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.
I have been sitting on this for a while now.
First, it took quite some time to get into the action seeing it all from Tim's side. I have problems with people who are untruthful, and Tim? He doesn't even tell the truth to himself.
Second, I was still angry with Tim from the last book, Something Like Summer, and I had to come to terms with that.
Third, it is a very hard book to sum up. At least, if you want to make a good job of it. And I do.
So here's me trying my best.
I loved it. Bet you didn't expect that, seeing the intro up there, huh? But I did love it, and I loved Tim, this broken, unhappy, sad and lonely character, who finally finds a voice to transmit what and who he is to me. A beautifully lost young man, who ends up finding himself.
Fantastic. Mr Bell, I hand it to you. A platter full of the most delicious kudos. I did not think you would be able to make me like Tim ever. But you were. You did it. I do. And I loved the epilogue that took us a bit further into the future.
I'm not big on spoilers, so I'm not going into the intricate dealings in this story. Suffice it to say that I adored many things in this book, but especially Tim's Mexican Nana, and her new priest. This is Tim's interaction with her on that, and it went straight to my heart:
"The priest, he is younger than me, but he says that love isn't a sin. You love a woman, you love a man, you love a tomato. God is happy, because he created love."
Tim stared at her. "Do you agree?"
Nana shook her head. "No one should love a tomato. But the rest, yes."
Gotta love that Nana. And her priest.
There are several more stories woven into this one, and Mr Bell intelligently gives us suffering and death, addiction and mental illnesses, without ever lecturing us on any of it. It just IS.
And while this is an M/M romance book, there is very little sexual action, (which I realize might be off-putting for some people), but holy hell! if it doesn't make it all the more fantastic. Some stories just don't need the sexing. This is one of them.
It broke my heart in all the right places. "...because of course it was summer. Whenever Tim pictured Ben, it was always summer."
Language-wise it would have benefited from one last editing run-through. I found both silly errors and the omnipresent confusion between the verbs lie and lay. I am fighting a losing battle, I believe.
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