One Small Thing by Erin Watt
Young Adult | Contemporary Romance
Publication Date | June 26th, 2018
ARC from Edelweiss
| Book Review |
One Small Thing is the story about teenager, Beth, who is suffering the after-effects of her sister’s death in more ways than one. Beth may not have fully dealt with the fact that her sister is dead, but her parents have basically enshrined anything that belonged to Rachel, and they’re cautious to the point of smothering when it comes to their surviving daughter. And it’s causing Beth to rebel in ways she never has before. So after reading the first three books in the Royals series from this team of authors, it’s clear that they favor exaggerated teen circumstances to reality, and sometimes that works. Here it just felt even more extra than extra. (Minor spoilers ahead – these occur near the beginning of the story, so I wouldn’t necessarily consider them spoilers; some people might.) Pretty much kidnapping her college applications and removing the door to her bedroom as punishment were so over the top for me, not to mention terrible parenting. Beth’s parents were so steeped in grief they couldn’t even recognize it in their daughter. The mother was the most infuriating to me. She would occasionally give Beth commiserating looks, but never once stood up to her husband. She was so spineless and such a terrible role model for her daughter. Ironically, it’s Chase, the young man who had a hand in her sister’s death, who causes her to really examine the way she is acting, and while I did enjoy the part of the story that made her reflect on her actions, I felt like her parents came around to her way of thinking way too quickly. There was zero no authenticity there. Not to mention that her terms were something her parents never would have agreed to.
Beth’s friends were so fair-weathered, and her classmates were terrible people. There was not a redeeming one in the bunch. It was like Beth and Chase were the only decent people in school, and that’s something I find so stereotypical in YA. EVERYONE is a villain except for your main characters. It’s them against the world, yada yada yada. Nothing new to see there.
I will say that the highlight of this story for me was Chase, even though I don’t understand the attraction between him and Beth. He was a solid kid, he’d learned from his mistakes, and he was just trying to piece his life back together. The way he kept punishing himself, even while I understood it (and it was probably the only part of the story that felt credible to me,) really broke my heart. I also really liked the thread of forgiveness here as Beth was able to see who Chase was and that he was devastated by what he’d done. It was so freely given, and I liked that she wanted him to move on.
Ok – so the way this book ‘ended’ really gave me whiplash, because…where even was the ending? I was so shocked when it was all over, because there was very little closure. However, having said all this, I have to admit that this book had me in it’s thrall while I was reading it; I was totally addicted! And for all that drove me nuts about One Small Thing, I still wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to someone who’s a fan of YA books.
| Rating |