A Place for Wolves
Kosoko Jackson Sourcebooks Fire (APRIL) Hardcover $17.99 (320pp) 978-1-4926-7365-1, YOUNG ADULT FICTION
Kosoko Jackson’s A Place for Wolves centers on a young gay couple during the brutal Kosovo War, pulling from history for a gripping story of humanity pushed to its limits. Though geared toward young adults, it doesn’t hold back on depicting the brutal realities of war. The stakes are high and palpable, making for a riveting thriller.
James Mills’s parents travel to various international locations to provide humanitarian aid. This time, they’ve brought James along, and to a country he’s barely heard of: Kosovo. James’s original dreary outlook shifts when he meets a fellow foreigner, Tomas, and the two fall in love. But when civil conflict erupts, everything falls apart around James and Tomas. Men with guns run wild, bombs explode, and death surrounds them at every turn. They stick together, facing the hardest decisions of their lives as circumstances grow more and more bleak.
A Place for Wolves offers brief respite from its severe violence through the letters that James sends to his sister, recounting life before the conflict, including how he and Tomas fell in love. Their relationship propels the story. It is a strong and fiery love that is only made more powerful under pressure.
James narrates—straightforward but still emotive as he grapples with the person he becomes in light of the war. Information about the war itself is sparse; there isn’t much context given for the violence James sees, and the war reads more like fiction than historical fact.
A piercing historical thriller that rarely lets you up for air, A Place for Wolves reveals that, when people are pushed to the brink, human connections are the only thing left to hold on to.