Thursday, 30 March 2017

Review: It Happens All the Time by Amy Hatvany

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.

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Expected publication: March 28th 2017 by Washington Square Press 
Genre: Fiction/Womens Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from the publishe via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

I knew nothing about It Happens All the Time when I started reading it.  Being a long time fan of Amy Hatvany, I requested this book without even reading the synopsis. Whenever I saw anything about the book on social media I would quickly scroll past it so that I wouldn't get any clues as to what it was about. Going in blind often adds to my enjoyment and that was certainly true in this case.

If you don't know what this book is about and don't want to before you read it, stop reading now!

Wow! I finished this book over a week ago but I had to take some time to think about it before I could put my thoughts into writing. I kept putting myself in Amber's shoes and all I can say is that it was devastating. It affected me deeply and I couldn't and still don't have the proper words to describe it on paper.

Amber and Tyler were best friends and had been for all of their teenage years. When Amber was hospitalised because of a eating disorder, Tyler was the one that sat beside her and held her hand throughout it all. They were a constant in each others lives. Don't misunderstand, It Happens All the Time was not a friends to lover story. In fact it wasn't even close. Although Tyler always harboured feelings for Amber, she looked at him  like a brother.

After graduating from College, Amber returned home for the summer, engaged and planning for the future. Tyler and Amber's friendship picked up where it left off and they began spending a lot of time together. As Amber began questioning her engagement an easy flirtation started between the best friends.


One night fuelled by alcohol and flirtation went seriously wrong when Amber decided she didn't want anything to happen between them and Tyler didn't listen.

What happens when you are raped by your best friend? This was a question that kept going through my mind. What would I do? How would I cope? How could I move on? I had no answers. I couldn't even imagine being violated like that by someone I trusted and depended on for so many years. My emotions were all over the place. I could feel Amber's every emotion. In all honestly, this story kind of gutted me. A sign of really great writing when I can become so emotionally invested.

It Happens All the Time was told from both Amber and Tyler's point of view which ables the reader to see into both characters before and after that brutal night. I think in doing this it made what happened more real and enabled the reader to comprehend more fully the emotion impact. In fact, I can see it being a hot topic of many book club discussions to come.

Any book that makes me think and feel deeply is a good book in my eyes. Amy Hatvany accomplished just that with It Happens All the Time. I felt  anger, sadness, despair and heartache for this story and characters that still hasn't gone away over a week later. It was not the easiest topic to read but a relevant one that I won't soon forget.


About the Author
Amy Hatvany was born in Seattle, WA in 1972, the youngest of three children. She graduated from Western Washington University in 1994 with a degree in Sociology only to discover most sociologists are unemployed. Soon followed a variety of jobs – some of which she loved, like decorating wedding cakes; others which she merely tolerated, like receptionist. In 1998, Amy finally decided to sell her car, quit her job, and take a chance on writing books.

The literary gods took kindly to her aspirations and THE KIND OF LOVE THAT SAVES YOU was published in 2000 by Bantam Doubleday. THE LANGUAGE OF SISTERS was picked up by NAL in 2002. (Both titles published under "Yurk.")

Amy spends most of her time today with her second and final husband, Stephan. (Seriously, if this one doesn’t work out, she’s done.) She stays busy with her two children, Scarlett and Miles, and her “bonus child,” Anna. Their blended family also includes two four-legged hairy children, commonly known as Black Lab mutts, Kenda and Dolcé. When Amy’s not with friends or family, she is most likely reading, cooking or zoning out on certain reality television shows. Top Chef is a current favorite. She eagerly awaits auditions for the cast of “Top Author.” (“Quick Edit” instead of “Quick Fire” Challenge? C’mon, producers! That’s gripping television!)

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