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The Seafare Chronicles #1

Bear, Otter, and the Kid

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This edition is out of print. For current Paperback edition see: Bear, Otter and the Kid

Previous cover edition of ISBN 1613720874 / 9781613720875
For alternate cover edition see here

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.

350 pages, Paperback

First published August 11, 2011

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About the author

T.J. Klune

61 books39.8k followers
TJ KLUNE is a Lambda Literary Award-winning author (Into This River I Drown) and an ex-claims examiner for an insurance company. His novels include The House in the Cerulean Sea and The Extraordinaries. Being queer himself, TJ believes it's important—now more than ever—to have accurate, positive, queer representation in stories.

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Profile Image for W.F..
1 review9 followers
February 28, 2012
Let me start by saying the author has excellent writing skills, and that the book was well written. However, I can't view it as an original novel, since it is a complete rip-off of the gay themed movie "Shelter" (2007 - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0942384/).

I saw the movie a couple of years ago and this book has the same characters, same story development, same guy-gives-up-scholarship-to-take-care-of-small-child plot. Both the movie and this book even start with the same scene -- he's driving to pick up his wealthy best friend and take him somewhere. I watched the movie again after reading this book and there is no mistake that complete scenes, situations, etc. were copied -- some almost exactly.

His best friend's older brother comes home from southern California after a bad breakup in both the movie and the book. The scene where the best friend arrives at his house to find the older brother there is nearly the same. The same tension and awareness between the older brother and the hero are there in the book as was in the movie.

In the movie and this book, his on-and-off girlfriend since grade school works at the same grocery store with him -- the book even mentions a bench and table outside the front entrance of the store which is in a scene in the movie.

All the characters have the same personalities in both the movie and the book. The locations are similar -- the best friend's house is on a beach, for instance, and the older brother had moved to southern California and become a 'big shot'.

Throughout the movie, the hero struggles with his feelings for his best friend's older brother, hiding his feelings from others and denying it to himself. His girlfriend suspects his feelings for the older brother and they break up for good. He and the older brother get together, and then the hero breaks up with him. The older brother eventually convinces the hero to move in with him and let him help raise the child in both the book and movie.

The only differences are that in the movie, his sister leaves her son (his young nephew) in his care, while in the book, his mother leaves his younger brother in his care, (the sister is homphobic in the movie and the mother is homophobic in the book, and both leave with a man who says "the kid can't come"). In the movie, the sister doesn't leave until later, but she is absent a lot and the full care of the child falls on the hero most of the time. Some of the scenes in the book where he remembers his mother drinking with a man at the kitchen table are exactly like the scenes in the movie where his sister is drunk and drinking with a man at the kitchen table. In the movie, the sister never came back so there was no custody question.

Also in the book, his best friend and ex-girlfriend end up together, which did not happen in the movie. These are minor differences compared to the overwhelming parallels. Mr. Klune left out the hero's artistic talent and how the hero and older brother spend time together surfing, but the character personalities, the events, and almost exact circumstances in the movie "Shelter" are exactly the same in this book.

In the author's bio at the end of this book, the author says his first story was a "sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn‟t think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it."

Well, it looks like Mr. Klune is still offering his take on stories that he didn't think ended well, because this book is almost a clone of the movie "Shelter" with only a few minor changes.

I know the saying goes that 'there is no plot that has not already been written,' but this book passes beyond 'similar' and goes into 'copied' territory, or at least 80% copied anyway.


A couple of people said they saw no similarities or only superficial similarities between the movie Shelter and Mr. Klunes book. So I made a list. I'm sure there are more, but I got bored with it afer a while.

Plot (both book and movie): boy, who has taken on the care of a young child, falls in love with his best friend's older brother, breaks up with his girlfriend, starts a relationship with his best friend's older brother, breaks up with his best friend's older brother, makes up with his best friend's older brother, and the two decide to live together and raise the child.

Core Characters:
Main Character (MC) Characterization (both book and movie): 20ish. Lower middle-class. Fiercely loyal to the child. Introverted. Struggles with his sexuality and the changes in his life. Spends a lot of time thinking.

Best Friend (BF) Characterization (both book and movie): 20ish. Wealthy. Partier. College student (out of town college). Extraverted. Loyal to MC. Makes 'fag' jokes and references to tease his Older Brother (OB). Talks trash about girls sometimes. Loves his brother and doesn't care if he's gay. Accepts the Main Character's new relationship with his Older Brother.

Older Brother (OB) Characterization (both book and move): 30ish. Successful. Gay. Moved away the southern California for a few years. Caring, supportive, and patient most of the time. Allows MC time and tells no one about their relationship. Struggles with artistic motivation (book: photogrophy, movie: writing) while at his parent's house. Likes the child and is good with him. Has loved MC for a long time. Wants to help MC and raise the child with him.

Girl Friend (GF) Characterization (both book and movie): 20ish. Caring, intuitive, loyal. Knows MC inside and out. Angry when they break up for good, but loves MC and the child even after break up.

Child Characterization (both book and movie): Has anxiety issues and is extremely dependent on the Main Character. His mother leaves him in the Main Character's care at age 5.

Character Circumstances and Scenes:
Movie: One of the opening scenes is the Main Character (MC) driving his wealthy best friend (BF) to get a ride some of his friends from college. The child pretends to sleep. The BF talks crudely about girls and his career options after college. The MC and BF tease each other about their differing economic statuses (wealthy/not wealthy).

Book: One of the opening scenes is the MC driving to pick up his wealthy BF from the airport because he is coming home from college for summer. The child is present. The MC thinks of past conversations with his BF and what career options his BF will have afer college. The BF talks crudely about "some girl he boned". The MC thinks about their differing economic statuses (wealthy/not wealthy). (pages 7-12)

Movie: The MC and the child share a bedroom because the child can't stand to be sleep anywhere else.

Book: The MC and the child share a bedroom because the child can't stand to be sleep anywhere else. (page 59)

Movie: The MC says, "I'm sick of being your childhood wet dream. Find another fantasy." OB calls MC a coward. (break up scene)

Book: The MC says, “...this obsession you have with me needs to end.” OB calls MC a coward. (break up scene: page 255-256)

Movie: The MC's and OB's deeper relationship starts with one drunken kiss. MC freaks out when he wakes up the next day.

Book: The MC's and OB's deeper relationship starts with one drunken kiss. MC freaks out. (page 64)

Movie: The OB tells MC he has a choice about taking on the care of the child and the MC insists that he does not.

Book: His friends tell him he has a choice about taking on the care of the child and the MC insists he does not.

Movie: The MC has an on-and-off girl friend (GF) who is also his female best friend. They work at the same grocery store together. The grocery store has a bench and table near the front entrance.

Book: The MC has an on-and-off girl friend (GF) who is also his female best friend. They work at the same grocery store together. The grocery store has a bench and table near the front entrance. (pages 25 and 150)

Movie: The sister leaves with a man to go to Portland, Oregon where the man has found a job. The man says the child can't come. The sister smokes and drinks. There is a scene where the sister is drunk and still drinking with a man in their kitchen.

Book: The mother leaves Oregon to go with a man to an out-of-state location where the man has found a job. The man says the child can't come. The mother smokes and drinks. There is a flashback scene where the mother is drunk and still drinking with a man in their kitchen. (pages 1-3 and 232-233)

Movie: THe MC gave up a college scholarship in order to take on the care of his young nephew.

Book: THe MC gave up a college scholarship in order to take on the care of his young brother. (page 40)

Movie: MC's sister doesn't think MC needs college. Discourages it. She's also homophobic.

Book: MC's mother doesn't think MC needs college. Discourages it. She's also homophobic. (pages 1-3 and 227-248)

Movie: The BF's parents are away the entire movie. The house large and is on the beach.

Book: The BF's parents are away the entire book. The house large and is on the beach. (pages 7, 12, and 83)

Movie: The MC spends a lot of time just thinking about things.

