Something Like Memories is the latest Ben and Tim story from Jay Bell. Like all Ben and Tim stories, it: a) is wonderful, b) will make you laugh, andSomething Like Memories is the latest Ben and Tim story from Jay Bell. Like all Ben and Tim stories, it: a) is wonderful, b) will make you laugh, and c) will make you cry, so have some tissues on hand when you read this brief but excellent tale....more
While I'm sad to see the Bill Hodges trilogy end, I'm glad that Stephen King saved the best for last. End of Watch is superb and a fitting conclusionWhile I'm sad to see the Bill Hodges trilogy end, I'm glad that Stephen King saved the best for last. End of Watch is superb and a fitting conclusion for this brief series.
I'll leave it at that so the rest of you Constant Readers can enjoy the story for yourselves....more
It's been a long time since I had to stop reading a book, get up, walk around, and calm myself down. That may sound like a negative opening to this reIt's been a long time since I had to stop reading a book, get up, walk around, and calm myself down. That may sound like a negative opening to this review of Chase Potter's The Music of the Spheres, but it's anything but that. Rather, this novel is so powerful and extraordinarily moving that I was simply overwhelmed and needed to collect myself before continuing my read.
In his three previous books, Potter created characters who I enjoyed, who I cared about, and who I wanted to learn even more about than I could between the covers of a paperback novel. But in Music, he presents us with people who almost jump off the page, people I couldn't help but love almost immediately.
This one is so special and so worth reading that I won't even go into the characters, their dynamics, or the story itself. Read the blurb, then read the book, and I'm sure you'll come to the same conclusion I did -- The Music of the Spheres is Chase Potter's best book to date. I can't wait to see what he has in store for us next....more
This is one of the most adorable books I have ever read. Is it profound? Not really. Is it deep? Perhaps in spots. But really, who cares? It's entertaThis is one of the most adorable books I have ever read. Is it profound? Not really. Is it deep? Perhaps in spots. But really, who cares? It's entertaining, it's sweet, it's filled with love, and it features a guy named Simon Spier, who is so endearing but flawed that you can't help but root for him the whole time you're reading this novel....more
The Bazaar of Bad Dreams is another solid collection of short fiction from Stephen King. While not as good as some of his past groupings (Night ShiftThe Bazaar of Bad Dreams is another solid collection of short fiction from Stephen King. While not as good as some of his past groupings (Night Shift and Skeleton Crew in particular), the stories contained in this book are entertaining and enjoyable.
Of the 20 short stories, here are the ones that I particularly enjoyed:
* Mile 81 (my favorite of the bunch) * The Dune * Bad Little Kid * Ur * Under the Weather * The Little Green God of Agony * Obits
All in all, this is worth the reader's time, and King even includes some non-supernatural works for those who are leery of the spooky stuff....more
Crimson Shore continues Preston and Child's long-running Pendergast series. Like all of the Pendergast books, this one is a quick, enjoyable read, oneCrimson Shore continues Preston and Child's long-running Pendergast series. Like all of the Pendergast books, this one is a quick, enjoyable read, one that had the potential to be another five-star novel for the authors.
Unfortunately, the ending was a bit forced. While I'm a fan of complex plotlines, side plots, and numerous twists and turns throughout a novel, the authors didn't connect the latter part of the book to the main plotline as deftly as they could have. In fact, they may have been better off expanding the initial story by 25-50 pages, then saving the final portion of the novel for the opening of the next book.
That said, this is still an entertaining thrill ride by two masters and is a worthy entry in the series....more
By the time you've reached the seventh book in a series, you might think the plots and the characters would start getting stale, old, perhaps a littleBy the time you've reached the seventh book in a series, you might think the plots and the characters would start getting stale, old, perhaps a little boring. That's the furthest thing from the truth when it comes to Jay Bell's Something Like... series.
Something Like Stories - Vol. 1 is different from the previous six books in the set -- it's a collection of novellas and short snippets that allow readers to explore some of the series' supporting characters in greater depth. In "Something Like Yesterday," we get to know more about Eric Conroy, Tim's older friend and benefactor, which gives us insight into what it was like growing up gay in the 1950s and 1960s. In "Something Like Tonight," Ben's best friend Allison has a bit of a "What am I doing with my life?" crisis and works through it in an entertaining but ultimately fulfilling way. "Something Like Eternity" reunites us with Victor, in a way that I most certainly did not see coming. All of them were excellent and heartfelt, and they made me so glad that Bell is continuing this series.
And for those who weren't lucky enough to get their hands on the Benjamin Bentley-focused "Something Like Fall" when it was first published, Bell has bound that three-part story in this anthology, as well, along with some other treats that come toward the end of the book. For those who have no idea who Benjamin Bentley is, get your hands on a copy of Something Like Summer -- right now -- and start your journey through this wonderful set of books....more
The Water Will Catch You is, in short, a superb piece of writing.
I had the opportunity to give this book an early read, and similar to another goodreThe Water Will Catch You is, in short, a superb piece of writing.
I had the opportunity to give this book an early read, and similar to another goodreads reviewer, I had a difficult time giving it a meticulous look because I kept finding myself caught up in the plot. If that's not a sign of excellent storytelling, I don't know what is.
Chase Potter's third novel takes us north of the border into Canada, where he tells us the story of Curtis and Danny. The guys became best friends after a near-tragedy in middle school, and they built their young lives and plans together over the next several years. They were going to graduate together, go to college together, and do all the things that a lot of friends say they're going to do. But something happened toward the end of high school that derailed those plans, something that created an immense rift.
