Forthcoming Fridays is a new series starting on Pages and Pugs, where you’ll be able to see reviews for books that aren’t yet out but are releasing soon. I can’t promise to post this every Friday, but I’ll try!
One Small Thing, by Erin Watt
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Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: June 26, 2018
Length: 384 pages
Times Read: Once
Rating: Pretty much what I expected
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.
What I Liked: Here’s the thing. I knew what I was getting when I requested this book, but I still somehow expected that it would be different. I’ve read several of The Royals series, and despite knowing that I didn’t really like the writing, I had higher hopes than I should have. That’s on me.
♥ Chase. As far as book boyfriends go, I wouldn’t pick Chase. But he was a fairly good male protagonist. He had a couple of good lines, he was really repentant for the thing that landed him in juvie, and he tried to keep away from Beth because he was a responsible human being.
♥ The One Small Things. Something that Chase came up with while in juvie, every day he finds one small thing to appreciate. It’s not a new concept, but it worked well here.
♥ Decent Reasons Kept Beth and Chase Apart. Instead of typical miscommunication and melodrama, there were real reasons that Beth and Chase couldn’t start a relationship from the beginning. These reasons made sense to the story, although honestly Beth made them worse by pretending she hated him in public.
What I Didn’t:
⊗ Literally Every Other Character. Including Beth, I disliked every person besides Chase in this book. Okay, maybe some of Chase’s friends from another school, but we didn’t see them much. Hated Beth, hated her best friend, hated her parents, hated her principal and teachers, hated Jeff, hated Jeff’s parents, hated Chase’s parents. There was nothing redeeming about any of them. Beth’s parents make a swift change at the end, but it was too quick to be believable. Throughout the entire book they don’t believe her about anything, they think she exaggerates and lies and is generally a bad kid, and from literally one scene to the next NOW they believe her, when nothing has really changed. I don’t know, I just can’t with this. There was no character development, there was just an immediate, unrealistic change.
⊗ So. Much. Slut Shaming. SO MUCH, YOU GUYS! And only one person (Chase, obvi) ever says anything about it. Everyone else just accepts it and COME ON, PEOPLE. NOT OKAY. It really bums me out when authors don’t take a stand against shame. This isn’t even just girls engaging in some slight girl hate. This is literally the word “slut” being thrown around from girls to themselves, from girls to other girls, and a LOT from guys to girls. NOT OKAY NOT OKAY NOT OKAY.
⊗ Distinct Lack of Swoons. For a book that basically opens with a meet-cute and a good kiss, there was a real lack of swoon throughout the rest of the book. There was talking, there was “I like you but we can’t be together”, there were a few near-kisses, but there wasn’t a lot else.
Favorite Quotes: “In the real world, bad boys are actually bad. They aren’t heroes.”