Book: The MC spend a lot of time just thinking about things (extensive internal dialogue throughout the book).

Movie: The OB has an old home video of MC and BF. He watches it.

Book: The OB has a photo of younger MC that he looks at a lot. (pages 127-128 and others)

Movie: BF teases OB with many references to "fag" things and gay stereotypes.

Book: BF teases OB with many references to "fag" things and gay stereotypes. (numerous examples throughout the book)

Movie: The OB shows MC a secluded beach that no one ever went to, and they hang out there a lot. The MC sometimes goes there by himself just to sit and think.

Book: They all know of a secluded beach that no one ever went to, and the MC plans to have OB meet him there for a romantic dinner. The MC goes there by himself when he doesn't want to be found and needs to think. (pages 194 and 306)

Movie: The OB asks when MC is going back to college. Encourages it.

Book: The OB asks when MC is going back to college. Encourages it. (page 121 and more)

Movie: Ex-GF suggests MC can go to the local community collge.

Book: Ex-GF suggests MC go to college. (pages 28-29)

Movie: The MC deliberately looks at other men after the kiss to see if he's attracted to them too or just OB. Apparently he is not. (scene at beach)

Book: The MC deliberately looks at other men after the kiss to see if he's attracted to them too or just OB. Apparently he is not. (pages 155-156)

Movie: The MC denies his feelings and is paranoid and rude about OB touching him in front of other people while he struggles with himself about being attracted to OB and what it will change in his life. MC thinks about what is best for the child. (several scenes in movie)

Book: The MC denies his feelings and is paranoid and rude about OB touching him in front of other people while he struggles with himself about being attracted to OB and what it will change in his life. MC thinks about what is best for the child. (extensive internal dialogue and rude behavior to OB throughout the book)

Movie: The OB cooks for MC and the child at his parents' beach house and makes whatever the kid wants. (scene in movie after MC accepts his feelings for OB)

Book: The OB cooks for MC and the child at his parents' beach house and makes whatever the kid wants. (104)

Movie: For the MC, the child is family, and he will take care of the child no matter what, putting the child first, even if that means he can't have OB. OB says, "You don't have to take care of [child]," and MC says, "Yeah, I do." (several scenes in movie)

Book: For the MC, the child is family, and he will take care of the child no matter what, putting the child first, even if that means he can't have OB. (multiple repitition of internal dialogue in several chapters)

Movie: The child likes OB a lot. Asks when they can see him again.

Book: The child likes OB a lot. Asks when they can see him again. (multiple times in several chapters)

Movie: The MC spends a lot of time with OB but doesn't tell anyone and is distant from OB in front of others. OB tries to be patient. (several scenes in movie)

Book: The MC spends a lot of time with OB but doesn't tell anyone and is distant from OB in front of others. OB tries to be patient. (several scenes in multiple chapters)

Movie: After the BF finds out about MC and OB, he says that he and MC are still bros. He also asks if guys give better head. The MC is uncomfortable and won't answer.

Book: After the BF finds out about MC and OB, he says that he and MC are still brothers. He also asks if "butt sex" hurts. The MC is uncomfortable and won't answer. (page 286)

Movie: The child questions why MC doesn't see OB anymore.

Book: The child questions why MC doesn't see OB anymore. (a lot of internal and external dialogue)

Movie: The MC finds his sister in her bedroom, sleeping, seemingly suffering from depression, with a pill bottle next to her.

Book: The MC remembers a time when his mother spent most of her time in her bedroom sleeping, depressed, and only leaving her room to buy cigarettes and bourbon. (page 232)

Movie: The BF gives a big party at his home.

Book: The BF gives a big party at his home. (chapters 13 and 14)

Movie: The MC tells ex-GF that he always thought he would be with her forever.

Book: THe GF tells almost-ex-MC, "I never thought it would come to this. I always thought that we would….” The implication is that that they would be together forever. (page 97)

Movie: The OB has his luggage packed and waiting at the front door (implication that he is leaving town) when MC shows up to make up with him.

Book: The BF calls MC and tells him that OB is about to leave town. THe MC drives over there to make up with him. It doesn't quite work out immediately but is resolved within 24 hours. (pages 301-314)

Movie: The end scenes show MC, child, and OB playing on the beach. All are happy.

Book: The cover shows MC, child, and OB on the beach. All are happy.

Movie Locations: Ocean-side towns on west coast. Many scenes are on the beach. MC and OB spend time surfing and at OB's house to bond with each other.

Book Locations: Ocean-side towns on west coast. Some scenes are on the beach. MC and OB spend time at OB's house to bond with each other.

The book differs from the movie due to removed surfing references, partial changes to the child's personality, and the addition of an elderly neighbor. The sister is present but unmotherly throughout most of the movie, while in the book the unmotherly mother is gone, but shows up in flashbacks and in person once.

Surfing is used in the movie as an activity that allows the MC and OB to spend time together and bond. The movie also uses scenes from the OB's home, especially his bedroom and the kitchen. The book left out the surfing backdrop, but left in the time spent together in the OB's home, especially in the OB's bedroom and kitchen.

The movie has limited time to diplay characterizations, so is concise with their development. For example, to show that the child has anxiety issues and is very attached and dependent on the MC, the movie shows scenes of their shared bedroom, a picture of the sad child drawn by the MC, and a couple of lines of dialogue that say the child won't sleep anywhere else (but in the MC's bedroom) and that the child does not like to wake up in a strange place. The book uses entire chapters repeating these themes.

Another example from the movie is that to show the MC is very contemplative and struggling with his feelings, the movie uses many scenes of the MC just sitting by himself brooding (on the beach, in his car, zoning out at his BF's party, etc.). The books spends chapters on internal dialogue of the MC where he broods about everything, including struggling with his feelings.

The core plot, characters, circumstances, and events found in the movie are intact in the book.

Second Edit: Thanks to the person who pointed this out:

Movie: The MC breaks up with OB after his sister confronts him about hanging out with a fag (OB) and tells him she doesn't want her child around that.

Book: The MC breaks up with OB after his mother confronts him about hanging out with a fag (OB) and tells him she doesn't want her child around that.

Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,883 reviews5,801 followers
May 3, 2016
*Only $0.99 at ARe and Amazon US today! 5/2/16!

Dear Heather,

It is a very bad idea to start a T.J. Klune book right before going to sleep. What were you thinking!? You will just stay up all night to finish it, like you did last night. Don't do it again.

Your body and brain.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting greatness from "Bear, Otter, and the Kid" even though most of my GR friends adore this one. First of all, I try to not read books with kids in them. I can't deal with tragedy and little kids and, inevitably, tragedy befalls them in books where kids play a main role. Not my cup of tea. Also, the title threw me off. I wasn't feeling it. However, I couldn't ignore the amazing reviews so I decided to give this one a try. And, low and behold, I loved this one. Excuse me while I gush a little.

What really struck me was the chemistry between Bear and Otter. It was wonderful and rich and full of pure love. That is really the best way to describe it. They are so pure in the way that they love each other, and it is just magical to read. T.J. Klune manages to pull that off without it coming across as insincere or phoney, which is a very difficult feat.

I also loved the secondary characters. The Kid was so sweet, funny, and observant. He was the perfect innocent voice of reason, and I fell in love with him. I wanted to adopt him myself by the end of the book. Anna and Creed were also fab and really added to the plot.

My only issue with this one was that I don't do well with plot twists meant to drive readers nuts and for the last 20% of the book or so I was like this...


Come on! Did you have to do that to me T.J.??

I have heard some controversy over this book and its similarities to the movie "Shelter". I haven't seen the movie, but honestly, I didn't care that it possibly borrowed ideas from the plot of the movie. It still took major skill to pull off writing such a wonderful work of fiction. T.J. Klune just earned himself auto-buy status for me!

