Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction
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 have to start by wishing Amy the happiest of publication days today! This is such a poignant, timely, relevant read and one that is vitally important. This book is powerful, and it tackles uncomfortable and difficult subject matter, but one that society has ignored for far too long and I’m giving Amy a standing ovation today for being brave and strong enough to tackle the ugly truth behind rape.
Rape. Such an awful word, isn’t it? It conjures up pictures of masked assailants, strange perverts who get off on grabbing women from a dark alley or parking lot. I know this happens, and I’m not trying to trivialize it whatsoever, but did you know that seven out of ten rapes are committed by someone known to the victim? The danger isn’t necessarily lurking in the shadows, oftentimes it’s been invited into your home or it’s a loose acquaintance. Seven out of ten.
Amber and Tyler have been best friends for years, they have a fantastic relationship and are as close as siblings. Amber is the only child of over protective but extremely loving parents, and Tyler’s parents are divorced. His mom, Liz is best friends with Amber’s mom, Helen and they’ve even taken family vacations together. Tyler has always been there for Amber, she trusts him implicitly, until one night when everything goes to hell in a hand basket. Tyler rapes her and the impact shatters both of them as well as their families.
Hatvany tells the story from the perspective of both Amber and Tyler so you’re able to see what each of them are thinking and feeling which I found especially powerful. Amber struggles with self loathing, victim blaming, and constantly questions herself. When she said no was it too late? It’s never too late, and the concept of consent was handle so beautifully here. Does consent only need to be given once then it’s a free for all? No, most definitely not, if a woman (or a man) changes their mind at any point and says no or stop, things should end immediately. Hatvany expands on this and more in this thought provoking essay she wrote on The Conversations We’re Not Having With Our Sons. I highly recommend reading this, one of the things that stood out to me was that most parents have many discussions with their daughters about the importance of safety; don’t walk alone in the dark, don’t leave your drink unattended, etc. but are enough people having the so very important conversation with their sons about consent? How do young men know about this if it’s never talked about? That has to change, it really does.
I could go on for days about this book and it’s impact on me, but I’ll wrap things up. This was messy, real, raw, unflinchingly honest and heartbreaking, but in the end there was hope and a sense of healing. It was also beautiful, thought provoking, and utterly crucial, this book needs to be read, by anyone and everyone. I smell a giveaway coming, this is one where I’ll be pushing it on everyone I know, unapologetically.
Overall rating: 5/5
Thanks to BookSparks for my review copy.