Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bear, Otter, and the Kid

Title: Bear, Otter, and the Kid
Author: TJ Klune
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61372-088-2
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating:  Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Bear is your typical teenager, biding his time till he can leave for college.  All that goes to the wayside when Bear’s mother decides to leave town and puts the seventeen year old Bear in charge of caring for his little brother.  Bear thought Otter would be there to help but when the two end up kissing, Otter is the next one to abandon the young man. 

If you only choose one M/M book to read this year, make it Bear, Otter, and the Kid.  This story is outstanding and will leave you either crying or laughing.  Right from the beginning, the characters pull you in.  The closeness between Bear and his friends Creed, Anna and Otter is amazing and that these three are willing to step in and help Bear in his time of need is something else.  While Bear struggles to care for his brother, Creed goes away to college, Anna continues to be Bear’s sometimes girlfriend and Otter has moved to California.   Although things may not be going the way Bear has always wanted them to, at least his life is okay, until Otter returns home. 

It’s from that point that the story really takes off.  With the story told from Bear’s point of view, there is occasionally a lot of back tracking as he brings the reader up to date.  For me, this is one of the things that made the story entertaining.  With Otter back in his life, Bear goes into a bit of a tail spin with only his nine year old brother to help him out.  That Bear is unable to figure out his feelings for Otter is understandable, as he was never given the chance to explore himself, instead he was forced to become an instant parent.   The age difference, as well as his fear of influencing Bear’s feelings, causes Otter to doubt himself.  After more than a little fighting between the two, the author brings them together nicely, but that does not mean their relationship will continue to go smoothly. 

The secondary characters help make this story and at times, the Kid really becomes a scene stealer.  Readers should be aware of the Otter! Otter! Otter! poem as it may stick in your head, popping out at the oddest times.  Bear is not the only one having to make adjustments in this story and the turmoil that the relationship between Bear and Otter causes is severe.  This story, however, was one of the best I have read in some time.  I hated to see it end but it ended in such a way that a follow up could be possible.  I hope the author is at home busily writing and that we will see a sequel soon.

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