**Re-read, audiobook edition, 6/16/14**

Very nice performance by Sean Crisden, though this book sounds nearly identical to Chase in Shadows (similar voices for the MCs) so it took me a little while to adjust.
Profile Image for ☆ Todd.
1,369 reviews1,507 followers
November 29, 2020
This book is truly AMAZING. One of my top 3 all-time favorites. The sequel is really good, too. And I really can't wait for a third installment.

You'll cry your eyes out, laugh your head off, and be sad it's over when you reach the last page.
Profile Image for Wendys Wycked Words.
1,560 reviews3,841 followers
May 18, 2021
Afbeeldingsresultaat voor 4,5 stars

This book has been on my "tbr" list for some time now. Of course I have read all the wonderful reviews and of course my friends encouraged me to read it, but for some reason, I was a bit hesitant. I don't know why exactly. Maybe it was because of the title, or maybe it was, because I knew it was gonna be about a little kid. Maybe it was, because I was worried, that I was gonna be one of the few people that didn't like it.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor the pressure + gif

I shouldn't have worried though...I mean this is a TJ Klune book and I have come to realize, that he has a way of pulling me into a story, that I don't ever want to end. He has a very unique writingstyle, which I love very much.

So yes, I loved this book. Why....well because of Bear, Otter and the Kid.. and all of the other amazing characters that were in this book. This kid, who I was so afraid of reading about, he stole my heart and made me pee my pants laughing !! I absolutely adored him.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor kid you are awesome

But of course, it wasn't just because the Kid was funny and sweet and smart. It was also, because of the amazing relationship between Bear and Otter and how they came together. It was the unconditional friendship between Bear and Creed and even between Bear and Anna, that made me smile and sometimes blink away a tear. It was because this book is about family, and because family doesn't have to mean blood.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor family doesn't mean blood

So there you have it. I loved it and I can't wait to read the next one. I should have listened to my wonderful friends, but hey, at least now I still have something to look forward to, since there are 4 books in this series. Well, 3 really, but book 4 is coming out in 2017 :)

Little sidenote : I have listened to the audio while reading and I think Sean Crisden did an amazing job !!

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor gay family silhouette

Re-read over and over again!!
October 1, 2018
Audio 4
Story 2

I guess it's me and not the book because everyone loved it but me.

What I liked about the book:

Oliver (aka Otter)

What I didn’t like:

The flashbacks and back tracking
Bear- I found him unlikable, selfish and TSTL for most of the book
Bear’s long-winded internal monologues
The Kid – He annoyed me. He was unrealistically perfect and mature for a 9-year-old

The whole story had a Walt Disney vibe that didn’t work for me.
Profile Image for Kelly H. (Maybedog).
2,591 reviews225 followers
October 3, 2015
I am one of the only people I know who didn't just love this book. (Don't get me started on the creepy kid on the cover. His mouth... ***shiver***)

I had a lot of major problems with this book and only the writing (which was very good) and the sweetness kept me reading until the end.

Things I really liked:

The writing is really good for the most part: the imagery and word choices are excellent.

The book takes place in the Pacific Northwest. It's a fake town called Seafare, closely resembling Seaside, OR, which is a wonderful town.

When the kid is upset, he climbs into the bathtub because he read that it was a safe place to go during an earthquake. (It's not. That's where you go for a fire. For an earthquake you worry about things falling, so you go under something.) But the whole metaphor around it with earthquakes being scary/intense times, is really well done.

There were some funny parts like:


Another funny part is when someone sees some porn picture of a guy in a jockstrap holding a soccer ball and says, "Jockstraps look gross, and do you really think he would have been playing soccer without any pants on?" That's really funny, plus I think jockstraps look gross, too. I don't understand why they are featured so frequently in porn/erotica. Not that I'm looking or anything... ;)

One character is vegan and the banter about it is cute, although the characters are ignorant. Perhaps that's why it's cute. The author doesn't distinguish between vegan and vegetarian, so when the characters are trying to make "vegetarian" lasagna I was really confused at first. It's not hard to make a cheese lasagna. For the record, there are far worse things to eat than tofu ice cream. It's not great, but it's not like liver or prunes. Rice ice cream is better and coconut based ice cream is the best. It doesn't taste the same but it's really good. You just have to get it out of your head that you're eating milk based ice cream and then you're okay.

The Kid loves Anderson Cooper and this was before the man came out. I think it's funny how many M/M books that came out years ago mention him. We all knew he was cool and not homophobic well before he came out.

Someone describes nonsexual intimate activity as cheating. To me, the worst thing about cheating is the other person being emotionally intimate in a romantic way with someone else. That's where the betrayal is. Going to a prostitute would be gross but wouldn't bother me like, say, love letters would.

Lots of breaking of the fourth wall.

The kid's need for knowing exactly where Bear is at all times, to the inch, in fact, makes sense and is really well done. I think he would be far more messed up than he is, but the way the author handles the kid's issues, like the bathtub thing, too, is excellent.

Bear tells Otter that is "the fucking scariest thing I've ever done," which is a great way to put it, if probably inaccurate in his case. (I would think being left with a five-year-old when you're 17 would be a tad more frightening.)

Things that I really didn't like:

The guys are stupid. Seriously, two adult MCs thought that Benjamin Franklin was a president. Seriously.

Yet another book where the gay guy and everyone else assumes that because the guy is gay he won't be able to have kids. ARGH! Plenty of heterosexual couples have physical problems where they can't give birth yet they end up with children. Come on, people! Can we stop with the homophobic stereotypes?

They don't know if an eight-year-old is old enough to know if someone is gay and what that means. DOUBLE-ARGH!!! Seriously? Why? We're talking about love, not sex. Do you wait to tell the kids that Mommy and Daddy are in love because love is something only for grown ups? I've read several M/M books where the characters have this issue and it's just internalized homophobia; it pisses me off big time. What do you think gay parents tell their kids? "Oh, this is daddy, and that's daddy, but they're just friends." Really?

I don't like the nicknames. The author could have come up with something different than "Bear"? I didn't read this for the longest time because of the connotation the word "bear" has in gay life, although in retrospect, I should have listened to myself.

This was a true GFY/OFY. I just don't believe in the OFY part. This really pissed me off because the "straight" gay guy actually looks at gay porn and has no reaction. They don't contrast it with how he feels when he sees straight porn to see if maybe he just doesn't like porn or isn't attracted to anyone but Otter. I don't see the point; I think it's homophobic, and it bothers the crap out of me. Come on, a guy in love with another guy, who is hot for sex with that guy, doesn't get the slightest bit aroused when watching sex scenes when no one's face is showing? There's no transference?

The book is much too long. Some of the same stuff, the same angst, is told over and over again.

The age difference is the biggest thing for me. There is no reason for Otter to be eight years older. Four years older would have served the same purpose and be far less gross. Otter was like a brother to Bear. In fact, Bear refers to his best friend Creed, who happens to be Otter's brother, as his own brother. Otter continually refers to people Bear's age as "kids." Why is he dating someone he thinks of as a kid? Otter admits that he first thought of Bear as more than a kid brother when Bear was sixteen and Otter was 24. Ewwwww. When my sixteen-year-old was dating 24-year-olds, I wanted to lock her up until she was 30. What 24-year-old has the hots for a 16-year-old, someone 2/3rds their age? What could they possibly have in common? One's in high school, the other has graduated from college. I get why Bear would find an older guy attractive, it's the reverse that's upsetting. I find it really revolting and disturbing. I had to pretend that Otter was only three years older for me to even finish the book.

Otter's parents are high tech millionaires from Seattle and they are very uncomfortable with their son's being gay. Really? That is so incredibly improbable I can't even explain. Maybe you have to be in high tech in Seattle or know people who were 80's software millionaires to really get just how weird that is. (No, I am not one. I came well after that. But I know a few.) I swear, it's the most gay-accepting industry outside of fashion. I was once in a meeting at Adobe where there were seven of us and only one person was straight. I'm not saying it's impossible; it just doesn't mesh with my experiences. I also am not saying that the initial reaction would be discomfort because a lot of people have internalized homophobia. But I believe they would come to deal with it fast.

