Dear Jessica Hawkins,
Shel: It's 11 am on Lundi Gras and rather than watch the Comus and Rex courts meet for their formal ball on our local PBS station I'm typing a review in the dark next to my snoring husband. Why? Because it's the only sure way to possibly make my heart stop racing after the ending of Something In The Way. Dude, I should know by now that you're going to somehow annihilate the entirety of my chest cavity because you always do this to me, but dammit to hell, you really got me this time. Court: Right? How could we possibly forget that Jessica Hawkins is a pro at taking our heart out of our chest and squeezing on it a bit? In the best way possible, I promise...but her stories come to beautiful technicolor life in my head, and they make me wait with bated breath what will come next and almost have a palpitation. This one was no different, and Shelley made me anxious with all of the things she said about it! But it was quite an incredible read.
Shel: I knew when I picked up my kindle with your gorgeous cover on it and read the synopsis that it was going to be a killer read; it was. I knew when I cleaned my house and did the grocery shopping before I allowed myself to actually get into the novel, I was avoiding your novel because I knew 2 things: I wouldn't want to put it down and I knew this would be the start of a journey--a three book journey. Court: I was nervous about the three book journey part...and I still am, but not to the extent I was. This one at least answers a few questions for you before it ends, so you're not in dire agony but I have a feeling these characters are not in for an easy ride moving forward...especially in book two!
Shel: I knew as every chapter came and went and my inner sense of self preservation kept telling me to steel myself that it was going to be tough at some point(s); it was--just not quite in the ways I expected. You got me, dude. You absolutely threw me for a loop-- I was NOT expecting what happened to happen. FML, the ending. Court: Yes. No foreshadowing in the world could have prepared me for what happened. I didn't see it coming. I'm still in somewhat shock...and then thinking back to how things are in the mind of a 16 year old, and trying hard to remember BEING 16, and it is so hard. The emotions you feel then are insane, your relationship with your parents gets a little bit insane...and Lake has some serious family drama-llama going on here, y'all...Her dad. Sheesh!
Shel: I also wasn't expecting to have such a wide range of emotions for every Lake, Manning, and Tiffany. I predicted that I'd not like one or more of them--I couldn't predict that at points all of them made me frustrated--and I had no idea that I'd actually like them all too. Sheesh. My emotions were like ping pong balls at an Olympic gold metal winning round--zinging all over the place, with a quickness. I loved having Manning's perspective on the Kaplans and I am so glad that you've made all 3 people into really multifaceted characters; they were rich and had depth to them. What's going on here is more nuanced and complicated than I think I suspected. Court: YES! I agree totally. Shel told me a teeny tiny one liner of what to prepare for in this one, and now that I'm done I realize that yes, we have to both love and hate every single character we meet and question everyone. Such is life, that not everything or everyone is black and white or fit into a box, and each character is a piece of the puzzle.
Shel: I can tell that this trilogy is going to be epic. You're starting us in 1993 (great and accurate pop culture references, btw) and introduced us not only to the Kaplan family, but gave us a quick look into Manning's life, in addition to weaving some secondary characters who I hope will come back. My mind is whirring with all of the possibilities of where you could take us in these next 2 books and even though I kinda wanna die from not knowing how it will end, I'm really glad you're giving these characters the pages to grow and breathe and morph into who they'll be rather than trying to shove a quick storyline into one stand alone book. Court: I begrudgingly say that is smart too. It couldn't have been a stand alone. I cannot wait to see where we go from here, and will be hanging on for glimpses of how the next book is going so we can buy it come May! All nighters, here we come!
Shel: As I end this review, I'm slightly calmer but even more torn up--I don't even think I know how to feel about any of the characters or what's going to happen next, but I do know I'll be the first one in line to take the punishment (aka love) in books two and three. Court: Amen! Amen, sister! The cover was amazing, the story is original and Jessica Hawkins writing reaches out and grabs you and doesn't let go until the very last line. It was quite an original departure from what we've been reading, and I'm consumed by it. Need more, stat!
P.S. I love the book titles.
With much respect,
Shel + Court!
Title: Something in the Way
Author: Jessica Hawkins
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 27, 2017
It was a hot summer day when I met him on the construction site next to my parents’ house. Under the sweat and dirt, Manning Sutter was as handsome as the sun was bright. He was older, darker, experienced. I wore a smiley-face t-shirt and had never even been kissed. Yet we saw something in each other that would link us in ways that couldn’t be broken...no matter how hard we tried.
I loved Manning before I knew the meaning of the word. I was too young, he said. I would wait. Through all the carefully-chosen words hiding what we knew to be true, through his struggle to keep me innocent, and through infinitely-starry nights—I would wait. But I’d learn that life isn’t always fair. That no matter how much you achieve, none of it matters if you suffer the heartbreak that comes with falling for someone you can never have. Because even though I saw Manning first, that didn’t matter. My older sister saw him next.
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