I have always secretly wanted to be a part of a book club. I love reading, I love talking about what I am reading and I am always interested to hear about what others are reading. How cool would it be to share this love of books with others and to read and talk about a book together each month? I have also always thought that being in a book club was just something for middle aged women, the retired ladies with grey hair and the seriously academic types who probably only read Shakespeare or Jane Austin every month. Turns out, I was wrong. You can be in your twenties and be a part of a book club, it’s not weird at all. A fellow blogger sent out a request on Twitter asking for bookworms to join her new book club and I just though, why the hell not? We don’t meet in coffee shops or have a rota for holding monthly meetings in members houses, we congregate in our Instagram DMs and I am absolutely loving chatting books with these ladies. For our first book, the head of the book club chose One Small Thing by Erin Watt. I had never heard of this book before and was excited to give it a try. Here is my review of One Small Thing, if you’re into young adult fiction then I’m sure you will enjoy it.
One Small Thing review
It has been a long time since I last read a YA novel. The last books I read in this genre were The Hunger Games trilogy and the Twilight saga, this was back in my late teens/early twenties when I was, in fact, a young adult. I was a little sceptical about One Small Thing, I’m an adult now, a wife and a mother, would I find the love life and problems of a teenage girl incredibly dull and juvenile? Before I get in to whether my scepticism was justified, I’ll give you a brief insight into what the book is about.
One Small Thing is the complicated love story of two teenagers, Beth and Chase. Beth hates her life, her parents have been overprotective and unbearable since her older sister, Rachel, died a few years ago in a car accident. Chase is a nineteen year old, handsome and broody stranger that Beth meets when she sneaks out to a party. Chase also happens to be the person who ran over and killed Beth’s sister. After they meet at the party and a spark ignites between them, Beth can’t keep Chase off her mind. It is not until he is enrolled at her school and gossip starts to spread about Chase’s true identity that Beth learns the horrifying truth of who he really is. Things get complicated fast, both teens are full of guilt and regret for their actions from the party but neither is able to ignore their feelings for the other, despite the messy circumstances. The book follows the ups and downs of their lives in high school and their impossible relationship.
Did I like One Small Thing? I did and I didn’t. I found a lot of the teenage chat and the relationships between Beth and her friends slightly boring, I just couldn’t connect with Beth as a character as it is a long time since I was a teen, her complicated love life and fall outs with friends seemed like tiny problems when I thought about all the crap us adults have to deal with! I kept trying to solves her problems from an adults perspective and I actually related more to her worried mum than I did to her – I guess I’m getting old? Also, I am not into Fifty Shades of Grey or other porn-eque fiction, however, if there is going to be a sex scene I would like a bit more description and excitement in the prose! But, this book is aimed at teenagers and I guess it doesn’t require the same detail as a love scene in an adult novel would. I also eye rolled a lot when the characters used words like ‘lit’ and ‘dope’ and they only seemed interested in talking about boys.
I didn’t dislike the whole book though. I thought the premise of the love story was very clever, I do enjoy reading about relationships that seem doomed from the start but still manage to continue regardless. The dynamic between Beth and her grieving parents was both frustrating yet gripping. I was always interested to discover what her overprotective parents would do next and to see what Beth’s reaction would be. While I would have maybe liked some flash backs of what their life was like before Rachel’s death, I did find the way they treated Beth in the aftermath believable and how I would expect many parents to react after losing a child in a tragic accident.
I found One Small Thing a very easy read, it didn’t challenge me but the plot was interesting enough to keep me engaged and happily turning the pages. I was invested in Beth and Chase and I was routing for them, even though it felt slightly wrong to do so considering the circumstances. Reading a chapter here and there was a perfectly enjoyable way to spend the time and there were parts of the book when I was genuinely hooked and couldn’t stop reading for hours. Unfortunately, there were also some chapters that felt like a slog to get through as the high school centred content lacked the intrigue and thought provoking prose that I am used to from the books I usually read.
If you want a quick and easy read with a complicated romance at it’s core, then why not give One Small Thing a try? If you are fine reading about teenage life and can connect with a character regardless of their age or circumstances, then One Small Thing may be the next love story for you. I will leave you with this parting thought, one of the member of the book club mentioned she couldn’t stop thinking about Chase from Paw Patrol when she was reading and after she said that I would always have the Paw Patrol theme tune playing whenever the word ‘Chase’ appeared on the page!
The February book for book club is Three Dark Crowns, I will be back with the review next month.
Have you read One Small Thing? Did you enjoy it? Have you got any good book recommendations, what was the last book you just couldn’t put down? I’d love to hear all your booky thoughts in the comments.
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