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It Happens All the Time: A Novel (2017)

de Amy Hatvany

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839255,753 (3.9)No n'hi ha cap
"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."… (més)
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Trigger warning: Rape and eating disorder

I have been loving Amy Hatvany for a while. I was glad to see her newest offering that takes a hard look at rape between childhood best friends, Amber and Tyler. I think that she did a very good job showing both Amber and Tyler's POV and even showing how Amber wasn't the "perfect victim" and why it doesn't matter. Via other characters we get Amber being buoyed up with being told she was not at fault, it be nice in real life if most victims got this kind of support from family and friends.

"It Happens All the Time" begins in medias res. We have a character named Amber holding another character named Tyler at gunpoint. Tyler seems to know why Amber is holding a gun on him, but it takes us a bit to get there.

Amber is home from her senior year of college, hesitant about seeing her childhood friend Tyler. The last time they saw each other, they argued since she accused him of being jealous of her new relationship. Amber is happy though that Tyler has seemed to let things go, and when she pops up engaged, she starts to wonder if she is ready to get married or not.

Tyler has been in love with Amber almost as soon as he has known her. He's jealous of her new relationship and starts jumping for joy when Amber comes home for the summer and starts flirting with him. His ship comes in (so to speak) when he finally thinks he and Amber are going to be a couple after finally having sex. The problem is that Tyler thinks what happened was consensual, Amber in her POV does not. When Tyler realizes that Amber believes he raped her (oh he did btw) he goes through regret, anger and a lot of self justification.

Besides these two characters I have to applaud Hatvany having in some great secondary characters. I do have to say though, Tyler's father was one note and cartoonish in some aspects. But I have to say it was great having Tyler's parents in here doing the whole, of course my son did nothing wrong, and your daughter shouldn't have been drinking crap. How many times are rape victims attacked for daring to drink, wear short clothes, and shit just be out among a group of men.

I loved Tyler's partner who gave him crap as soon as he realized what Tyler did and gave him no quarter. Amber's parents were fantastic and very believable about being angry and not knowing what to do about their daughter who is spiraling in so many directions.

The writing I thought was top-notch. Hatvany does such a good job with both characters voices and always does another great job of including real life thoughts/comments that are made by victims and perpetrators as well. Amber blames herself for drinking, flirting, and kissing Tyler. Tyler doesn't see himself as a rapist, he chalks this up to Amber being like those girls/women who drink too much and then want to blame alcohol and the guy for their choices. FYI, Tyler made me wish he come alive so I could knee him repeatedly. I think this book is a good discussion topic for a book club or other groups who want to discuss consent in this day and age since we still have people (men and women) not getting it.

I do have to bring up the fact that there is also discussions of Amber having a former eating disorder that rears its ugly head again after she is raped. And you can see that Amber still has an obsession (somewhat) of what she eats and how often she exercises.

The setting of this book takes place in Washington state. Sadly, you don't get to read much about the location during this book besides Amber looking to relocate to Seattle and one day become a sports medicine doctor for the Seahawks.

I don't think I can say this book had a happy ending per se, but you can see that Amber is going to do what it takes to become stronger without relying on a man again to make her feel that way. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Before I go into my review, I want to let you all know about something BookSparks is doing to help #SPEAKOUT against sexual violence. When you purchase Amy Hatvany’s It Happens All The Time TODAY, BookSparks will donate 30% of all verified purchases to the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center. All you have to do is purchase the book (online, in-store, doesn’t matter), and send a copy of your receipt to them here: send us your receipt. Your receipt showing the purchase of the book has to have a date of April 19th, but otherwise it is literally that easy. So don’t waste another moment, go buy the book and send them your receipt to start helping victims today! Now onto my thoughts about the book…

First of all, this book is about much more than consent and sexual assault. It deals with eating disorders, anxiety, stress, and the healthy vs unhealthy ways to deal with each.

This book has an important message; especially in the times we are living in. We live in a society that loves to blame the victim, particularly when that victim is a woman who has been sexually assaulted. Maybe if she hadn’t drunk as much; worn such a tight top; been in the wrong place at the wrong time, it wouldn’t have happened. When people say things like that, it is excusing the behavior of the perpetrator, by saying he was too tempted by what she was wearing/doing, to stop himself. She brought it on herself. And that thinking is just plain disgusting.

It Happens All the Time focuses on Amber and Tyler. Best friends since their teens, Tyler has had unrequited love for Amber for as long as he can remember. But Amber hasn’t, and doesn’t, feel the same way.

Tyler has a father who is, basically, verbally abusive to him, and this wrecks havoc on Tyler’s psyche, causing him to suffer from extreme anxiety and panic attacks. As a person who suffers from anxiety, I was waiting to feel empathy towards Tyler, but that feeling never came. I don’t know if that is because I knew what he was going to do, or if it was Tyler himself I didn’t like – maybe both. Either way, I didn’t sympathize nor empathize with him.

Amber has supportive, if overprotective, parents. She suffered from an eating disorder in high school, and it is still something she sometimes struggles with. She comes home over the summer, recently engaged to her boyfriend Daniel, but starts having doubts about the engagement. After an argument with Daniel over the phone, she lets go at a party she attends with Tyler and his friends. She feels safe because she’s with Tyler. He won’t let anyone hurt her; he’ll protect her. She never would have guessed, that Tyler himself would be the one to hurt her. Which makes what happens even worse, because it was done by someone she trusted completely.

