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Publisher's Summary

This sexually-charged, emotionally raw series follows LGBT characters from the end of their teen years into their 20s and beyond.

Openly gay high school student Ben Bentley feels lonely and isolated until the fateful day he meets Tim Wyman. By all appearances, Tim seems to have it all. He's handsome, popular, and has an amazing body...but the truth is rarely so simple. The two young men form a secret bond, their feelings for each other intensifying until heartbreaking circumstances force them apart. 

Years later, Ben is attending college in a different state and dating someone new. Everything is perfect until the day Tim shows up unexpectedly, forcing Ben to reconcile the summer-filled dreams of his past with the complexities of his new adult life.

Each Something Like... book follows a different LGBTQ character on their search for love. Central to the plot is the troubled relationship between Ben and Tim, former high school sweethearts who continue to meet over the years, their chemistry changing with each encounter. Surrounding them is a wealth of friends and enemies, each with their own story, resulting in an immersive universe filled with first times and second chances. While the series doesn't shy away from sex, it also focuses deeply on emotion, promising an experience that will stay with you long after the final minute.

Perfect for fans of:

  • André Aciman (Call Me By Your Name)
  • Benjamin Alire Saenz (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe)
  • Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
  • Adam Silvera (They Both Die at the End)

These books are written for mature audiences. For younger listeners, the recommended age is 16 or older.

©2011 Jay Bell (P)2022 Jay Bell

What listeners say about Something Like Summer

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 3 Stars
    100
  • 2 Stars
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    31

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

More than meets the eye...

From the book cover I assumed that this was a ‘coming out’ or ‘coming of age’ story akin to the many tales of teenage angst already described in a variety of other books but I was pleasantly surprised. Within this book a story of desire, lust, love, friendship, realization, acceptance, delusion, and growth set to describe the life of Ben, our protagonist. Ben’s own inner growth as well as his relationships with Allison, Tim, and Jace make this tale one that must not be missed. I actually loved this story…an entire gambit of emotional responses were elicited by the words of the author, Jay Bell. Kevin Frees’ narration brought the characters to life in such a way that one’s imagination was able to be transported to the world with which they exist. I do not wish to give too much away, but the dynamic of the three principal relationships—Ben & Allison; Ben & Tim; and Ben & Jace—and how they became intertwined makes this a very enjoyable journey. A MUST!!!

54 people found this helpful

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Wonderful Treat.

Would you listen to Something Like Summer again? Why?

Yes I would, it was a wonderful story of self discovery and how love can survive despite a shaky start. Also, be warned, quite a tear jerker.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Something Like Summer?

Probably when Tim finally realizes how much he loves Ben.

What does Kevin R. Free bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Mr. Free has a wonderful voice and really brought the story to life.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Both.

Any additional comments?

I believe this is slated to be made into a movie and I can't wait. It will make a wonderful movie if they capture the spirit of the book.

19 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Stick with it.

At first, I thought this was the typical teenage coming of age story. It definitely started out that way. The first half is tender and sweet, young love at in all it's glory. In the second half, the book grows up, just like the characters. Life gets in the way, there's tragedy, loss and reward. Can you love more than one person at a time? Do first love's last? I ended up enjoying the book more than I thought I would. So, stick with it. Its rewarding in the end.

34 people found this helpful

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You will easily see yourself in these characters

If you could sum up Something Like Summer in three words, what would they be?

Romantic, Improbable, Warming

What did you like best about this story?

I related surprisingly well with the main character, Ben. More than once I found myself thinking how much I could relate to the feelings of longing, sadness, and excitement portrayed by him. This not only helped me connect more with the story, but also made me realize that other people probably feel the same way about certain topics in the book as I do (being gay, this was an important realization). Overall I would highly recommend this book to anyone, but especially to gay individuals who would like a "realistic" portrayal of a normal gay relationship. That being said, many of the circumstances in the book were slightly improbable and it was often easy to see them coming. Even so, the suspense created was enough to propel you through the book and keeping you listening late into the night.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

9 people found this helpful

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Best Gay Book Around.

What did you love best about Something Like Summer?

I love how this book focuses on a homosexuals life and doesn't portray it negatively or stereotypically, mostly. It a love story that spans a lifetime and just so happens its with two guys which is brilliant. It wasn't anymore sexual than common books of similare standing with a hetero story.

13 people found this helpful

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It Gets Better (Poster-Book for Everyone)

I liked the span of this book, it was broader than I originally expected. The pace was a little on the fast side, but that meant I was never bored as each new plot twist and emotion was introduced. I loved the sex - well written, hot but not overly dramatic. The character interactions were believable and I liked that no one was all bad or all good. It dealt with a lot of difficult life events without becoming melodramatic or ridiculously apathetic.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good Story, A Little Amateur In Some Spots

What did you love best about Something Like Summer?

I really like the slightly different take on the gay story line, it was intriguing and more real then others that I have read. It was nice to see real human flaws in these characters.

Any additional comments?

Overall I liked this book, some parts seemed a little bit like a junior author wrote them. The passage of time was rather clumsy and I don't feel like the characters aged or changed even though there was massive jumps in time. The first half of the book was great. The story kind of went off course later on, but it kind of pulled back in the end.

