Ironically, it was one of the interviews that Mr. Dillon confesses he could not acquire that says it all, to paraphrase, "we're getting away from Beach Boys Q&As." I'll give credit to Dillon for telling us not only who he did interview, but more importantly who declined. That's honest and Dillon is obviously a huge fan, but fandom is not nearly enough to save the book. The idea seemed a good one, tell us some insider details about some of their songs, but once again, Dillon was honest and told us which songs did not make the cut and frustratedly, most of my favorite songs could not be in the book. I got very annoyed with his recollections of other books and of other interviews, not very original and quite boring. Dillon has a good voice for narration, smooth and even, but it felt rushed and never nuanced or enthusiastic. I really wanted this book to work, but it simply does not.
When the principal member dies in a band, it's very sad and tragic and the great ones know when to bury the band with the member. Kurt Cobain and Freddy Mercury of Nirvana and Queen respectively immediately come to mind. When they died, the surviving members allowed Nirvana and Queen to cease to exist. The Beach Boys survived the death of Dennis in 1983, but for me the band ceased to exist in 1998 with Carl's tragic end by cancer. Brian Wilson is still around, but he moved on personally and professionally, the rest of the cut and paste meaningless pseudo-BB bands should do the same.
Yes, this book should be required reading for any medical professional of any kind who may ever have to help any patient make good decisions for themselves and their families against terminal or very debilitating illness. It should otherwise be read by well, anyone. We are all going to die. We either need to know what expectations to give those around us for those end times, either family or medical professionals or we need to know how best to guide our loved ones through the process of the end of their lives, because it will happen for all of us. Past that, this is a remarkably entertaining read. Oh, the parts about the history of nursing homes and assisted living made me yawn, but the rest had me spell bound. Dr. Gawnde's accounting of his own father's illness and death left me awash in emotion and even tears. The narration was perfect.
This story is all about tragedy, what could have been but was not. Bring a box of Kleenex. Even knowing from the prior two seasons what happens to Jace, you cannot be prepared. I am not certain where Jay Bell got the courage to write this one, but he did and it was amazingly good. Oh, and Kevin Free? Fantastic narration.
A thoroughly engaging story of self-discovery for all involved, well, almost all. There is a considerable attention given to the plight of older but still underage children who must live with an uncovered alcoholic parent; but an equal amount given to the benefits of a dedicated sober alcoholic who is now responsible. It was for that reason, a bit preachy for my tastes, but the overall effect is still a gripping and heartwarming tale that will not disappoint and just flew by quickly. The narration was spot on!
I did not even pay attention to the fact that this is a young adult title as one would find at the Harmony Ink site until I realized that the writing was not exactly aimed at older adults. Nonetheless the story was still compelling even if the outcome was going to be obvious. I still liked the warmth and thoughtfulness put into the well worth-while message and can appreciate that young gay teens need these kind of titles to represent their needs. The narration was spot on. Well done!
Fun characters, good drama and excellent narration. Do I wish it were longer? No, not really. Less is sometimes more, just like this review.
The only imperfection in this book is the cover art. It betrays what is really inside, an epic love story that you don't want to miss. The angst, the pure agony of what Tim and Ben go through until they finally find each other will keep you enthralled to the very end; but don't stop there. You must read Something Like Winter. It is the perfect companion, a must read and will complete the saga in a way seldom seen in the gay romance genre. Oh, yes, bring Kleenex, you'll need it!
Something Like Summer took me by storm, a wonderful read that I had to finish in less than 24 hours. I cried at the end because it was over too soon, a beautiful story. But I had no idea what was in store with Something Like Winter. Tim was an enigma in Something Like Summer. Something Like Winter shines the sun on Tim, his loves, mistakes and foibles. The best part is the sweet, sweet ending. I cried my eyes out over it, it was so beautiful. I wish all of gay romance fiction could be like both books, epic in time if not scope. Full of love and tragedy, heartache and triumph. I am sure I will be reading this pair again, not soon, but someday. The narration was perfect, by the way, a wonderful perk and dimension that I would not have wished to miss.
Roeder has a huge body of work so that I imagine that turning the subject of religious homophobic church pastors and coming out of the closet as a 15 year old boy totally on its head was appealing to the author. He probably just got bored. The problem here is that this is my first Roeder book and it just felt like a fantasy of "what if" I added a character that turns out to be Jesus. Yes, Jesus. You heard me. The book has heart and a purpose, that's not the problem. The problem is that solving the protagonist's dilemmas felt over-cooked. The narration was OK, not great, but only because of some lack of pace and some voice imitations and inflections just did not cut it. This will likely be my last Roeder book.
After Ben still is #1. Don't get me wrong, the writing is superb, but there are moments of tedium. Peter's "EMT" approach to life gets boorish, but he has a wonderful heart. Sean is an odd character to be sure, the oddest of the 2 books so far in the series, but has his own allures. Narration is perfect, as one would expect of Handler.
Not enough credit is given in my opinion in other reviews to the utter brilliance of setting of this story. It's a voyeur's peek into the world of the entertainment media that I've never encountered in fiction. Not to be outdone however, the characters are rich and palpable. Yes, sometimes they are a bit overwritten, but better that than boring. I wanted to duct tape Silas at times for his dorky, overcooked euphemisms, but I also wanted to hug and cheer on others like Ziggy and Max. The narration doubles the pleasure of the writing, it's perfect. Oh, bring a Kleenex, the read will drag out a few wet ones as well!
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