“Bravely sheds light on sexual assault and consent. In alternating perspectives friends Tyler and Amber recount an alcohol-fueled night that changed the course of their lives.” –Us Weekly
From master storyteller Amy Hatvany—whose writing has been hailed as “gripping and emotionally honest” (Stephanie Evanovich, New York Times betselling author)— comes a compelling story about friendship and consent, perfect for “fans of Jodi Picoult or Diane Chamberlain” (Library Journal).
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.
Told “with nuance and compassion” (Kirkus Reviews) in alternating points of view, It Happens All the Time is “a compulsory read for men and women” (Redbook) that will “consume you, drawing you into the very real plight of the main characters and leaving you hoping for a better future for us all” (Buzzfeed).
Hatvany (Somewhere Out There) takes a risk with this disturbing study of the sexual and power dynamics of friendship and love. Set in Bellingham, Wash., the novel opens with aspiring sports trainer Amber holding a gun on paramedic Tyler, declaring that she hates him, and his calm admission that "I hate me, too." Then, in alternating chapters, each of them unveils the missed cues, denials, and doubts that led once the former best friends to an act of violence that changed everything. Hatvany keeps the pace fast, slickly layering her two complicated characters: Amber is recovering from an eating disorder as she juggles a new career and a first romance with medical student Daniel; Tyler is emotionally devastated by a domineering father who belittles him, and he struggles to find love while he secretly longs for Amber. Tyler and Amber's violent clash after a night of drinking is inevitable as is Amber's revenge. Thanks to Hatvany's powerful storytelling, there is a richness in these conflicted characters that makes changes of head and heart seem both unpredictable and possible.
The main characters were not really likable, and Amber gets away with violence while making her attacker friend go to jail for his. Also too wordy.
Heartbreaking and thought provoking
Oh man this was a tough one. It is definitely sensitive subject matter but it is so relevant today. And it was done really, really well. I loved the dual povs. That definitely made the story. The characters were flawed and complex and I understood where they were coming from...which made this even more difficult to read. There were times I had to put it down. I wanted to cringe and close my eyes and stop them from doing what they were going to do or thinking what they were thinking. I hurt for them. This is definitely the type of book that would (and should) start conversations. 4.5 stars.
*I received an advanced copy of this book through netgalley in exchange for honest feedback.