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REVIEW: “Something Like Lightning” by Jay Bell

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Never stop running. No matter how often life trips you up, or how many times your enemies knock you down, just get up and keep on moving until you find where you belong.

Kelly Phillips has been out of the closet since he was a young teenager, and thanks to the gay youth group he frequents, he has never been short on friends or lovers. But when you have almost everything, it’s hard not to focus on what’s just out of reach: A best friend, who would be Mr. Right if he wasn’t already Mr. Straight. Or that handsome guy at school, who would be easier to wrangle if not for his angel wings. And then there’s the one who might be a perfect fit, maybe even a soulmate… if only he wasn’t convinced he didn’t need anyone at all. Kelly has always been good at running. Now he must learn to chase, which will not only test his endurance, but the durability of his heart as well.

Something Like Lighting is a new beginning in the Something Like… saga, shifting the focus to a fresh set of characters while also revisiting a familiar face or two.

REVIEW:

I know your game, Jay Bell! I figured you out!

You write these characters and you say to the reader, “I dare you to try and like this guy!” The guys are flawed and irritating and impetuous…but you stick the reader with them for years…seeing them through these growing-up phases…making mistakes and finding out how to fix them. And just when the reader wants to give up on them, you show that all of that was just the character being HUMAN and doing their best through LIFE.

I didn’t always get it, but I do now. I didn’t get it with Tim Wyman in your first two Seasons books. But I get it with Kelly Phillips in Something LIke Lightning. I wanted to hate Kelly in the beginning. He was this arrogant teenager. Selfish. Irresponsible with his emotions and the emotions of others. And I worried, yet again, that I’d end up hating a book because I couldn’t get behind the main character.

But, then it clicked. Kelly was a teeanged boy. And then he was a young man. He was insecure. He was figuring himself out. He was trying to understand love. He was maneuvering through relationships. And that’s LIFE. That’s the HUMAN experience. And suddenly I didn’t hate Kelly…I empathized with him.

Jay Bell’s ability to tell a story is amazing. He doesn’t shy away from detail, from experience, from tragedy, from SHOCKING twists, from heartbreak. He tackles them head-on. And for the reader who goes in without a hardhat, it can be painful. But it feels…real and honest.

This book is Kelly’s journey…from a young teenager obsessed with his best friend, to an older teen facing crisis and overwhelming obstacles, to an emotionally dependent young man trying to figure out love, to an adult living with physical challenges and being brave with his heart. He’s a pain-in-the-ass at times and I wanted to grab him and shake him and yell at him, “What are you doing?” But, I ultimately just wanted him to be…ok. For life to give him a break and allow him it be alright.

The cast of chracters from the Seasons series make an appearance, and to be honest, that’s where I thought the book was it’s weakest. Maybe I’m biased because I don’t particularly like those characters. But, it was almost too coincidental how all these same people fell into place in Kelly’s story and throughout his life. But, for those of you who love that series, I think you’ll enjoy seeing your ol’ favorites.

Some of the circumstances thrown into the story felt a little contrived at times or maybe a tiny bit unbelievable…but Jay Bell never takes it way over the top and usually is able to save those scenes.

For me, this was not your standard run-of-the-mill coming-of-age romance. It’s about a boy who becomes a man and finds love in many forms along the way. Also…kudos for having a main character that is a person-of-color. And a strong family support system.

 

RATING: 3.5 STARS

BOOK INFO:

23349656Title: Something Like Lightning (Storms #1)
Author: Jay Bell
Publisher: Self-pub
Pages: 400 
Release Date: October 9, 2014
Purchase Links: Amazon, Smashwords, ARe

One comment on “REVIEW: “Something Like Lightning” by Jay Bell

  1. Bluenote123
    December 1, 2014

    “But, then it clicked. Kelly was a teeanged boy. And then he was a young man. He was insecure. He was figuring himself out. He was trying to understand love. He was maneuvering through relationships. And that’s LIFE. That’s the HUMAN experience. And suddenly I didn’t hate Kelly…I empathized with him.”

    Dude. You know you just described Tim, right? ;-)

    Like

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This entry was posted on December 1, 2014 by in Reviewer: Susan, YA / NA and tagged , , .

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