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GROUP CHALLENGE REVIEW: “Something Like Winter” by Jay Bell

The amazing Jay Bell contacted the blog about reviewing his new release, “Something Like Spring”.  Being honest with him, we let him know that 3 of our reviewers (Jenni, Sheri, Susan) had read Summer and all didn’t love it!  So he challenged us to read Winter and see if the controversial character of Tim could win us over.  Here is our review…

GIVEAWAY

Boys in our Books is offering  a chance to win ALL FOUR books in the Seasons series! Leave a comment on this post (or the Jay Bell interview post) to enter!  Winner will be chosen and then announced on February 26th!

110102 Something Like Summer Cover wB.cdr  Winter  Autumn  Spring

ABOUT:

There are two sides to every story. When you’re Tim Wyman, sometimes there are three.

Tim hoped moving to Texas would mean a new beginning, a chance to spread his wings, but he soon finds himself falling into the same tired patterns. Until he meets recklessly brave Benjamin Bentley. Suddenly a whole new world opens up to Tim—love, sex, warmth… home. Certain that society won’t understand what he and Ben have together, Tim struggles to protect their relationship, even if it means twisting the truth. As his lies slowly push Ben away, Tim learns that the greatest enemy can come from within. Buried beneath a decade of deceptions, Tim must claw his way to the surface in the hopes of learning to fly.

Something Like Winter, the companion novel to Something Like Summer, tells the story from Tim Wyman’s perspective, revealing new private moments and personal journeys

THE SETUP:

The 3 of us, at different times, all read Jay Bell’s “Something Like Summer” last year.  Here are lines quoted directly from our past reviews:

Jenni (3 stars):  “Tim was a jerk! And he never fully redeemed himself.”
Sheri (3 stars): “Tim is a selfish, spineless jerk.”
Susan (2.5 stars):  “Adult Tim is creepy, overbearing, desperate, borderline pathetic and a stalker.”

Clearly, erm, we didn’t like the character of Tim Wyman.  So, to find that he got his own book in the series, “Something Like Winter”, well, obviously none of us was going to run and read it.  Until Jay Bell, the author, challenged us to do so.

THE REVIEW:

Jenni:  After I read Something Like Summer last year, I was a hostile, angry mess. I couldn’t believe the outcome; it was my first experience reading a book where I actually liked the writing but hated one of the main characters. So imagine my reaction when the BioB team got the challenge to read the second book in the series, which, as it turns out, is in Tim’s POV, the very MC I despised from SLS.

Sheri:  The timeline nearly matches the first book, with an extra peek into Tim Wyman’s life before Ben’s collision into his life and a lovely looksee as to what happened after ‘Summer’ ends.  It was helpful watching things unroll from Tim’s eyes; it sprinkled understanding and compassion into their story. It pains me to say, however, my annoyances and irritations were not erased and quite possibly, intensified.

Susan:  I wanted to believe that Tim acted the way he did out of youth (in the beginning) and out of love (in the end).  But, honestly, I can’t say that.  I think Tim acted out of…selfishness.  The man loved himself so fully.  And I don’t doubt that he could love Ben and Eric and others.  But, I did doubt that he could love them more than he loved himself.

Jenni:  But here’s what SLW DID do for me. I began to understand Tim a little. I related to his fear of coming out. I understood the way his past in Kansas haunted him. I worried for his parent’s rejection. And most of all, I forgave him for not fighting for the love he kept telling me he felt (whether I bought it or not is a whole other issue).

Sheri: Deprived of love, Tim is starved for attention. He is desperate for acceptance, dying for approval and most of all longing to be loved. Yes, I see the imbalance in his life loud and clear. He was alone, very alone. I feel terrible for the neglect he suffered and I do sympathize for his misfortunes.   Unfortunately, he was the force of devastation more than once. Tim was Tim’s own worst enemy. He sabotaged his happiness and then persecuted himself to penance.

