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Bear, Otter, and the Kid (Bear, Otter, and the Kid #1)
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Bear, Otter, and the Kid (Bear, Otter, and the Kid #1)

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  5,248 ratings  ·  742 reviews
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 ...more
ebook, 350 pages
Published August 12th 2011 by Dreamspinner Press (first published August 11th 2011)
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Let me start by saying the author has excellent writing skills, and that the book was well written. However, I can't view it as an original novel, since it is a complete rip-off of the gay themed movie "Shelter" (2007 -

I saw the movie a couple of years ago and this book has the same characters, same story development, same guy-gives-up-scholarship-to-take-care-of-small-child plot. Both the movie and this book even start with the same scene -- he's driving
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Dear Heather,

It is a very bad idea to start a T.J. Klune book right before going to sleep. What were you thinking!? You will just stay up all night to finish it, like you did last night. Don't do it again.

Your body and brain.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting greatness from "Bear, Otter, and the Kid" even though most of my GR friends adore this one. First of all, I try to not read books with kids in them. I can't deal with tragedy and little kids and, inevitably, tragedy befalls them in bo
WOOO HOOOO!!! I loved this book, I actually did a Happy Dance at the end...I thought of doing the 4.5 stars thingy, but then said SCREW IT! Any debut novel that has me laughing my ass off, and crying my eyes out at the same time, gets FIVE WHOLE STARS.

Well this is Bear, Otter and the Kid's story. Bear McKenna, at seventeen years old and just weeks away from finally going away to college, finds a letter from his mother letting him know she's taken off and left him to take care of his five year ol
T.A. Webb
"This is the way my world ends."

With this opening sentence, we meet Derrick (Bear, to those who know him), and discover that, one day short of his 18th birthday, three days shy of his high school graduation, and three months away from his leaving to start college, his mother has left. Left him alone and in charge of his five your old brother Tyson (Kid). With the help of his girlfriend Anna, his best friend Creed and Creed's brother Oliver (Otter), Bear picks himself up and gets on with the bus
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
I am one of the only people I know who didn't just love this book. (Don't get me started on the creepy kid on the cover. His mouth... ***shiver***)

I had a lot of major problems with this book and only the writing (which was very good) and the sweetness kept me reading until the end.

Things I really liked:

The writing is really good for the most part: the imagery and word choices are excellent.

The book takes place in the Pacific Northwest. It's a fake town called Seafare, closely resembling Seaside

All roads point to Susan hating this book:

Bad title
Bad cover
Bad 1st person POV
Bad female characters

BUT, funny thing is, sometimes you just can’t predict what you’re gonna like. I actually finished this book with a smile on my face. Much to my surprise, the main characters (Bear, Otter, and The Kid…go figure) were all super likable.

Bear’s fierce loyalty to The Kid, Otter’s fierce loyalty to Bear, and The Kid’s fierceness, period (god, I adore this one!), made it all so charming and sweet. Yes, p
Meli Mel *Ty and Zane's Creeper*

♥♥♥ 5 Heart Warming/Breaking Stars ♥♥♥


“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”


This book was so wonderful. I didn't expect it to be this good. I had for a very long time but kept putting it off. I think it was the title and cover... I don't know. But I'm so glad I finally read it.


Bear, a.k.a Derrick, never in a million years thought this would happen to him. Just tw
4.5 stars. I loved this epic romance between two young men who are just so meant for each other. It's a huge book, almost like one of those online free fiction reads that go forever, but it's perfectly edited and packaged by Dreamspinner.

Bear's mother walks out on him and his 6 year old brother just before he turns 18. This throws his whole life into chaos and he anticipates his future in ruins. His friends rally round to help although Bear's actions drive away the one person he depends on the m
Pity Party?!

Pity Party?!

Table for one?

Under the reservation, Bear McKenna, please?

"Bear, Otter and the Kid" has DRAMA hands down! There's drama for you, your family, your friends, their friends, their friends' friends...Holy Cheesus, it can make it's own universe.


TJ Klune's story is well written, you can argue all the faults you may or may not have but the writing style is superb. (Yes, I'm aware of the "Shelter" movie controversy - *shrug* I see it more as a homage to a great film) You will fee
There is no way that this is a debut novel. Somewhere there must be books under another pen name that I have yet to discover. This book is absolutely perfect. And if you knew me, you’d know that is not the opinion that should be coming out of me.

Why? Well, first of all, I hate books written in first person. No particular reason, just my preference. But, this book made me feel like Bear and I were sitting on his back porch and he was telling me his story. Even the flash back scenes, another liter
Sammy Goode
Never before in my life have I been at a place where I was unsure how to to tell you how I feel about a book. Never before have I had a book shake me to the very core of my being...make me laugh, cry, grit my teeth in anger, shake with relief that the end was near. Never before have I not known how to summarize a book--put it into a neat little package so that you, dear reader, could get the gist of the story, hear my thoughts and walk away to decide for yourself whether or not you w ...more
Just got through reading this one. OMG what a ride. From tears of sorrow to tears of joy, back through tears of anguish to tears of laughter. This was a remarkable book by a first time author. From start to finish I was hooked. Kid is a fantastic character, and totally believable. The things he says are awesome lol. Bear and Otter are so damn human its hard to believe they are just fictional characters.

