Book Review – Wolfsong by TJ Klune

by Maryse on January 16, 2017 · 24 comments

in My Book Reviews

Right off the bat, I just want to point out that this one came HIGHLY recommended over and over again (showing up in our reader discussions, and being highlighted on so many of the “Top 2016 Books” lists. This one is a sure bet for many of my fellow readers, I have no doubt about it!

MichelleS: WOLFSONG! I will never forget these characters, the werwolf lore, the story… the FEELS… just loved the heck out of this book. …WOLFSONG was perfect for me. My only complaint is leaving their world behind when I was done! …“You gotta smell him and then tell me why it’s all candy canes and pinecones and epic and awesome.” – YOU MUST READ WOLFSONG STAT

Tessa: So finished Wolfsong. I did 5 star it, and I liked the way their romance progressed.

R: Hmmmm….what was my favorite book this month. Let’s see. Uh… WOLFSONG!!!! Hand’s down, not even a question. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it. And this one Fabi did recommend. XOXOXO! …I’m not a big PNR fan anymore either and I loved Wolfsong!

Robyn: I read Wolfsong also. I didn’t think I would like,a m/m book, but I loved this one. The writing was exquisite and I couldn’t put it down for anything. …God I really loved that book! I can’t wait for Ravensong to come out.

Fabi: FEEL the colors. Feel the love. Ox, he’s not the brightest cookie in the jar, but maybe he’s the sweetest. And Joe, he’s damaged, but maybe not beyond repair. Why do the butterflies still riot in my tummy every time I hear this book mentioned?

400 pages of romance love story with the whole werewolf-shifter pack dynamic (encompassing the family, the friends, and the whole entourage – past and present), and you have yourself a very full, and often action-packed story. But it’s not so action packed that you don’t get that sweet downtime that allows the reader to get to know the characters, and the fun and quirky moments that really developed a few of the main characters.

His nostrils flared. Looked back at me. Cocked his head. Nostrils flared again. Like he was… sniffing? Smelling?

I copied him and sniffed the air. It smelled the same to me. Like it always did.

The man laughed and shook his head. “It’s nothing bad,” he said.

Tee hee!! Lots of cuteness in the whole “discovery” process. Ox, discovering who he is within the pack… and who he’s suddenly crushing on.

“What happened to your shirt?” Mom asked.

“Tomatoes,” I said.

“You look flushed,” she said. “Your face is bright red.”

“It’s hot out.”

“Ox. Did something happen?”

“Nope. Not a single thing.”

“You’re breathing really heavily.”

“It’s a thing I do. Big guy, you know? Need big breaths.”

“Yeah,” Mom said. “I don’t think that’s a thing.”


It’s a detailed family photo album come to life, and this sweet story reiterates that just because you weren’t born into a family, it doesn’t mean you aren’t a part of it.

Ox. You will never need to be more. Of anything. You are perfect just the way you are. Humans are… special. Human pack members are revered. You will always be protected. You will always be loved.”

Love. 100% heart and soul, to me, is the main message of this one, but of course, as shifters and territories go, there are always enemies to contend with, that threaten the very life blood of this clan, and their ancestry.

So what’s it about?

A young man (Ox), meets a sweet little extremely exuberant and excited little boy (Joe) one day, in the woods. Joe is so excited to make this new friend (age difference not affecting him at all in regards to having a new friend), and he begs Ox to come to his house and meet his family. Curious, Ox goes over, and the family, while at first uneasy with how EASY little Joe takes to Ox…

“It’s always the ones who are the quietest who often have the greatest things to say. And yes, I think we’ll be friends.”

they see something in Ox, and the trust Joe has in him, and they eventually accept him (and his single mom) with open arms.

Joe and Ox eventually become the best of friends, but Ox becomes close with the whole pack. Er… family (because, you know… he doesn’t realizes they’re wolves, at first).

“Tell everyone that Ox is under Bennett protection and if anyone so much as looks at him funny, I’ll break their arms. Don’t f*ck with Ox.”

But when Ox discovers their very important secret, the enemies they are protecting themselves from, the reason Joe is the way he is, and the reason Ox, himself is so important to the family, well… let’s just say the story gets rolling from there. The scary-action, the sweet closeness and even the funny. And boy could it be funny!!

Tessa: Wolfsong… Can I say I adore Rico? No matter what, he has me laughing, especially the Twilight references.

But I struggled with it, you guys. I feel bad.

