So, I made the mistake of looking at reviews before reading Wolfsong. Someone referred to Wolfsong as basically Twilight, but gay. And that statement influenced my whole experience with this book. I hope that this statement now haunts you like it haunted me.
Wolfsong by TJ Klune is the first book in the Green Creek series. The story follows Ox. At 12 his father leaves, and the story continues from there until he is well into his twenties. It is a long spanning story that manages to not feel too rushed despite the number of years it covers. The story follows Ox from bullied and alone to being an embedded part of the Bennet pack. It is a story that covers grief, found family, loneliness, and a wide range of other emotional topics.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed TJ Klune’s writing. It is smooth and packs a big emotional punch. I have always cried when reading books. But I don’t think I have ever cried as much reading a book as I did with this one. You have been warned.
But shit, that Twilight comment really stuck with me. I read the whole Twilight series in high school and I didn’t think that I remembered that much about it. However, there were whole scenes in Wolfsong where I was like, this scene is nearly identical to Twilight. At the point where Ox and Joe’s relationship takes the turn toward romance, a lot of characters start referencing Twilight as well and I wasn’t here for it.
I get that Klune is playing with the fact that he recognizes parts of the story are like Twilight, but I don’t think it is really that funny or cute. Twilight had a lot of harmful relationship stereotypes and I don’t think that Wolfsong really addressed that. It was like Klune was self-aware, but not enough to fix the problematic components of the story.
I also really cannot get over the age difference. And not because of the actual number of years (Joe and Ox are 6 years apart, that’s only two years more than the difference between my wife and I). The issue I had is that the characters meet when Ox is 16 and Joe is 10. Their relationship doesn’t take a turn toward the romantic until Joe is 17 and Ox is 23. However, I still couldn’t get over the fact that Ox is eventually attracted to Joe when Joe was a child when they met. It weirds me out.
I’m still not keen on sex scenes in books, and I really didn’t need the level of detail that includes using the term perineum.
Despite not liking quite a few key aspects of the story, I still enjoyed Wolfsong overall and will eventually read the rest of the series. Maybe once I get through more of my owned TBR.