KJ’s always been fascinated by the wolves around Yellowstone. When the town starts a campaign to get rid of them, KJ knows she can’t be the quiet little outcast anymore. She starts a column about wolves in her school’s newspaper, and gets to work with the handsome new transfer Virgil, who is as mysterious and fascinating to her as the wolves. But the campaign against wolves turns violent, and a serious misunderstanding pushes Virgil away. Kristen Chandler’s Wolves, Boys, & Other Things that might Kill Me is a great coming of age novel. Books are my escape, so I usually don’t like to read novels about real people with real problems. But every once in a while I do, and they’re gems in my bookshelves. This is one such book. I loved KJ’s growth through the novel, how she goes from being a quiet, ‘let things be’ kind of girl, to an outspoken, ‘I’ll fight for what’s right’ young woman. And she’s not only dealing with her teenage problems, but also with something bigger—the Wolf Reintroduction Program. We get to hear both sides of the arguments, with the environmentalists on one side, and the ranchers on the other side. Then we have KJ, who starts viewing the wolves as people. The parallel she makes between herself and the Cinderella wolf added an interesting layer to the story; about how wolves are hunters and killers and people are too. This is how she learns not to back down. There are romantic tones to the story, but they take a backseat to the bigger problems. Virgil is a new student at KJ’s school, and she’s totally smitten by him from the moment she sees him. They get to work together on the wolf column for the school’s newspaper, and have some interesting times. But then she makes a mistake, and he pulls away. This leaves her feeling quite alone, as her father is usually off camping and guiding tourists and stuff. What I loved about Virgil is that he didn’t give up. He still continued to help KJ, even though he was upset about her misconception. The ending was the part I didn’t like. It was too ‘real’ as in no happy endings for me. But the quote below was great. This comparison of wolves and humans is a big theme that is carried throughout the book, and I loved it. Overall, it’s a fun and quick read, with a nice environmentalist message that add deeper meaning to this YA novel.