Saturday, February 26, 2011

Something Like Summer by Jay Bell

I stumbled upon Something Like Summer while looking for something to read on Trevor, my Kindle.  The blurb sucked me in and the price was right so I downloaded it and settled in to read a bit before turning in for the night.  BIG MISTAKE!  I ended up not being able to fall asleep until I finished it.  This is one of those books that I just could not put down until I saw it through to completion.  The story follows the life of Ben Bentley from his junior year in high school through to his thirties or so.  Ben is a cool gay character in that he comes into the story already sure of himself and his sexuality.  He is open with his family, has their support and is out to the public at large.  Ben does take some teasing at school but he handles his situation well and the only real issue with his life as a gay teen is that he's lonely.  As the only gay boy in his school, or as the only one who will admit it, there is really no one for him.  His best friend, Allison, has a steady boyfriend but Ben is alone and longing for a love life of his own.  Then the summer before junior year he falls for someone.  Ben doesn't even know his name, only that he goes running most days and that he owns the most ridiculous electric blue running shoes. 

Over the course of the story we see Ben grow up and move through the phases of life.  Just as he gives up on love, he meets Jace and they set off on a great romantic adventure.  Jace is Tim's exact opposite in some ways and I really love to see the relationship between Jace and Ben.  It's funny that I hadn't seen a picture of Jay Bell before reading the book because when I saw his picture on Goodreads after reading it- he was the spitting image of the Jace in my mind while I read the books.  Very funny.  I loved Jace's character because even though he was the settling, mature influence in Ben's life- he was also quirky and fun.  Tim was annoying through most of the book.  He grew and matured at a much slower rate than Ben did.  Even though he learned something before he and Ben would meet for the second time, he was still not in the same emotional place as Ben.  Tim took all the way until the last chapter or so to really come out a changed man.  It was a satisfying  change but a slow one.  This book read like watching a movie of Ben Bentley's life at certain check points.  It was so inviting, fun and emotional.  I laughed and cried while reading Something Like Summer.  I also found the general message of the story and many of the lines in the book inspirational.  I would strongly suggest this book to the typical YA and Adult crowd, however, there are a number of "sex scenes" that may prove too graphic or unsettling for some readers.  I had no issue with it but everyone is different.  Overall, I loved this book and I am so glad that I stumbled across it in the Kindle Store.  It is one of those books that has left me forever changed. 

Something Like Summer earns 5 Fairies for an amazing book that touched my heart.

You can learn more about Jay Bell on Goodreads or his website.  You can also check out his other books on his website.  Jay can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Myspace!

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