Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5
What if youth wasn’t wasted on the young?
On the eve of his fortieth birthday, Ian Parker is looking for a reboot. He may be the proud owner of a trendy coffee shop in Austin called La Tazza Magica, but his love life has been MIA for years. During a trip to Denver with his best friend, Mark, Ian buys an enchanted chocolate from a mysterious candy store—then wakes up from a nap two decades younger. After the initial shock, Ian realizes a quirk of the universe has given him a second chance and, with Mark’s help, he devises a plan to start over. With a new lease on life, Ian sets his sights on handsome architect Bartley James, a regular customer at La Tazza. He pursues Bartley as Ian’s twenty-one-year-old alter ego, Ryan, with decidedly unexpected results. Joining Ryan on his adventures are Matthew, the dreamy new barista, Jeremy, the geeky high-school math teacher, and Sam, the pizza delivery boy. Even as misunderstandings and expectations collide, Ian remains determined to right his past mistakes and find his off-ramp to happiness.
Be careful what you wish for cause you just might get it!
The glow from the flame threw shadows around the kitchen as he sang “Happy Birthday” to himself. Then he closed his eyes and blew out the candle. Since no one could hear him, Ian didn’t see any harm in saying it out loud.
“I wish I could go back and do it all over again.”
Ian is the forty years old owner of “La Tazza Magica”, an European style cafè, a place for writes, students and players to come. Ian is a lonely man, apart from his coffee shop, he has very few people in his life, Mark is one of them. Ian is going to Denver with his friend to celebrate his fortieth birthday. During his time in Denver, he buys a chocolate kiss called Manick Butter (with pot in it) and eats it on the plane coming back to Austin. He takes a nap and when he wakes up he looks twenty years younger. After the initial shock, he and Mark will work on planning a new identity to Ian. So Ian becomes Ryan and he will use this second chance to remedy all the mistakes he made in his previous life and maybe to have a real chance at dating Bartley, one of his customers and biggest crush.
Yes by Brad Boney is one of that books that leave me thinking about them for long time, especially cause I’m still not sure if I liked it or not. Brad Boney is an author I really appreciate. He’s really good with words and his stories are always so interesting. The writing is enchanting. I couldn’t put the book down till the end. And it happens to me every time I read a book by Brad Boney, I’m glad to have read it.
Of course this book is a standalone, but I’m wondering why all Boney’s books (and I’m thinking about The Return, The Eskimo Slugger and The Nothingness Of Ben) aren’t part of a series, since the MCs of each story can be found in all these books, maybe it could be simple for the readers. Of course having read the other books first helped, but I honestly don’t think you’ll miss something in this book if you haven’t.
There are some recurrent elements in Boney’s books. First of all there are a lot of movies, songs, television characters mentions, sometimes I didn’t get them being Italian but I enjoyed them. In The Return we got a lot of discussions about songs and singers, while in Yes we had a really great discussion on the story of the porn and its actors. And I’m mentioning just one dialogue.
Then, what I loved in all of his books is the great second characters cast, we always get a lot of people, a lot of background, a lot of details. In Yes we meet Quentin, the smarter brother of Ben (The Nothingness Of Ben) and all the Walsh clan too. We meet Topher and the wonderful people of The Return. Most of all, we know Mark, who supports and accepts the change in Ian with not so much fussing. A friend that helps you no matter what, even in crazy and magical times. In fact, in Boney’s books there’s always a paranormal (or magical) aspect that brings the MCs together.
Yea has a mysterious aurea as in The Return, even if not in the same way but it missed the emotional parts of The Return and the chemistry of The Nothingness Of Ben. Yes is a light reading, an easy and pleasurable one. There are some funny moments too, like this scene:
“This is the test I was talking about. Read a couple of sentences.”
“I saw it on Teen Wolf. Stiles said you can’t read when you’re dreaming. We need to eliminate the possibility that this is a hallucination.”
“So that’s your first move? You’re taking a cue from an MTV show about werewolves? What happened to a logical explanation?”
My problem, if it can be called problem, was that I couldn’t like Ian as Ryan, he did some really nasty and insane things in my opinion, he definitely didn’t learn from his past mistakes. Ian wakes up in a younger body but he is still Ian inside, so why does he behave as a teen? I couldn’t go past a couple of things: SPOILER
Let’s talk a little about the ending. Briefly it was an unexpected disappointment. The story resolved in the simplest way you can think of. Okay it’s a book, okay believing in a couple of things not everybody believes in, but it felt short to me, just too simplistic. Boney took me to other levels in the past. In Yes at the end it was almost as nothing had ever happened and it’s not a good feeling when you’re done with a book and you don’t know what to do about it. I’m still thinking I missed something.
So if you read the previous books by Brad Boney, you’ll know what to expect. Yes is a well written, funny and smart book. You will meet and know more about the characters you loved in them. I am really sorry to say that this one wasn’t so great as the others.
Cover art by Alex Saskalidis. This cover is something different and very welcomed. Well done.
Published March 16th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ebook, 220 pages
Edition language English