Author: Amy Hatvany
Publisher by: Simon & Schuster, Washington Square Press
Published on: March 28, 2017
Genres: Women's Fiction
Page Count: 320 pages
Format: eARC, Hardcover
From master storyteller Amy Hatvany—whose writing has been hailed as “gripping and emotionally honest” (Stephanie Evanovich, New York Times bestselling author)—comes a provocative and compelling novel about two friends whose lives are changed by a drunken kiss.
I want to rewind the clock, take back the night when the world shattered. I want to erase everything that went wrong.
Amber Bryant and Tyler Hicks have been best friends since they were teenagers—trusting and depending on each other through some of the darkest periods of their young lives. And while Amber has always felt that their relationship is strictly platonic, Tyler has long harbored the secret desire that they might one day become more than friends.
Returning home for the summer after her college graduation, Amber begins spending more time with Tyler than she has in years. Despite the fact that Amber is engaged to her college sweetheart, a flirtation begins to grow between them. One night, fueled by alcohol and concerns about whether she’s getting married too young, Amber kisses Tyler.
What happens next will change them forever.
In alternating points of view, It Happens All the Time examines the complexity of sexual dynamics between men and women and offers an incisive exploration of gender roles, expectations, and the ever-timely issue of consent.
“I want to rewind the clock, take back the night when the world shattered. I want to erase everything that went wrong.”
It Happens All The Time was a heartbreaking and realistic story. This novel dealt with something that happens so often in our society. Not just the sexual assault but the rape culture mentality and victim blaming that follows it. The author stated she wrote this story not to start a controversy but to start a conversation, and I think she hit her mark. The writing came across as fresh, captivating, and the story was simple but powerful.
Amber Bryant and Tyler Hicks were best friends since childhood. They shared everything together and they were each other’s rock. Over the years they always remained close but Tyler eventually developed strong feelings for Amber. Feelings that Amber never reciprocated. It caused a minor rift in their friendship. When Amber returns home from college, it was a chance for the two to reconnect. The two get to spend more and more time with one another. The love and friendship was still there, but ultimately one drunk night changed their friendship forever.
“It’s all my fault, I thought. I called it a date. I wore that dress and no bra. I drank too much, I kissed him. I used his body like he was the pole and I was the stripper out on the patio. I let him take me upstairs to that bed. Maybe he was too drunk to hear me when I told him to stop. Maybe I didn’t say it loudly enough. Maybe I didn’t say it enough times.” – Amber
“We were both drunk, and we both wanted it. I am not my father. Having sex was her decision as much as mine.” – Tyler
The story is told from both Amber and Tyler’s points of view. You get to see each of their thoughts, feelings, and rationalizations of what happened. Amber said no, but in Tyler’s mind, she said yes. My heart broke for Amber. I felt the author accurately depicted the struggle and pain that Amber had to deal with. What frustrated and saddened me the most about this story was that Amber’s attacker wasn’t some unknown assailant. This was the person that we grew to know throughout the story, this was a person that we became attached to. Tyler was somebody that cared for her and yet somehow he was still able to hurt her so much. The strange thing about this book was I felt sympathy for Tyler. Let me be clear, I’m not justifying a damn thing he did, but it was hard to grapple with the fact that I knew he loved and cared for her and yet he was still able to hurt her in such an awful way. Being in his mind, seeing how he questioned himself, her, and still wanted to be in denial, was both painful and infuriating.
This book held my attention from the beginning to the very end. The story wasn’t perfect by any means. It did come across a bit preachy at times and I don’t completely agree how everything played out. I do think it was a great piece on something that is so very prevalent in our society. I would recommend for both young women and young men, to read this story. This story raised some questions and explained some concepts such as what is rape and what is consent. I commend the author for writing it and bringing a different side to this type of story.