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review 2018-02-13 05:12
It Happens All the Time -- Excellent Reminder of Consent
It Happens All the Time: A Novel - Amy Hatvany

Excellent portrayal of why we need to see predators as human beings; because they are -- complete with their own justifications, reasons, understanding. A rapist is not a shady-looking stranger. A rapist is the "nice man" or "freckle-faced neighbor" -- all rapists are "nice boys" (or nice girls) to someone. Until we get this through our heads, we'll never stem the tide of violation.

 

This book is about consent. About consent between friends, and how two people can see one interaction in powerfully different ways. It may be a tough read for some, and it's certainly not the greatest book I've ever read, but it's a good one.

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review 2018-02-05 21:21
Wow. Rave Review About Book that Discusses Acquaintance Rape
It Happens All the Time: A Novel - Amy Hatvany

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. 

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review 2017-08-16 21:51
Are we discussing the issue of consent with our sons?
It Happens All the Time: A Novel - Amy Hatvany

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. http://www.themanifeststation.net/2017/03/26/conversation-not-sons/

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review 2017-03-26 19:48
It Happens All the Time
It Happens All the Time: A Novel - Amy Hatvany

By: Amy Hatvany

ISBN:1476704457

Publisher: Atria

Publication Date: 3/28/2017

Format: Hardcover

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.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/08/19/It-Happens-all-the-Time
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review 2017-03-22 17:12
It Happens All the Time/Amy Hatvany
It Happens All the Time: A Novel - Amy Hatvany

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.

 

Ugh, this book was so important and covered such an important and rare perspective that although I didn't actually like it that much, I so highly recommend it.

 

Hatvany does an extraordinary good job of transitioning between sections. The book is told from two perspectives across multiple stretches of time, and although the chapters didn't indicate explicitly which part of the year they were being told from, it was always completely clear to me, which I found to be incredibly effective. I didn't get lost ever and I felt like the author guided me very clearly through the story.

 

I think this book is important. I think it tackles huge topics. I think Tyler's perspective sheds so much light on similar people's thought processes. I think today's society needs this book.

 

But I didn't appreciate the events that prompted the ending. I didn't like how one incident, the one that opens the book, influenced my entire thinking. I would have liked to have seen the actions that one character would have taken had he not had this outside event impacting him. And for me, that seriously detracted from the book.

 

And I didn't find Tyler's character to be as sympathetic as perhaps I was supposed to. His friendship with Amber as he grew up didn't strike me as particularly meaningful. I wished Amber had reached out and found other friends, and I felt like when she was at university, she would have.

 

Mainly, I just never get particularly engrossed in this book. It was easy enough to read, but even though Amber was an extremely motivated and well-rounded character, the type I normally love, I found it hard to really get involved, and I felt like there were many points where I could have stopped reading and simply forgotten about the book.

 

So I recommend this book, I do, because it's important. But I think it could have been better executed.

 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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