Official book description:
Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.
Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road. The little boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the little boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the little boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.
Ox was seventeen when he found out the little boy’s secret and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.
Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.
It’s been three years since that fateful day—and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.
Ox’ father is an alcoholic and a complete waste of space, who leaves his wife and son and manages to leave his son with some serious emotional scars that take him a very long time to heal from. Luckily, his mother is amazing, supportive, hard-working and kind and does her very best to counteract her husband’s poison. Also helping to build Ox up and make him feel loved and valued, is Gordo, the owner of the garage where Ox starts helping out and later working part-time, to help his mother with the bills. Gordo, as well as the three other guys who work there pretty much become Ox’ found family.
When Ox is sixteen, his life changes as the big house next door to the little cottage where he and his mother live suddenly have residents again. The large Bennett family, husband, wife, uncle, three sons, including the extremely energetic, talkative and exuberant Joe, the baby of the family. Joe pretty much idolises Ox from the very first moment he sees him, and Ox is shocked to discover that while the kid simply wouldn’t shut up when they first met, that was the first time he spoke in two years. Having been abducted and tortured by a very sadistic and cruel man, trying to influence Joe’s parents, the child is traumatised in a number of ways, and habitually plagued with nightmares. Meeting Ox seems to start bringing him out of his shell, and from their first meeting, there’s a special connection between the sixteen- and the eleven-year-old.
As a result of the connection between Joe and Ox, the Bennetts pretty much adopt Ox as one of their own. The two older brothers go to high school with him, and Ox finds he is no longer the sad loner, but part of a tight knit group, suddenly getting positive female attention because he keeps company with the handsome Bennett boys. Gordo knows the Bennetts from before (they used to live in the big house, but moved away) and keeps warning Ox to stay away. He, however, refuses to listen.
Full review on my blog.