Susan:  It was bad decision after bad decision…and that should made me feel sorry for him, right?  But, I struggled.  Treat Ben like crap?  Try to force Travis into a relationship he’s not ready for?  Even that weird photo shoot he did for Eric’s friend?  And his crazy time with Ryan?  Time and again, Tim’s choices frustrated beyond!  But all of that could be forgivable and understandable if he wasn’t so SELFISH in so much of it.

Jenni:  In SLW, we learned a lot about Eric, Tim’s (much) older, rich benefactor. I was happy about that for several reasons. In SLS, I was…uncomfortable with the idea of Tim and Eric, and I never fully believed Tim didn’t have an intimate relationship with Eric. What I discovered was that Eric was this loving, special, nurturing man, whom I REALLY liked.

Sheri:  Did I understand him better? Sure.
Did I want his happiness? Absolutely.
Did I mourn with him? Damn straight I did.
Did this make everything better? *sigh* No, it didn’t.

Susan:  I think by the end, I was so worn down by my Tim-hate, I actually kinda gave up.  I confused even myself wanting Ben & Tim to be together, to be happy.  Maybe I just wanted it all to end in a way that made the rest worth it.  I’m not sure.

Jenni:  This book gets two ratings from me: 4 stars for solid writing and 2 stars for the way things turned out. I’m splitting the difference on my overall rating and going with a bitter 3, in total.

Sheri:  I respect solid writing and powerful stories when I see them, even if the characters infuriate me. I can say that this is an impressive tale that spans a decade of soul mates torn apart, brimming with dozens of emotions, and a guarantee that you will fall onto one side of the divide or the other. 3 stars

Susan:  I think any book that makes me FEEL this strongly, not because of irritating writing, but because of thought-provoking and emotion-inducing characters is produced by true talent. I just don’t think I can get past the bad taste in my mouth that is Tim.  I’ve read Jay Bell’s “Kamizake Boys” and really really enjoyed it.  So, I admit he’s gifted.  I guess if I was a literary critic, I could speak to the power of this book.  But, I’m but a reader for entertainment and a reviewer for release.  So, with that, 2.5 stars for me.

RATINGS:  

Jenni – 3 stars
Sheri – 3 stars
Susan – 2.5 stars

BOOK INFO:

WinterTitle:  Something Like Winter (Seasons #2)
Author:  Jay Bell
Publisher:  Self-pub
Pages:  368
Release Date:  November 2, 2012
Purchase Links:  Amazon, ARe

18 comments on “GROUP CHALLENGE REVIEW: “Something Like Winter” by Jay Bell

  1. shelley
    February 19, 2014

    Great job girls! Sorry Tim didn’t redeem himself …you actually have me intrigued because I kind of like the bad guys ;)

    Like

  2. ilhem3606
    February 19, 2014

    Same here. :)

    Like

    • syleegurl
      February 19, 2014

      OMG…i would PAY MONEY to have you guys read Something Like Summer (book 1) and let me be on the buddy read thread. I would DIE…it would be so awesome!!!! DO IT!

      Like

  3. Justin2
    February 19, 2014

    I have love & respect for all 3 of you and that will not change…..but y’all are killing me here. You HAVE to love Tim! ;-)

    Like

    • boysinourbooks
      February 19, 2014

      OMG…it’s just like Jay Bell said in his review…the boys love Tim. Xing loves him too! HA! You just proved his point. *high five* Justin!

      Like

  4. Sara
    February 20, 2014

    Um…I love Tim. Always have. I am the odd one who didn’t like or really get Jace, even in his own book. So what does that say about me? *shrugs* Tim had me in SLS with the whole quoting Spanish to Ben. I loved Winter possibly more than Summer and cannot wait to read Spring.

    Like

  5. Liz C.
    February 20, 2014

    I’ve been curious about this series, but now I really want to know what’s up with Tim!

    Like

  6. Jordy
    February 20, 2014

    I’m currently reading Spring and so far all 3 previous books have taken me by me arm, dragged me in completely, only to let me go at the very end of the books. Already I am half-arm deep in Spring and I’m sure it won’t let me go.

