Bear, Otter, and the Kid & Who We Are (BOATK 1 & 2), by TJ Klune


About BOATK 1:

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.

About BOATK 2:

Sequel to Bear, Otter, and the Kid Bear, Otter, and the Kid survived last summer with their hearts and souls intact. They’ve moved into the Green Monstrosity, and Bear is finally able to admit his love for the man who saved him from himself. But that’s not the end of their story. How could it be? The boys find that life doesn’t stop just because they got their happily ever after. There’s still the custody battle for the Kid. The return of Otter’s parents. A first trip to a gay bar. The Kid goes to therapy, and Mrs. Paquinn decides that Bigfoot is real. Anna and Creed do… well, whatever it is Anna and Creed do. There are newfound jealousies, the return of old enemies, bad poetry, and misanthropic seagulls. And through it all, Bear struggles to understand his mother’s abandonment of him and his brother, only to delve deeper into their shared past. What he finds there will alter their lives forever and help him realize what it’ll take to become who they’re supposed to be. Family is not always defined by blood. It’s defined by those who make us whole-those who make us who we are.

Purchase links: 

Book 1: Amazon

Book 2: Amazon

You can also purchase directly from Dreamspinners Press:

My Review: 

There are definitely not enough numbers in the system that can give these books a star rating. They are both more than 5 stars. They are worth more than 10 stars or even a billion.


Once in a while we find books that just slice us to the core, get to the heart of the matter, break you, cause earthquakes, cause you to break, to mend, and then to break again. Once in a while you find books that can bring a range of emotions right to your soul, to the very heart of you and you know no matter what you can say about it….


I’m late on the BOATK train. Very late. 3 years late.I can’t even imagine how much I would be MISSING if I never read these stories. Truth be told the covers put me off (I’m not a fan) so I kept putting them off. Why??? Why did I do that??? I can only kick myself very hard in my own ass for my procrastination on this.

TJ Klune is an amazing story-teller. He is seriously just AMAZING. Again, my words won’t do HIS words any justice. His story has HEART. I mean it. It has to be the most HEARTFELT book I have ever read.

Once upon a time, I scrolled through books that I’ve had stored in my e-reader and would pass up.

Once upon a time, I decided I might just read BOATK.

Once upon a time, I was enthralled. From Page 1 of Book 1. I was enthralled. I was enraged. I was in fits of laughter. I had stupid smiles on my face. I had tears streaming from my eyes and red-rimmed from crying uncontrollably. I had heartache and joy, immense happiness, immense anger, immense love. I had a sleepless night because I couldn’t put the book down, I didn’t want to put the book down, they became a part of me. I lived them, I was them. Few can do this to me.

These 2 books will teach you many many things.


“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” 


“I know that,” the Kid says smartly. “Some people are just not meant to be together. But that doesn’t mean you can’t love them.” 


“You can’t just wipe away your history.”


“You were the only thing that made me feel safe when the earthquakes threatened to break me. I needed you here because when you’re not here, I don’t have a home.” 


“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.” 


“Bear. It’s always been you. It will always be you. I love you, and that’s why it will always be enough.” 


“He tethered me to him, my magnetic north, while my mind went here or there. I always knew. Somehow I always knew.” 

Bear-rick, Otter and the Kid will forever remain in my heart. Always and forever. There is something just so special about the unique and undying love of these 3. Bear is my favourite. I loved him. He was just soo different from any broken character I have ever read. The Kid, my God he could just slay you when he played with Bear’s fingers. He did slay me when he did that stuff. Otter, oh Otter, your love is immense. I felt it. I loved it.

There are over 3000 reviews on Goodreads for this book. So my review can’t make that big of a difference. But I can tell you that following TJ Klune on facebook has changed my view on life. He is soo fucking inspiring. His faith love and devotion for the love of his life will rock even the biggest cynics out there and I dare anyone to tell me otherwise. He is all 3 of his characters combined. His strength and perseverance is so moving that 1. it makes you BELIEVE and 2. it makes your heart hurt so bad, so fucking bad, that you pray. You and thousands of others PRAY for the faith and good health of another person that you have never met but if you did, if you met them you would cry and hug them and hold them tight and know that your prayers and other people’s prayers helped even a little bit. That’s a fucking good feeling.

I and the rest of the world are awaiting book 3. I will wait forever for this book. I will not grumble or get angry or even stalk TJ like I would anyone else who has an incomplete series. No, I won’t because when he’s ready, when he’s settled and when all is right again in his world, he’ll right ours.


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One response to “Bear, Otter, and the Kid & Who We Are (BOATK 1 & 2), by TJ Klune

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