Title: One Small Thing
Author: Erin Watt
Published: July 9th 2018
Publisher: HQ – Young Adult
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Young Adult
Rating: 3 stars
From the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author duo of The Royals series and When It’s Real comes a sensational new novel about a girl falling for the one boy she should never have met…
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. 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.
A force to be reckoned with in the young adult genre, author Erin Watt takes a step away from the bestselling The Royals series and presents a new teen romance novel. One Small Thing is the tale of young couple who fall in love, but are blocked by past mistakes, grief and parental opposition.
Seventeen year old Beth has been unable to move on from the death of her sister. Her parents are locked in their grief, stifling Beth at any moment they can, in attempt to deal with their own loss. In one simple act of rebellion against her parents overbearing nature, Beth attends a party and soon falls into the open arms of the new boy in town, Chase. She immediately finds she has a connection with Chase, he gets her, understands her and for just one moment in time, Beth forgets the grief of her sister’s death. But Chase has his own sad secrets. He is fresh out of juvenile detention and is on a path to redeem his past mistakes. He wants to begin again at a new school, but the choices he has made in the past has caused many to judge him. Beth is one person who should be extra judgemental towards Chase, the mistake he made struck right at the heart of her family unit. However, Beth goes against the crowd and decides that Chase needs to be given a chance to redeem himself. Consequently, a forbidden romance sparks between Beth and Chase. It is unexpected and goes against the wishes of many, especially Beth’s heartbroken parents. Beth and Chase cannot deny their burgeoning feelings for one another. As their taboo romance launches full steam ahead, Beth is placed in an impossible bind, she should continue to follow her heart and chance sending her parents into further despair, or take control over her own destiny?
What initially presents itself as standard fare teen romance of girl meets bad boy and how the characters overcome this mountain, morphs into something else in Erin Watt’s latest young adult novel, One Small Thing. I liked many elements of this book, which surprised me as generally I experience a sense of disconnection to young adult based high school romances. I also found this a very fast read that I whipped through in just an afternoon sitting.
One Small Thing is told entirely from the point of view of the lead, Beth. Beth (or previously known as Lizzie) is an agreeable lead and those closer in age to Beth will be sure to find her relatable. I think Watt does a good job of providing a good representation of a late teen girl negotiating the grief felt over her sister’s death, balancing her overprotective parents and handling her forbidden new romance with bad boy Chase. Beth’s interactions appear to be in line with a standard teen girl of this age. Watt’s dialogue comes across as in keeping with this character and the situations faced. On the secondary character front, apart from love interest Chase, the supporting cast were not particularly likeable and I found myself at the end of my tether with a number of them, there were a few small-minded protagonists in this story.
Watt handles the romance side of her novel mostly well, I did question the probability that Chase and Beth would cross paths in such a way and fall in love. But I guess this is chance. The romance is One Small Thing is marred by opposition, judgement, past hurts, guilt, forgiveness and semblance. I enjoyed the moments where Chase and Beth were able to connect on their own level, without the influences of others and the stresses from the outside.
One Small Thing throws up some rather serious fodder, which Watt is in the most part careful in her treatment of the issues at stake. These include; loss, grief, crime, incarceration, guilt, bullying, relationships, and sexual assault. One Small Thing is clear in delivering a simple message of our need to look for more hope in life. Often when we are pitted against the odds and everything seems insurmountable, it is important to grasp onto that ‘one small thing’ (hence the book title). This could represent anything and the more simple it is, the better. It is these small things that help ground us as a person and give us the impetuous to carry on. It is a great parting message, along with the settling but fast conclusion to Beth and Chase’s lives.
I am confident One Small Thing is a book that will draw in young adult genre fans, especially those who are in their later teen years.
One Small Thing by Erin Watt was published on 9th July 2018 by HQ Young Adult. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of One Small Thing, Erin Watt visit here.
*I wish to thank Harlequin Books Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.