Rating: 5 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Something Like Stories is a collection of stories focusing on characters from Jay Bell’s Something Like… books (Seasons series and Storm series). Although context would definitely help, I feel that these stories, these, “snapshots” of events that occurred within the Seasons series could work as standalone stories. You may not fully get everything, but they will make you search out the full novels in order to fill out the rest of the stories.
Something Like Yesterday
Eric Conroy, ill and on his deathbed, recounts stories of his past, his failed relationships within college, and his relationship beyond with Tim Wyman, the man who became the closest thing to a son that Eric ever had.
Yesterday was the most touching of the stories, chronicling Eric’s college years, good and bad, as well as his loves and losses. This simple journey through Eric’s past also serves to demonstrate Eric’s relationship with Tim. You will notice that I am saying little about this story, but that is on purpose. I will say that of all the stories, this is the one that made me cry.
Something Like Tonight
Ben Bentley meets Jace Holden’s parents for the first time and encounters the ghost of Jace’s past love, Victor. The story also deals with Ben and Tim’s merging of households, the compromises, and the re-learning required to solidify their renewed relationship. Ben has the dubious pleasure of getting to know Marcello and the infamous Jason Grant, who adds complication to Ben and Tim’s already tenuous relationship.
Tonight sounds like a mish-mash of character introductions and interactions, and it was, but it also wasn’t. The flow from present to past was smooth and easy to follow, and gave such insight into the dynamic between the characters. Events that sound mundane, like buying and selling a home and merging two lives into one family, were shown to us, adding a different level of tension and frustration to the series, especially a series that has such dramatic highs and lows. This low-grade middle ground was refreshingly real. What was also cool was seeing Jason’s arrival at Ben and Tim’s home from Ben’s perspective.
Something Like Fall
With a kind, loving husband, and a typical toddler, Allison Cross has reached her limit. Allison has realized that she is living her life for everyone else, and forgetting about herself. Needing a break, Allison’s husband Brian suggests a visit back to Allison’s childhood town of Woodlands, Texas where she runs into Jace’s sister, Michelle, who helps Allison put her life and relationships in perspective.
Fall was seriously funny, the funniest of the stories, which delved deeper into Allison’s psyche. We also get to know Jace’s sister Michelle, who has always been such a solid, stable character, and demonstrates that there was a wild woman under that persona. From the beginning, Allison has been a pillar of strength and this story shows how a person can only hold the weight of the world on their shoulder for so long before cracking. It also exemplifies the importance of self-awareness, and that sometimes selfishness is not only necessary, but also can be healthy.
Something Like Eternity
As Victor wanders the afterlife, discovering new places, creating old haunts, he feels the pull to continue his trek through the afterlife. It isn’t long before Victor finds himself in a bar, chatting the the bartender, when his cat Samson appears. Encouraged by the bartender to follow Samson, Victor is reunited with Jace, and discovers what has really been calling to him.
Bell gives an odd introduction to this story and I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Once I started reading Eternity, I was captivated by Bell’s version of the afterlife, where anything and everything can and will happen. The raw emotion demonstrated by all of the characters, especially Victor and Jace during their separate and joint journeys, showed how even in death, regret can haunt a person, and personal growth is never-ending.
The final section of Something Like Stories is narrated by Allison Cross, and consists of mini-biographies of any key characters that appear in at least two books, either from the Seasons or Storm series. These were fun, and Allison recommended reading them in order, but I of course had to flip around for specific characters.
I have spent over a hundred hours in the Seasons world, both with the written word and the audiobooks. hese stories, these emotional and moving glimpses deeper into the lives of the characters, made me laugh, cry, and gave me a greater insight into events only discussed on the surface. A must read for readers of the series, and I feel that those new to the books could still enjoy these stories, but warning…you will be buying the books soon after completing this one. I have also rarely give a 5-star rating to an anthology, but this one deserves it.