Both characters say that they loved the other always and the way they say it, isn't differentiating between platonic and romantic love. They met when Bear was eight! That's the age Ty is for most of the book.

In general, I don't like books with kids in them, and this is a prime example why. The kid is way too smart, even for a smart kid. He doesn't have the world experience to be as aware as he is about relationship dynamics. He doesn't read relationship books, he reads stuff on disasters. He certainly isn't consistent about what he can figure out, either. It's just ridiculous the wise things he says and then the other stuff he's clueless about. It's totally not believable to me. I was freaky smart back when I was a kid (I'm not so much now—I was just smart early, that's all) as was my best friend (she has a PhD in particle physics and did her research at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland). Like most smart nerdy kids, we didn't have the social skills most kids do. I know this guy is supposed to be even smarter than freaky smart, but really, this is ridiculous. I will grant you, though, that some of the stuff he does is very cute and funny.

Bear rehashes the same things over and over and not just to himself, but to others. It really gets tedious. The book was too long and this is an area that could have used some serious editing.

Bear makes the Kid his confidant by getting relationship advice from him and talking about some emotional issues in his relationship with Otter. This is so incredibly inappropriate I wanted to scream. The weird thing is that Bear isn't sure Ty is old enough to know that someone is gay but is old enough to discuss Ty's father figure's (Bear's) romantic relationships?

The author changes tense frequently. Sometimes when talking about current day, past tense is used, and sometimes present tense. There are a couple of times where it makes sense--using the past tense to talk about what happened to lead up to this moment which is in the present tense. But most of the time it was just inconsistent and annoying. Here's an example where it happened in the middle of the sentence: "I stopped, letting her fill in the blanks to whatever mad-lib [sic] is going through her head."

Like many other books, a character says that because someone is angry after a break up, that character is the one who made the ex into an angry person. That drives me crazy. Who thinks that? You might think you were responsible for making him angry and depressed but making him into an angry person in general and forever? Come on.

Frequently, two people press their foreheads together so they can look in each other's eyes. Have you ever tried that? Can you imagine that you would press your head against someone else's so that you can get a clear look at their eyes? Come on, try it. You'll understand why this is a problem for me. It makes me dizzy just thinking about it.

Another common problem in M/M books is the ridiculous stamina of the characters. However, this is worse than usual: six orgasms in four hours. Six. These are MEN. And only one of them is done, the other is ready to keep going!

A lot of the legal stuff, like the power of attorney being illegally obtained (you learn this in the prologue) doesn't fit with family court here in Washington State. It could be different in Oregon, but some of it doesn't even make sense to me and feels contrived. Also,

Big spoiler, although actually very predictable:

There is a plot hole

When someone says, "Hey," Bear always responds, "Hey, yourself," even when it makes no sense, like if he's really upset and the first "Hey' is said tenderly. It's incredibly annoying.

The final conflict is so contrived I wanted to scream. Big spoiler: COME ON ALREADY!

Medium spoiler:

If it weren't for the age difference, this would be a three star book for me. I want to reiterate that it's not really the age difference at the time the bulk of the story takes place, the "present day"; it's the fact that everything started much earlier and I think that's just disgusting.

Profile Image for Gigi.
2,156 reviews1,044 followers
May 24, 2015
The is no way I could have loved this more!

This is a M/M romance fan favorite and it was released forever ago, so I'm not going to even try to summarize the story for you. Chances are you've already read and loved it. But if not, just get yourself a copy and read it. Trust me.

I've heard this book compared to the LGBT movie classic Shelter many times, and I have to wholeheartedly agree.

Click image for fullsize photo

The similarities are endless and since Shelter is one of my absolutely favorite movies, it made me love Bear, Otter, and the Kid even more.


PS: For some inane reason, Shelter is not available to stream online. And even worse, it was only released on DVD once in 2008 (US version) and copies are few and far between. You can order a DVD copy from Netflix, try and order a DVD from eBay or Amazon's Marketplace or ask a friend to lend you their copy. (Oh, good news for Blu Ray owners! It is available on Blu Ray. It is not to missed. It is perfection.

Profile Image for Candy M..
62 reviews655 followers
April 26, 2021
⭐ 5 "Yes, I might be dehydrated from all the tears, but it was WORTH IT" stars ⭐

In summary, what this book did to my feelings.

But don’t go thinking that is necessarily a bad thing just yet.

First of all, objectively speaking, I knew this book was one of T.J. Klune’s first published works, and therefore this knowledge meant I went into it expecting considerably less polish and finesse than in his later releases. What I got, however, was an emotional dropkick straight to the heart.

Because what the story might've sometimes lacked in a technical sense (With the poor structure of some flashbacks, to name an example, or some typos that were still left unfixed after all these years), it more than made up for in sentiment. Truthfully, you could even say this was the "sobbing while slowly scrolling" type of read. The "let me wipe my eyes because these words keep getting suspiciously blurry" kind of experience. Of the "I might need to buy stock in Kleenex real soon" variety.

But also...

And you can't prove otherwise in court! *hides away empty boxes of tissues*

Nonetheless, the bizarre part of this for me was not all of the aforementioned tearing up, but the fact that half of those tears weren't even due to proper angst. No, there was an abundance of happy tears as well.

You know, like when a tender moment touches your little cold heart, makes shivers creep up your spine, and your heart then sings a million tunes befitting a choir of 6-pack carrying renaissance era cherubs? And excuse me if that's too specific...

BUT THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THIS BOOK DID TO ME. It made me feel alive while my fingers clutched at the screen of my phone. Made me scrunch up my brows and make funny faces in the middle of the grocery store line-up, because of course I was dumb enough to think reading this one in public was a smart decision (and spoilers: it was not!!)

From the near devastating adoration Otter had for Bear (which broke my heart, then put it back together and then continued to mend it until the very last page), to the love Bear had for his brother (who was a little too smart for any 9-year-old to be, but hey, this is fiction after all), and finally even the appreciation Bear's friends had for him and vice versa, I kept being struck time and time again by the overwhelmingly genuine love present in the story. This felt like an ode to attachments of all kinds, to a found family that had made its home solely around each other's hearts.

At this point, my eye makeup was already making me look like a not-so-slightly unhinged raccoon.

Even the anger I sometimes experienced on the trip that was this book felt strangely cathartic. And admittedly, I had a MAJOR case of rage reading in certain parts. Because you see, neglectful families and especially parents are something that always breaks my heart to read. So to witness how Bear and Ty’s mom behaved? I was aghast, I was fuming, I was seething, and definitely wishing I could self-insert myself into this story just to beat some sense and empathy into that woman.

...Yet despite all the heartbreak dealt by their mother, neither Bear nor his brother Ty (The Kid) ever felt underappreciated or alone in their struggle. It made it all so much easier to stomach. Because they had Otter (aka one of the best and most caring love interests I've read in a while), Creed (Otter's younger brother and Bear's best friend), Anna (Bear's ex girlfriend and other bestie) and even their neighbour and sometimes-nanny Mrs. Paquinn.

Which meant these two were never truly alone after being "left behind". Even if the world erupted around them, if the storm of despair raged and the sea of their quaint coastal town threatened to swallow them whole, Bear and his Kid were never forgotten, uncared for, or unloved. If anything, it was after being devastatingly left behind that they had the opportunity to truly find their home.

In themselves, in the people around them, and last but not least in each other.

And goddammit, why is my keyboard getting all blurry again?! T.J Klune, I BLAME YOU.

In the meantime, allow me to continue not crying while I contemplate my life post this wonderfully heartfelt book. And thank you to everyone who recommended it to me, because to absolutely nobody’s surprise, YOU WERE RIGHT to do so.