Fueled by too much alcohol, years of longing on Tyler’s part, and Amber’s doubt about Daniel, the two of them kiss. What happens after that kiss changes them both forever.

The supporting characters in the book were great, particularly Amber’s parents, her boyfriend Daniel, and Tyler’s coworker Mason. Each played an important part in the story. Hatvany’s description of Amber’s feelings after the rape were startlingly real. Sometimes when you read a story, you still feel like an outsider, you know what you are reading isn’t ‘real.’ But Hatvany’s writing when Amber describes what she’s going through, feels completely real, and it is all the more devastating knowing this same thing happens to real women and men, every single day.

I won’t go into many more details here, because you need to read the book yourself. But I will say this; Tyler tries to rationalize his behavior, putting the blame on anyone and anything that is not himself. Amber feels like she is to blame for what happened after that kiss, because of everything that lead up to it. Both of them are backwards in their thinking.

If someone says, wait, stop, hold on, I don’t want to do this, NO. Then listen. Teach your girls to speak up and fight for themselves. Teach your boys to listen to girls and to believe they mean what they say. To respect them. And maybe that will help put us one step closer to creating a safer world.

Don’t forget to send your receipt to BookSparks after you make your purchase today! send us your receipt

I received an ARC from BookSparks in exchange for an honest review.
This review was originally published on Books For The Living.
( )
  BooksForTheLiving | Apr 17, 2018 |
Are we discussing the issue of consent with our sons?
This book was a brave effort on the part of the author, to approach the issue of acquaintance rape, why it happens and how we can help prevent it by educating our children.
While I was searching for more information about the author, I came upon a You Tube video of her talking about a similar event that happened to her in her teens and I realised that this was more than just a novel, this was the author reaching out about something that she felt strongly about - the issue of consent. It also helped that in this book the issue was covered from the point of view of both victim and rapist.

*Spoiler alert - I may have discussed too much of the plot in the following review, please stop here if you haven't read the book.*

Tyler and Amber met as children when Tyler's family moved into the same street. Amber was an only child, with very sociable parents and they immediately welcomed Tyler and his family. The two Mums became best friends and after Tyler's parents separated, Amber's parents invited him and his Mum to join them on holidays.
All through childhood they were each other's closest friends. Tyler was Amber's greatest support when she suffered severe eating disorders, spending a large chunk of time in hospital, and whenever she needed him he was there for her.
Unfortunately Tyler harbored desires beyond just friendship, while Amber considered him to be like a brother. He was struggling to come to terms with Amber's engagement to another student that summer when everything fell apart.

Tyler also had his own issues and suffered with anxiety, largely caused by his awful bully of a father. I was pretty horrified that Amber was so bruised after the event, I suppose Tyler's behaviour with Whitney should have rung warning bells, but he supposedly loved Amber, he proceeded without consent, yes, but did he have to be so violent? It almost adds another dimension to the central issue of the book.

My BG wasn't very impressed with this book, giving ratings as low as 2 stars, they didn't think it was very well written, and in some ways I have to agree; there were parts that didn't quite work.
What bothered me most, was the resolution. Why was it that Tyler was expected to turn himself in, yet Amber was not taken to account for her actions with the gun. By the end of the book, was it right that Amber should be just allowed to walk away and start again?

As an aside to the book, do be sure to search out Amy Hatvany's comments in "The Conversations We’re Not Having With Our Sons", published as a guest post in The Manifest-Station. ( )
  DubaiReader | Aug 16, 2017 |
A timely novel for our rape culture. The story is told in a he said she said manner by the two main characters, Tyler and Amber. They were best friends until the night Tyler raped Amber. Not surprisingly they both view the night in question quite differently. No matter who is right the rape has a devastating effect on both Tyler and Amber as well as all those who know them. This is a great novel to share with teenagers and young adults, especially those leaving home for the first time. ( )
  arielfl | Jul 8, 2017 |
My Review of “It Happens All the Time” by Amy Hatvany

Kudos to Amy Hatvany for writing such a controversial and heartwrenching novel. In “It Happens All the Time”, the topic of rape and assault is discussed.

The genres of this novel are Contemporary Fiction and Women’s Fiction.

The author vividly describes her two characters as conflicted, complicated and troubled. Amber and Tyler have been friends for many years. Tyler comes from a home where his father bullied and abused him. As a result, Tyler experiences anxiety attacks. Amber has problems with her body image and becomes anorexic. Both friends are supportive and encouraging of one another.

The tragedy of this story is when one night Amber and Tyler are drinking and become intoxicated. Amber is engaged to another man, and is confused, and Tyler has different feelings for Amber that are not reciprocated. There is dancing and kissing, and more liquor. Things progress too rapidly , and Amber tries to put a stop to what is going on. Unfortunately Tyler does not get the message to stop.

The consequences of this night change Amber and Tyler’s lives. Amber is shattered by the fact that someone that she trusted and cared for betrayed her. Tyler vacillates in his feelings of what happened and makes excuses to himself.

This was an emotional read for me, and I feel this issue is so very relevant in today’s society. Both young women and men should be better educated about appropriate behavior, and what the word “No” means. Also there are pressures and entitlements to these young people who sometimes just want what they want, and can’t take responsibility for their actions. Another issue is the abundance of alcohol and drugs served at parties and colleges. Parents should prepare their children to be responsible.

I would highly recommend this book as a must read.
Author: lindasbookobsession ( )
  teachlz | Apr 4, 2017 |
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"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."

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