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Saturday, April 1, 2017

(29)It Happens All the Time by Amy Hatvany

Amber and Tyler have been best friends since they were kids and their families have been entertwined for years.  They have been through thick and thin - including Amber's life-threatening battle with anorexia.  Now they are both adults and Amber has graduated from college and is back home before she moves to Seattle to be with her fiance.  The summer is fun and carefree for Amber, she and Tyler are spending more time together than they have since they were kids. He takes her to a Fourth of July party where they both had too much to drink and Tyler crosses a line that will destroy their friendship. Amber's life is turned upside down and she falls into the bad habits that nearly killed her all those years ago.  Meanwhile, Tyler denies that the events of that night were as Amber remembers them.  Will either one of them be able to get past that night?

It Happens All the Time is a book with a mission.  The author has a story to tell and she tells it from the alternating perspectives of Amber and Tyler.  Frankly,  I didn't find myself connected with either character, but less so with Tyler.  Her spent a lot of time trying to justify his behavior that night and it on the cusp of being ridiculous. His character just didn't seem authentic - at all.   I didn't really connect with Amber either, even though her history with an eating disorder was well document I took issue with her outlook on food, weight, and those who needed to lose weight.  Including her own parents. I found it incredibly judgemental and disrespectful.  My heart ached for what she went through that night with Tyler - her anguish was real. She kind of turned into a trainwreck after that night and it was hard to watch her spiral out of control.  There is no "right" way to handle what happened, but man - Amber was out of control.    I think the author gave both Amber and Tyler the endings they deserved and I was good with the conclusion.

Bottom line - It Happens All the Time was a difficult book to read. The characters were far from perfect and the subject matter could cause all sorts of triggers.  But, it is the kind of story that "happens all the time" and rarely gets told.  Be warned - the subject matter is tough, but the story is good.