Something Like Summer

Rated 4.33/5 based on 12 reviews
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. More

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About Jay Bell

Jay Bell never gave much thought to Germany until he met a handsome foreign exchange student. At that moment, beer and pretzels became the most important thing in the world. After moving to Germany and getting married, Jay found himself desperate to communicate the feelings of love and alienation that surrounded this decision. He's been mashing laptop keys ever since.

Jay is a Lambda Literary Award winner and a fairly bad dancer. He also thinks that you're really cool. Seriously.

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Reviews

Review by: Helena on Aug. 05, 2014 :
I felt like the book was more about Ben and his love endeavors than about Ben and Tim's love story. I do understand this is Ben's POV but I wanted to know more about Ben and Tim as a couple. Other than that this was a very well written and enjoyable read.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Abel Calderon on Nov. 22, 2013 :
This is the ultimate love story between two boys, first part of a series of four, all masterpieces, this story on Ben's side takes you to another level of expectation, romance, bravery, realization about life, and love.

Amazing!

You can't get tired of Jay's stories.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Anna Lund on June 23, 2013 :
A brilliant novel about friendship, coming of age, coming out, staying true to your self, and about how life throws you curve-balls.

This was a quick read, but for some reason, many of the sentences in it have stayed with me for days, making this book an enjoyment, something that keeps giving. I adored the language and the images Mr Bell painted for us, and I especially loved how one teacher really made a difference for Ben. Her comment:
"Love isn't meant to be hidden away and life is too short for shame." really resonated with me. Also, attacking the many-headed hydra of deceit and cheating, Mr Bell's "Who knew that a single kiss could be so expensive?" shattered me.

I loved this story, and I am looking for more from the same author.

***
I was NOT asked to read this book by anyone, I paid for it with my own money, as I do for all the books I read, all the music I listen to and the movies I watch.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Peter Hooper on April 02, 2013 :
I found this book to be quite a pleasant read.But i thought the ending a bit too pat.All tied up with a pretty bow.But still enjoyable.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Lotta on Jan. 10, 2013 :
I found this book through a review on Goodreads. It was a nice and quick read, with engaging characters and good dialogue. I like how different Ben and Tim are as people, where Ben has a real inner strength from the start and is true to himself, and Tim, who is outwardly successful and popular, really does everything to keep up appearances.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Kantarawee Khayhan on Dec. 08, 2012 :
It's a very good book. I like it very much.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Glen Monaghan on March 18, 2012 :
This is a great read. Keeps you not wanting to put your ereader down!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: henster on June 10, 2011 :
It was written in a simple way what enabled the reader to open oneself up to emotions that reflected from every word. It was emotionally hard on the reader by speaking about how life is rather than illustrating it. This book was filled with purity and innocence, the reality that one should always love the simple things in life. I liked how the author knew what details where important to tell and what where not (for example, descriptions of sex were elegant). It is a story from the heart of the author that he was able to transport perfectly into my heart. Jay Bell, I thank you for making me believe in love again in this crazy world!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Joey JoeJoe on April 23, 2011 :
A really good read, if I had the time I wouldn't have stopped reading until it was over. It's so easy to read. I didn't want the book to end. In some ways it just felt like the main character Ben's life was just something you REALLY want to keep happening, you want the book to be a bottomless pit. The only thing I found however was the fact that occasionally way too much of a timeline is simply waved off in the matter of a sentence or two, but no grudges held since it's a fun roller coaster of a book.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: tizzy boo on Feb. 05, 2011 :
This novel was absolutely wonderful and I do agree with Ann Somerville in one thing, that it was rediculously UNDERPRICED!!!! I could not put it down and read it in one sitting (crying throughout, of course)in a good way! It's a very well rounded out story and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for something of substance to read. The characters in the story will make you love them!!!!!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Ann Somerville on Feb. 03, 2011 :
This is a coming of age story, and a pretty convincing one. The characters are credible, though not always appealing. The standard straight girl friend is credible without being ubersaintly or self-sacrificing (as too many of these kinds of characters end up being), but her story takes a back seat to the main action - sad, because one could have written a novel about her alone, and this story, told from her perspective, might have been a better book. Unfortunately, the author doesn't flesh out the nicest guy in the story as much as he could have, probably because his interest is in other characters.

Line editing and presentation are professional. Standard of writing is mostly decent, with some amateurish touches here and there, but this is a cut well above most self-published books, and certainly above many books in this genre. The pace is rapid - almost too rapid, as a main flaw with the story is the failure to allow the reader to fully enjoy or appreciate the emotional significance of certain life changing events on the central personalities. This swift passing over, along with an over-reliance on telling not showing throughout, means this novel is less satisfying than it could be, and should be, given the intensity of the subject matter and plot.

The story held my interest right through to the end, but I was dissatisfied with the ending. There are only a few ways to resolve a triangular love story, and I have to say the author chose not only the method I most dislike, but the one which did the least justice to the characters. (I'm trying not to spoil the story, that's why I'm not going into specifics.)

The growth of Ben from inexperienced teen to older and wiser adult felt real, as did Tim's transition from spoiled but affection starved closeted rich kid to spoiled but affection starved out gay man. I really liked Jace, and his impact on Ben was delightful to watch. What was bewildering was Ben's continued attraction to a man who never grew up enough even to look after a dog properly, who is prepared to lie and cheat and tempt to get what he wants regardless of how much pain he causes in the process. Despite the character's internal protestions, Ben's interest in Tim seemed to be mainly sexual, from teenage years to adulthood. Not a lot to build a future on, in my opinion.

However, this is not a bad book, just one which didn't live up to its potential as much as *I* would have liked. It will certainly appeal to many readers, particular young gay men who will identify intensely with the issues of homophobia, closeting, fidelity, monogamy and self-awareness. They may also be closer to the actual setting of growing up gay in Texas, with all the 'pleasures' of highschool in modern America.

There's much to enjoy and it is a pleasant read regardless of what faults I personally felt it had. It's excellent value for money, and ridiculously cheap for a novel of this length and quality.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Alexander Schneider on Jan. 16, 2011 :
I have just ended reading this nice new novel from Jay Bell and... I am going to buy more books from this guy immediately! :)

The novel is very easy to read, the story just floats in front of your eyes and creates more and more magical moments. It is a gay romance which in it's start resembles the movie "Get Real" quite strikingly, however it sheds the 90's feel of angst and self-pity of it somehow and works subsequently with characters maturing and changing over time. All but the main character. It feels to me that Ben is the only guy who is more or less stuck in this unsure self even that he proves to be more and more reliable and stronger than we would think in the first place.

I will not go into the details of the plot but the novel stretches several years - which is great and provides a larger canvas for the author - it seems that the author got more and more bored with the book in the end. The last several chapters are quite comprised and fast-paced. I would have certainly wanted this to go on a bit longer. Nevertheless it is a great read.

Overall - I can only recommend this book and hope that there is movie coming up soon based on this! :D
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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