At first, I thought this was the typical teenage coming of age story. It definitely started out that way. The first half is tender and sweet, young love at in all it's glory. In the second half, the book grows up, just like the characters. Life gets in the way, there's tragedy, loss and reward. Can you love more than one person at a time? Do first love's last? I ended up enjoying the book more than I thought I would. So, stick with it. Its rewarding in the end.
"Bear, Otter and the Kid"'s third instalment should suffer from believability - what are the chances Ty and Dom are also gay and in love? Suspend your disbelief for a bit and dive into another masterpiece from TJ Klune. I'm pretty sure TJ wrote three instalments over a number of years, or at least it feels like it. "Bear, Otter and the Kid" is irreverent and optimistic. "The Art of Breathing" is darker and more real. He's kept his irreverent style I loved in the first book, but by this third book, he's story telling is real and relatable. He wraps up "Bear, Otter and the Kid"'s story with such elegance. With a throw back to the beginning, he ends Ty's book with an "off the rails" rant from Bear. Just perfect!
There aren't enough stars to rate this book - buy it, live it and love it like I did. The best series of books bar none! If you love this book, you have to check out "Into This River I Drown".
I could go on for days about this book. Really, I was hesitant to start with. I loved "Bear, Otter and the Kid", but was completely on the fence about the follow up - it lacked something; to flippant I think. So when this book landed, I had my doubts.
Boy, was I wrong. It's simply wonderful! It's sad and funny, hopeful and sometimes dark, real and imagined all in equal measure and quality. It's hard to image that a book about a boy and guardian angel could be anything but trite, but TL Klune has an expert touch that keeps you engaged all the while.
I cried and laughed, and it the end, love love love this book. There's a movie of this book in my head and I think it would be awesome.
And I found it - the easter egg from "Bear, Otter and the Kid". It made me smile.