The Seafare Chronicles series by T.J Klune

Bear, Otter and the Kid — 5 ⭐
Who We Are — TBR.
The Art of Breathing — TBR.
The Long and Winding Road — TBR.
Profile Image for Christina.
754 reviews123 followers
July 11, 2014

1.5 Stars

Too much needless angst and drama!!! I really enjoyed the first 40% - 50% of the book, but then it all went downhill from there. I enjoyed the relationship dynamics, and most of the side characters. I thought the chemistry between Bear and Otter was perfect. Bear had this sarcastic wit about him that brought humor into the story. I really liked him at first. I thought the Kid was a well developed character. He provoked a few eye-rolls, but for the most part he had me smiling.

Once Bear and Otter got together, there was no communication, just ridiculous plot devices to induce "the conflict" in their relationship. Uggg, I was so irritated by the end of this book. Let’s not even talk about Bear’s endless inner monologues and his fears. The storm and drowning metaphor got old fast, and by the end I wanted to drown him myself.
Profile Image for Nile Princess.
1,321 reviews163 followers
August 18, 2014
I really, really hate when I'm in such a vast minority with a book that has gotten so many rave reviews. First, there are parts of the book that I did like and that made me smile...laugh out loud even, but it was bogged down with so much unnecessary rambling that I was getting a headache. Once you get past the silly names (Bear, Otter, The Kid...really?), the first third of the book is likeable. Bear is funny, The Kid is witty and all the friends come together as a family to support Bear and Ty when their mom leaves. The writing is so well done that I didn't even notice that the book is written in present tense, something that usually throws me off immediately.

At around 38%, the author falters. We get a flashback of Otter's departure, from Otter's point of view, as told by Bear. HUH, you say? Uh, yes.

"It's three years ago, and we're standing in my apartment, and OTTER FEELS my lips press against him....then reality sets in as I pull away and a voice rings out in HIS HEAD, "What are you doing to him?? He's just a kid and he's drunk!"

Are your eyes crossing yet??? From this we're supposed to deduce that, unless Bear is a mind reader, Otter is telling the story to Bear and Bear is cutely relaying it to us. WHY??? Why not just let them have a conversation or do the flashback from Otter's point of view?? There are numerous flashbacks, different points of view of the same event. An editor's guiding hand was needed here.

As for Bear, there is entirely too much internal monologue on his part, and it's distracting because he would be in the middle of a sentence angsting about what he should say next, and then there's a PARAGRAPH of internal hemming and hawwing and neurotic whining, and then he finishes his sentence. Honestly, I found it hard to believe he was 21. His thought process was that of a 14 yr old girl. For Pete's sake, stop throwing yourself into Otter's arms and then angsting about the fact that you're not gay. It's like he was bipolar. I love gay-for-you novels but Bear was just entirely too melodramatic and I found him unlikeable.

I loved the Kid and Otter, but sadly, because of the writing style and Bear, I threw in the towel at 50%. I really couldn't take it anymore. At that point, I was already skimming just to get to what happened next, and then I realized I wasn't really interested enough to find out.
Profile Image for Meags.
2,178 reviews415 followers
May 6, 2017
5 Stars

Fantastic! 5 Stars and straight into the favourites folder! And I'll be honest and admit that I made this decision around 10 pages in - that's how much this grabbed me (and it didn't let go until the final swoon-worthy page).

I'm a little incoherent at the moment so I'll keep this short and say I'm ashamed it took my so long to pick up my first T.J. Klune story. I'm mostly ashamed because I knew I'd love his stories (from reading all my GR friends' fabulous reviews) and yet I still resisted, for stupid, crazy reasons.

This was a fantastic M/M story about family - mainly the kind we choose for ourselves. It was an emotional read, to say the least. I laughed, I cried, I raged, I cheered, I wanted to throttle Bear on multiple occasions... and then I wanted to cuddle him close and tell him everything was going to be okay. I adored ALL of the main characters - Bear, Otter, Creed, Anna, Mrs. Paquinn, and most especially The Kid (aka Ty, the wise nine-year-old eco-terrorist in training).

I very much loved the writing style. It was a form of storytelling that I haven't experienced much of in the past, yet I thought it worked impressively, here.

I can't wait to read more about these fantastic characters.

Highly recommended!!! <3
Profile Image for SheReadsALot.
1,838 reviews1,205 followers
December 30, 2012
Pity Party?!

Pity Party?!

Table for one?

Under the reservation, Bear McKenna, please?

"Bear, Otter and the Kid" has DRAMA hands down! There's drama for you, your family, your friends, their friends, their friends' friends...Holy Cheesus, it can make it's own universe.


TJ Klune's story is well written, you can argue all the faults you may or may not have but the writing style is superb. (Yes, I'm aware of the "Shelter" movie controversy - *shrug* I see it more as a homage to a great film) You will feel something for each character - albeit lust (Otter), mistrust(Anna), disgust(that thing Bear & Kid got hatched from - I do not care what you tell me, she's not a mother) (that damn Kid has got me rhyming!)

Now instead of me rehashing the sad little tale of how Derrick aka Bear has a shitty life and shit storm of a mother who leaves Bear who is still 17 years old to take care of her almost 6 year old son, Ty aka the Kid. (It's kind of white trash beautiful at the end so don't let that hinder you)

Bear(it's not his real name, thank god) receives help from his on-off girlfriend Anna, best friend Creed, next door neighbor Mrs. Paquinn and of course...the ever yummy and patient, Otter aka Oliver.

Besides the hinky nicknames and ever-loving drama stirrer Bear (c'mon this story could have been cut in half if he just pulled his head out of his ass faster), Otter and the Kid are the jelly that makes this a palatable literary sandwich.

The Kid...he's the only straight shooter out of the bunch of adult loons he's surrounded with. I don't know if it's sad as of yet.

And Otter? First off his nickname is Otter so he deserves some sympathy points for that alone. the rest is being in love with Bear. Bear does a lot of stupid things to this ever suffering man.


Seriously, I'm sending a soul hug out to this man. 9458 Kindle locations later, I question his sanity on loving Bear but the story eloquently proves these two not only really love each other, they deserve each other, in a really epic way.

What felt like overkill was the drawn out flashes forward and backward and the over-analyzing of pretty much every dramatic scene. If Kid didn't pop up every now and again to smack some sense in it all, I would have probably rated this lower.

When reading this, you need an open mind, some free time (book's long) and maybe a shot of something in the alcoholic category. I'm rating it 3.75 stars but I'll round it up to FOUR STARS.

Still want to read? Don't say I didn't warn you.

Profile Image for Loulou .
1,000 reviews
June 10, 2023
Relisten #4
These characters ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Relisten #3
I love this so much.

Relisten #2.

Yes I'm on a TJ binge and I'm happy with myself.

I want an Otter please and thank you.

I just LOVE his character SO MUCH. He's perfect, even when Bear is being stupid.

Also the kid is one of my fave book kids EVER.

Did I mention I loved Otter?

Also, Bear and Ty's mom can SUCK IT. .

Sean Crisden did a fantastic job with the narration. I always love his performances. Otter's voice was so swoony and sexy.

I loved the friendships in this book, the comradery and the love.
Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,868 reviews2,243 followers
March 14, 2017
4 stars!

“There's nothing like being admonished by a nine-year-old ecoterrorist in training.”

This is a book I've been meaning to read for a LONG time.

Bear, Otter and the Kid is the story of Derrick (Bear), a 21 year old man who is raising his younger brother on his own. Their mom left when he was 17, and it's been just him, his brother and his best friend for a long time. When Bear's best friends brother Otter comes home after a long time away, and Bear must face feelings he never expected.

“You want to know what it feels like to be castrated? Try having your nine-year-old brother protect you from your ex-girlfriend after you've told her you're in love with a man.”

This is a book I've been meaning to read forever. I just couldn't get past the horrible cover (superficial and shallow of me, I know). But I honestly think this book would sell more with a better cover. Gay for you romance is my favorite kind, mostly because of ANGST and we all know I friggin love my angst.

