Author: Beck Nicholas
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia
Date of Publication: March 1st 2016
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher
Blurb:One punch will shatter a town. But is anyone ready for the consequences of telling the truth? A stunning new YA novel about the complicated romance between a girl with everything on the line and a boy with nothing to lose following a king hit incident that leaves the high school golden boy in a coma, from the author of FAKE.
One punch, one witness, one weekend and everything will change.
Callie is the darling of the school. On her way to a university scholarship, she can't rock the boat, and she doesn't want to. When she sees the punch that brings down the captain of the school football team, and who threw it, she knows she should tell the truth, but the truth could cost her everything.
Rhett is the town bad boy. No one has any trouble believing that he threw the punch, after all, he has form. He knows he's innocent, but is there any point in fighting when no one will believe him anyway?
The 48 hours that follow are filled with tension. Callie is getting pressured by both sides. Rhett's sister encourages him to charm Callie, make her feel for him so that she'll tell the truth. Callie's family are stressing how much she needs to stay on the straight and narrow if she's to keep her scholarship.
I found myself devouring this almost in one sitting, needing to know what Callie would choose to do, whether her developing romance with Rhett was genuine, or just a ploy to have her stand up for him. The book deals with one punch attacks, which are a major issue in Australia at the moment, but also social class, slut shaming and corruption.
The characters are well drawn and the story compelling. The only negative for me was that it didn't have a strong sense of place. It could have been set anywhere. I understand the reasoning for this, but I like my Australian books to feel Australian.
A great read, well worth picking up and checking out.