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.
©2011 TJ Klune (P)2012 TJ Klune
An affectionate story with interesting main and secondary characters. The continual first person perspective, always through the same character, is a difficult task but it was done well here, especially since the internal monologue was largely credible and established clearly the main character's difficulty in focussing and facing things directly. At the same time, at some point (early or late in the book depending on one's tolerance for self-pity and an unfailing habit of jumping to conclusions), I imagine most readers will see their patient sympathy turn into exasperation. Overall though, the patience is well rewarded by a good 12 hour journey into the author's universe.
some of the writing was repetitive, could've used a bit more editing. there was a somewhat overdone ocean metaphor. that said, now that the book is over i miss the characters! i really enjoyed getting to know them. solid romance novel, with a touch more complexity in plot and characters than some others in the genre.
I would have to say that Bear is my favorite and least favorite character at the same time.
As I am writing this after listening to both audio books I would have to say Charlie David.
Listen, no. I did want to read it all in one sitting.
The narrator turned the Kid and Anna into frigging Rick Moranis! Oh ick! I did see a lot of reviewers saying they really like this guy's narrating and I wouldn't discount him altogether, but I am hoping this Rick Moranis voice is not a common occurrence. I am so glad I read the book before listening to the audio. I liked the narrator of the second audio book MUCH better.
I would in a few years.
I've enjoyed a number of his books even though his male characters sound alike, lol. I thought for a hot second I was listening to Fish & Chips, lol.
The Kid of course! He was funny but almost "not real" or to grown up. I just can't imagine any kid saying the things he says or making the realizations. He seems to made Bear's character seem like a kid when it came to adult thinking. Bear was there to keep the bills paid, thats it, lol.
I'm still at a loss over the mother. I just knew she arranged for the ex-boyfriend to show up or maybe he was going to pay the mother some money to help him get Otter back but it seems she just showed up for a few hours and vanished. It was like she made an empty threat and didn't even show back up to sell wolf tickets. I thought i may have missed her second return. All in all though, I really enjoyed the book and would highly recommend it.
This almost doesn't qualify as a gay romance novel, in a very good way. Yes, there is some of that, but only enough to cement the relationship between Bear and Otter, and it's not nearly as graphic as some of the novels I've come across. The Kid is a great character, and he's supposed to be super smart with great intuition, but he sometimes seems far too intelligent for a 9 year old, almost to the point of unbelievability. But that's really the only big flaw in this story. You will find yourself rooting for Bear, Otter and the Kid. I didn't want it to end, and I hope there's more to come.
If you want a book where everyone bans together to make the perfect family for a child and this small family faces struggles of then and now then this is perfect. The things this author has this little boy saying made me blush, laugh, and cry. I loved every minute of it. The narrator really made thus story with the way he kept every character's voice different. Oh and there are some interesting ways the Sean describes the sex scenes till all I could say was "Wow!" A must listen to book!
Say something about yourself!
Yes! The voice used for Otter was a cross between David Putty (from Seinfeld), "Too Cool For the Room" Guy and (towards the end) Val Kilmer's Batman Voice. That combination of voices made it impossible for me to ever be won over by Otter.
Depending on what part of the book I was on, I either loved or hated what I was hearing. I don't know exactly how to describe it, but there were times where I couldn't get enough and other times where it was so silly and far fetched that I didn't think I could listen to another word. I really can't decide if I'm going to read the 2nd part of this or not.
The narrator was exceptional. I could tell he really got what TJ Klune was trying to do, all the inner dialogue, all of Bear's complexities were really brought to life by him.
When the world comes crashing down around Bear's ears and he escapes to the beach and Otter leaves his heartbreaking voicemails. Ack! The narrator did that so well.
I already said, but it seems to me that he really tapped into Bear's character. Be warned though, the second book in the series 'Who We Are' is narrated by one of the worst narrators I've ever encountered on audible. I really wish it could be done over by Sean Crisden.
A Rollercoaster of Angsty Goodness. Lol
This was my first m/m romance, and I absolutely loved it! It was emotional, heartfelt, amusing, rich with a heartbreaking story and beautifully entwined characters.
But the thing that really made this special, was the narrator's voice. He perfectly matched Bear, the main character, and all the side characters perfectly.
I highly recommend this!
Eclectic reader but mostly read anything seafaring, Tolkien and American history, even Pride and Prejudice and romance stories.
There are two things I liked about this book: TJ Klune is a remarkable, wonderful and fantastic wordsmith and Sea Crisden making me laugh and cry and fall in love with Bear, Otter and the Kid! I'm a finnicky male/male romance reader-listener. Sex in a story is fine but it has to take the back seat to a character-driven plot and storyline and - SUCCESS - this story hits all the right mark. Seriously, Mr. Crisden has a remarkable voice; he could narrate a story about spark plugs and I'd be riveted. Please bring him back for more stories, be it non-fiction, regular fiction, or anything. This man's voice is what is golden.
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