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Jay Bell led a quiet life in Kansas until the day he met a handsome foreign exchange student named Andreas who swept him off his feet and carried him all the way to Germany. Much to their delight, marriage awaited them when they got there. While living so distant from friends and family, Jay began writing in an effort to reconcile the mixture of devotion and alienation he felt. This resulted in a Lambda Literary Award and a film option for his best-selling novel Something Like Summer. Jay and Andreas have since relocated to Chicago where their adventures continue, as do those of the characters in their emotionally driven Something Like… series. Jay pens the stories and Andreas provides the cover art, making them books about love, forged by love.
on Nov. 06, 2014 :
The only thing I didn't like about this book was the ending. The story kind of ended when it wasn't finished yet. I could have gone on reading and reading. I can hardly wait for the new one in this 'new' series. Please go on writing.
(reviewed 14 days after purchase)
on Oct. 09, 2014 :
So! 6 hours glued to the screen, and I've finished Something like Lightning! Just reached the end minutes ago. JAY BELL YOU TEASE!!!!!
I enjoyed the read. Although I am disappointed that I did not cry reading this book (I did for every other Something Like book), I really, really enjoyed your portrayal of the personalities of the characters. The previous books, the main characters were all kind of on the nice side of things, you know? Now you threw me Kelly and Nat and wow! You portrayed rebels, and you portrayed them very naturally! Didn't feel forced at all. Even in Kamikaze Boys the main cast was rebels, they were still conventionally nice. Not so with Kel and Nat, haha. I liked it!
I am disappointed in your portrayal of Kelly's color, however. Although it's a good thing that his color was not mentioned through most of the book (it shouldn't be an issue to begin with, right?), why are all of his love interests white?
I guess the greatest missing quality of Lightning is the emotional intensity. It's not just the making-the-reader-cry thing... I mean, reading each of the 4 Seasons books always had times when my heart pounded, feelings welling up inside my through pages upon pages until I could not take it anymore and simply had to burst out crying. I simply do not feel that reading Lightning. But hey, at least no one died this time.
The part from Kel's modeling onward did not feel as deep as the story up to that point. It was really, really great from the beginning up to the triathlon - I enjoyed the chemistry development there. Kelly and William's building tension was absolutely brilliant - THAT is the level of emotional intensity I expected from you, but it was too short. I remember the experience of reading about Jason and Ceasar's fall out in Spring - I was on the verge of crying, screaming mentally JASON NO WHAT WHAT NOOOOOO DON'T DO IT but I had to keep reading because the tension, the suspense was so sweetly cruel. Had the thing between Kel and Will been developed EVEN further, you driven the knife slowly further and further, and twisted it very, very surprisingly and very mercilessly, you would have squeezed a few good torrents of eye liquid out of my face.
The development between Kel and Nat was not as great, and it feels shallow. It feels... rushed, and there was not enough depth developed. I hope this will be compensated in the exploration of Nat in Thunder.
I noticed that Lightning is considerably shorter that the previous books. Damn, see the reading time. I remember reading Spring from 1PM to 1AM, while Lightning only took me 6 hours. Were there time constraints? Length limits? Financial matters? Are there difficulties in your life? Can us readers help?
Although I miss the emotional intensity, Lightning DOES feel different from the 4 Seasons books. The... atmosphere, the underlying generic feel feels distinct. I think it is ultimately a needed change, or the series will turn stale sooner or later. It needs to be free from Ben and Tim and all the others, right? Or it will simply be reruns and milking of stories that's already delivered its message. On this regard, Lightning set the stage well, and I'm hopeful to see how the seeds you sow there grow in Thunder.
I'm not pleased with the cliffhanger at the end, as it leaves me feeling unsatisfied. But I guess this means Storms is a multi-book story that will have its plot completed as a series, unlike Seasons which was different perspectives on an expanding core story? If that's the case, then I won't be really bothered by the hanger as much. (But of course still hate the waiting tho - j/k take your time!)
I enjoyed having my feelings turned for the villain, haha. In Spring, I simply pictured Kelly as this evil, evil thing that is so annoying. Reading Lightning turned the table and I actually found Jason annoying, haha. That really put some real thinking going on on my part. No one does anything evil given their model of the world, as a book said. Really put that into perspective, and that alone is a great experience. Really good job on making me love who I used to hate!
Since Thunder will be about Nathaniel, I would love to read a book more about William. Oh that adorable guy! Also, have you considered a book about Marcello? THAT will be super exciting! And also Victor from Autumn, of course, but then that would be a book too painful to read.
Also, have you considered taking a break from the Something Like universe? With more and more books, I guess it's very difficult keeping all the relationships and facts together to ensure absolute continuity. How about another book like Kamikaze Boys? God I enjoyed that book.
Anyway, it was a great read, and I look forward to spending money on your upcoming books!
(reviewed the day of purchase)