Skip to main content

Tell the Wolves I'm Home: "I am average at English and I am average at math, but I was not going to be average at looking after Toby."

Occasionally in book blogging circles, so many people read/review a book well that you begrudgingly (if you're me) say "FINE. *FINE.* I will read this damn thing." And then you usually like it and are strangely irritated about liking it. "I GUESS you guys are awesome and have awesome opinions. I guess."

I will do this to your faces until we all feel awkward

Tell the Wolves I'm Home, for the two of you who haven't read it, is a first person narration about a girl in the 1980s whose uncle contracts AIDS and dies from it. The uncle (Finn) was her favorite person on earth, and she finds out after he dies that he'd been in a relationship for years with a man named Toby, who is now all alone. The majority of the book is about her friendship with Toby, and this all sounds like a huge bummer, BUT I REALLY LIKED IT AND IT'S REALLY GOOD AND YOU SHOULD READ IT.

You know all those times I'm like "ughhhh this is too sad I can't get into it"? Yeah. This bypasses that by being awesome AND not maudlin. The author handles the sadness deftly, so it's never like "Oh, this is an AIDS book" or "This is a mourning book" -- it's just a book about people and relationships. Meaning it's a novel.

A novel with feels.

The narrator, June, is 14, and does weird shit like dress in medieval-type clothes and go into the woods by herself. 

 "Going into the woods by yourself is the best way to pretend you're in another time." 

 "I can't even really sing, but the thing is, if you close your eyes when you sing in Latin, and if you stand right at the back so you can keep one hand against the cold stone wall of the church, you can pretend you're in the Middle Ages."

I wasn't a huge fan of the antisocial narrator of Fangirl, but with June I think I found more to relate to. Because I TOTALLY went into the woods by myself as a kid and pretended I was in another time. And by "into the woods" I mean into a scrubby bit of brush in my parents' backyard that was only concealed from sight when it was summer because leaves.

And June tries. She really, really tries. Her relationship with her older sister is strained, and she's not sure why. She wants to fix it, but her sister keeps shutting her out because June keeps somehow saying the wrong thing. When she finds out about Finn's partner Toby, she battles jealousy and selfishness with the knowledge that this person knew and loved the same person she did. 

Everything in the book revolves around Finn, who dies very early in the book. All the action and reactions take place because of him having existed on the planet, and even though some of it is bad, I found it to be a beautiful testament to life, and a way of honoring those who died of AIDS when the disease meant social ostracization.


Mainly Tell the Wolves I'm Home is yet another example of a book I wouldn't have picked up on my own, but thanks to the fantastic world of book bloggers and their community, I basically had to. And am really glad I did, because what a damn great story.


Popular posts from this blog

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'. You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters. If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing: We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilar

Minithon: The Mini Readathon, January 11th, 2020

The minithon is upon us once more! Minithons are for the lazy. Minithons are for the uncommitted. Minithons are for us. The minithon lasts 6 hours (10 AM to 4 PM CST), therefore making it a mini readathon, as opposed to the lovely Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon and 24in48, both of which you should participate in, but both of which are a longer commitment than this, the Busy Watching Netflix person's readathon. By 'read for six hours' what's really meant in the minithon is "read a little bit and eat a lot of snacks and post pictures of your books and your snacks, but mostly your snacks." We like to keep it a mini theme here, which mainly means justifying your books and your snacks to fit that theme. Does your book have children in it? Mini people! Does it have a dog! Mini wolf! Does it have pencils? Mini versions of graphite mines! or however you get graphite, I don't really know. I just picture toiling miners. The point is, justify it or don't

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop ( Odyssey Books , where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have. I feel like we could get to this point, Emily INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy