As previously mentioned, I have a Book SoulMate. And she has carte blanche. Also, as previously mentioned, I prefer not to read blurbs and especially reviews before I read a book. I will check to see if a particular respected reviewer has given it any stars, but that’s generally as far as I go in deciding on a read. If the BSM recommends it then I absolutely dive in without checking the waters first. I know she’s got me.
In this case it led to a teeny mix-up. For whatever reason I got it in my head that this was a post-apocalyptic survival story with a mentally handicapped hero. You know – Cormac McCarthy combined with William Faulkner. The first chapter only reinforced my belief. So imagine my surprise when I figured out what I was reading! Right – awkward.
Storyline – Ox has a crappy dad and a rough childhood. New neighbors move in, and Ox steps outside of drab constructs into a world bursting with frightening color. It’s a first person POV – which I frequently hate. But when it’s good it’s so so good. You truly experience the naivety and kindness that is Ox. He’s lovely. If you’ve read TJ Klune before you understand that the romance aspect of this book is not mainstream. And this is a paranormal.
It turns out that I was reading a story about family – the family you’re born into and the family that you create. A story about what it means to be “us” when you’re not even sure who you are. The ties that we choose and those that choose us – and how you handle those decisions.
There was adventure. Sadness. Loss. Heartache. But most of all an overwhelming feeling of love. Belonging. Acceptance. Our differences make us better – make us a thing to be revered.
The truth is this book should not have worked. An M/M paranormal romance with a very simple first person POV? It just sounds terrible. Like when you go to the restaurant and learn that dessert that night is avocados and chocolate. That’s just wrong, right? WRONG! It turns out that this sweet, complex, moving story couldn’t have been told any other way.
I cannot imagine reading anything else right now. I’m debating more Klune, but I’m nervous this was a one-off. Mostly I want to bask in the glow of this book for just a little longer.