I was so excited to read this book, I had heard so many amazing things about it from so many people, fellow bloggers and larger publication's reviews alike. Naturally, I went in with pretty high expectations of being blown away. Unfortunately, I'm left feeling like this book had so much unrealized potential.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another review, today it is Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughn. Thanks so much to Simon and Schuster and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book for an honest review, as always, all opinions are my own.

The story primarily follows the court case proceedings of James, a British politician who stands accused of rape by his one of his subordinate colleagues. Naturally, the case garners a lot of public interest. The story is told in multiple perspectives, including James, his wife Sophie, the prosecutor of the defendant Kate, and Holly, a girl who went to college with Sophie and James back in the day. Through these perspectives and a past and present timeline, James's case is brought to court and everything about himself and his family come into question.

I think my major issue with this book stems from the writing style and way the story is told. When I initially started, I thought the writing was quite different from what I am used to.I don't quite know how to describe the writing, I don't want to say pretentious, but I think it felt a little bit forced. The narration switched abruptly and inconsistently, instead of continuously alternating chapters, some instances had 4 chapters in a row in the same narration and then we wouldn't get that perspective again for quite some time. There was also switching between first- and third-person narration which, while helpful to signal a change in narrator, kept jerking me out of the story.

I also felt like Holly's POV was not very well done. I understand why she is important to the story, but I think she was introduced way too early and added little to the storyline in her chapters themselves. Once we figured out why she was important, I appreciated her side of things better, but I felt like most of her parts could be removed with little consequence.

Obviously, this book touches on the very serious and timely issue of rape and sexual assault. However, I don't think that this book used this element properly. Last year, I read a similar book, The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall, and I think she did a much better job integrating and describing the feelings of family members of those accused of rape. I think Vaughn had a great opportunity to explore that here with Sophie but her attempt fell flat for me.

Often times, these types of books will also work to create sympathy for both sides of the argument, show the 'innocence' of the accused, but I felt like I couldn't even see a storyline where James was innocent (not a spoiler, I won't say what the jury's verdict was). I'm glad that Vaughn set the story up for readers to believe the survivor brave enough to stand up against their abuser, as we should, but I felt like the synopsis leads us to believe it will be much more ambiguous and if this is so, it failed.

I'm really quite sad I didn't like this book more, I know so many people have been raving about it. I think, ultimately, it was too slowly paced and Vaughn didn't use the storyline to the fullest abilities of its abilities to make this one a hit for me.

Overall, a disappointing legal thriller that just didn't thrill me.