When Curtis finds himself in crisis years later, he reaches out to Danny, who now lives across the country and has built a new life for himself. They are reunited, and the whirlwind of events and emotions that follows sweeps the reader along at a fast clip.
Aside from the story of the two main characters, what really struck me about this book were Potter's vivid descriptions of the locations in which the novel is set. I felt like I was on the Pacific coast of Canada, hiking through the forest with Danny and Curtis. At times, it was as if I was inside Danny's house, seeing everything he was seeing. The rich imagery Potter treats us to was truly a delight to experience.
Pick this one up! It'll be well worth your time....more
While I knew the general gist of the plot before I started reading Finders Keepers, I was expecting a piece that floThis book was not what I expected.
While I knew the general gist of the plot before I started reading Finders Keepers, I was expecting a piece that flowed directly from the ending of the first book in this eventual trilogy, Mr. Mercedes. Maybe King would reveal some unknown connection between the obsessed fan of the targeted author and the villain from the previous book. Or perhaps there would be some past incident that had brought him into the lives of Bill, Holly, or Jerome, the protagonists from Mr. Mercedes. How wrong I was.
Instead, I was treated to a brand-new hero and villain. Morris Bellamy was largely unlikable from the get-go, and he certainly got worse as the book went on, but Pete Saubers, well, he was pretty much the opposite of Bellamy's sociopathic character. Interestingly enough, though, the two had something in common that could have been the undoing of both of them.
As much as I enjoyed the story, what really caught my attention is that King clearly wrote this book specifically for readers, not just casual fans who read one or two of an author's works and then go on their way. Nowhere was this clearer than in the following excerpt:
For readers, one of life's most electrifying discoveries is that they are readers -- not just capable of doing it, but in love with it. Hopelessly. Head over heels. The first book that does that is never forgotten, and each page seems to bring a fresh revelation...
Few things in a fictional novel have made me sit up at attention quite like that brief collection of words. They're not profound or deep. They're simply true.
Now, let's see what King has in store for his Constant Readers in book number three......more
I love Benjamin Bentley. There. I said it. I love a fictional character.
But really, how could someone reading a story about Ben (or including Ben, orI love Benjamin Bentley. There. I said it. I love a fictional character.
But really, how could someone reading a story about Ben (or including Ben, or making a side reference to Ben) not love the guy? He's so good, and nice, and kind, and caring, and considerate...and flawed. But more than anything, Ben is full of love, love that our old friends Tim and Jace are lucky enough to experience for themselves.
Like others have said, reading this short-ish story was like coming home to friends and loved ones and getting to share more time with them. Because of this novella, we got to see some of the "in between" times that filled Ben's life among the four Seasons books. As is usually the case with a Jay Bell book, the story was simply wonderful, and it made me laugh and cry and laugh some more.
A few years ago, a slender orange book began popping up in my Amazon recommendations. It was called Something Like Summer, by Jay Bell. At first, I waA few years ago, a slender orange book began popping up in my Amazon recommendations. It was called Something Like Summer, by Jay Bell. At first, I wasn't quite sure what to think. It didn't look like a slick, publishing house novel, and I had never heard of the author before. The plot sounded a bit far-fetched to me. Then I saw it was independently published, and I groaned inwardly because until that point, I had had bad luck with books like that. But I kept it in my recommendations because something had caught my attention.
Eventually, I bought the book, and so began this incredible journey that Jay has taken me and all of his readers on since that first book in the Something Like... series. Now here we are at book 6, and the writing is just as strong, the stories just as moving and powerful, the characters just as loveable and/or loathable (because love and life are complicated, you know).
As in Something Like Lightning, Jay took a character I nearly despised in Something Like Spring and Something Like Lightning and told his story from his perspective. Not only did I end up appreciating Nathaniel Courtney, I ended up feeling an intense amount of affection for his character. And because this is a Something Like... novel, a whole host of our old friends from past books showed up to make the story feel complete.
By the time I finished this book, I found myself reduced to tears, laughing out loud, and smiling like an idiot, all in the course of around 450 pages. It was an excellent entry into the series, and judging by the ending, there's another intriguing story to come.
Jay, if you're reading this, I don't know if I'll ever be able to express just how much these books mean to me. I'm a grown man, and I know these are technically supposed to be YA novels, but they have moved me and inspired me. I've made and strengthened friendships over these books, and they've made me more deeply appreciate my loved ones and my relationships with them. Thank you, and keep bringing us these amazing stories!...more
Disclaimer: I was one of the early reviewers of this novel. However, I'm not one to mince words about books. With that, my review.
Remember My Name isDisclaimer: I was one of the early reviewers of this novel. However, I'm not one to mince words about books. With that, my review.
Remember My Name is Chase Potter's second book, following his debut novel called The Race for Second. Let me tell you: this guy's got it.
Without giving too much of the storyline away, Remember My Name opens with a scene where sparks fly from the very first sentence, and the book doesn't really let up in intensity until the very last page. It's at times sweet, other times sexy, and in some places very dark.
The book's main characters, Jackson and Ben, are twin brothers who, for all their shortcomings, are ultimately lovable. Their intertwined stories kept making me incredibly anxious to get back to reading whenever I had to stop and put the book down. And while I think some readers may find Jackson and Ben's sibling bond far-fetched, I found it believable once their back story was fully revealed.
There's also at least one character in the book who readers are going to love to despise. At one point, I yelled at him, out loud!
Sometimes, "sophomore" novels can be a bit of a let-down, but if anything, Remember My Name is even better than The Race for Second. Potter is a quickly emerging talent, and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next....more