Something in the Way by Jessica Hawkins: 5/5 stars!!
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.
Jessica Hawkins is a wonderful, engaging, almost haunting writer. I don’t know if it’s just the topic of this book that made me think, but this book exhausted me in a very good way. A coming of age story with a forbidden love element, Something in the Way tells the story of 16 year-old Lake, a serious, college-bound high schooler who meets 23 year-old Manning, a construction worker contracted to the house being built next door. This book is set in the early ’90s, which is incredibly refreshing and adds to the book’s haunting simplicity (at one point, Lake’s older sister is waiting on a call from a guy who is calling the land line, not her cell phone!). While there is drama (because there’s always drama when girls are involved), it’s realistic, serious, and very pertinent to the love element. I won’t go any further because I don’t want to spoil anything.
I highly recommend this book for its writing, its relationships (all of them), its freshness, and its touch on a serious subject. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, as well as Jessica Hawkins’s other works!