OKAY those who haven’t read it yet, I analyze my experience of the book next, so it might be a little spoiler-ish (barely) for those that want to go in blind. So skip the next part. ;)

It was, at times, exhaustive. To me, it was much longer than it needed to be, and so wordy that I’d lose my focus (or my interest). It felt like it went in circles (the thought processes <— especially those, the realizations, the arguments, the dialogue). Mostly sweet, but often, the characters sounded alike (and there were many of them). I didn’t always know who was talking. I wondered if I had missed something, or was missing something (that so many were connecting to). For such a lengthy book, at times, it lacked defining, memorable moments (except for the battles). It was a lot of book, for a very (to me) simple story that had your more “typical” paranormal theme (enemies, unequivocal life mates, pack dynamics and jealousy). With a very lengthy separation, that for the most part, made no sense to me at all, yet took up a HUGE portion of the story. I suppose it was for Joe to “come into his own”.

Maryse: I’m having a hard time finishing Wolfsong. What’s wrong with me? I like the funny parts. Like… REALLY like them. Adorable and fun and cute, and quirky-clever. But then… it’s just… long, for the rest. But I’m gonna finish. I’m SO far in/almost finished. I can’t stop now. TOOOOO many readers LOVED it. And I mean LOVED-loved it, so I had to find myself in there, too. And I LOVE TJ’s other series (and his writing).

bev: How far are you Maryse?

Maryse: Still at 75% bev… I’m thinking something is coming that’s gonna make me go AWWWWW THERE IT IS!!!!

bev: It is funny how that can happen. A book can have all the check marks and an author you like and yet…..

Fabi: I’m on my 2nd or 3rd dnf in a row. Fabi is not a happy camper.

Maryse: *group hug*

R: I wanna join! *hugs*  Wait…are you hugging us to soften the Wolfsong blow? You know we love you either way, right?

Leslie: I need in on this group hug!!! Talk about feeling bad about a book???? I dnf-ed Wolfsong!! *horrified gasp*

Tessa: *huggles into the puppy pile* Hi! Why are we huggling? Is it DNF induced. If so, I’m about to DNF ****.

bev: Random group hug. I’m uneasy.

Maryse: *snort* bev you crack me up!!!!

Fabi: Bev is carefully sniffing things out while the rest of us are jumping into the puppy pile. lol

bev: This is me, until I know what’s going on.

Gah I LOVE you guys so much!! You’re so supportive and understanding of each other’s favorite books and not so favorite books… and I’m relieved we can all still have our own puppy-pile even if I didn’t want to join Ox’s and Joe’s.

‘Cause I KNOW that this book is a true one for so many here.

And well… I finally finished it. I kept putting it down, squirreling to other things, other books, and it was at times hard for me to pick back up, ’cause I kind of just felt as if the story was pretty much done for the most part and it just kept going. And going. And I certainly had an idea of where it was going, and I just wanted to get there. ;) But I can’t write a proper review on a book I haven’t finished, and I needed to make sure. I needed to get to the end.

It was GOOD… you guys. Wolfsong. It was. I get it. It just didn’t hold me for some reason. Honestly? He’s such a beautiful writer, and yet in this one, it was almost too exuberant. His writing style… so unique, so HIM, but for this book, I wasn’t feeling “it” right.

And for that, I have to give this one:

3 stars

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Lee Ching January 16, 2017 at 6:29 PM

WOW!!! My exact feelings it’s like you were with me when I read it. SO many loved it and I did love some parts of it (dont get me wrong).. but I didn’t feel “it” too, throughout the entire book.

Great review M :)

Maryse January 16, 2017 at 6:31 PM


*phew* Okay thank you for letting me know, Lee!!!! <3

bev January 16, 2017 at 7:01 PM

Great review.
All books can not be candy canes and pinecones to all people.

Not gonna lie, a bit nervous about the Gann rec now. It is like 3x as long. You’ll look down at time left and it will honestly be all, A week from next Saturday.

Fabi January 16, 2017 at 7:01 PM

awww, we really appreciate you finishing it and reviewing, even when you weren’t feeling it. You know what they say about books and readers…

oh, you don’t?

well, neither do I. ;-)

luffs ya!!!

R. Renee January 16, 2017 at 7:11 PM

bev, I love the monkey but maybe just for a little while I think you should be the little dog. I just fell over laughing at that again!

I love that you read/reviewed this Maryse! And it’s going to be okay. It will. I don’t think anyone really liked this book anyway. We all got together and decided it would be good for Fabi’s ego.

