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Something Like Summer Paperback – January 8, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453875042
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453875049
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (317 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


One of Amazon's selections for Best Gay Books of 2011, a Lambda Literary Awards finalistand soon to be a movie from the makers of Judas Kiss.

Praise from Queer Magazine Online: "'Something Like Summer' not only has lots of passion, humor, angst, and twists and turns, it also takes an in depth look at how the choices we make in life affect not only ourselves, but everyone around us."

Five stars from ALPHA reader: "Jay Bell has written one of the most heart-felt and sincere M/M romances I have ever encountered. This is a love story that spans twelve years - a story all about getting a second chance with 'the one that got away'."

More About the Author

Jay Bell never gave much thought to Germany until he met a handsome foreign exchange student. At that moment, beer and pretzels became the most important thing in the world. After moving to Germany and getting married, Jay found himself desperate to communicate the feelings of love and alienation that surrounded this decision. He's been mashing laptop keyboards ever since.

Jay is a Lambda Literary Award winner and a fairly bad dancer. He also thinks that you're really cool. Seriously.

Customer Reviews

It is a beautiful book with believable, well written characters.
B. Hodges
I think Something Like Summer really tore me apart in a way that I'll never forget, and I'll always remember Ben's life and compare it to my own.
Each one tells pretty much the same story with additional stories but from the point of view of one of the other characters.
Patrick Camacho

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By MARC A DIXON on January 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
My criterion for a great read is simple. You can't put it down! That's what I experienced when reading, "Something like Summer." I was immediately invested after the first couple of pages, and then it was all about the Benjamin. It surprised me how quickly I was enticed by the main character's candidness, wit and innocence. The author skillfully reminded me all of things that I loved about friendship, crushes, lust and hope. While at the same time dealing with the intrusions of mundane tribulations that always seemed to interfere with the best parts of life. OK, so maybe I identified too closely with Ben's journey, or perhaps the object of his affection felt like a reward for the injustices that he had to endure. You'll just to have to read it to find out. What I will tell you is prepared to alter your life for a short time, cause once you start reading this book, I suspect you'll have a hard time concentrating on your daily grind, until you know how this one ends. It was that way for me, and I hope it will be the same for you as well.
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57 of 64 people found the following review helpful By splitz2008 on January 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm currently halfway through reading this book and had to stop just to take it all in. It's amazing. So much better than any other "gay story" I've ever read. It's inspiring, heartbreaking, and thoughtful. I find myself smiling while reading it and laughing at some witty humor, but I also find myself with watery eyes. The characters are so well thought out, so real, that I can't help but believe that they actually exist somewhere. Like I said, I'm only halfway through and I'm already in love. My only concern now is whether or not Jay Bell is going to seek out the movie deal that is well deserved for a story as heartfelt and daring as this. A story like this needed to be told. Gay teens are out, they are being taunted, but they are also having sex, and for too long we've had to choose between stories of romanticism, sex, and coming-of-age. Thankfully, this book now provides all three in a manner that is real, not merely fantasy. If you don't read this book, you're missing out. But, like I said, I just want it to become popular so a year or two down the road I can watch a few cute actors play out this story!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Elisa on February 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
What could have been a simple and harmless coming of age story in the '90, in the hand of Jay Bell becomes a somewhat surprisingly deep and a little sad quest of a young man towards his future.

Of the many trouble gay kids I have read about, in novels filled with angst and drama, Ben Bentley is probably one of the luckier: he accepted he was gay at a more or less young age, around 14 years old, and after some months spent being the best "secret" friends of his fellow schoolmates, he decided to come out; this event had two consequences, one positive, his family is supportive of him and his mother arrives to give him relationship advices, and one negative, he has no more friends if not Allison, a same age girl who was a former friend of his older sister. But sincerely, being Ben in high school and almost read to face the big brave world, one year or two of abstinence from sex is not a big drama if he is lucky enough to have a welcoming habitat, his home, were he can grow up safe and comfortable.

For this reason, as many other ordinary teenagers in the world, Ben falls in love for a stranger he only crosses on the street while the other is jogging. Same age as Ben, he is probably a new kid at the same high school Ben will attend at the end of the summer; Ben stalks the other teenager until he is able to find out the name is Tim and he is living nearby. And indeed Tim attends the same high school. And the problem is that Ben has came out at school and so everyone, and above all the jocks Tim is friending, call Ben names. It's not easy for a gay kid to come out in high school, teenagers are not always welcoming, and above all they are still unsure of their own, and Ben is an unsettling presence, someone who scares some of them.
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48 of 58 people found the following review helpful By georgiegirl on April 27, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
** NO spoilers**

Up until nearly the end of this book it was rating 5 stars for me but the ending totally ruined the book. It is not that i didn't like the ending (well, i didn't, but that's not my complaint) it was just so totally rushed. There were massive changes and the resolution of the main story arc which were handled in just a few pages. I think i would have been happier with the ending if the author had given it the attention it deserved. Another gripe for me is really disliking one of the main characters, but that could just be me. In a way I wish the main part of the book wasn't as good, I hated becoming attached to the characters only to have the ending just thrust upon me with virtually no warning or explanation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lena Grey on February 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
Ah, first love! For many people, their first love is the most memorable of all. The experiences found in that first attraction tend to color any other future relationships we they may have. This is certainly true for Ben Bentley and Tim Wyman of 'Something Like Summer' by Jay Bell.

Ben is bright, talented and loving. He strives to live life on his own terms. Ben is very kind and has a deep- seated strength of character. With the help of Allison, his best friend, and Jace, his knight-in-shining-armor, guiding the way, Ben finds his inner strength and finally admits that regardless of how much he loves Tim, he can't sacrifice his own values.

Tim, also bright and talented, doesn't have Ben's good sense of direction. For fear of reprisal, he censures himself constantly; he hides behind a mask of propriety, only allowing himself to act on what he deems appropriate according to his family's standards. This self-deprecation injures his self esteem and his life almost beyond repair. Tim is so efficient with his misrepresentation that he begins to believe it himself. Ben is the only one who has seen behind his mask and tries to help Tim realize how much damage Tim is causing himself. Not only that, Ben knows that Tim has a bright light all of his own, but also knows that it's up to him to make it shine so others can see it too.

I loved this book. I read the whole thing, all 192 pages of it, in one day. Due to Jay's easy, understandable style, I was led through the happy times and the sad ones, sometimes by gently holding his hand and in others by gripping it tightly, but what a ride.
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