My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Publication Date:August 12th, 2011
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Point of View: First Person (Bear…..and that one chapter of Otter’s that Bear can’t ever know about)
Genres & Themes: MM Romance, LGBTQ+, Contemporary, Humor, Family
Three years ago, Bear McKenna’s mother took off for parts unknown with her new boyfriend, leaving Bear to raise his six-year-old brother Tyson, aka the Kid. Somehow they’ve muddled through, but since he’s totally devoted to the Kid, Bear isn’t actually doing much living—with a few exceptions, he’s retreated from the world, and he’s mostly okay with that. Until Otter comes home.
Otter is Bear’s best friend’s older brother, and as they’ve done for their whole lives, Bear and Otter crash and collide in ways neither expect. This time, though, there’s nowhere to run from the depth of emotion between them. Bear still believes his place is as the Kid’s guardian, but he can’t help thinking there could be something more for him in the world… something or someone.
God.God. GOD. God. God. God God God.
This was all I could think whilst I was reading the second novel to the Bear, Otter and the Kid series, and I thought it applied to pretty much the whole series. I keep shaking my head at myself for taking so long to read this beautiful series. Mind you, I’ve had this book in my library for months, who does that, right?
Let me explain something to you, why I decided to read it when I did—New Years Eve. Think of Gabriella from High School Musical, that was me, on the side reading, minus Troy Bolton (dammit!). Days prior, I was talking with a friend about this book, how I hear that it was compared to Shelter (2007). Pretty much the first review on Goodreads. Funny thing is that reviewer might have written it to put others off….did that work on me? Hell to the no. I love Shelter (2007), I see it every other couple of months and if I get a book version of it, expanded, then you have to know I’ll be reading the hell of out if. I would read it so hard, like very hard.
And I did. So very hard. And my friend asks me, “well, was it like the movie?” Yes, and no. The thing is that it is not the movies, not at all, but you can see how it could be. And perhaps even see it as fic of the movie, but if you read it, you can’t say that at all. The book could never be like the movie because the characters are completely different and unique, and outrageous and hilarious and beautiful and heartrending heartbreaking. And I just fell in love with this book in the only way a reader can with the book—completely.
Bear and the Kid. The brother love that those two made me feel had me awwing every time the so much as hugged. I felt for both of them, for Bear having been left with a child, as a child himself, and for the Kid who did not deserve to get the mother he got. But the thing is they were better off alone, and together and with everyone who loves them, because do those people love them. I felt anger for them, and I felt the love that transcended family ties, because I felt like Bear was his father, but I loved that the brother line was always there.
“It feels like the only fight I’ve ever known.”
As for Bear and Otter, dammit was it good. Dammit did I root for them and completely fell for their love. It was that beautiful and that worth it, and that ‘All I’ve known is the fight for you,’ destroys me every single time. From the beginning to the very end, I was fully invested in their relationship. The way everything unfolded, the pacing, the love, the quotes, and the flashbacks, was just right, beyond even.
Above everything else that I can think, and I’m chastising myself for not writing this review as soon as I finished this novel, but I couldn’t wait to read the second so I automatically went in, is T.J. Klune. The way he wrote this novel is something that I only he could do. He’s hilarious, and outrageous and a bit out there, but that’s why I like him. His characters might all be completely crazy, but there’s few authors who could do it perfectly. He never comes off as forced or fake, but simply as how the characters are. The way he crafts sentences and flashbacks and really just his overall storytelling is quiet envious. I’m still dreaming about some of the scenes.
Finally, Bear, Otter and the Kid. The family they all fully deserve, and what a beautiful family it is. I loved everyone: Anna, Creed, Mrs. P, the family to each character, but the trio, man. I just want to be adopted to their crazy, beautiful family.
As for the Kid—I saw that some people didn’t find it believable, and I agree with Tyson, I don’t give a single…because if you should be doubting anything about him is how Bear, Otter and pretty much anyone could carry him. I have a 9 year old sister and I can’t carry her for more than 30 seconds because no, way to heavy. So if your issues are that he sounds to smart, I think you need to sort out your priorities.
If my gushing hasn’t clue you in, then I absolutely loved it and I want you all to read it so you can gush with me. Also, stay tuned for my review on Who We Are!
Note: I bookmarked about 80% of the book and one day I’ll get through it all so I’ll be editing when I have time for my kindle and its glitching. but know they were so good.
Tell me this wasn’t them in that car scene: