The Blonde Bookworm: It Happens All the Time by Amy Hatvany -- Review

It Happens All the Time by Amy Hatvany -- Review

Monday, April 3, 2017

Title: It Happens All the Time 
Author: Amy Hatvany
Pages: 320 
Publishing: March 28th 2017 by Atria Books
ISBN: 1476704457


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.  


This may be one of the most difficult reviews I've ever had to write. I mostly read light hearted fiction novels so It Happens All the Time was a little out of my comfort zone. Hatvany tackles an uncomfortable topic, but one that is often pushed aside and ignored. She wrote a story about rape, but not just an assault or abuse story, one that is relevant and incredibly important to men and women today. This is a story of a young girl and her best friend and how they are put into a situation that many have faced and have been afraid to come forward about. Hatvany attempts to shed light on the ugly truth of rape and does a fantastic job.

There were so many emotions running through my mind while reading this book. The main thing I kept thinking about was advice that I was given back in college from a mentor. She always reminded me that "no" means no, but she also reminded me again and again to always be aware of the situation that you put yourself into. I am by no means saying the incident was Amber's fault, it absolutely wasn't, but you are in control of your surroundings and your consumption of alcohol and drugs. Always be mindful of how much you have to drink, where you are, and how you present yourself. You have to protect yourself against similar situations. 

The other side of the story is the male side. Amber told Tyler no, but he didn't listen. At that point, it didn't matter what Amber did leading up to that moment. She said no and she meant it, but Tyler didn't respect her decision. Rape is a pretty black and white term to me and Tyler definitely crossed the line. In the end, I believe Tyler faced his mistakes and wanted to make sure a similar situation didn't occur again. 

All in all, It Happens All the Time is an intensely heartbreaking story about what rape can look like. I think the story was incredibly relatable because Hatvany formed the characters into people we could know and love. I personally didn't love the book, but it did open my eyes to the topic of rape and I think it was an enlightening read. I am not giving it a full star rating because I don't think it is a book for everyone. You have to be in the right mindset and prepare for the intensity of the novel. I would definitely recommend it to people who have gone through similar situations as it might give you some peace of mind about your feelings and experiences. 

Thank you Atria for sharing the novel with me! 

Rating 3/5

National Sexual Assault Hotline
1-800-656-4673 [24/7 hotline]


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