Published by Covenant Communications Inc on October 5th 2015
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Handsome twenty-eight-year-old Will Hallerman has finally had enough of the dating world—he's ready to find a wife and settle down. This announcement is catastrophic in Hannah Becker's world. After knowing Will her entire life and adoring him from afar since junior high school, she realizes her chance at love with him is in grave danger. Hannah's problem? To Will, she will never be more than his best friend's little sister. Determined to open his eyes to her charms, Hannah sets out to sabotage Will's wife hunt by placing nightmare dates in his path and taking his search on a wild goose chase. Her plan is risky, but she's willing to take a chance to catch the eye of her soul mate.
Despite her crazy schemes, nothing seems to be working. Hannah can't help but wonder if it's time to set aside this childhood crush—to move on and settle down herself. She's ready for a fresh start with a great guy. If only Will weren't suddenly changing the rules of the game... And how can Hannah move on when Will just won't let her forget?
Probably the best, most articulate and skilfully-handled brother’s best friend trope I’ve ever read, in what is a witty, yet analytical and oh-so compelling dissection of what unrequited love actually is. In Hannah and Will, Melanie Jacobson examines the finer points of a crippling emotional burden and the overwhelming feelings associated with it – in many cases, these haven’t been given space to catch up to match one’s intellectual age especially – and how one plucky and very brave woman negotiates its very tricky waters.
I was amazed at the way Hannah was characterised: with so much aplomb in her manipulation of Will that actually revealed the immaturity of a crush that had never gotten worked out, and then with the utter, gutting rawness when she finally gives it all up and lays herself bare before the man she’d always loved, to the self-doubt and the pain and the very honest aftermath that she goes through before her deserved HEA comes along.
But an unrequited love story is just as tricky in the way it frames the unreciprocating and unsuspecting ‘victim’, particularly if it is the best friend’s brother whom you’ve known forever…and has become a comfortable good friend who dates other women. How then, will this poor sod deal with this big revelation when punched in the face with it? How could said sod’s own feelings ever match the image (and feelings) that his admirer has built up of and for him? To this end, I was more than happy to know at least that Ms Jacobson doesn’t go down the easy path of using platitudes to explain this process and thus avoids sidesteps with the definite ‘I’ve always loved you’ kind of declarations. I appreciated above all, the author’s tentative exposition that feelings, on the victim’s part can grow nebulously, whether acknowledged or not.
Telling the story deliberately in Hannah’s very distinctive and very perceptive voice cements readers’ allegiance to Hannah, but I wished I could have read this story in Will’s POV, because in my mind, he’ll still – and probably for a very long time yet – need to work to deserve someone like her.