A friendship is torn apart after the heartbreaking decisions of one tragic night.
From the first moment that Tyler Hicks saw Amber Bryant, he knew that she was special. After moving to a new town as a high school sophomore and dealing with his parents’ subsequent divorce, Tyler leaned on Amber—as well as her family—to help him through the difficult times. After struggling with an eating disorder that led to a heart attack, Amber needed Tyler’s friendship, too. While Amber preferred their relationship to remain platonic, Tyler dreamed of no one else but her. After moving back home from college, newly engaged to the seemingly perfect Daniel and ready to embark on her career, Amber feels confused and overwhelmed. Her relationship with Daniel has moved quickly but also transitioned into a long-distance one. While she certainly loves him, there are still elements of her life that only Tyler knows. Most confusing, Tyler is still fixated on her, and she knows it. After a night of drinking and partying, their relationship is forever changed, and Amber spirals back into a dark hole of depression and harmful behavior. The novel begins with Amber pointing a gun at Tyler and demanding that he drive, and from that moment it travels at a quick pace. From Amber's and Tyler’s alternating perspectives, Hatvany (Somewhere Out There, 2016, etc.) delves into the issues of friendship, power dynamics, and consent. While for the most part both Amber and Tyler are complex and well-developed, sometimes the heavy-handedness of the plot dominates the characters. Hatvany does well in elevating the stakes for the protagonists, both of whom have so much to lose. Similarly, the characters on the periphery are also well-done and interesting—from Tyler’s womanizing and crass father, Jason, to his EMT partner and frequent voice of reason, Mason.
With nuance and compassion for her characters, Hatvany reveals the fallout of the ultimate betrayal of trust.