I really enjoyed this story, Ty the little brother cracked me up. I know I would end up with a kid like him, but mine would probably be more of a shit. Otter was pure awesome, that man was a saint. My heart felt so much for that man. He and Bear just seemed perfect together, despite how friggin frustrating Bear could be.

One thing I have to get off my chest, the excessive use of the word "retarded". I stopped counting after 6-7 mentions. For a book that preached not using the word "fag" because it was hurtful, it really shouldn't be using the other word so much. Maybe it's just me, but that really makes me mad...

Anyways, I can't wait to read the other books in this series and have more of the kid, Otter and Bear in my life.

“I’ll never understand why people just won’t let others be who they are. It’s not like it’s affecting them in any way.”

Follow me on ♥ FacebookBlogInstagramTwitter
Profile Image for Ingie.
1,358 reviews168 followers
November 30, 2016
Written August 16, 2015

3.7 Stars - Cozy and heart wrenching nice - A lovely story to remember

At last was it time for me to also experience this M/M so many friends adore and love. I listened to the 12:19 hrs audiobook narrated by a very good M/M romance reading voice, Sean Crisden.

I enjoyed and liked but...
Maybe this book works better to read by yourself. It wasn't anything wrong with this audiobook (good narration) but I wasn't totally stunned and amazed. (Too big expectations? Maybe.) However, Bear, Otter and the Kid is a very nice and lovely novel. It will stay with me for a while. I loved them all in the end and I'm satisfied.


Bear, Otter and the Kid is a "family" story about two couples of brothers: Derric 'Bear' McKenna and his much younger kid brother Tyson (Kid). Here are also Bear's best friend Jason 'Creed' Thompson and his older brother Oliver 'Otter' Thompson. Add a nice and very wise girlfriend, Anna and an older unforgettable neighbor lady, Mrs Paquinn.

This big bunch of characters are all close together with quite unique "big family" bonds. Their lives are twisted so very intense close with each other in both friendship and caring love. Admirable, not totally believable but heartbreaking sweet.

Cutest of it all; they all, at all times, wants the very best for this, without doubt freaking adorable and so very clever, Kid boy. He is simply irresistible. I just loved him so much...even if he felt more like a mature teen than just eight or nine (??? or so..).
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‘There's nothing like being admonished by a nine-year-old ecoterrorist in training.’

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‘The Kid told me that he thought gay people were supposed to be classy, but then he looked me up and down and said that even nice stereotypes can be a detriment to society because I obviously wasn’t classy.’

This is also a romantic love story. Quite hot and steamy too.
Though, I felt the romance feeling was secondary this time. It were all more about trust, brotherhood, to be gay, and to dare to follow your true inner feelings.


There is a lot of drama —...a lot of talking, thoughtful Bear thinking, some misunderstandings, make up moments, more telling feelings, big Kid words about love and life...— and so on, here. If you don't roll your eyes, just take a deep this-is-fiction breath and just let it all "meandering" in to the middle of your heart is it pretty sweet.
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‘If someone can care about me that deeply, despite all my faults, despite all my refutations, despite all my everythings, then that makes all the storms and all the oceans worth it.’

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I must admit I was a bit bored and restless sometimes (it took me more than a week to finish these quite long twelve audiobook hours). I felt it was a lot of the same, quite repetitive, without much happening. Luckily I was (as you all) convinced in the end. To be fair to all my fan friends here: This is a kind of MUST read for M/M romances lovers. ~ A good novel as well. Recommended even if you're not reading about gay love every day.


You get a satisfying end here (adorable to be true..) and you leave them all in a good place but there are two continuing parts and I'm sure I'll pick those up at some point later on. To be honest, the temptation to meet Tyson The Amazing Wonderful Kid once again will be too tough to resist.

I LIKE - and I felt...so d@mn sugary sweet
Profile Image for Lisazj1.
2,072 reviews155 followers
June 21, 2021
Audio reread June 2021

A genuine case of history repeating itself, because apparently I'm too dumb to read my own reviews. 🙄 I was wanting fluffy after a certain author stomped all over my feelings. Why in the name of all that's holy did I think TJ Klune was the place to go for that?? 👀 Selective amnesia is definitely a thing, because all I was remembering was all the laughs. And there are those and they're still hysterical because Bear, of course. *hugs Bear and his sweet, neurotic self* But though I had forgotten the angst and things that were painful, every bit of the rest was just as magical as I remembered from the first time. I missed this book-family something fierce, all of them. 🥰

Except that Bear and the Kid's mom and Jonah can still go DIAF. 👿

Sean Crisden's narration was spot-on for all of them, his performance was absolute perfection! More please! 💕


First read April 2017

I don't know why it took me so long to get to this series considering my love of all things T.J., but somewhere along the way I convinced myself that this was one of his funny, hilarious books. And it had its funny, hilarious moments but boy, did I pick the wrong thing as a fluffy read to make me happy after Enemy Within turned me inside out. Because this one did the same in an entirely different way.

And funny that, in the end, it really did make me all the happy I could want. *heart-eyes* I freaking loved every single one of these book-people *except for mom & Jonah, who can go suck it* and that's about all the review you're getting from me because I have to go read Who We Are right now!
Profile Image for T.A. Webb.
Author 33 books625 followers
November 23, 2011
"This is the way my world ends."

With this opening sentence, we meet Derrick (Bear, to those who know him), and discover that, one day short of his 18th birthday, three days shy of his high school graduation, and three months away from his leaving to start college, his mother has left. Left him alone and in charge of his five your old brother Tyson (Kid). With the help of his girlfriend Anna, his best friend Creed and Creed's brother Oliver (Otter), Bear picks himself up and gets on with the business of making sure the Kid is cared for and loved.

Over the course of the three or four years covered here, we see love. Love between two brothers, between friends, between a man and a woman, and between a man and another man. We see love end, love begin, and love transformed. We see love used as a weapon, love as an excuse, and love as a means of control.

We get the Kid's definition of love. "I think it's when you can't go on another day without the other person. That they make you feel like your stomach is on fire but in a good way."

We see it when a heart is broken and love ends. "You've broken my heart, but it was mine to give."

And we have our hearts broken when Bear tells the Kid their mom deserted them. "I heard the first gasping breath come out of his little body. 'Bear!' he cried into my ear. 'What's going to happen to me? I'm not big like you! What's going to happen to me?'" And Holy Hell, didn't I choke up at that...

What happens is...I almost don't have words for it...a glorious, imaginative, sprawling, touching, living heart of a book. TJ Klune has taken these characters and built a tale of family and love. We follow Bear's story, as he deals with his mother's leaving, raising the Kid, his on and off again relationship with Anna, and his struggle with whatever it is that exists between him and Otter.

Because at heart, this book IS about Bear and Otter. How love can start and stall and transform and be something that brings two people together and yet keep them apart and take you by surprise. The question that looms over the entirety of the book is, will Bear allow himself to trust and love, and will he allow it to be Otter?

Mr. Klune has crafted this story so lovingly and so completely, and invested his characters with so much personality and life that I found myself yelling at them one moment, so angry at their denseness and stubbornness, then gasping and swallowing against the lump in my throat and fighting the prickling of tears in my eyes as their care and concern and love for one another shone through. And marveling at how true to life the feelings and reactions were.

I forgot, sometimes, in my frustration with Bear that he is still a very young man. His shouldering of the responsibility of being mother, father and brother to the Kid in many ways froze him emotionally, and didn't grant him the time to grieve and get angry and be a normal young man. I found myself aching to give this young man a hug while at the same time wanting to shake the stuffing out of him. And that is where I think Mr. Klune's genius shines through. It is almost impossible to NOT react to Bear; he is all elbows and knees and sharp corners, and they stick out and poke the reader to react with and to him. I found myself drawn again and again to the Staind song "Epiphany" when pondering him.

"I am nothing more than a little boy inside
That cries out for attention
though I always try to hide
'Cause I talk to you like children,
Though I don't know how I feel
But I know I'll do the right thing
If the right thing is revealed
'Cause its always raining in my head
Forget all the things I should have said"

He is a little boy, hurt inside, and I want to just grab him and make it all right for him.

