It Happens All The Time [Book Review]

It Happens All The Time [Book Review]
Hi there!
Title: It Happens all the Time
Author: Amy Hatvany
Publisher: Atria Books
Published Date:  28th March 2017
Rating: 5 Stars
*Thank you to the publisher for the review copy*
Synopsis: From master storyteller Amy Hatvany—whose writing has been hailed as
“gripping and emotionally honest” (Stephanie Evanovich, New York Times betselling
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.


Review: It Happens all the Time by Amy Hatvany
took me less than a day to read. As I have been struggling with a reading slump
last month, I hope it reflects how spectacular this novel really is. It made me
pay attention. It made me want to know how things were going to end. But most
of all, I felt so much for the main character, and that is what matters most of
all, because for this kind of novel you need this.
At the beginning of the novel there is a letter from the
author to the reader, and if you don’t usually read those, I recommend you do
this time. The author herself is a sexual assault survivor, and I already knew
that this story was going to be personal, and really dig deep into those
emotions which surround the topic because of this. This novel is also told from
the point of view of both the rapist and the victim. It was quite eye opening.
If rape is not something you want to read about, then I
must clarify that this is not one for you. Although it does explain the scene,
it’s not as explicit as it could’ve been. But that doesn’t mean to say that it
isn’t explicit. There is also the mention of anorexia in this novel, so if that
is a trigger for you, then consider yourself pre-warned as of now.
The plot of this novel is quite simple. It’s a very
character driven read, and it follows Amber and Tyler, who are best friends. There
are time jumps as we get to see them in the present day, and see flashbacks of
their past together which relate to what is happening at the current time. That
way, we get all the background knowledge on how they met, how their friendship
works, and what has been happening in their lives up until the point of the
rape scene. The novel goes past that as well, and we get to see the aftermath
and the outcome of everything that happens as well.
I have to admit that sometimes the time jumps were a
little jarring and confusing to me. It took me a while of reading to realise
that I was reading about a scene in the past. But then at other times, the
switch was quite obvious. I think it is the only issue I had with the novel at
Hatvany’s writing style is also very simple and
straightforward as well. I wouldn’t say that we are lacking imagery or
beautiful descriptions. More so, she simply describes what is necessary for the
story, and that is it. I think that was a good element to this novel, because
the story is not about her writing style, or the setting, or anything like
that. What it is about is rape, and how it makes both people feel afterwards,
and what they can do about it. The style doesn’t take away from the author’s
intention, but adds to it instead.
The characters were what really made this novel. Amber is
a girl who struggled with anorexia a lot in her teenage past, and Tyler was
there to help her through it every step of the way. She came close to death,
but she has since used her experience to learn and conquered it with her career
choice. She’s bubbly and lively, but that all changes… Tyler has had issues
with his father since he was a child, and his parents have divorced since. He
has anxiety, but he keeps it secret and to himself. He loves Amber with
everything in him. To hear that she is dating someone else crushes him, but he
tries to be happy for her.
They’re best friends, and yet rape still occurs. To see
how this happens, and what happens afterwards, you’ll have to read the novel
This book made me feel so emotional. My heart broke over
and over again for Amber… for her parents as well. I felt such a deep routed
connection to her because Amber is someone who is strict with herself and
ambitious, always trying to reach her set goals. Which I feel is much like
myself as well. I also felt sorry for Tyler. His parents weren’t the best. He
had a tough childhood. I felt angry at him, but also sorry for him at the same
time? It was so confusing… and I think that is what Hatvany wanted us to feel.
The secondary characters, such as the parents of both main character’s, and their
friends, were very well fleshed out. I understood their emotions as well, and
how they contributed to the story.
The novel is story, but that isn’t it. There is another
step. It taught me something about consent, and about the importance of
teaching your children what it means, how to identify it, and how to know when
it is missing. It taught me that importance myself. Hopefully this is something
I will remember all my life, because it is so important. I hope that is
something all readers can take away from this novel at the end of it.
Gif Summary:
Links: Goodreads and Amazon!
Olivia’s Question: How long have you known your best
friend for?

Olivia-Savannah x

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