Review: Something Like Stories (Volume 2) by Jay Bell

The Something Like… series is drawing to a close! Before it ends, reunite with favorite characters and meet others for the first time in this special collection of fourteen stories. Highlights include Something Like Champagne, in which Marcello searches for the truth behind a drunken vision. In Something Like Bunnies, a young Jace Holden struggles with his first crush. Ben and Tim return in Something Like Memories as they debate when exactly they should celebrate their anniversary, and Jason finally makes an important decision about his future with William in Something Like Sun. Joyful reunions and tearful goodbyes await you, as do many affirmations of love, in this second volume of short stories.

I don't know where to start. I really, really don't. This is all going to come out in a jumble so I ask your forgiveness in advance.... please and thank you!

Okay. Firstly, this has been on my to-review pile for a while and I feel I should apologise to Jay Bell, and I would, but *I'm not speaking to him at the moment, or possibly ever again because MY HEART HURTS TOO MUCH. AGAIN. I'm not a fan of short stories and I think that's why I've put off reading it (yep, that's what we'll say, it's not because I'm a wimp). I personally think short stories are hard to get right and often find that authors who do fab novels don't hit the right spot for me short story-wise. Of course, this is Jay Bell, so I should have known better. I would tell him, but see above.*

Secondly, Jay's writing is amazing but oft times bloomin' harrowing. I've still not finished SL Autumn because I just can't. I did think that short stories wcouldn't be that bad and I was completely right... until I was wrong. A cat, Jay Bell. A freaking cat. You git.

Thirdly, I never know how to review anthology/short story compilations. Do I write a review for each story? Pick a few to concentrate on? Or just give a summary of the whole?

I know, right! Choices. Decisions.

I've decided to go for the summary option because frankly all you need to know is that every story in this book was a 4 or 5 heart read. Mostly 5 but I can't be too generous now, can I? There is something for everyone in here. Something Like fans - don't put off reading this (I'm surely not the only one who did?), it's such a fantastic way to read about the interim parts of various characters. 

As I was going to sleep last night I had a really clever (snorts) analogy worked out to describe the way these stories fill in the gaps of the books but fuck if I can remember what it was beyond it involving water...So in a non-clever way I'll say, these little insights to the characters lives that happen between the stories, or off page, or from another perspective are amazing. Each one can change how you view a story or character - let's face it, this is what Jay Bell does best. Everyone should read these books, even if it's just to gain understanding of the complexities of people and how to learn about people's actions/motives/perceptions/perspectives. 

Seriously, we know from the novels how cleverly this is shown, how we can 'hate' a character in one book and love him in the next, even set in the same timeline and events. These stories just add the decorations on top of the icing on the cake. They're the hundreds and thousands on top of the cherry. 

Each story is different though. Some are funny, some sad, some a little off the wall - but what they all have in common is fantastic writing and a need to read on, read more, gain that extra bit of understanding. The Something Like world is our world. It's the people we do and do not know. It's just brilliant.

My personal favourite is the last one (even though it's the reason I'm *no longer talking to the author). How anyone can write like that, from that perspective and still be so real and so loving and heartbreaking I don't know. The only other author I can think of who managed it is Michael Morpurgo. It's a talent and if someone explained the story I'd have been all 'nah, you're good mate, I'm not reading that, totally not my cuppa tea.' But they didn't and I did read it and I am so glad, and sad, and happy, and confused that I did.

So I say to you, dear reader, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE read this book. 

*NB: just for the record, I am really still talking to Jay Bell. Mostly.

A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.

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