This is a "traumatic-return-of-an-old-man-to-a-young-man's-body" story with a twist. Although it has its darker side, it is essentially a love story, and a voyage of discovery. Well written, and leavened with humour, I found it a very good read.
"Why didn't I Just..." is a time-travel story with a twist. It's the story of Jimmy Gordon making a deal with a Guardian and re-living his life again anew. However, restrictions are placed on this "new" life granted to him by the guardian.
The story starts out well. It is a story of how Jimmy attempts to adjust with his "new" life. He's having relationships and sex with the girls as well as having a continuing love-hate relationship with the Guardian.
But then, the story becomes Jimmy-oriented. Jimmy starts to gain more and more powers. Unfortunately, this is the result of the forces working against Jimmy (mainly the Guardian) giving up the fight. There was a critical point in the story where I was thinking "Why didn't the guardian just do this?" The ending of the balance didn't bode well for the remainder of the story.
With Jimmy becoming Super Jimmy, the only plot left for the story is to see if Jimmy can develop as a person. Unfortunately, his character development ends up where it starts off. In the beginning, Jimmy is a smart business man with a good heart but with one main character flaw. The story shows his quick thinking in business matters, as well his heart of gold. But his character flaw is never fully addressed. In fact, it exists even at the end of the story. But if you have God-like powers, there is no need to trust others.
It isn't often that I use the word "fun" to describe a story but "Why Didn't I Just..." is one where the term seems to apply.
Few authors will write a time travel piece in the same league as Frank Downey or Al Steiner, but "Openbook" avoided many of the easy outs and took a path less travelled.
He freely admits that writing sex scenes is not his area of speciality, but I found it to be just right for good erotic reading. The plot was excellent! The problem is that it is a long story and you can't stop reading.
I know that I'm a stickler for editing and I think this story could have used a second or third tech editor to correct some oversights, but in all, I would have to say it was well written and thought out.
There are plot twists and curve balls to keep you on your toes and keep you interested.
I like the time travel genre very much but see too many people trying to emulate Downey's "Rewind" or Steiner's "Doing It All Over."
This is a pleasant change from the waking up young and knowing everything that is going to happen. It doesn't carry the emotional pain of "Rewind" or the angst of "Doing it All Over," but "Why Didn't I Just..." will be something that I foresee other authors copying which I am told is the highest form of flattery.
This is one of those must read stories for any one looking for a great plot and a fun read!
Most enjoyable and I commend the author for daring to be different!
It's funny the way a story can just consume your time. While I have a fascination with stories about second chances, not all of them draw me in the way this one has. Maybe it's fantasy hitting too close to reality when it comes to regrets about my own life choices. Whatever it is, I find myself constantly looking to see if a new chapter has been posted. I need to know where this is going to wind up.
For me, the sex in this story is very secondary to the story itself. I like the characters and I find that I am frequently anticipating how they will react to the situations that arise as the story progresses.
Bottom line: I am really enjoying this story and I would recommend it to those who are looking for a read with more story than sex.
Reviewed: 2006-02-21 - (Review Updated: 2006-02-21)
Take a bit of "Rewind" by Frank Downey, plus a bit of "Doing It All Over" by Al Steiner and that ALMOST describes "Why Didn't I Just..." Openbook has taken the common theme of 'second chances' and has added his own unusual twist that is sure to keep the readers laughing and scratching their heads wondering 'what's next'.
Jimmy Gordon has spent his life drinking, smoking and making money. Now, his lifestyle has caught up with him and he has no time left. At home, drinking and feeling sorry for himself, he finds the one thing he really needs, a second chance. He is offered a choice; give all your earthly posessions to charity and you can go back and start your life over from any date you want. Well, what would you do if you could relive your life starting from age 18 while keeping the knowledge gathered from 60+ years of life? The possibilities are boundless... or are they?
"Why Didn't I Just..." isn't a stroke story, it is a story about second chances. It has sex but it is added as needed to ensure a smooth story from begining to end. It is only into chapter 20 as I write this review and I find myself waiting anxiously for the new releases.