And as much as I love Bear, I love Otter and how he fits with Bear so well. He could very well be a caricature of a gay man, but he is so shaded, so colored with depth. Sometimes the sorrow is almost palpable, and then the light shines through, and I think, God, I want a man like this for myself.

And the Kid - I hate precocious children in movies and television. But this young boy is so three dimensional, there is never a wrong or sour note struck. He is the younger brother we would all love to have - wise but so very young and so flawed and just one more heartbreak away from a catastrophe. And yet, never a misstep. Held together by Bear and Otter and Anna and Creed. Just a wonderfully conceived and executed young man.

This book is one of my favorites of any genre I have read. I adore Amy Lane's "Promise Rock" books and place this in the same category as "All time favorite if I were trapped on a deserted island and could only take one book" books, because of the shared theme of family being what you make it, not what you are born with.

Mr. Klune, you have created a fine, fine work here that will be one of my favorites for years to come. You must have a huge heart to have created such warm, alive and meaningful characters, and I bless you for it. I wish I had the skill and words and talent, as you do, to do your beautiful book justice.

Profile Image for Cecilia.
289 reviews292 followers
October 16, 2022
¡¡¡Uff que decir de este libro!!! Me ha hecho sentir tantas emociones que fue complicado poder escribir una reseña que pueda dar cuenta de lo maravillosamente que esta narrada esta historia.

Primero que todo, los personajes están construidos con tanto cariño; lo cual se nota en cómo están descritos, cómo podemos llegar a conocerlos y comprenderlos a profundidad con tan sólo leerlos. Creo que son pocos los autores que logran ese tipo de conexión entre el lector y los personajes.

La trama es simple, es la historia de vida de Derrick (alias Bear) y su hermano pequeño Ty (de tan sólo 6 años) quienes han sido abandonados por su madre (no conocen a su padre); por ende, Derrick es quien decide hacerse cargo de la casa y de la crianza de su hermano, teniendo sólo 18 años. Lo anterior no es spoiler ya que sale en las primeras páginas del libro; no recuerdo si esto aparece en la sinopsis.

Y bueno ahí es donde aparecen sus amigos, su red de apoyo, quienes son incondicionales con Derrick, siempre están cuando los necesita, cuando se siente frustrado o siente que ya no puedes más. Y, además, tienen un rol relevante en la crianza de ty, sobre todo en su contención emocional.

Es una historia que nos habla acerca de la amistad, lealtad, apoyo, descubrimientos a nivel personal y afectivo; pero todos estos temas tocados de una forma tan íntima, tan delicada, que da gusto leerlo. Hay muchas enseñanzas entrelíneas que te dejan pensando y analizando cada situación.

Recomiendo al 100% esta historia, que creo es un libro que todos deberíamos leer en alguna oportunidad.
863 reviews231 followers
December 9, 2012

All roads point to Susan hating this book:

Bad title
Bad cover
Bad 1st person POV
Bad female characters

BUT, funny thing is, sometimes you just can’t predict what you’re gonna like. I actually finished this book with a smile on my face. Much to my surprise, the main characters (Bear, Otter, and The Kid…go figure) were all super likable.

Bear’s fierce loyalty to The Kid, Otter’s fierce loyalty to Bear, and The Kid’s fierceness, period (god, I adore this one!), made it all so charming and sweet. Yes, predictable for the most part. Yes, unoriginal in many parts. Yes, unbelievable in a few parts. Yes, Bear's inner-monologue got old in some parts.

But, all in all, heart-warming.
Profile Image for Connor.
694 reviews1,660 followers
July 16, 2020
My Video Review:

I believe this is his first published novel, and where I did have some issues with it, I still really liked it.
I think I'm going to make TJ Klune a reading project and do individual video reviews as I make my way through his work.
Profile Image for Diana.
551 reviews18 followers
June 15, 2019
4.5 stars

I know I am very late to the party, but I finally read Bear, Otter and the Kid, I loved it. I had one little niggle (more on that later).

T.J. Klune always seems to write a story that will involve people who are family, not by blood, but by choice. The pick people that not only love unconditionally, but will have their backs at all times. That is exactly what happens in Bear, Otter and the Kid. When Bear’s mother takes off, 17 year old Bear is now responsible for raising his 6 year old brother (Kid/Tyson). With the help of his friends, Anna (gf), Creed, Otter and Mrs. Paquinn, they make their own family and love and raise the Kid (Tyson).

There were so many sweet moments with the Kid, who just so happens to be a vegan, ecoterrorist-in-training. He is wise beyond his years, but the Kid also does a good job of taking care of his big brother, Bear.

I absolutely adored this book, but the only niggle I had was with Bear’s inner monologue. I listened to the audiobook, so it was very confusing when he started his inner monologues. Was it happening now, or was it happening in the past? I did switch to my kindle and noticed that the monologue was in italic, which would have been easier to understand. That is the only reason I deducted .5 stars.

Of course, I absolutely adored this book, the story and every character! I highly recommend that if you haven’t read it yet, get to it now!! I should also mentioned, the narrator, Sean Crisden, was superb.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,919 reviews33k followers
November 14, 2021
4 stars
“I realized that I love him pure and simple. It's not a matter of logic or function. It's a matter of my heart.”

This is a book I've been meaning to get to for the longest, but honestly the original cover had put me off from reading it. Eventually, after being recommended to me by a friend, I went ahead and picked up the audiobook. This was such an enjoyable read for me. It made me smile, laugh, and had lots of emotion.

The two main characters, Bear and Otter had a ton of chemistry. I especially loved the kid, TJ. He was responsible for so many of the laughs and smiles. As a vegetarian, his pushing slaughterhouse footage to his family cracked me up.

This is definitely a found family story and the friendships were just as much of a focus as the romance. The main reason I took a full star off was for the repetitive use of the word But overall it was pretty great and I'm looking forward to reading more from this series!
Audio book source: Audible
Story Rating: 4 stars
Narrators: Sean Crisden
Narration Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 12h 19m
Profile Image for ♥Sharon♥.
971 reviews142 followers
September 21, 2017
Oh my heart. ❤

Even though this is only my third book by T.J. Klune, he has quickly become an author that I will seek out. His writing is unique and witty, his stories are heartfelt and the characters he writes are amazing!

I loved Bear, Otter and the Kid. Creed, Anna and Mrs. Paquinn were terrific secondary characters too. My favorite though was Tyson. Known as Kid to all that loved him. ❤ He was adorably funny and oh so sweet. Wise beyond his years. He had my heart from the first chapter.

At times this story wasn’t easy to read. It broke my heart. But it also brought so much happiness too. I’m not sure how the series unfolds, but for me this one seemed to be mostly Bear’s story. His journey through a storm.

Such a wonderful story about family, undefined love and unconditional friendships.

And that ending. Good thing I'm able to read on to book #2. Which by the way is up next for me. :)

Profile Image for Elsa Bravante.
1,135 reviews179 followers
August 8, 2016
Aquí estoy otra vez, me temo que una vez más voy a disentir de la opinión de muchos de mis contactos sobre este libro. ¿Me gustó? A grandes rasgos, sí, ¿Me encantó o la considero especial? En absoluto.

Primero de todo me gustaría señalar que en su momento el autor fue acusado de plagiar la película "The Shelter", no tengo opinión al respecto puesto que no he visto la película, pero he creído oportuno mencionarlo.

