Do you believe in love at first sight?
Corey Ellis sure doesn’t. Oh, everyone around him seems to have found their happy ending, but he’s far too busy to worry about such things. He’ll have plenty of time for romance after he survives his last summer before graduation. So what if he can’t get his former professor, Jeremy Olsen, out of his head? It’s nothing more than hero worship. And that’s the way it should stay.
Except bigender Corey—aka Kori—is interning at Phoenix House for the summer, a LGBTQI youth center. A center that recently hired an interim director until someone can be found to fill the position permanently.
Because life is extraordinarily unfair, the director just so happens to be a certain former professor, now turned current boss.
Desperate to keep things professional as he and Jeremy grow closer, Corey makes a major mistake: he turns to his friends, Paul Auster and Sanford Stewart for help.
But Paul and Sandy have some ideas of their own….
Set in the summer of 2016, Why We Fight is a celebration of queer life and being true to oneself… no matter the cost.
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Length: 341 pages
Genre: M/M Romance, Contemporary
Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43865374-why-we-fight
Buy the book
Review by Janice Birnie
Why We Fight is at its heart a beautiful love story, one I doubt I’ll forget anytime soon
Why We Fight is the fourth book in the At First Sight series by TJ Klune. Characters from the ‘Bear, Otter and the Kid’, ‘How To…’ and ‘At First Sight’ series appear here, some mentioned briefly whilst others interact with the MC more frequently.
This book could be read as a stand-alone but I highly recommend first reading the At First Sight series in particular. If you chose not to read the other two series then you’d be missing out on some delightful Easter eggs and some important people who have been part of Corey/Kori’s journey. Given TJ Klune’s extraordinary gift for writing, I’d just read them all. You will laugh more than you thought possible, you’ll cry and you will treasure these books for years to come. Just a suggestion though.
We first met biracial, bigender Corey/Kori as a slightly confused and lonely seventeen-year-old when he ran into the magnificent Sandy, aka Helena Handbasket, in a thrift shop. Sandy helped Kori select appropriate skirts for school and a lifelong friendship began. In the BOATK chronicles, Corey/Kori then met Tyson at Dartmouth and another lifelong friendship was forged.
Returning to Tucson to finish a degree in Social Work, Corey/Kori moves in with Sandy and becomes a fully fledged member of Sandy’s found family. Love affairs begin and chaos abounds in this glorious family but it is also the time that Corey/Kori begins to settle into the life they’ve always craved. By the age of twenty-three, they are completing a Masters degree and volunteering at Phoenix House, an outreach center for LGBTQI youth. It is also a time when a certain professor who first caught Corey/Kori’s eye at University re-enters their life. Jeremy Olsen is acting director of Phoenix House for the summer and although a relationship with their boss is just as off-limits as one with their professor, sparks fly and keeping their relationship purely professional might be near impossible. Corey/Kori’s future depends on them behaving appropriately and so they must. Summer will eventually end and if their interfering families have any say in it, then love will find a way.
Why We Fight is set during the Presidential preselection in 2016 and during the election of the current president. The author includes some of these events and the impact they have on the characters in this book. It is not preachy but also doesn’t skirt the way in which politics and people in power can negatively affect this community. There are moments of fear and sadness but there are also times when the characters show great strength and even humor in the face of these events. This community has fought for hundreds of years and we are left with a strong sense that they will continue to do so with a fierceness that is to be admired and supported.
Why We Fight is at its heart a beautiful love story, one I doubt I’ll forget anytime soon. A reread (or twenty) is guaranteed in my future. It is a book that will educate the reader whilst making them laugh until they have to put it down to catch their breath. I laughed, I cried, and I sighed at the extraordinary writing skills of this author. You cannot go wrong with a book by TJ Klune and I can’t recommend him, or this book, highly enough.
About the Author
When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn’t think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, over two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gotten louder, wondering why he has to go to work as a claims examiner for an insurance company during the day when he could just stay home and write.
Since being published, TJ has won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Romance, fought off three lions that threatened to attack him and his village, and was chosen by Amazon as having written one of the best GLBT books of 2011.
And one of those things isn’t true.
(It’s the lion thing. The lion thing isn’t true.)