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Who We Are (Bear, Otter, and the Kid #2) by T.J. Klune

January 18, 2014


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.

My Review:

Where the Kid inspires me to write this before I write an actual review:

Bear, the Kid and Otter,
I didn’t want to read your sequel, you must trust.
The first book turned my heart into fodder (stay with me,)
But a friend told me I must.

She promised she would hold my hand,
That she would be there to see me through.
She did this without hesitation, you understand,
It’s just what we Unicorns do.

Your story, it started out fun, it was light and cheery,
Making me snort every time I did laugh.
I knew the angst would be present so I became a bit leery,
You see, all that laughter was just in the first half.

Kid still did his thing, and I have to agree,
His poems about not eating meat sure pack a punch.
He and I are a type of family, I am vegan you see,
So Kid you and I need to get together for lunch.

Now the story was one I didn’t want to read,
I knew it would break my heart and I would be in a mood.
But I trusted Mr. Klune as a knight would his steed.
And hoped my heart wouldn’t be fodder again, that is a word for food.

There is a part of this story, where Kid talks to a bug,
But this moment is one you must commit in your brain (believe me.)
There is also an Extravaganza that includes an awkward hug,
But I won’t spoiler you and get off that tangent train.

The secrets we learn they came as a shock,
And then there was thing, this twist.
It had me reading the pages non-stop,
There was not one word to be missed.

But I made it all the way to the end,
With hands being held and a smile on my face.
My heart was bruised but it will mend,
And my three favorite men are in their right place.

But that epilogue made new hope sprout,
I was waiting for that voice to emerge.
I realized what/who book three would be about,
So I went to the blog so he could be heard.

I almost forgot to tell you about a special new boy,
One who is now everything to the Kid.
This boy will break your heart with and then fill it with joy,
I know at least for me that is what he did.

See, he is someone of great importance now,
His story will also be told in the next book.
So after you finish this story and want to know how?
Head over to TJ’s blog for a look.

To my friend who suggested this as my next read,
Your push was at the right time, you know me so well.
I will tell you all this was what I didn’t know I would need,
So, thank you so much for that, I heart you JL!


So yeah. This book. Holy Green Monstrosity! I was not ready to read it but I was told that I had to and sometimes I listen when it’s someone that I trust.

Bear, Otter and the Kid kinda ruined me. I mean I loved it and all but that book had me strung out from the emotional rollercoaster it put me through. I knew I needed to read this but I kept putting it off not wanting to get lost in that world again. Selfish? Maybe? But when it comes to my poor romantic heart self-preservation is of the utmost importance.

I put on my big girl panties and laced up my mother’s combat boots and prepared myself for the emotional battle. What I got in the first few pages of this was absolute hilarity! I was laughing so hard I was snorting and was told I could be heard down the hall and around the corner from my office. I couldn’t help it. That prologue was insane and that bit that Klune tosses in their about “copying” just sheer brilliance!

I’ve learned a lot in my lifetime, learned things I don’t think a man my age should ever have to learn. I wouldn’t change any of it, but I still wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

This I dare say was better than the first. It was. This picks off just weeks after BOatK left us, the boys are making the big move to the Green Monstrosity that my Otter bought for his Bear. Yes, he is my Otter and I am so protective of him, so just deal with it. They are adapting though the McKenna boys have a few earthquakes and aftershocks to deal with but they now have Otter and how can anything go wrong with Otter around.

Things happen: Kid makes a presentation to the school about why he should skip a grade and of course in classic Kid style a poem is involved. (The Kid actually inspired me to write my own poem about the book…but you may have read that already.) Bear has his first moment of jealousy and it is hilarious. There is a dinner that I can’t even begin to think about without going into a fit of giggles. There is a roundabout at grace, Bear drinks way too much and things spill out of his mouth as he tends to do when he is drunk. I love Bear speeches. They are always filled with epic proportions of too much information. This happens,

“This hug has been going on for a long time.”

“It really has. They’re probably still all staring at us.”

“Why are we still hugging?”

“Are you guys done yet? That is the weirdest thing I have ever seen.”

Otter makes some romantic, alpha male declarations that are so fucking hot and swoony at the same time it’s beyond amazing. We meet a new character that I couldn’t love more. Um, about him. When you meet him, you might want to then go here and check out TJ’s blog to see just HOW he meets Kid or as he likes to call him, just Tyson. It’s great. Really it’s so damn good. But this boy, this new introduction will just break your heart and make you fall for him instantly.

Now, Bear is still Bear and his inner monologue runs a muck as usual but it’s so important to the story. Not only does it just totally let you knew each and every thought the man has but his thoughts, they give you so much  insight to who he is now. The insight, the flashback to how he was named, how Kid was named, it broke my heart. Poor Bear has had so much to deal with at such a young age and he is so strong. Even when he thinks he isn’t and wants Otter to take it all and be the strong one for him, Bear is so much more than he thinks. Goodness.

There are so many portions I highlighted with notes talking about how gorgeous Klune writes. He really does. He brings the humor, the angst and the sexy on like a champ but a few bits like this really hit me with the wow factor.

His breathing is deep and soft, an occasional rumble emanating from his chest. His hair is getting longer, falling down onto his forehead. I reach up and gently brush it off, and he sighs quietly in his sleep, rolling on his side to face me, a massive thigh stretching out on top of my legs, pinning me to the bed. It’s safe, this is. The weight of him pressing against me, like he knows what I’m thinking, even though he’s asleep. Like he knows some part of me still wants to run and he won’t let me, because he’s my tether, my strength.

Ugh, I can feel that. I can see it and it is all that I can feel at that moment and that is exactly where I was supposed to be. Just. So good.  So good.

The first half of this really shows Klune’s talent to drag you into a story full of emotions once again. I laughed so much in the beginning but I knew the angst would be there. I was NOT prepared for how it would present itself and I was a blubbering mess. There are parallels at this moment that make the twist and scenes following it very hard for me to read but of course like any good story you have to. You have to push through the pain with these characters you are so connected to so you can be there when they come out of it.

The story ended perfectly, just the way I would have wanted and the epilogue, I was waiting for that voice to speak up and was so glad we were gifted with it again. I had a feeling early on what Kid was dealing with and I was more than pleased when he let that secret out. I cannot wait for book three and get this new story. Again, there is a great companion piece on TJ’s blog about it, but do yourself a favor and read the epilogue first and then the piece. It’s worth it, so worth it and I will be waiting patiently for this next story.

Who We Are gives us a chance to visit the motley crew the family that proves you don’t have to be blood to become important to one another. We get more of Creed and Anna, Mrs. Paquinn and her fits of wisdom that only she can dish out, we meet the parents, we meet men in bars (oh, RAWR to Otter at that part!) we meet new friends and see people we want to claw to pieces, we get it all. We see Kid grow, Bear grow and Otter become more and more the most perfect character ever written in a book. I am biased of course, I did say he was mine after all. I know I said I didn’t want to read this but I am so glad I did. It was worth it all and again, I am beyond excited to read the next book. I have a feeling it may be even better than this.

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating

Get Your Copy: Amazon | Dreamspinner Press | Barnes & Noble

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