Book Review

Candy Canes & Pinecones & Epic & Awesome — Wolfsong by T.J. Klune {Book Review}

Wolfsong by TJ Klune
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Title: Wolfsong (Green Creek #1)
Author: T.J. Klune
Publisher:
Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 20th, 2016
Standalone/Series: Series
Genre: Adult – Urban Fantasy – LGBTQIA+

My rating in stars: 

Rating: 5 out of 5.


My rating in words: 
New all-time favorite!

Check it out on Goodreads

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.

Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road. The little boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the little boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the little boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.

Ox was seventeen when he found out the little boy’s secret and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.

Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.

It’s been three years since that fateful day—and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.

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MY THOUGHTS (spoiler-free):

“Monsters are real. Magic is real. The world is a dark and frightening place and it’s all real.”

Wolfsong is my third T.J. Klune read and I have to be honest, I was very hesitant about starting this. Because the previous two books I’ve read by him were so amazing that I just didn’t think any other books could live up to them. I was worried that the magic that hooked me in both The House in the Cerulean Sea or Under the Whispering Door would not be present in his other books. Because I heard other reviewers comment about how different those books were from Wolfsong especially. And they’re right. Wolfsong is definitely very different from those other, more recent T.J. Klune books. For one, it is way angstier and heartbreaking. It’s also a lot more graphic and violent. But that’s the main difference. But despite the differences, the magic that I felt with those other T.J. Klune books was still very present in Wolfsong: the complex, multi-layered yet extremely loveable characters, the deep connections and found family aspect, the slow-burn romance and the quirky humor. They’re all present in Wolfsong so I’d highly recommend this book and series to anyone like me, looking for more T.J. Klune to read after falling in love with his more recent releases.

Oxnard Matheson for president!

This book follows our main character Ox, over a period of more than 10 years. Ox is such a precious character and definitely made my list of all-time favorite main characters ever. He’s always been made to believe by his dad that he’s slow and would never amount to much, so you can see how that would traumatize a person. But Ox is not slow, he just has his own nice, honest and simple way of looking at the world, without any artifice. His POV really shines because of the fitting writing style: short paragraphs that are both beautiful and simple, lyrical and to the point. Though this writing style may not be for everyone, I personally fell deeply in love with it.

The found family that own my heart

Of course, since the story spans so many years, the character growth Ox goes through is a thing of beauty. And it all starts when a family moves in next door, in the house at the end of the lane, and Ox meets Joe Benett, a little tornado of a boy who won’t stop talking and telling Ox he smells like candy canes and pinecones and epic and awesome. They immediately form a close friendship and Ox also gets to know the rest of the Bennetts. Which brings me to the found family aspect. Oh my, the bonds and relationships in this story are some of the most deeply beautiful bonds I’ve ever read about. I want to be a part of the Bennett pack. Every single character was so well developed, they all felt so real and the way they all felt about each other, were so loyal and would do anything for each other – be still my beating heart. And not just the Bennett family. But Ox’s friends at the garage, Gordo and Jessie and Chris and Tanner and Rico…. I love them all so much. If you love found families, this book is a real treat.

A fated mates romance that even this cynic adores

Not only the platonic relationships are excellent. The romantic relationship was heartbreakingly beautiful. And this is coming from someone who is not usually into fated mates. But this was fated mates done right. I loved Ox and Joe’s relationship and how it developed. It was a slow burn and moved at a realistic pace. Now, there is an age gap here: when the two meet, they are 10 and 16. But they are friends first and like I said the story spans many years and any romantic feelings only start much later, so it never felt weird to me. It was just Ox and Joe, you know? They were Ox and Joe and this “fated mates” cynic adored them so that should say enough.

Angst and heartbreak… but also humor!

Like I mentioned above, this story brings the angst. Your heart will go through the wringer. And you will FEEL everything Ox feels. The happiness, the pain, the relief, the loneliness, the love. ALL OF IT. There is grief, there is healing, there is anger and there is friendship. It’s just such a mix of emotions, but it is so heartachingly beautiful. Also, in case you fear the angst-level in this one, you should know that the humor-level is also pretty high, so you’ll still be able to have a nice balance. The humor in this book was just my thing – quirky and able to catch you off guard. Once scene in particular that involved Joe asking Ox’s mom permission to “court” Ox had me laughing so hard I cried. And the guys at the garage have the best banter. Like I said, you’ll feel it all, the lows but also the highs.

A unique world of shifters and more

I don’t want to go to deep into the plot itself, because I feel like this is a book you just need to dive in and experience. It’s a shifter romance, so of course the story features a lot of typical shifter elements and yet I felt like it was a pretty unique take on the entire trope and the worldbuilding was well done.

Overall… 5 epic and awesome stars!

I can’t recommend this book any more. It’s my third T.J. Klune and I ADORED it with all my heart, JUST like my previous two T.J. Klune reads, so I’m sensing the beginning of a new all-time favorite auto-buy author coming on. Please just pick up Wolfsong if you’re like me and loved his recent releases but are hesitant to try Klune’s backlist. Or just pick up Wolfsong if you’ve never heard of the author but are looking for a unique shifter romance with deep emotions, amazing character journeys, the found family-trope at it’s finest and a quirky sense of humor. I’ve already picked up sequel Ravensong and am definitely planning to just binge the entire series because I’m not yet ready to leave the Bennett pack behind.

FAVORITE QUOTES:

“You don’t get to decide what you’re worth because you obviously don’t know. You don’t get to decide that anymore because you have no fucking idea that you’re worth everything.”

“Oh my god, Ox, your life is like those shitty sparkly vampire movies. That I’ve never seen and don’t like at all, shut up.”

“I couldn’t find the words to say what I wanted. Sometimes, when your heart gets so full, it takes away your voice and all you can do it hold on for dear life.”

“I want to court your son.” “What does that mean?” she asked. “It means I want to provide for him to prove my worth,” Joe said. “And then, once he agrees to be mine, I’ll mount him and then bite him and everyone will see that we belong to each other.”

Five Stars
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Tell Me:
Have you read Wolfsong? What did you think about it?

Lindsey xoxo
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10 Comments

  1. Stephanie - Bookfever says:

    The quote of those shitty sparkly vampire movies! 😆 This book sounds really amazing. Just yet another TJ Klune book on my TBR. I have yet to read my first.

    1. Haha the humor in this one was so great 😀 Hope you’ll love TJ Klune’s writing when you’re ready to give it a try!

  2. Oh wow. This does sound different, but still good. I am going to have to keep it in mind for when I want a darker read. Great review!

    1. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did when you decide to give it a try 🙂

  3. Sophie @BewareOfTheReader says:

    I am so HAPPYYYYYYYY!!!! This is my favorite by TJ Klune with The House!

    1. You were so right when you told me to read this, it was AMAZING! I definitely agree that it’s up there with House in Cerulean Sea!

  4. I haven’t read Klune but I see so many good reviews!

    1. His books do seem loved by many – I’ve only read 4 of them so far, but those I highly recommend 🙂

  5. Gah! Your review just shot this one to the top of my TBR, Lindsey! This book has been languishing on my TBR for *years.* It was initially recommended to me by one of my favorite writing duos, Krista & Becca Ritchie. They adore the series and constantly push it. But it’s one of those I just never get around to. I will be changing that stat! Oh, and those quotes at the end… love them so much!

    1. I’m so happy Wolfsong is on top of your TBR now! I totally understand, as it was on my TBR for ages too, but I’m so happy I finally dove in. I hope you’ll love it just as much as I did!

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