    Like

  7. syleegurl
    February 20, 2014

    It’s so funny. Every time I see people who love Tim, I honestly ask myself “WHAT AM I MISSING?” I mean, so many of my friends, my book soul mates, people who I usually align with…love Tim. Why can’t I see it? It’s not even that I love Jace over Tim. I just…don’t like Tim PERIOD. *sigh*. I know, we’re all different. But, I feel like I’m missing something great…ha!

    Like

    • Sara
      February 20, 2014

      That is how I feel with Jace! I felt like the biggest jerk not liking him in his own book! Who does that? Everyone loved him in the books and I just wanted Ben and Tim together.

      Like

    • jenhuff03
      February 20, 2014

      This. THIS! ;)

      Like

  8. Robert :)
    February 20, 2014

    Gurl, I don’t know what you said up above this comment box..I’m just leaving this comment so I can win some books!!!

    Like

  9. Tim
    February 20, 2014

    I’ve never loved Tim (In spite of sharing the name!) but I did like and come to understand him more as the series moved along. One reason that I love the Something Like… books so much is that they are filled with people who are *real*. I don’t always understand, approve or appreciate everyone’s choices in real life and I love the fact that these stories present the same challenges to me in book form.

    Getting to see the actions and motivations through all of the main characters eyes is a gift, one that shows there are more than two sides to every story. Perhaps it’s a lesson. Even though we may not understand, approve or appreciate everyone’s choices, we DO need to think about why they are making them and, perhaps, be a bit more understanding of the person who is making that choice.

    I’ve told Jay that after reading the first three books, the boys felt Something Like Family to me, and for that I am something more than grateful!

    Like

    • syleegurl
      February 22, 2014

      ^^^ I love this comment.

      You’re right…Jay did something honest and raw and special in this series. He reached into readers and he pulled out…EMOTION and OPINIONS…both for and against his characters. That takes serious guts. And then he let us here at the blog give him an earful. He’s a brave author and a good man. :)

      Like

  10. Sarah
    February 20, 2014

    Tim was not my favorite person but I didn’t despise him. I think it is funny how everyone sides with Tim or Jace but we never hear much about how people feel about Ben.

    Like

  11. Neil J Forrest
    February 20, 2014

    My background includes a Master’s degree in Counseling. I say this as I understand why people may be turned off by Tim. Yes, he starts out self-centered, often a jerk, pushy and selfish. But like most of us, he learns a great deal as life goes on. Is he perfect, he is the first to say that he is f**k-up. But he knows that being with Ben makes him a better person. He knows Ben is a truly loving and giving person. It may even be having seen this in Ben that Tim was willing to take care of someone else. When he took care of Eric, it was his a turning point when he allowed himself to really care for someone and do what needed to be done. Again, this doesn’t make him a saint, it only proves that he can care. In truth, Tim is a sensitive person that is sentimental and loves deeply. Consequently, he doesn’t like to let people in to his heart. When they are in there, he is loyal to them and generous.

    I like Tim because he is broken, knows it, but carries on as best he can. Ben wears the pants because Tim trusts him completely. That says a lot about Tim. He knows his weakness, flaws and what he needs and he appreciates what Ben gives to him. Tim’s vulnerability shows with his worry about asking Ben to marry him. Tim is one of the most real, believable and honest characters in the series.

    Like

  12. Boom
    February 20, 2014

    I actually like Tim the best out of all the characters. Winter really redeemed his character for me and is my favorite of the series.

    Like

  13. Marc Dejulstromme
    February 23, 2014

    Is all fair in love and war? Tim Wyman takes a long and winding road to find out the answer. He grabs life by the horns while paying attention to each outcome. Whether or not he makes the right choices, the reader can certainly empathize with him along the way. Something LIke Winter, a fantastic book by Jay Bell.

    Like

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This entry was posted on February 19, 2014 by in Contemporary, Giveaway, Reviewer: GROUP and tagged , , , , .

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