Photographer: Perrywinkle Photography
Cover Design © R.B.A. Designs
Cover Model: Chase Williams
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.
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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The ones that keep you up at night (I was up until 1am) the ones that make your heart jump in your chest, that make you want to skip ahead to the ending to relieve the tension (I didn't but I would be lying if I said I didn't think about it fleetingly, a time or 2) and that make you cry. Not sniffle, but actual tears.
The scene in the snow, by the cab, at the door, in the hotel...my heart skipped a beat while hanging out in my throat and about to jump out of my chest.
There were tears, and at the end I was a bawling mess. Literally, sniffling with tears running down my cheeks.
It was perfection.
And, I am not going to say it was easily achieved perfection. The author, the characters and the reader put in the work to get to the happily ever after for Lake and...well, I am not going to be the one to tell you, because here is the thing about this book. It is Lake's story to tell, Lake and the other characters who are living it, and the author who wrote it perfectly. Telling you what happens would spoil so much.
There are changes in the characters, in Corbin, Lake and in Manning. Changes in the ways they relate to one another, and this happens in life. Events of a single day, a week, a year, 5 years...you are a different person for the sum of your experiences, and those experiences build over time. A single day can matter, and change the course of your life.
This, at it's core, is what this book is about. It's about living your life, and working your wants and needs in with what fate has in store for you. And, finding the balance, and coming full circle so the things you wanted are the things you can let go...and so the things you never though you could have are the things you find yourself living.
Was I happy with all of the characters at all times through the book? Nope. Not a little. I was mad, I was frustrated, I was enraged, I was annoyed....and I was engaged with them every step of the way. All of their actions were believable...is this to say there was happiness the entire time? Nope. There was angst.
There is also cheating. Because, in order to tell this story there has to be. And, if you have read the first 2 books (if you haven't what are you doing here? You need to read them first, this is not a standalone) you know it is coming. That boundaries are going to be pushed, that you are going to want it to happen with your whole heart but, if you are like me, questioning with your head if it is right.
And, really, how amazing is the book that can get you to ask serious questions, to grapple with emotions, and to wonder if you are feeling the right way toward the characters? Answer? It's a book that is astoundingly good, perfectly plotted and written with an impressive precision for the story, the characters and the plot.
This book doesn't lend itself to a plot based review, as there are spoilers there. Literally from page 2....and, I am not going to do that to you.
I will leave you with this. Jessica Hawkins is a one-click favorite author of mine because of books like this. Books that challenge boundaries, and make you question what you would do, and make you want things with the characters. She writes books that leave you wrecked, but in the best possible way.
If Jessica Hawkins writes it, I am first in line to read it. 5 Stars is not a high enough rating for this book.
It'd be easy to post a review full of spoilers-but I hate that. I will say that this book is the most satisfying, most perfect way to end this trilogy. This is not a standalone-and if you haven't read the first two books in the series RUN and do so. Then come back to this book and prepare for a binge read.
This book had my focus from the very first line. I ignored texts, PM's, emails and just devoured the words this author gave. Lake, Manning and hell, even Tiffany and Corbin, demanded my full attention. At times I was angry with all of them. At times I sympathized with all of them. I cheered for them. I wanted each character to have the ending that was worthy of them and I really think they did.
I grew up during the time period this book was set in. All the subtle references and nuances were so perfectly woven into this story. There were little things that made me chuckle, things that made me sigh.
This writing in this book (and the trilogy overall) was SO vivid, so real that I felt like I was in the story with these characters. I saw everything they saw and I felt everything they felt. Sometimes I wish I HADN'T felt so deeply but these characters and this author demanded it.
I know some people had very definite opinions about how this book should be written. But the best thing I can say is that I didn't. I didn't have a definite thought because I trusted this author to take me on this journey. She was the one who brought Lake and Manning to life for me and I had faith she was going to give me the ending that was worthy of them. Was it an easy journey for these characters? No, absolutely not. Which meant sometimes it was hard to read-but oh my god was it worth it. I had tears running down my face several times throughout this book and I wouldn't change it for the world.
Jessica Hawkins was an author a friend introduced me to last year-and I'm forever grateful to that friend. Books like this are WHY this author is a one click author for me, why I recommend her to other readers. Move the Stars was a roller coaster ride for me, full of dips and twists, curves and loops. I wouldn't change a single second of this ride-and it's one I'll go on over and over since I'll definitely re-read this book. I highly recommend this book.
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