Serena Yates's Reviews > Fourth and Long

Fourth and Long by Chris Scully
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's review
Jun 04, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: gay
Read in June, 2012 — I own a copy

Over the course of our lives, quite a few of us will have wished for a way to go back in time and fix some horrible mistake we made – and high school seems about as fertile a ground to look for errors we committed as any other time in our lives. Or maybe we’d just want to amend a situation, say or not say the one thing that caused irreparable damage either to ourselves or to others. This is the story of a man who lives under the weight of what he has done, regrets having ruined his life to the point where even counseling cannot help.

Eric is given the gift of traveling back in time to the point he regrets most. Problem is, he doesn’t know the rules. I thought this was interesting since, in a way, that means he has to live his life all over again just like the first time. With one exception: he knows what he cannot do if he wants to avoid the disastrous events that made him miserable the last time. I loved how he relives some moments with great joy, others make him cringe. In the end, all he can do is hope for the best.

Jake is a great guy – in both versions of the past. He is the one who has always refused to hide, and the difficulties he faces are those of the bullied. I loved that he gets a happier ending as well. Eric may have made all the sacrifices, but Jake didn’t exactly have it easy.

One of the lessons here is that even if we know the future, and even with perfect hindsight, we are still human; we’d still make mistakes. I found that very reassuring; now I don’t have to feel quite so bad when something goes wrong, as long as I did the best I knew how to. If you like stories that make you think, if a temporal paradox or two won’t stop you from reading this, and if you believe that lovers deserve not just a chance at happiness, but sometimes a second chance, then you will probably like this short story as much as I did.

NOTE: This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews.
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