Review: Something Like Summer by Jay Bell

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. If winning Tim’s heart was an impossible quest, keeping it would prove even harder as family, society, and emotion threaten to tear them apart.

Something Like Summer is a love story spanning a decade and beyond as two boys discover what it means to be friends, lovers, and sometimes even enemies.

"Too sad to review yet, my heart needs to recover. I think a girl should be warned by fellow Unicorns if her heart is going to be stomped all over."

This is the status that is still on my goodreads review from when I read this book back in January. Jay Bell is a favourite author with many of the Unicorns and after all their chat about how brilliant he was I decided I need to try some of his stuff. Naturally I chose the series he is best known for and started with Something Like Summer. And I loved it, I really did.

Jay Bell has a very easy to read style of writing. His characters' draw you in and make you want to read more...and a bit more...and maybe just a tad more...
I loved Ben and Tim. They were both so well rounded, neither were perfectly good or completely bad. Do bad things happen to good people? Damn right they do. Do good people make ill advised decisions? You bet. It wasn't clear cut, straight forward, black 'n' white, good and bad.
As well as Ben and Time we meet many other characters, Alison and Jace are two that feature prominently. They are brilliant - Jace particularly stole my heart, he was fun and loving and kind and generous, I have a thing for many secondary characters and Jace is a winner in my book.

The story is written in three parts, 1996, 1999 and 2003. We see Ben grow up, deal with his feelings, with his friendships and relationships. Like many of Jay Bell's books this has a secondary storyline of bullying. It's there, subtly woven into the story, showing enormous understanding of the mental toll bullying can have.
The story was apprehensive - yet satisfying. It was angsty in a natural way, a way that didn't feel forced or conveniently there just for the story. It was romantic - boy was it romantic. Love is definitely an overriding theme in this story - and not just sex though that's there *cheesy grin* - but love, proper, in your soul, love.

So why the long time without a review? This book is fun, it's dramatic, it's romantic - it's that book you can't put down. The characters draw you in, you become embroiled in their lives. It's the kind of book that gives you the worst book hangover. But, at times, it's sad - like I said it broke my heart. It wasn't that the ending wasn't happy but the journey was difficult. It's taken me this long, in a totally good way, to prepare myself to write this review.

I'm being vague because I would hate to ruin this book for anyone - I think you all should read it. But my kindness to you is to tell you to get the tissues ready beforehand and maybe some sellotape to help patch your heart back up at the end.


  1. Great review! Yes to the book hangover. I remember the day after I read SLS it was on my mind for at least two days. I couldn't stop thinking about these characters and the huge impact they made.

  2. Thanks Breann - I know right. Fab author, fab book.