Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Give Me Books Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
Oh. Wow. My previous experience with Jessica Hawkins's books was her Slip of the Tongue trilogy, but none of those prepared me for how different this series starter was! Something in the Way was an unexpected read but in an absolutely fascinating way. It laid the foundation perfectly for the story of sixteen-year-old Lake Kaplan, who discovers things about herself after meeting twenty-three-year-old Manning Sutter over the summer of 1993. The two forge an unlikely friendship, but Lake is also beginning to feel stirrings deep within her that she's never experienced before. The seven-year age difference between them may be a stumbling block for whatever romantic notions Lake may have but she and Manning share a connection that defies convention. Then a distraction comes along--Lake's rebellious and beautiful nineteen-year-old sister Tiffany--and proves Manning may never be Lake's.
I totally understood how Lake could fall for someone like Manning because had I been sixteen and a guy like him stole my breath the way he did Lake's, no stumbling block could get in my way. Heck, even if I weren't sixteen, falling for Manning would have been a no-brainer. The guy ticks off nearly all of my boxes as far as the ideal book boyfriend is concerned. The one thing I would have held against him was his being with Tiffany, who I wasn't a fan of. Tiffany was selfish and self-absorbed and didn't exactly treat Lake well. However, there's something about her--a brokenness of sorts--that made me a tiny bit sympathetic to her constant need for validation and attention. That doesn't mean that I liked her by the time I finished this first in a series of three novels. She reminded me a tad too much of someone I've cut out of my life, so I'm sorry to say that she remains on my list of characters I can't stand.
But it was sweet and innocent Lake that was the brightest star of this coming-of-age story. Yes, she's about two and a half decades younger than I am today, but I don't have to be sixteen to recognize a part of myself in her. She's one of those main characters that may be mature for their age but still have a great deal of growing up to do and I can't wait to see how Jessica Hawkins will continue to develop Lake as the series progresses. I'm also antsy about seeing where book two will take us, especially with that cliffhanger ending that had me wishing it were already May. The bond she shares with Manning is an extraordinary one, but even as I start forming likely scenarios for these two, I have a feeling that they're going to be forced to face even more challenges, both apart and together. This series starter is, hands down, Jessica Hawkins at her finest. I'm awarding five stars to Something in the Way. ♥
Release Date: 27 February 2017
Date Read: 27 February 2017
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