Fabi January 16, 2017 at 7:19 PM

mmhhh R. sure. That’s why 21,500+ members voted it #1 M/M book of the year.

It’s very simply that there is no one single book that is the exact right fit for every single person.

Can you imagine such a boring world?

R. Renee January 16, 2017 at 7:21 PM

:D I’m kidding! I already told you I’m naming my next child after you, Wolfsong Fabi Anderson. I really hope it’s a boy. And a wolf. And that I don’t actually have a next child.

bev January 16, 2017 at 7:23 PM

Get a puppy.
A Fabi puppy.

Fabi January 16, 2017 at 7:23 PM

CRAP! R…I just busted out laughing SO LOUD right smack in the middle of my office. Heads turning, eyes peeking over the top of cubes…yeah folks, no worries, it was just a really funny piece of code I had I rewrite. :-/

R. Renee January 16, 2017 at 7:27 PM

That’s your fault! It’s 6:30 go home and we can drink wine and talk about people. I mean books.

Fabi January 16, 2017 at 7:33 PM

alright, alright, I’m cutting out early and stopping at the grocery store.

Robyn January 16, 2017 at 7:46 PM

Awww….I’m sorry Wolfsong didn’t speak to your heart Maryse. But that’s okay, cuz there’s plenty of books that do.

Bev, I tried reading Gaan and I seriously could not get through it. I did not connect with that book for some reason at all. I kept losing interest and stopped way to many times. I even read a couple of other books during my stoppage times before finally throwing in the towel. Maybe you’ll have better luck.

Grey January 16, 2017 at 7:50 PM

Well I personally hope that R’s next child, her son, Wolfsong Fabi Anderson, has super sparkly *grey* fur… I mean hair. And we can get him all sorts of cute collars, I mean, hairties. We would have the most awesome online puppy…err, baby… shower ever!

I didn’t read your review Maryse, because I’m going to give this one a shot for the challenge, but from skimming the comments here it seems you weren’t so keen on this book. I appreciate you persevering through it, even though it wasn’t your cup of tea!

MichelleS January 16, 2017 at 8:11 PM

Aw! Sad…. but I totally get it. I’ve had my share of books that so many people loved & I could just not connect with. Timing is a big one for me. My moods are all over the place. I just finished Klune’s Tell Me it’s Real – which was awesome! Hilarious! But I was in the mood for light.

Still luffs ya! Hope we can find another gem you’ll love!

bev January 16, 2017 at 8:19 PM

Robyn, I loved The Last Hour of Gann. I’m just now more nervous about my rec to Maryse.
Though really they are two very different books. Very different.

Jan January 16, 2017 at 8:38 PM

Congrats on the baby, R. Great name ;)

Karin January 16, 2017 at 8:45 PM

I hear ya. I gave it 4 stars. I liked it. I didn’t love it. It took time for me to get into it. If you don’t have me at hello, no 5 star.

R. Renee January 16, 2017 at 8:51 PM

Thanks Jan! :D

Fabi January 16, 2017 at 9:10 PM

Oh my god, you guys are hilarious

Tessa January 16, 2017 at 10:16 PM

*hugs* You tried. Go read Murder of Crows and that’ll be so good, you forget everything.

Julie o January 17, 2017 at 5:29 AM

Thank you Maryse. I didn’t say anything because EVERYONE loved that book so much I thought something was wrong with me. Never finished it. To each their own.

Jean January 17, 2017 at 7:35 AM

Oh my gosh, I love you guys! Crack me up!

Maryse, great review and I get where you are coming from. I did think it could have been shorter, but still loved it because it was so out of my box. I love that we all have different reactions to books, that’s what gives us our diversity here!

And yes bev needs to change her pic to that dog!

Leslie M January 17, 2017 at 8:19 AM

Yup, I spit out my coffee on R’s comment AND Fabi’s reaction!! You guys always make me giggle.

As much as I HATE when I don’t love a popular book, it ‘s fascinating to hear all the different takes on it. For me when a book is too wordy/overly descriptive/slow burn-ish, that’s when it’s loses me. I don’t necessarily have issue with a long book, just “long winded” I guess.

Christina January 17, 2017 at 3:40 PM

Thankfully we all have different opinions and while I do very often agree with Maryse, I have a different take on this book. I LOVED this book almost as much as candy canes and pine cones. The style the feeling, the growth of the characters, it’s a Top 2016 for me. I’ve already re-read it and it got me just as much the second time.

Unique, uplifting and unforgettable.

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