4 people found this helpful

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Don't judge it by the cartoonish cover

Very glad to have picked this up, and immediately started on "Something Like Winter" moments after finishing this one. Part one was pretty reminiscent of "The Geography Club" (which I also enjoyed - twice) except Ben has supporting and participatory parents. The entire story though is quite a roller coaster ride with Ben & Tim vs Ben & Jace. The only reason I didn't give the story five stars though is the very, very end. Trying to say this without becoming a spoiler, but if Ben was so excited at the chance to see Tim after more than two years, and if it was so easy for him to fall into it again, why had he waited so long? At least it squeezed in a potentially happy ending that I think every reader wanted and expected. Hoping "Something Like Winter" ultimately provides a little more from where this one ends.

3 people found this helpful

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Loved it

Would you try another book from Jay Bell and/or Kevin R. Free?

Yes

What do you think your next listen will be?

not sure

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I did love it

Any additional comments?

It was sweet, and at times Erotic.
Great read!!

2 people found this helpful

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Great Book

What does Kevin R. Free bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I don't know why, but his voice strikes me as what Ben would sound like.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Hot and Heart Felt

Any additional comments?

Great story, great characters and excellent narration

8 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-21-18

Absolutely Amazing!!!

I’ve never had a book bring me to tears and have me so emotionally attached to its characters. I am lost for words which is not like me at all that’s all I can say.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Empty
  • 08-12-18

SPOILER A little undeserved


It was a cute story, but--

One of my biggest pet peeves in love-chevron stories (I don't like to call them triangles since that implies a third connection) is where a deus ex machina removes one of the choices. This story has two; twice something convenient happens that allows the main character to not have to make a difficult choice. This is made more annoying because the book is self-aware that the first was a deus ex machina: it addresses the emotions surrounding why the main character wanted the convenience to happen and concludes with character growth. The second then reads like a fan-fic who didn't like the original decision and tacks on a sad-but-understandable alternate ending.

I intend to listen to Like Winter and Like Autumn because the concept of multi-perspectives is really intriguing, and I really hope that Autumn helps to make the ending feel less abrupt and undeserved.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-19-19

Absolutely great! Deep and meaningful

It was very easy to relate to the characters of Ben, Tim and others. Great narrator with a beautiful calm voice. Love how the story covers such an impressive timespan!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • A. Listener
  • 03-15-19

A fun read

This was a fun read, but not brilliant. I couldn't develop an emotional connection to the characters, as much as I would liked to. So their ups and downs didn't affect me as much as they might have, if I cared about them more.
But it's good enough to keep your attention, I don't regret my purchase.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rafal Nycz
  • 04-27-22

It is a perfection

I love the whole series. This book is just the begging of the great adventure.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • sprout
  • 07-01-21

A Book of Highs and Lows

Although I enjoyed the prologue of the book. Although, the beginning was slightly harder to get though due one of the books leading issues. This being the main character who is obsessive and self obsessed which are traits that extended themselves to his love interest by the end of the book. Despite this, his love interest gets everything he wanted and more by the end of the book despite his toxic and manipulative ways due to the fact that he is ‘hot’. However, one character that I actually enjoyed through this book was Jase, who felt like the only kind and caring adult who deserved SO much better! This book is most definitely a product of its time due to its constant bi-erasure and sketchy race stereotypes... such as Alyson being Bens ‘sassy’ black friend who uses AAV and that his school band was named ‘ebony and ivory’ in reference to the band members skin tones. Overall, it was an enjoyable read which I would recommend to anyone who is interested in a slightly messy, gay, summer love story.

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  • Marcin Filipiak
  • 06-24-21

Love it

I have read this book and wanted to hear it again. The love story. It makes you laugh and cry, and each chapter will leave you thinking about what more can happen. I kept my finger crossed for Ben and Tim all the time. And in some part was worried about this relationship. I dearly recommend everyone to read this book and to complete all adventure in which all characters appear, and it would be better to go through the rest of the series books too.

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  • Paul Lewis
  • 05-26-20

pulls you in

at first I thought it was the typical gay school crush book but as the story went one, and it pulled me in more and more, it became so much more.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-15-19

Perfect

I read this book years ago when I was a teenager and it made me feel just the same listening to it as it did when I read it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-12-19

Excellent

Loved this, cannot recommend it enough. I actually cried...only other book to do this was Call me by your name.

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  • Harry
  • 12-31-18

I keep coming back!

Nearly every year I come back to this book for another listen. I couldn't recommend this Series highly enough.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-26-20

Nice read

This was a nice read but I felt it was written by someone who was new to this. The characters and plot were a bit simplistic but it was still fun to listen to.

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  • Scotto
  • 09-08-19

Brilliant

A great story with really likeable characters. The narration was exceptional. Well done all involved!!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Patrick
  • 07-27-17

Disappointing on every level!

This is my first Jay Bell book - (and apologies to the author) and I was planning on reading the complete series - this was based on the summary and the reviews which said it was a believable and heartfelt story with strong characters etc but my mistake I didn't listen to the sample...

This was disappointing on every level, it was like listening to a badly written gay soap opera set in a high school and the characters and the plot lack any credibility or realness - and the narrator sounds like he is in high school too, which of course is appropriate given the story.

Sadly I am one of those people who listens to a book till the end, eternally optimistic that it will redeem itself in some way - but this is 9 hours f my life I wont get back ;?!

Just don't go there unless you are into this kind of storyline.

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  • Jackie
  • 04-03-17

Emotional journey

Loved it. Lived it with them. Cried, laughed and loved with Ben, Tim and Jase.