Publisher: Atria Books
*Publisher approved request via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Gripping, indeed. One message that stuck out the most is that it didn't matter if you knew the person and trusted them. Sometimes they were the same ones to turn around and hurt you. It Happens All the Time can attest to that and so much more.
I loved how the author gave us the chance to look into each character's life and understand who they were as people. A lot happened to both Amber and Tyler, and it was nice seeing how they bonded as children and grew up together as best friends. There were hints every so often that Tyler was nearing the point of doing something horrific. He had a miserable excuse of a father and his mother was a whole nother situation. Coming from such a family and seeing how his father treated women, one could only expect Tyler to do the same. No matter how sweet he came off and did his best to not turn out like his father, the seed was already planted and the fact that he never got counseling was a huge mistake.
Amber, on the other hand, had image issues throughout her life. And Tyler had helped her deal with that greatly, so when he ended up hurting her in such a way, my heart broke right along with Amber's. Everything they'd shared--years of friendship--had disappeared in one night. And what pissed me off, even more, was the fact that Tyler wouldn't even fess up, and even had the audacity to blame Amber. She literally had to shoot it out of him, which is the reason why I gave the book 4 stars. I hated that Amber took that route and had to hope Tyler would cover for her afterward. That just sucked to me, and I wish he would have talked about his problems sooner and gotten the help he needed so it would never have gotten to that point.
Still, I'm happy with the way the story ended. Not many assault victims are granted the same sense of justice. I've read that the stats are pretty low in that regard and how victims are often blamed and shamed by society, so it makes coming forward even more difficult. That's really sad. I just hope things will change in the near future and that more and more, boys will be taught from early how to respect women and understand that no means no, no buts about it. Thank you for your wonderful story, Amy.