Dustin Reviews: Bear, Otter & the Kid by T.J. Klune

T.J. Klune‘s Bear, Otter & the Kid was definitely one of the most engaging stories I’ve read in a while.

“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.”

Once the cover was cracked open I was drawn into an emotional adventure that I didn’t want to put down. I laughed, I cried, I’d laugh again, and then encounter another bout of waterworks. Real and believable characters came to life and jumped right off the typed pages. The fast paced story unfolded with emotions that tugged on the ol’ heart strings and tickled the funny bone. It doesn’t come off “sappy” or “saccharin” sweet in any form or fashion. The read felt like a comfortable merger of “After School Special” and a “Hallmark” movie combined into a delightfully entertaining story. I was disappointed in the Epilogue, I felt the switch to Otter’s POV to close out the story was a let down. I would have preferred that Bear had wrapped up his own story. I craved one final teary moment in a touching HEA ending to have been told in Bear’s unique expressive style.

4+ out of 5 stars.


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