Wolfsong hurt me. Not for the reasons I thought it would but it hurt me it hurt me it hurt me. I’ve been reading it all day, I did, all the over-winded hundreds of pages of it, I’ve been reading all day and I couldn’t shut out the voices that said would you stop this is abusive stop stop no don’t you dare caring no this is abuse this is abuse this is abuse.
In the end, I probably needed this reminder : an abusive relationship is not always something that you can reject instantly because it doesn’t stink of evilness and wrongness – even though parts of you know – but looks so much like love and tenderness and appeals to everything in us that screams please need me. Over the past years, I’ve read so many books that pulled these strings and I tore them apart, so much that I trusted myself enough to never fall into such trap again.
I was wrong.
Because sometimes, sometimes an author is skilled enough to avoid our wards and confuse us and make us feel that we’re wrong, we should root for them, stop thinking, accept accept accept would you just accept their love just do it do it now would you.
I can’t, though. If I said that I probably needed this reminder, that’s because abuse is not always straightforward. An abusive character is not always someone I hate but one I LOVE and I’m manipulated into loving him so much and here’s the hate I was waiting for. Joe. Joe is abusive. There is so much emotional abuse in his relationship with Ox that I want to throw up. Even more because everything in Wolfsong tricks the reader into thinking that it’s okay, that codependency is okay, that it’s healthy to need someone to fix ourselves but it’s not, it fucking isn’t, and in the end I feel so damn sad and pissed off and
m a n i p u l a t e d
it makes me want to vomit. I want to vomit because I liked both guys and hated them so much. They broke my heart. I loathed that they kept coming at me, tearing up my wards and putting in my mind that it was okay and that I had a problem or wasn’t open-minded enough to accept their love but ultimately, that’s the thing, see? This is not love, this is fascination and control and this reeks of double standard because I would have raged earlier if one of them had been a woman and what is this bullshit, Anna? Fuck you, Anna. Why should I accept this mine mine mine rhetoric when it’s m/m if I wouldn’t have if it was a m/f romance? Ugh. Double-standards suck. I know that men can be abused as much as women and I sure know I knew that but it still disgusts me to realize that I was so long to call it out?
It doesn’t help that the story dragged so much and that the events happening in the middle were so useless and over-dramatic and nonsensical and why are you doing this it doesn’t make any sense just stop. It doesn’t help either that I didn’t care for the side characters at all after this point, especially Robbie and Jessie and Tanner and Rico and ugh I don’t care okay? I just don’t. Shut the fuck up. It doesn’t help that the characterization was all over the place and that I don’t know what to make of Ox, in the end. It doesn’t help, too, that the writing was so so so repetitive (but not devoid of beautiful and wonderful and emotional parts and that’s part of why I can’t go with 1 star.) (also Joe. Damn it, Joe. I know you don’t realize how fucked-up everything is but it doesn’t change a thing does it because see, I do.)
It doesn’t help but that’s not why I’m going with two stars and I just itch – I itch to give it one star because in the end, Wolfsong is nothing more than a Twilight rollercoaster of chosen one, codependent, unhealthy relationships, TSTL moments when you don’t even know why the characters are so fucking eager to sacrifice themselves for no reasons, I’m sorry, no reasons, with a villain who just cannot fucking die – who is he, seriously? a Terminator phoenix?
And as I got the appeal of Twilight, I understand why people love Wolfsong. I understand why people adore Joe, god, Joe. It’s so easy to but I cannot. I couldn’t. Came the end, I was shaking with anger and snarling, oh my god, I was snarling so bad. I might have felt for Ox and Joe, they weren’t beautiful together. I said that Wolfsong tricked me, but from the moment I opened my eyes on its flaws, I couldn’t look away. And that’s just right, because that’s what happens with any abusive relationship. Once you see things how they really are, you can’t ignore it. Right now, I can’t ignore that I wish I hadn’t read this book and that I’ll never read the words mate and need and only you can fix me again.
My skin crawls, and that’s not something I want to feel ever again.