by Erin Watt
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.
One Small Thing is my first story by Erin Watt. I had good faith that One Small Thing wouldn’t steer me in the opposite direction after hearing many good things about their series, The Royals. Thankfully it didn’t!
It is vastly different from my usual reading pattern as this is more young adult and while the romance was prominent it wasn’t heavy.
Three years ago, Elizabeth “Beth” Jones’ older sister, Rachel was killed in an accident, changing everyone’s lives in different ways. Now she’s trying to live life freely after spending those years suffocating underneath her parents’ over-protective and controlling ways, starting by sneaking out and going to parties outside of town.
Charles “Charlie/Chuck” Donnelley has just been released from juvie after carrying out three years for manslaughter. When he meets the sweet and beautiful Beth, she’s intrigued by this aura of mystery he appears to have. She doesn’t realise that this meeting will have repercussions that will inevitably see her world implode into a million pieces.
One Small Thing is about forgiveness, dealing with loss and family dynamics. It is also so much more, as it touches upon high school bullying, sexual assault and acceptance.
While Beth’s actions seem selfish, they are also understandable, because our formative years often happen while we’re teenagers, where we grow, change and learn who we are as individuals.
Underneath her seeming detached exterior is someone who’s suffering. Beth misses Rachel, the boy she wants is all kinds of wrong, her parents are smothering her and everyone around her seems to be telling her how she should feel.
I have two minor complaints about this story. One, I pretty much hated every secondary character. Everyone had to have an opinion on everything apparently. And some of them were just downright, unapologetic horrible human beings. Two, the end was abrupt and rushed. There wasn’t any closure and rather be shown the conclusion, it was told in several pages.
Otherwise, One Small Thing is a wonderful coming of age young adult story I recommend, especially if you’re wanting something a little different from the usual!
ARC provided by NetGalley and Harlequin Teen
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