“Bear, Otter, and the Kid” by T. J. Klune

Genre: MM Contemporary Romance

Length: Novel


The story is about Bear, Otter, and yes, Kid (those are their nicknames for each other, and no, Bear doesn’t resemble any kind of bear). Bear is seventeen years old when his mother abandons him and his younger brother, Kid. Despite the loss of their mother, the two get by. Bear works at a grocery store to pay their rent and put food on the table, and does the best he can for Kid. When things get too big for them to understand, they both climb in the bathtub, where everything’s quiet, and they hold each other. The kid isn’t your average nine-year old, and sometimes I wondered who was taking care of who. For a little guy, he’s pretty understanding.

Otter hasn’t been in town for a while, and and he and Bear have some unfinished business, though Bear, with all that’s going on, is a bit dense about the problem. And Otter’s not much better. Sometimes it takes a little guy to be the big kid in the family.

There are so many good things about this book. It was ridiculously sweet and angsty, and it had a complicated bisexual character in it. In fact, it could be said that Bear is more straight than gay, which was interesting and definitely not a literary trope in MM. It could also be said that despite Bear’s many great qualities, he is a tad slow, which made him even more endearing to me. The characterizations were wonderful and seriously literary fiction worthy.

Along the same vein of their fun nicknames for each other, the trio also have a few private jokes they say over and over again, that give the dialog and characters this deep authentic feel. I was there—in their heads, and despite this being in present tense (most of the time), it really worked for me.

I went searching for Klune’s website, but instead of finding it, I found this amazing online love story between him and his partner, Eric. Their entire courtship was pretty much online, and they have a string of YouTube videos and podcasts documenting it. I was full of feel goods by the end. As for Klune himself, you can find his works at Dreamspinner Press.

Dreamspinner Press–Where Dreams Come True… International publishers of quality gay romantic fiction since 2007. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com

DSP Publications–Off the Beaten Path. Worth the Journey. http://www.dsppublications.com

Harmony Ink Press–LGBTQ+ Young Adult Fiction. http://www.harmonyinkpress.com


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