Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bear, Otter, and the Kid by TJ Klune

Title:  Bear, Otter, and the Kid
AuthorTJ Klune
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Bear, Otter, and the Kid #1
Main Characters: Bear and Otter
Release Date: August 2011
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
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.

My Review:
This was a fabulous book, but so completely different from the style I'm used to reading. This book is written in 1st person narrative voice (I think...I'm a writer, I should know this...basically one of the characters talks in 1st person throughout the book, but he also talks directly to the reader as he tells the story.) It provided an extra layer of sarcasm and self-deprication to the story that I loved and I really loved the narrator of the story. 

Bear is the narrator. Three days before his 18th birthday, his mom abandons him and his brother and wipes out his savings account with his college money, leaving him with $137.50. At the time, his brother is five years old and Bear was planning on graduating and heading to college on his scholarships. No more. Now his entire life revolves around taking care of the Kid. Luckily Bear has a good group of friends who help to provide a support system for him and the Kid. The book takes place three years after his mother has left him and overall, they are getting by pretty well. 

Kid is brilliant...age 8 going on 60. He's incredibly intelligent and observant and questions absolutely everything. The conversations between the Kid and Bear are awesome!! So funny....and yes, absolutely that self-depricating narrative voice comes in. Bear is doing the best that he can, but he knows sometimes that is not the way that a normal parent would handle things especially with the grown-up questions that the Kid has all the time. 

But at the beginning of this book, things suddenly make a change in Bear's life...Otter comes home. Otter is the older brother of his best friend. There's been "something" there between them, although hidden in the shadows and completely ignored for 3 years. Now Bear has to face up to that reality he's been pretending isn't there. 

This is such a sweet book. Seriously, these boys are on their own, but they have such an incredible support system. It's fascinating to watch it at work, even when things are NOT all smooth among the friends....and there is a lot of conflict and secrets among this group of friends. It was definitely an uplifting, positive book though. One that I smiled throughout as I read it. And unlike most m/m books, it's not graphic at all. Although the dialogue can be...hello, 8 year old going on, but the actual scenes are pretty much glossed over.

It was definitely worth the read and I plan to read the second book tonight!

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