Review: Something Like Spring (Seasons #4) by Jay Bell

Nothing in this world is permanent. Friends, lovers, even family, can all disappear in the blink of an eye. Without these anchors, it’s all too easy to find oneself drifting.

Jason Grant doesn’t have much, aside from a beat-up old guitar and knack for getting kicked out of foster homes. His latest placement is set to be just another in a long line of failures. Then he meets Caesar Hubbard, a handsome guy who lives down the hall. For the first time in his life, Jason wants to stay, which means learning to be part of a family, and not letting his feelings—or his actions—ruin his first real chance of falling in love.

Something Like Spring introduces a new character to the Seasons story, one with a troubled past and an equally turbulent future. Jason must traverse a winding road fraught with emotional conflicts and tough decisions… a road that might just lead to a certain couple in Austin.

We all have our favorites. Our favorite authors, our favorite genres, our favorite themes. Wanna know mine? The Seasons series has them all.

I'm really starting to fall in love with YA. I love the innocence and the excitement young characters have for each other. Now, I wouldn't really consider Jason innocent because of things he's seen and gone though, but when it comes to love, he's pretty innocent. And it was adorable! He fell head over feet in love with Caesar. Quick. I loved their excitement with each other and all the newness of their relationship. Everything Jason did with and for Caesar was 100%. He was without a doubt committed to his boyfriend, his high school boyfriend who, he believed, he would be with forever and ever. It was so bittersweet, as we all know where this will be heading. Can a character find, stay and be with a boyfriend at such a young age? Not in this series, they can't. *rubs hands together* Bring it, Jay Bell! Hit me with your best, angsty shot.

I love to fall in love with characters, as we all do. This series in particular has a set of characters that I can't get enough of and Jason fits right in with the rest of them. He is such a realist but so hopeful at the same time. He hopes so hard to find people to love and to love him back. He wants a home and a family, he wishes for these things and he never really stops wishing for his own romance story.
"I would love to be out walking my dog and run into some cute guy walking his dog. Naturally that would lead to us talking. Then we'd start meeting in that same place every day, like little ten-minute dates. After weeks of this, maybe even months, we'd agree to meet without the dogs. Unchaperoned, so to speak. That would me romantic. Way more so than a party or a bar."
*sigh* He's such a sweet romantic. But, again, he's a realist. He knows what to expect of people and what not to expect.
"I don't want some guy I have to impress or one who feels like he needs to show off. I just want someone who loves me that I can love back. Simple as that. That's all it takes. I don't really care about honesty or being totally understood or any of the other stuff because being human is all about messing up and breaking trust and telling lies. I wouldn't want to be with someone perfect. Just some humble, totally normal guy will do."
I really liked this about him. No unrealistic expectations, just love me and let me love you back. That's all he ever wanted. And after mending his broken heart, he found this in William. It took some work (and by work I mean scheming that had me laughing out loud), but Jason eventually got what he wanted.  William was great and he was worth the wait. He was everything Jason deserved and more. They were sweet and loving together, but don't think this lands us in HEA-ville. Not yet, my dearies, not yet.

I can't bring up characters without mentioning Ben and Tim. Oh, how I love their love. I love how I could feel how much they mean to each other and how they are just meant to be. But at the same time, Ben and Jace's relationship was never made to feel less. Ben belongs to Jace just as much as he does Tim.

Not only do I love the characters I should love, but also the ones I shouldn't. Darn you for being so likeable Caesar! I should hate him, but he's so charming and cute, so instead of hating I just want to muss up his hair and say, "Oh, you. Get outta here ya big goofball."

I love books that span a long period of time. I enjoy meeting and staying with a character and then watching their journey unfold. At the end of Spring, I was able to look at where we started with Jason. He was a lonely, teenage boy, in and out of foster homes, purposely getting kicked out, having a hard time finding someplace he fit in and wanting love in his life. Then at the end, I sat back and marveled at how far he came from that lonely boy to the happy and loved man he is now. So much happened in his life, so many heartbreaking and wonderful things that turned him to a character that will have a special place in my heart. I just feel so honored that I had the chance to experience his story.

I love unpredictable stories, ones that take me away from the typical M/M romance tropes. I really had no clue which way Jason's book was going to go until about 95% or so when I had to pick my jaw off the floor. Then, I had no doubt. But up until that point I was on pins and needles in anticipation. Who will Jason be with? Who should he be with? I had no idea. Who do I want him to be with? He had two great loves of his life, two guys that I loved, so I didn't know what I wanted for him either. I was just as confused and conflicted as Jason. It made everything about his story so real to me, like I was right there with him. I couldn't believe the array of emotions I felt in such a short period of time. And then! Then when it all did come together. *dreamy sigh*
"You weren't my second choice. You were the right choice."
Then it was all clear, as it should have been from the beginning. I should have seen it coming, but the brilliance of the writing had me right in the moment. I wasn't thinking about before or after, just right now. Brilliant, I tell you, brilliant.

Which brings me to the last thing I love: emotional books. This series has emotion in spades. My good god! Just seeing Jace, Ben or Tim's name on the page for the first time in Spring got me all weepy. Why? I guess because I have such a strong, emotional connection to these characters that their mere presence brought me to tears.

There weren't too many any huge, dramatic issues in Jason's life but still, the littlest thing or gesture would make me cry. Again! Stuff I would never usually cry over. It was getting ridiculous by the end and I was getting annoyed with myself, but I couldn't help it. I just wanted so much for Jason that any bit of happiness he could grab onto hit me right in the chest.

Oh! One more thing. I live for epilogues. And this one? It's to die for.

The Seasons series pushes all the right buttons for me. Every. Single. One. I can't get enough of this world and the characters that live in it. It really is my ideal type of story. Now if only we could fit a slave boy somewhere in there... *taps chin thoughtfully*

Like I said, we all have our favorites. Favorites that we love to shout to the rooftops about and recommend to everyone we know. If they don't enjoy it... ah well, better luck next time. Right? Yeah, that's my usual reaction, too. With this series? I get a little put out if someone doesn't like it. Is that ridiculous? Yup. Do I know how silly it is? Absolutely! Will I stop getting offended when a friend doesn't enjoy this series? Probably not. I just love it too much for that.

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