Monday, October 23, 2017

Release Blitz & Review: Move the Stars - Jessica Hawkins

Move the Stars (Something in the Way #3)

by Jessica Hawkins
Published: October 23, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

LAKE: It was a hot summer day when I met him on the construction site next to my parents' house. If I’d known then what I do now, would I have kept on walking? Manning was older, darker, experienced—and I’d trusted him when he said the story would only ever be about us. I’d held those words close and challenged fate, but I had lost.

A part of me is still that sixteen-year-old girl squinting up at Manning, but no matter how far I fall or high I soar, I’ll always be a bird without her bear and nothing without him.

MANNING: When I close my eyes, I can no longer see her. The decisions I made were to push Lake in the right direction—away from me. But now that she’s gone, would I have made those same choices?

I’d walked away like I was supposed to. I’d kept my distance. I’d bent over backward to keep Lake pure, but she’s no longer that girl, and I don’t know if I can stay away anymore. I only know I don’t want to. She’s still everything I want and nothing I should ever have, but if anyone can move the stars, it’s her great bear in the sky.
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5 stars
(I'd give wayyy more if I could)

Move the Stars is the conclusion to Jessica Hawkins wildly successful Something in the Way series. It's the story of Lake and her forbidden love for Manning, an older man whose life hasn't been easy, who believes he would tarnish innocent Lake and hurt her chances of having a good future. He takes up with her older, experienced, and headstrong sister, Tiffany. Boundaries are tested, and broken, as Lake tries to be both a good sister to Tiffany and a strong contender in the race to win Manning's heart. Over time their lives took different paths, but when those paths cross again Lake and Manning find that time has changed nothing. They are older and wiser, but the hurt and lust is just as heavy as that first moment when they realized they couldn't have each other.  He'll always be her bear and she'll always be his birdy, but the stars have other plans for them.

"Fix it, I thought. Fix me. Tape my paper heart back together."

Starting Move the Stars was difficult, the second book in the series, Somebody Else's Sky, ends in a way that left me, as a reader, hopeless. It made me feel like I did when I lost my first great love as a teenager, not understanding or aware of all that life had ahead of me. Lake was just like that, so when Move the Stars starts and Lake was a bit different than I expected I was surprised. Like all things, time healed and covered some of the wounds, and like we all do with time she has grown up and changed. Tiffany is still her sister, Manning is still with Tiffany, and the love Lake holds for Manning is still present, only covered up with dreams and goals she is working to attain. Told from dual perspectives, Move the Stars takes readers on a journey through Lake's future, through Manning's future, through the lives they lead as individuals. It's a book about happiness, sadness, youth and life lessons. At times I cried endlessly and other times I smiled happily as I devoured every word Jessica Hawkins gave us.

"I worried it was too late for that. This wasn't about trust or love anymore."

It is hard, as a reader, for a book to span several years time. Oftentimes the characters do not read the same, they change entirely as the years pass by, and sometimes it's like their past has been wiped from their memory. It's easy for an author to think time allows them the opportunity to change everything, using time as an excuse. Jessica Hawkins doesn't do that, she manages to age her characters perfectly as the series takes place over several years, ending with a fairly large jump of time. Jessica Hawkins' characters are like real people, they are shaped by what happened in their lives and they are stronger, smarter, and different because of those changes. Lake, Manning, and Tiffany go through so much character development during the time between the first page of Something in the Way and the last page of Move the Stars. They are each jaded in different ways, they aren't the same naive youth they once were, but at their core they are still the same person, with the same love and hurts, and their point-of-view reflect this. I struggled with it at first, part of me wanted Lake to always be her 16 year old self and for Manning to always be the ruggedly handsome man from the construction site, but when I finished the book and set it down I realized that I was happy she finally got the happiness she so desperately wanted out of life, because she finally seemed the most ready to accept it, trust it, and love it right. Of course I was sad that it took so long and took so many heartbreaks for her to finally get her happiness, but it all felt right, especially with everything we get in Move the Stars. I would love to say more, but it would be impossible without giving away spoilers. There are so many twists and turns that Move the Stars takes to get readers to the conclusion and so much happens in the lives of Lake, Manning, and Tiffany.

"I was sixteen, eighteen, twenty-two again, unable to move or think or do anything but watch him come toward me."

Move the Stars is a work of art, it's obvious that Jessica Hawkins put a lot of work into it and very apparent that she became emotional as she wrote too as it was impossible not to cry along with the characters. There were several times where I started to lose hope, where I wondered if any of the characters could ever be truly happy, if there was a way for Jessica Hawkins to end this book that works for everyone involved. I love how it all ended, it just takes time, much like any real life heartbreak and massive life change would. I was really impressed with the life lessons each character has to learn, the revelations they shared with one another, and how time almost worked as a secondary character to move things forward. The entire series, and this book in particular, will stay with me for a long time. It's the most authentic story about love, loss, friendship, and family that I have ever read and it will sit on my favorites shelf forever.

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