Friday, June 21, 2013

Review: Something Like Summer

Review: Something Like Summer

So remember that one time that I put all this work into this blog to post my book reviews and the like? Well let's just revive this a tad for this one. 


Love, like everything in the universe, cannot be destroyed. But over time it can change.

The hot Texas nights were lonely for Ben before his heart began beating to the rhythm of two words; Tim Wyman. By all appearances, Tim had the perfect body and ideal life, but when a not-so-accidental collision brings them together, Ben discovers that the truth is rarely so simple. If winning Tim’s heart was an impossible quest, keeping it would prove even harder as family, society, and emotion threaten to tear them apart.

Something Like Summer is a love story spanning a decade and beyond as two boys discover what it means to be friends, lovers, and sometimes even enemies.

Read more here:
Something Like Summer by Jay Bell

My Review:

Words can not express properly the love that I had for this book, but let me fill you in a little bit going on in my life. Struggling with infertility as I have been, and the realization that I have in fact officially grown up has hit me a tad harder than I ever expected. With my daughter's anxiety issues, a great deal of pressure from the opposing party, and clearly no longer her favorite parent it's been very hard for me to wrap my mind around anything. A Girl Scout leader, a softball mom who didn't miss a single game, and a part time photographer who also works full time as a paralegal, I don't have time to devote to over zealous books that read like a textbook. (i.e. Anne Bishop's Daughter of the Blood, which we read for Book Club and I hated) So when I read a book, I don't want to think, I want to be swept away.

Like watching TV, I want the images in my head to be nice clean and simple, and the story to flow so that it can keep me interested. I want to laugh, I want to cry, I want to feel good inside, and most of all I want the story to be something that stays with me. As books (for many reasons) are accomplishments that I keep trophies of on my shelf.

Something Like Summer is that book and more.

It was my birthday yesterday, one that I shared all my life with my mother's only sister who passed away 8 years ago from cancer. I often shut myself away, refusing to answer my phone or hang with friends. We always celebrated together, dinners with our small intimate family that I cherished as a child. With her gone, I honestly just want to be left alone.

So I started the book in the morning while my husband and fuzzy cat slept beside me, moved to the couch and eventually after hours I realized I would have to surface to feed. I grabbed my kindle, keys, and headed out to my favorite spot for lunch where I read for the next four hours. With my hair down, a summer dress, and a bright open blue sky I settled down to continue.

Hours later, I didn't care that people heard me laughing, as I giggled to myself through funny moments or watched me blush as the very well written inmate scenes made me wish I was in fact back in bed with fuzzy husband, but as I realized I had been hogging this table for well over half the day I figured it was time to make one more purchase just to cement my spot. 

A loyal shipper you see, I keep to the same couple, and though this one kept me on my toes. It took a man holding his cat in his sleep to help me ease into the idea of another. I'm a loyal creature, who can count her sexual partners on one hand, which for my generation and location is pretty unheard of. It was hard for me to let go of the idea of the build up of another pairing when I so helplessly wanted to cling to another. But you see, I too have a man who loves a cat, and that cat--Like Jace's cat, is perhaps the only thing we will ever have as a child together, or so the doctors say. 

So I fell in love again, and a few hours later while I was sobbing into my mug to help hide my embarrassment (I'm not a pretty crier) I'm glad that I did. To me, those tears that I shed for this book were cleansing in more ways than I could count; as they helped me let go of so many pent up emotions, and be carried away. 

It wasn't until finally dinner rolled around and my husband and best girlfriend met me downtown for dinner, I was made aware of the chocolate I had on my face (like my eight year old after ice cream). Ann made the comment that I seemed lifted, relaxed, and renewed. She was right, because I most certainly was. 

And I have a little friend named Benjamin Bentley to thank for it. 

Let's Get Technical: 

I picked up a book once by Jay Bell (who totally shares my last name) called Language Lessons and I remember not being that impressed. It felt rushed and dry, as often short stories do, but I'm going to have to go back and re-read it again just to make sure I even finished it to be fair. So let's skip this part and go right into Something Like Summer. 

Now I may not be the most educated person, but I certainly didn't see any misplaced commas or typos that jumped out at me. Nothing made me stop the book and go "Oh, note this for a review that totally didn't need to be there", everything flowed so perfectly. 

I really appreciated how he made time jump, by real quick little paragraphs about how things were moving along and what was happening. I also really really really appreciated how vivid the background of the story was. I'm not a huge Texas person, but this Woodlands place? I could dig it.  

I'm working through the second book in this series now, Something Like Winter, so I'll refrain writing the one thing I did have negative to say about the book as I think this will fix it, and just make my closing statement. 

To Sum It All Up:

On my kindle now I have part two going, and in the beginning Jay Bell writes a bit of a....warning to his readers in his Author's Notes, and I quote: Happy couples are boring, and I refuse to write boring stories. -Jay Bell, October 2012

Well Jay, you certainly held true to your word in Something Like Summer, I certainly wasn't bored, and for a Gemini born with a horrid ADHD problem and given the big ole 'learning disability' title, (who sat through Superman going OMG END PLEASE) this book held my attention from beginning to end. It was a pleasure to read, and a beautiful tale about growing up, falling in love, and realizing just how important the people around us truly are. It stayed with me through the day, and made my birthday an absolute pleasure for the first time in a few years.

I needed this book, more than words can truly express.

Thank you.

Also, Happy 150th Birthday West Virginia, we've shared that same date for a few years now (you more so than me). I am very happy to call you home, and my beloved Mountain Momma. Here is to 150 more! 

~The Appalachian Owl 

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