Thursday, June 28, 2018

One Small Thing by Erin Watt

One Small Thing by Erin Watt
Release Date - June 26, 2018
Publisher Website - HarlequinTeen
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  384 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems a small thing, just for her.

Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…

Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for, including his part in the night Beth’s sister died. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.

Now Beth has a choice to make—follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart…again.
I was intrigued by One Small Thing after reading the synopsis. It sounded so different than all the previous Erin Watt novels, and I was curious to see what they would do with this premise. It ended up being a well crafted look at grief, the people who are left behind after a tragedy, and the process of healing. It also was a lot more than that as well.

Erin Watt's previous novels have been fun, soapy, addictive reads that went at a high octane pace. This book is a complete game changer for them. This one is more quiet, but also deals with issues in a much more direct way than the previous novels did. It's a step in a different direction that I think may open them up to new fans because of how different than their previous works.

Beth and her parents are in a state of stasis after the death of Rachel. They are each dealing with their grief in different ways and not dealing with it in others. The tension in their household is stifling and so are the rules that Beth's parents enforce out of a desperate need to keep her safe. It was crushing to experience this broken family continue to spiral when it was clear they needed each other. Their actions are coming from a place of both love and hurt and that makes from some explosives circumstances. The book easily allows you to place yourself in this situation and the heartbreak each of the family members are carrying with them.

The forbidden romance element was the part I was most concerned about before I picked up this novel. Chase played a role in Rachel's death. This should mean that Beth wants nothing to do with him but when they meet, without knowing their previous connection, sparks fly. This part of the plot was, in my opinion, handled really well. Chase's actions are never excused but the point is made that he shouldn't pay for those actions forever. He punishes himself more than anyone else could, and I think that part of his character allows for a lot of sympathy from the reader. It also helps that the situation is so very different than what I anticipated going into the story.

There was an unexpected part of the plot that dealt with abusive relationships that I felt was also handled rather well. It is used not only to contrast Chase's character but show that people are not always as we perceive them to be. There is also an undercurrent of girls supporting each other and being there for each other that I found really resonated. I didn't expect it to examine any of this and was surprised at how well it folded into the main plot of the story. It felt effortless and not tacked on at any point.

One Small Thing is a book that tackles a lot of hard topics but manages to do them quite well. There is a lot of substance to this one as well as a lot of heart. The title reference is a hopeful one, and that is ultimately the note that this story is left off on. I think many readers will enjoy this emotion filled offering from Erin Watt and enjoy their time with Beth and Chase. 

1 comment:

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