Y ahora, vamos con la historia de Bear, abandonado por su madre a los 17 años dejándole a cargo de Ty, The Kid, y en medio de una crisis de identidad y de emociones por los sentimientos que le despierta el hermano de su mejor amigo, Otter. Es un libro sobre el amor, muchos tipos de amor, la amistad, el sacrificio, el egoísmo, la confusión. El autor utiliza fundamentalmente el presente a la hora de narrar, no soy muy fan de ello, pero no ha supuesto un problema. Más molesto ha sido la presencia constante de la repetición como recurso estilístico, este tipo de recurso utilizados de vez en cuando le da mucha fuerza a lo que quiere transmitir el autor, pero cuando se abusa de él lo único que hace es ralentizar, romper el ritmo de la narración y hacerla tediosa. Ha habido partes en las que he dicho: bueno, pues esto tal que me lo puedo saltar porque ya me lo ha repetico cien mil veces el autor, me lo sé de memoria. El tipo de libro que a mi más me gusta es el que te tiene el corazón en un puño, pero no porque me repitas una y otra vez lo mismo vas a provocar en mi que lo sienta más, nope, eso funciona alguna vez, no siempre, hay que tirar de otros recursos. Creo que con un buen editado esto se habría solucionado.

La historia que nos cuentan es bonita, pero hacia la parte final del libro pasa de ser una historia bonita y emotiva a convertirse en un auténtico melodrama con mis consiguientes suspiros, ojos hacia arriba y varios: venga, no me jodas. Pasamos de algo bello y en algunos momentos intimistas al telefilm del domingo, noooooooooooooo. Por favor, ¡que sea más melodramático no lo hace mejor libro!.

No me gustaría terminar sin mencionar a The Kid, puede que sea gracioso, tierno, listo, ha venido Dios a vernos con él, todo lo que queráis, pero hay un problema: no es un niño, que es lo que se supone que debería ser. Llevo muchos años rodeada de niños, he conocido a muchos "superdotados", altas capacidades, y muchos con entornos más complicados que el de Ty, y jamás he conocido a un niño así. Es muy posible que esté por encima de niños de su edad intelectualmente, también emocionalmente, pero es absolutamente imposible que de ciertos consejos que se asientan sobre un conocimiento de las relaciones personales y del ser humano al que solo se llega con los años y a través de la experiencia. Hay algún momento al final en los que los comentarios seudofilosóficos de Ty no tenían sentido ninguno en un niño de su edad. Me vais a perdonar, eso no lo considero gracioso, ni tierno, lo que hace es que en ese momento mi mente salga del libro.

Estoy segura de que leeré los dos libros siguientes, pero siempre que he leído series o sagas lo he hecho todos seguidos porque me ayuda a crear un mundo muy completo dentro de mi que me encanta, algo mucho más complicado de conseguir si los leemos espaciados, esta vez me va a resultar imposible, he terminado agotada.
Profile Image for Jewel.
1,818 reviews251 followers
July 6, 2017
I am feeling that bittersweet feeling coming on as I reread one of my all-time favorite series, in preparation for the long-awaited last book. I read Bear, Otter and the Kid, for the first time, two years ago, and I got to discover what the fuss was all about. And I suspect (quite strongly) that I will be cursing TJ by the time this journey comes to an end. I can feel it coming.

----------Original Review: 30 May 2015--------------
BR with Eleftheria and special guest, Todd!

I've heard about this book for ages, but didn't pick it up, until a few weeks ago, at which point I was told I must read it now! And my friend Eleftheria hadn't read it, either, so we decided to do a buddy read. It was so much fun getting to talk about this book along the way.

I'm sitting here, trying to get my thoughts together for a review and so much is bubbling up. The characters were so well written, and the narrative was engaging and funny. There was one part where I really wished the POV had switched to Otter, because it was his story, but we were hearing it from Bear. That part was a touch awkward, but other than that one piece, we're golden.

The story is told completely from Bear's POV. When the book starts, Bear McKenna is one day shy of turning 18 and his worthless excuse for a human being, much less a parent, mother has up and left with her boyfriend of the month and left Bear to raise his five year old brother. Alone. She cleaned out his checking account before she left, but that's ok since she left him $137.50 in cash. That'll do, right? And never mind plans for college. Oh, she left a note, reminding him to pay the rent, so that should be ok. Yeah, no mother of the year award for her. You might get the impression I don't like her. Yeah, you'd be right.

So, Bear is left with his little brother Tyson and not a clue as to how he was going to be able to take care of the Kid. And both of them end up with some serious abandonment issues because of it. He's got some awesome friends, though and they pulled together to help him through everything. His girlfriend Anna, his best friend, Creed and Creed's older brother Oliver (Otter) banded together to make sure that he know he wasn't alone in this. And his neighbor, Mrs. Paquin, too. She was brilliantly written. I want to be her when I get old (except for the being alone for 30 years part - that would suck).

Now, Bear isn't the most introspective guy around. He's not stupid, he just doesn't think things through. He has idolized Otter, pretty much forever, but he never picked up on why. Until one night something happens between them and Bear panics and sends Otter away. And Otter stayed away for three years. And for those three years, Bear has devoted 100% of his time to Ty, not thinking about himself hardly at all. He had to grow up so fast and never got the chance to go explore the world or himself. That's kind of sad.

But Otter returns and suddenly, Bear has to figure out why his emotions are so all over the place when Otter is around. It really took Anna and Ty to clue him in on his own feelings. Tyson is a brilliant and scary observant little guy. At nine years old, he is already way ahead of the rest of the world. And he tells it like it is. But Bear still resisted. And when he stopped resisting, he was still really wound tight over anyone knowing before he figured things out. He has a tendency to overthink things.

It is through Bear that we get to know the other characters and I think he did a great job of it. I loved Otter and Ty. It was not difficult to see them as a family at all. They just fit. And Bear tries so hard to not let anyone down that he inevitably lets everyone down, until he remembers that he isn't alone (ok, he had to be smacked over the head with it) and lets other people help him.

The result of it all was a story that I absolutely loved and characters I loved (Except the mom. Hated her.). I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the series and I highly recommend what I've read, so far.
Profile Image for Jennifer☠Pher☠.
2,793 reviews233 followers
April 15, 2019
So, I finally did this.

I am guessing I should be all "OMG, I can't believe I waited so long to read this!" but honestly, I feel pretty good about having read it now. I might not have liked it or been able to deal with it before. Now, I feel glad I finally read it and I liked the Hell out of it.

It was pretty close to true love and I think that if I read it again it probably would be. Anyway, I'll keep going and maybe come back and be totally in love. Who knows?

What I do know is I look forward to finding out.

Not as difficult as I thought it would be. Not easy by any means, but I was fearful and was glad I wasn't pushed too far out of my comfort zone even if some of it hurt, hurt, hurt.

Late to the party but luckily it is a party that never ends.

Profile Image for Daniel.
285 reviews30 followers
July 23, 2022
This is my first book by TJ Klune and I'm already declaring him to be a literary genius. This was delicious ... ALL the feels! ... on so many levels! I can hardly wait to read the next three books in the series. I know I will be in tears when I finish them because ... well ... it will be the end and I don't want this story to ever end!
Profile Image for * A Reader Obsessed *.
2,219 reviews454 followers
August 4, 2022
4 Stars!!

There’s not much to add to all the many reviews out there already for this book. Suffice it to say that I’m kicking myself for not reading this earlier. Honestly, I have no excuse.

Was this perfect? No. However, that was the beauty of it because real life isn’t perfect. Granted, Bear and the Kid have been dealt a truly harsh hand, but they’ve weathered many challenges and have persevered and even thrived. And Bear especially, handles things the best he can, despite all his neuroses.

What stands out the most here for me, is Otter. *big dreamy sigh* He was perfection. So much angst regarding the way he wanted to be what others wanted of him, that despite trying so hard there was no right or wrong way to live his life, and that he finally owned up to his feelings and executed decisions that would bring him peace and satisfaction. His love for Bear? His devotion and unwavering support? How Bear reciprocated in his own obstinate mind boggling want to slap strangle him repeatedly way? The absolute palpable intensity between these two?

The. Best. Part.

You’re probably gonna cringe and possibly cry. You’ll definitely be frustrated and angry and worried. But you’ll also rejoice, laugh, and no doubt, swoon. Seriously, wholly romantic (and bonus points for being my favorite trope)!
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