Published: November 2017 by St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Literary Fiction
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
This was one of those books that I was just a little bit nervous to start. It had been sitting on my shelf since October, along with all my other picks from my Book of the Month Club subscription, waiting for me to pick it up. And as it waited, I kept hearing more and more people talk about how much they really loved this book.
I’m definitely not the kind of person who doesn’t want to read a book just because it’s popular… but I do get a little hesitant when I’ve already had high hopes for a book and then hear a lot of positive things. What if it doesn’t live up to everything I’ve built it up to be in my head? What if it doesn’t meet those expectations? What if it doesn’t live up to that absolutely gorgeous cover?
This book wasn’t what I expected. But in this case, I mean that in the best possible way. Even with all of the excitement over it, all of my friends who told me it was wonderful, it still managed to take me by surprise. This book is so much more than what it sounds like from the blurb on the inside cover. I was expecting to escape into a fun fantasy tale of a boy raised by wolves. And I did… but it was just so much more than that. It’s a story about family, belonging, friendship, love, faith, and magic.
The story is told almost entirely in the perspectives of the people who knew Weylyn Grey, the boy raised by wolves. It’s told from the perspective of Mary, the girl who meets him and wants to run away with him and his pack. It’s told from the perspective of Lydia, the girl who welcomes him into her family. It’s told from the eyes of the teacher who tried to teach him, the mayor of the town who looks to him for help. It is told from a whole variety of people who all see him completely differently, and it allows the reader to decide for themselves how they want to see Weylyn.
There were times when all of these different characters spread over the course of Weylyn’s entire life dragged a bit for me… when I wanted more concrete answers or I wanted to stay in one place or perspective for more than just a chapter or two. but when I reached the end of this book it just so completely and fully warmed my heart–I completely fell in love with the story as a whole. Looking back on it now that I have finished, I want to go right back to the beginning and read it again, soaking up all of the magic floating around in the very atmosphere of the book. I want to spend more time with this whole cast of characters who felt so real.
If you’re looking for a book where everything makes sense at the end and you have answers to all of your questions, this one might not be the right choice for you. But if you like a few unanswered questions, and if you like a warm-hearted and absolutely magical love story that just might take you by surprise, what are you waiting for? Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is that book.