New Release Review | Why We Fight by TJ Klune

Why We FightWhy We Fight by TJ Klune
At First Sight #4
Romantic Comedy M/M
Dreamspinner Press | May 14, 2019

About the Book: 

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 just hero worship. And that’s the way it should stay.

Except that this summer, bigender Corey—aka Kori—is interning at Phoenix House, a LGBTQI youth center that recently hired an interim director. And because life is extraordinarily unfair, the director just so happens to be a certain former professor, now 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.

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Let’s just cut right to the chase… I really enjoyed this book. Not only is Why We Fight about a character from 2 brilliant series, but it’s also written by TJ Klune.

Obviously I enjoyed it.

Upon reading the last page, I wasn’t quite sure how if I was being unbiased. I recognized how it had all the ingredients needed to be in the At First Sight series. It was a ridiculous comedy, with ridiculous over the top characters. It was just a little heavier, and a little too melancholy. It takes place during our last presidential election, and you can’t write a queer story set during that time and not touch on the political landscape. TJ wrote the impact it had on this family, and he couldn’t have done it any other way. Still, the story wasn’t quite the lighthearted romp I’d read in previous installments.

I started this review thinking it was going to be the one criticism. I was going to write about how Corey’s story maybe would have fit in better with the BOATK series, since it’s a heavy and angst filled plot. However, it didn’t take me long to see the genius of keeping Corey with Sandy and Co.

Corey bridges the gap between these two similar but different series. Corey was introduced in BOATK, and transitioned over to At First Sight, so of course his story should have carried characteristics from both. There is angst and heartbreak in Corey, but there’s also an ability to be hilarious and ridiculous all at once.

I see what you did there, TJ. You’re a very smart fella.

As far as Corey and Jeremy goes, they were a good match. I can’t say I was as committed to this relationship as I was in previous books (both series). Vince and Paul were the first. Sandy and Darren were set up in the first book, so we knew what we were looking forward to. (Bear and Otter, well they were a whole thing.) It makes me wish we’d been introduced to Jeremy earlier on so there could have been more anticipation prior to Why We Fight. Compared the others, I wasn’t as excited.

That’s okay though, because I’ll love any book with Sandy, Paul, Matty, and Larry in it. Okay, and Darren, Vince and Corey too. I love the friendship between Sandy and Corey. I love how Darren pretends to be grumpy, when really he’s a sap. I love this group of people, and I’m going to miss them every day.


About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

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