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

WhoWeAreBear, 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.

Review: Where this Reader Tries to do Justice to the Emotional Roller Coaster that is Who We Are… (sorry, I really couldn’t resist 😉 .) And for the record, I already know that this review is going to end up being a gibberish filled mess that isn’t even going to come close, but I’m gonna give it my best shot. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Who We Are takes up pretty much where Bear, Otter & the Kid left off. Bear and Otter have each other, they have a plan in place to keep their family together and meet whatever comes their way head on. Smooth sailing, right? Only, this is Bear, who overthinks everything and then lets those things spew from his mouth at the worst possible times. And it’s the Kid, the “smartest 9 year old vegetarian ecoterrorist-in-training” in the world who has absolutely no filter. And it’s also Otter, who seems to be the calming influence… the normal one… until someone threatens what’s his then no one’s safe. Add to the mix a ‘family’ that means well, but… well, you’ll have to read about them to believe them. Trust me…

I really liked Bear, Otter & the Kid, so much so, I plan on reading it again. There was just something even more… everything about Who We Are. I don’t know if it’s because I knew these guys and getting to know them better made me love them more or if it was because of the story itself. Whatever the reason, it’s safe to say that the second book more than lived up to the first (and then some.)

Just a word of warning… you’re either going to love or hate T.J. Klune by the end of Who We Are. Maybe that should be a warning to the author… (I may or may not have threatened him on social media for Chapter 8 and that’s before I realized how crazy the next few chapters were… just wait for it.) There were so many times that I laughed out loud that my family was beginning to worry about me. And yeah, there were more than a few tears and even more “I can’t believe that just happened” moments. By the end I had almost forgiven T.J. Klune for everything he put me through and then… well, you’ll just have to read that part too. Just please, don’t skip the epilogue. I saw it coming, but it’s totally worth the revelation. 😉

Through all the craziness and heartbreak, jealousy and slip ups, there was always the fact that this crazy group had each other. They took turns being the rock that the other needed and that is the definition of family in its simplest form. The author did an amazing job of making that ‘family’ a character in its own right. Oh, and one more thing. I love the way the Kid is portrayed. Yeah, he’s a little over the top for a 9 year old, but I have an 8 year old grandson who keeps our whole family on their toes. I’m just glad that he doesn’t have a political agenda or a cause that he’s latched on to because if he did, we wouldn’t stand a chance. He’s not as crazy smart as Tyson, but the point is, when kids are more than just ‘window dressing’ in a story it ALWAYS gets my attention. The Kid is the most important thing in Otter and Bear’s lives and that’s the way it should be. Just one of the many things I’m loving about this series.

The Art of Breathing is next. The Kid’s all grown up and ready to tell a story of his own. I waited a year and a half between Bear, Otter & the Kid before I picked up Who We Are. I don’t think I can wait that long this time, not unless I start the series over. Even then, I don’t think I can wait.




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