Something in the Way by Jessica Hawkins
Rosa's rating: 5 of 5 iScream Cones
"It felt as if her goodness could actually be enough to heal my ugliness. To fill the hole in me."
Something in the Way was my introduction to Jessica Hawkins. The synopsis intrigued me and I decided to give it a try. I'm sooo glad that I did. This installment is the first in the series and has the burden of laying the groundwork. It was my opportunity to meet and spend time with Manning & Lake. To learn their history. To feel their pain. To stand in the gap and have hope when they lost it. Yup, I'm holding out for my HEA, in spite of my broken heart.
Lake is a nerd. There's just no other way to describe her other than innocent. She's an overachiever in the academic department. She's a good girl who would never think of disobeying her parents or arguing with them. Well, that used to be who she was. Until she met him...
Manning is a broken man. He's surviving, just getting by. He's alone, with no family support, or close friends. He's not looking for a relationship. Especially not with a 16 yr old girl. But he can't help the protective side of himself she brings out. He's drawn to her, curious about her strangely mature yet innocent outlook on things. She's wise, soaking up details like a sponge. She seems to understand things that she's never been exposed to, with an instinctual responsiveness that makes her easy to be around. He enjoys picking her brain and hearing her take on life. He wants to be her friend, to help her, to keep her safe. He knows she has a crush on him, but he's determined to treat her like a little sister. Even going so far as to date her big sister. At least that way he can still spend time with her, without being considered a perv.
Lake is in love. Yeah, she knows that nobody would ever believe her feelings are real. She's never even been kissed, or even wanted to...until him. Of course, the first boy she is interested in isn't a boy, he's a man. She's a smart girl, very smart. She knows she's too young for him. But that doesn't change how she feels. Her heart doesn't have a switch that she can just turn off because it's a bad idea. When her older sister went after him, she's struggled with feelings of guilt and jealousy, another new experience. Manning opened the door to a lot of new feelings. Admiration, infatuation, insecurity, love, and lust. What was she supposed to do with those feelings when she needed to keep them to herself? How could she contain them, without them overflowing and ruining her future?
This eyebrow-raising thought provoking journey took me to places I wouldn't have thought to go in my mind. I worried and sighed with concern, and I smiled and laughed with enjoyment, and then I raged at the circumstances that forced them to accept what they couldn't change. Their connection is undeniable, and their future is undetermined. There's just something in the way, and there's nothing I can do about it except bite my nails to nubs while I wait for the end of the story. The line forms here...