Something in the Way
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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.
Something in the Way is book one in an epic, three-book saga of forbidden love.
Book 1 in a trilogy.
Something in the Way was about three characters that bonded together yet found themselves in a love triangle. Manning kept both sisters close in honorable ways by encouraging them in different ways. Manning took the reins as a role model and guided these two young sisters. Manning knew the consequences of his friendship with Lake was a situation others would not understand. Trying to convey that to Lake who was not worldly was difficult. Lake's youth caused unexpected reactions on an impulsive level that began a dangerous game entrapping Manning.
Jessica told the story from Lake's POV with a few chapters including Manning's POV. Jessica captured the essence of each character with extreme beauty. Reading about Tiffany's transformation at the hands of Manning was supremely touching. Manning was great with these sisters being able to teach them how to respect each other and show Tiffany how important she was as an older sister who had to be a good role model.
Lake's character was an innocent and naive sixteen year old girl studying college prep courses in preparation for USC. Tiffany her older sister by three years had the same expectations from her father but chose a different lifestyle. Charles Kaplan was a USC alumni who wanted the best for his daughters. He planned both their futures from the time they were born. When Tiffany stubbornly chose to defy her father he turned his attention to Lake. As a consequence, Tiffany's parents became too lenient with her and too strict with Lake. Mom became team Tiffany while dad became team Lake.
Lake focused on school sacrificing her youth with reading and extracurricular activities to add to her application. Therefore, when it came to boys Lake had no experience. Unlike Tiffany who spent her time dating and exploring guys.
The parents banked on Lakes success to overcompensate where they failed with Tiffany. The parents were afraid Tiffany's influence would rub off on Lake.
Construction was taking place across the street from the Kaplan's house where Lake met Manning. At twenty-three Manning was a gentleman with common sense and control. Manning became a role model guiding the girls like a brother. Except Tiffany and Lake were both attracted to him. Tiffany was a nineteen year old girl who asserted herself physically and vocally towards guys.
Manning was aiming for honorable intentions with both girls unknowingly to himself what his attention was creating. Manning provided hope and encouragement to the sisters in different ways trying to guide them both into young women deserving of a good man.
Jessica captured the essence of Lake's feelings with such beauty. The way Lake's innocence shined and blossomed was truly magnificent. Every time I had an idea Jessica confirmed those thoughts by revealing the words through Lake's character.
Jessica high jacked my heart. The circumstances in Something in the Way went way beyond what I imagined. Jessica hooked me from beginning to end. The entire triangle of friendship between Manning, Tiffany, and Lake was a learning lesson in life so unexpected.
“You have so much to learn about life." This quote was the perfect summation to this story. These characters had so much to learn about life. The way Jessica created certain circumstances to illustrate how true that statement was messed with my head.
What a kick off to this trilogy!
What a kick off to this trilogy. When we meet Lake, she is 16, her sister is 19 and Manning is 23. Manning and Lake have an instant connection to one another, but he knows it's wrong to feel anything for such a young girl. At first it was a protective instinct and then as they got to know each other he started to fall for this young girl, but knew that nothing could ever happen. The only way to see Lake was to date her sister. Lake was never a girl that was into boys, clothes or makeup. She focused on school and doing what her dad wanted her to do. When she met Manning, she felt things she had never felt before. She was jealous of the time he spend with her sister, but understood they could just be friends.
This story is a great introduction to these characters and what they mean to each other. The relationships are well laid out and we see all of the cracks and crevices of each of the characters. I fell hard to Manning as he fights himself time and time again and blames himself for something that happened in the past that he can't change. The writing is powerful and had me devouring this book in a day. I loved it. I can't wait to see what's to come! May can't come soon enough!
Slow Burn Coming of Age Perfection! 🔥❤
What an incredible start to this coming of age story! I was immediately captivated by Lake and Manning and devoured this book! Growing up in the same time period as the story took place in only enhanced my enjoyment and I loved all of the pop culture and music references. I honestly felt like I was right there with Lake back in the 1990's.
The writing was beautiful and I experienced so many emotions while reading this book. Jessica Hawkins captured the excitement, anxiety, confusion, and butterflies of falling in love so perfectly. Lake was such an intelligent and mature heroine, but at the same time she was vulnerable and girlish, teetering on the cusp of adulthood. Manning was brooding and dark, but behind the walls and hurt was a man trying to rise above the circumstances of his life. Honestly, all the characters were so genuinely imperfect that you couldn't help but relate to them and root for them to overcome the odds.
I don't want to give anything away so please forgive the vagueness and brevity of my review. Just know that this story will take you on an emotional journey you won't soon forget. It is a slow burn romance that will lift your heart one minute and then rip it out of your chest the next. Something in the Way is the first book in a three part series, so please hold onto your hearts and have the tissues ready!
*I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this title*