By: Amy Hatvany
Publication Date: 3/28/2017
My Rating: 5 Stars
One of my all-time favorite authors, Amy Hatvany returns following Somewhere Out There (2016) with her most emotional and timely book yet: IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME — an exploration into two different experiences of rape.
View the author's powerful video. Author, wife, mother, friend, rape survivor.
A girl. A guy. Childhood friends. Consent. Rape. Their families. A tragedy which changes everything. A desperate need for justice and revenge.
There is one thing (well, more than one) you can come to expect from Amy Hatvany: She is not afraid to tackle tough issues of the heart, with honesty and superbly researched topics —critical for today’s contemporary woman, no matter the age.
Amber Bryant and Tyler Hicks have grown up together. Best friends from an early age through teen years. Their parents were friends. Ty comes from and abusive father. The Bryants took Ty and his mom under their wing and have always included them in family activities.
Amber has had food and self-esteem issues throughout her life. Tyler battles his self-esteem issues with his father. Amber always thinking she is fat, to the point she almost lost her life. It is a topic her parents to this day are sensitive about when they note her eating habits.
Tyler has always been her very best friend. He has always been in love with her. The feeling has not been mutual. From Amber’s side, it is more friendship, not love. Now Amber has graduated from college and is engaged to be married. She returns home to visit with her family and runs into Tyler. Tyler stayed in town and become a local paramedic.
Both Amber and Tyler are experiencing things in their own individual lives. Both are troubled in different ways. Even though Amber is engaged to med student Daniel, Tyler is excited to have his old friend back in town. Deep down he always hopes he has a shot. Amber starts second guessing her decision to get married.
They go out and have too much to drink, which leads to a sexual encounter. Things get out of control and Amber says, “no.” Tyler does not stop. This devastating experience changes the dynamics of this couple and everyone close to them, including their family, forever.
Hatvany explores both sides of the story, combined with her own raw emotion and personal tragedy. A sense of powerlessness and self-destruction behavior.
Amber doubts herself. How could this have happened? Her best friend. How could not remember the events and how they unfolded? What happened to consent? She soon becomes obsessed with taking the matter into her own hands. She will force him into admitting what he had done. Was he more like his dad than he wanted to admit?
The characters grapple with themselves as well as one another. Exploring healthy and unhealthy ways people respond to and recover from trauma, including revenge, therapy, obsession, denial, eating disorders, drug abuse, sex, support groups, social withdrawal, exercise, legal action, and violence.
A compelling look at a topic of rape; which is brushed under the radar more often than we may expect. Especially when the victim knows the other party.
Furthermore, when the parents are friends and the person is someone you have trusted your entire life, and now has betrayed you. Shattered lives. Someone will have to pay for the injustice.
Often the law fails the victim. More than one will have to possess the courage to step up and admit their mistakes and be prepared for the consequences. When events are not always black and white. Moral lines are crossed.
Powerful storytelling. Emotionally gripping. Struggling with the aftermath of rape, and domestic violence.
For fans of Diane Chamberlain, Heather Gudenkauf, Jodi Picoult, Liane Moriarty, Jennifer Weiner, and Sarah Pekkanen. An ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions. Another winner by Hatvany!
On a side note: When posting a review, I often link to the previous book, read by the author. However, when I scrolled back to reference all the books I have read by Hatvany, I noticed each book was a "5-star rating!" How often does an author consistently deliver quality, high-charged absorbing and timely issues?
It is rare. Why I wanted to include all the book reviews here by the author, for those of you which may be new to Amy Hatvany. An author you will soon move to the "top" of your favorite author list. Each book one is uniquely different with a critical takeaway message.
2011 Best Kept Secret
2012 The Language of Secrets
2012 Outside the Lines
2013 Heart Like Mine
2014 Safe With Me
2016 Somewhere Out There
A special thank you to Atria and NetGalley for an early reading copy. Stunning cover. Would make a great movie.