Review: It Happens All The Time

Book Title: It Happens All The Time
Author: Amy Hatvany
Reviewed By: CHELSEA
Series: None
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Women’s Fiction
Goodreads

Date Read: 03/26/17
Pub Date: 03/28/17

5 STARS

“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.

If I’m being completely honest, this is the hardest review I’ve written to date. I won this book courtesy of Amy back in October and it’s been sitting on my shelf staring at me ever since. I had every intention of picking it up and getting this bad boy reviewed by January 1, but everytime I reached for it the lump in my throat and throbbing in my stomach won out and I chose an easier read. I’m going to stop right here and preface two things: 1) If you are wanting to go into this book completely blind (though I’m not sure how you would if you’ve seen any marketing for it yet) then stop right here. I’m not going to spoil the read, but I will be delving into the content matter a bit and wanted to give fair warning. 2) If you have a rape trigger, I normally advise against reading rape-related material, but if you’ve ever been a victim of sexual assault I’d highly encourage you to read this. Hopefully it’ll bring you some of the comfort you may never have received from your close ones at your lowest points.

“Violators cannot live with the truth; survivors cannot live without it.”
– Chrystine Oksana

 I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my face and snot pouring out my nose because I realized I’ve been searching for this book for the past decade; this coming October 20 will mark 10 years since the night I was raped. As difficult as it is to put those words to paper, it’s in the hope that I can reach someone who is silently suffering from a similar situation that needs an anchor. My intention is not to make this review about my experience or go into intricate detail; however, I want to establish the foundation of why this book is so necessary for women like myself. The media for years has pummeled our society with the notion that rape is a rare occurrence and only is acknowledged in the most brutal of circumstances. While film and literature tend to portray rape as only happening at the hands of serial killers, kidnappers, and psychopaths, most women are actually assaulted by someone they know, not a stranger. I spent many years questioning the validity of my own assault because my attacker was a “good guy”; he had always been kind to people and never once given the impression he was a monster of this sort. This book addresses that more realistic and messy type of situation and helped ease some of the confusion I had struggled with for years.

Consent– it is the entire foundation for Hatvany’s latest novel. I can already tell this book will ruffle some feathers and bring up all kinds of discussion and controversy amongst it’s readers. The plot revolves around Amber and Tyler; Amber is the only “miracle” child of her over protective parents (I could easily relate to this being an only child myself and the product of 10 years of trying to conceive after being told having children might not happen for my parents). She’s been shouldering the weight of feeling like she must succeed in everything to make up for the lack of other children her parents were unable have. Tyler moves in next door and becomes the older brother Amber never had; together they help each other through some extremely dark times, and although Tyler has always harbored feelings of more than friendship for Amber, she has never seen him as anything more than a brother. Enter here the controversy of consent. Without spoiling the read, we come to a point many years later that stops the reader in their tracks to consider their own belief on where consent lies.

All in all, this is the type of story that crosses genre barriers and holds us accountable for our views and how we treat victims. While this is a story about the attack and it’s ripple effect of consequences, it’s also a story of hope and redemption. Is it possible for someone to commit an unthinkable act and change? Can healing take place between two parties when this level of violation has occurred? I love how this book didn’t make it easy for the reader; there are no clear cut answers or magical happy endings. The reality of the attack altering Amber’s life forever is something all victims can relate to; while it is possible to work through the side effects (anxiety, depression, fear, and self-loathing) with therapy and sometimes medication, there’s never a fix all cure that can take back that horrible event. This book did, however, present the right questions that we as a society need to consider as we continually see rape cases being paraded across the media in a trivial fashion. If you are looking for a book that will grab your heart and cause you to think about some really tough, but timely issues, I highly encourage you to pick up a copy of It Happens All The Time. Amy chose to limit the graphic violence and sexual scenes; the rape scene is really a very small portion but I believe this made the book all the more powerful and readable while being less showy for the shock value. This is a story that will stay with me for years to come; I’m so proud of the author for sharing via social media her own experience with being assaulted at a young age, her drive to help overcome the stigma surrounding rape, and encouraging the support of victims everywhere.

*Many thanks to the author and publisher for providing my copy and the platform so that I would have the ability to share my own experience. 

**If you’ve been a victim of sexual assault, please don’t suffer alone. Reach out for help; secrets and trauma can only control you if kept alone and in the dark. I’ve included some national hotlines with resources to help victims of all kinds of sexual assault:

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

Self Injury Hotline
1-800-DON’T-CUT (366-8288)

Suicide Hotline  
1.800.SUICIDE (784-2433)

 

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About The Suspense Is Thrilling Me

Chelsea is a happily married mother of two who's love of mysteries can be traced back to her first Nancy Drew experience. When not reading and writing book reviews, she likes to drink wine in her jammies and pretend that she exercises.
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30 Responses to Review: It Happens All The Time

  1. Pingback: Weekly Wrap-Up: 3/31/17 |

  2. Wow, what a powerful post, Chelsea. ❤ Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. powerful stuff- no words just💚💛💜❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Emma says:

    There is nothing I can say that others haven’t said above already. A powerful post. I admire your honesty and hope that people learn from what you have written.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lollyrugs says:

    Wow what a fab and very personal review it took a lot of courage to share your experiences even though it couldn’t have been easy x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jessica's Reading Room says:

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    **Please note that this is NOT my review.**

    I want to share a fellow blogger’s review of It Happens all the Time by Amy Hatvany which was released today. I wanted to share this review at is it very powerful and it is an important issue that all women can face: Rape and the issue of consent. As I read the review I could tell all the emotions Chelsea went through as she was reading it. This is a book I hope to read sometime soon. It looks to be a book that every woman needs to read this book! Read it now!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. raven avery says:

    Amazing review and you’re so brave sharing something so personal x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. novelgossip says:

    This review! I’m knocked off my feet Chelsea, you’re so brave and strong, I’m honored that you shared this.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a great review, Chelsea. You have so much courage to be able to speak about your own experience. My heart goes out to you. I will be reading this book.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Chelsea you have blown me away with this honest and emotional review!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Overwhelmed by your sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your review has left me speechless, so powerful….it takes a lot of courage to share your own experience and I’m positive that you have touched and helped many others by doing so❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Very powerful review, Chelsea. Now I have tears too. 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow, this sounds like a really heavy, but necessary read. I commend you for sharing something so personal in your review as well. That can’t have been easy. Great review Chelsea! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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