Thursday, July 27, 2017

Review: It Happens All the Time by Amy Hatvany (audio)

Title: It Happens All the Time
Author: Amy Hatvany
Narrator: Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
Published: March 2017, Simon & Schuster Audio / Atria Books
Length: 10 hours 2 minutes / 320 pages
Source: Audio - Personal copy via Audible / ARC E-copy - Netgalley via Publisher

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.

My thoughts: I have to admit...I actually finished this book a while ago, but needed time to digest the book and process my thoughts on it. Not that I didn't like the book - because I did, but this story is so powerful and heavy. Amy Hatvany is known for taking on subjects that need to be discussed and boy does she do that here.

This book is definitely not for the faint of heart. It's a tough book to read - it has a lot of trigger points - it deals with sexual consent and the aftermath. But, it's also about how we treat victims. This is a heavy book, make no mistake about it. It's told in alternating view points from Amber and Tyler's point of view and so we are able to get inside both of their heads, see how they each view what happened leading up to and after the "incident."

I liked how we were able to see the whole scope of Amber and Tyler's friendship. I think this was important to the overall message of this book.  We see how they came to be friends and even the ups and downs of their friendship, and then the events leading up to that night. But it is seeing how they each felt about that night that really shows just how different they each viewed things. This is where having the story told from both sides really shines, really makes an impact.

This is a brutal, raw, honest look at what unfortunately happens only too many times in today's world. The writing is compelling and will have you wondering just what you would do if this were happening to you, your daughter, your sister, or friend. It's a book that will take you down an emotional journey and leave you with much to think about. And it's a book that you need to share with all you care about - especially those young people in your lives! This book is definitely a must read!!!

Audio thoughts: This was a tough audio book to listen to, but a powerful one. I admit, there were times I had tears streaming down my face, though had I been reading the book, I think that would have been the same. Julia Whelan is one of my favorite authors and I thought she did a great job with her narration. Kirby Heyborne is new to me and he did ok...his voice wasn't as strong as I was envisioning, but it worked. I do give both narrators a lot of credit for being able to narrate this book - it was a heavy book to get through and they were able to give it all the emotion and support it needed when necessary.


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