If you follow this blog, you’ll know how much I like and admire Jessica Hawkins. She’s awesome. So when she announced that she was releasing a new book (kind of surreptitiously actually – she never wants to make a big fuss) I was super excited. She’s done the odd standalone, but she really is a serial kind of woman.
Something in the Way will be a trilogy (trilogies I can handle – 5-parters and I start to tire!) and I was quite curious about this series so decided to ask a few questions (and basically be a bit nosey).
Me: Jess, hi. It’s been a while since we’ve spoken – you’ve been busy and written 3 books since I saw you in June! I have a few questions…
1. When you had the idea for Manning and Lake did you know it was going to span 3 books?
Jess: I knew instantly, yes. The story grew so large and so fast in my head that there was no way it would ever fit in one book. Book 1 was the tip of the iceberg as far as I’m concerned…
2. What kind of timescale will this trilogy cover?
Jess: I don’t want to give too much away, but it will happen over a long period. Many of my other books span weeks or months — that won’t be the case with Something in the Way. It’ll be years…
[Ooh – interesting…]
3. Did you have any qualms about the age difference of your main characters?
Jess: No qualms. I love a good forbidden story, and I’ve always been interested in exploring the teenage girl’s “crush” mentality. I always thought it would be a teacher-student story, to be honest. I worked very hard with my editor to make sure Manning and Lake’s relationship was right for the story. In terms of their physical relationship, I quickly learned that I didn’t need or want to cross a single line to tell this because the story was so much better without it.
4. Was Lake’s dad based on anyone real? – because… he’s kind of an asshole!
Jess: Maybe! Definitely not my dad, who is extremely supportive and who, in fact, patiently talked me through the various legal scenarios toward the ending. However, my brother went to USC and 3/4 of my family is cultish about it (me being the 1/4 who isn’t). 🙂
Book: Something in the Way book #1
Release date: 28 February 2017
Main characters: Manning Sutter, building contractor and seemingly without a family. Lake Kaplan, obedient daughter about to embark on a future that’s already been mapped out.
Blurb: 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.
Why you should read it: The writing in this story is beautiful. The dialogue, the evocative sense of a certain period in time was spot on. The writing flowed and it accurately depicted both the mindset of a teen girl and a young man. It set the scene for the series and also gave a good sense of the characters. Lake is quite immature by today’s standards – but it’s part and parcel of her sheltered upbringing. Her parents have clearly overcompensated with Lake, since their ‘failures’ with her older sister, Tiffany. This series is going to be a nail-biter and heavy on the angst, but if it’s done as well as in this book, I don’t think it will be too much.
What you might not like: As I said before, we’re dealing with first love and a main character who, although intelligent, is severely lacking in any street-smarts. She’s sensible for the most part, but inevitably, the moment she decides to cut loose and do something a little out of character, all hell breaks loose! This provides much of the drama, and I guess we’ll have to see how the story unfolds.
Rating: 4/5 for a promising start to a series that will cover a significant amount of time! It does end on a cliffhanger of sorts, so note that book 2, Somebody Else’s Sky isn’t out until May 2017.