Jones is not the kind of girl who gets drunk at school dances, and certainly not now, with her scholarship on the line. And she definitely doesn’t hang around with bad boys like Rhett Barker. Especially alone, at night. But these are the circumstances she finds herself in when she witnesses a king hit that lands the town’s golden boy in a coma.

With his reputation, no one is less surprised than Rhett when he is accused of throwing the punch. But he didn’t do it. And he knows Callie saw what really went down. He just has to convince the ‘ice princess’ to come forward and talk to the police – except, for once, good girl Callie doesn’t seem all that interested in telling the truth. Just what is she hiding, and why?

Drawn together by secrets, scandal and heartache, Callie and Rhett find themselves getting closer – even as the solution to their problems gets further away.
Review by Nara

What I Saw, unfortunately, was a lot more cliched than I wanted. While I guess the concept itself isn't exactly something unique, I wanted there to be a bit of a fresh take on the issues of rumour vs truth. Instead the book felt like something I'd read many a time before.

We did get some focus on the importance of family, with both protagonists taking on different angles of protecting, or prioritising, their family members. In Rhett's case, there isn't really anyone looking after his family, and so he becomes the cliched "jaded" bad boy who trusts no one and has a vulnerability that's ready to be exploited by a "special someone". On the other hand, Callie is overburdened by the expectations of her family and becomes the cliched "perfect" daughter who secretly wants to do her own thing and therefore jumps at the chance to start a romance with the mysterious bad boy.

I found that Callie and Rhett's voices weren't overly distinct, and I didn't feel like either of them particularly drew me in. Because I couldn't connect to either of them, I also felt quite detached while reading the romance, which was quite speedy anyway. I mostly felt like I was observing rather than experiencing throughout the novel. The entire plot was quite linear, with everything ending at exactly the point I expected it would.

To be honest, I probably wouldn't recommend this to most people, especially if you've read many contemporary novels. It just wasn't unique enough to leave a lasting impression.

It was okay
Overall: 6/10
Plot: 2/5
Romance: 2.5/5
Writing: 3/5
Characters: 2/5
Cover: 1/5