The bath tub scenes were heartbreaking,but Oh the dinner on the beach scene? one of the funnie
Brie C.
ETA: I have changed the final grading to 1, I enjoyed the book immensely but it turns out the plot was “borrowed” from the movie Shelter. Plagiarism is a terrible thing, perhaps said borrowing of a plot and changing a couple of things here and there including names is not illegal, but to me is unethical and just plain wrong. Writing is all about originality, stealing someone else’s idea makes you a thief not a writer, it may not be this way for everyone, including this Dreamspinner Press editor, ...more
A re-read for me and I loved it just as much the second time around its a pretty special story and will continue to be one for a long time to come.

Wow I loved everything about this wonderful story it was clever, witty and the dialogue between the Kid and Bear was oh so funny who could forget his little words of wisdom they cracked me up. The poems and the dinner date on the beach was hilarious I could not stop laughing. I loved Bear and Otter but the Kid he tugged at my heart he was adorable and
Nile Princess
I really, really hate when I'm in such a vast minority with a book that has gotten so many rave reviews. First, there are parts of the book that I did like and that made me smile...laugh out loud even, but it was bogged down with so much unnecessary rambling that I was getting a headache. Once you get past the silly names (Bear, Otter, The Kid...really?), the first third of the book is likeable. Bear is funny, The Kid is witty and all the friends come together as a family to support Bear and Ty ...more
Nikyta *Miss Forgetful*
4.5 stars

I really, really loved this book. It was funny, had characters I loved and read so easily I didn't even realize how fast I was reading until I'd glance down and notice I just covered boat loads of kindle locations in under an hour. I very much enjoyed it.

First and foremost, this book is a bit angsty. However, it's offset by the comedic characters throughout the pages. I was either laughing or smiling throughout the book and when I wasn't doing that, I was aching for what these character
I don't even think I have the words to describe how amazing this book is. I could not put this book down for a second. It drew me in and didn't let me go until I was finished. I normally hate first person perspective. I never read a book with it but the voice was absolutely perfect and I am now convinced that it would not have been the same had it not been written that way. This was one of the most heartfelt, touching, honest, amazing written, beautiful stories I have ever read. I cried, I despa ...more
WOW... Just goes to show you that you can't judge a book by its cover (or title).

I have have had this book on my TBR list for quite awhile and for some reason couldn't make the decision to purchase and read it. That is until some good friends told me it was a great story. It pulled on all my emotions: Happy (laughed out loud at times), Sad (tears were running down my face), Anger (just wanted to scream), Frustration (OMG, just figure it out Bear). If a book can do that to me it's a 5 star read.

1.5 Stars

Too much needless angst and drama!!! I really enjoyed the first 40% - 50% of the book, but then it all went downhill from there. I enjoyed the relationship dynamics, and most of the side characters. I thought the chemistry between Bear and Otter was perfect. Bear had this sarcastic wit about him that brought humor into the story. I really liked him at first. I thought the Kid was a well developed character. He provoked a few eye-rolls, but for the most part he had me smiling.

Once Bear
I am late to the party, everyone in the world read this before me but I will admit to liking my characters, if apart, in the same exact place mentally and emotionally, or just wishing that they were together. So Bear with his highs and lows that didn't mirror Otter's feelings, I was worried would be too much for me. Boy was I wrong. Everyone has said how much they love The Kid. I did too but my love pales beside my adoration of Bear. He's a rock and not, he's a little frayed around the edges. Bu ...more
I would have loved this as much as everyone did and given it 5 stars but I didn't, can't...and am relieved it's over.

I did start out liking it very much, finding just a little quirky and didn't mind at all that it settled down into a warm, fuzzy friends-to-romance story, even if The Kid was a tad overdone. That Klune was able to get me to keep reading past the first page is a feat indeed because it's written in Present Tense and I Hate. Hate. Hate. Present Tense. Not only did I not notice it was
Every once in a while a book will keep me up all night. Even less frequently, a book will make me think about it hours, days, and weeks after reading it. As my friends know, this latter accomplishment is quite difficult to achieve as I keep moving from book to book devouring everything in my path with nary a backwards glance. This book, however, managed to do both. Yes, I stayed up until 3:00 am last night hoping my husband wouldn't roll over and tell me I'm "burning his retinas" with my backlit ...more
Kaje Harper
I really enjoyed this book, and was swept along by its humor and roller-coaster emotions. Otter - now there's a character whom I'll be happy to read more about (and I hear there is a sequel planned, which I will definitely buy.) And the secondary characters were well done, not too saccharine but warm and interesting. (view spoiler) ...more
Thanks to a friend on GR, I was able to borrow Bear, Otter and the Kid through Kindle's lending program. I wanted to see for myself before making a judgment about the current allegations of plagiarism.

For the record, I have seen Shelter (2007) starring Brad Rowe and Trevor Wright. I own the movie and have seen it more than 20 times in the last couple of years. It is one of my favorite movies of all time. So I am a little biased on that point.

However, in my estimation, there are similarities bet
Edina Rose
I like books with children. I thought I would like this book. The general idea/theme was interesting. But unfortunately, I did not like the book much.

I liked some parts of the books, like the bad poetry (absolutely endearing and silly and funny), some lines like "The fight for you was all I've ever known", or some emotional moments between Bear and Otter, or Bear and the Kid.

But I struggled to finish this book because I did not warm up to the characters and the plot did not pull me.

IMHO, Anna
Mickie Ashling
I loved it! This novel was an unexpected surprise wrapped up in fresh dialogue and unique characters. It surpassed all my expectations. I particularly loved The Kid who was a reincarnation of Obi-wan Kenobi. The pain and angst leaps off the page, as does the love and shared moments of pure unadulterated joy. 5+ stars and highly recommended. Bravo, Mr. Klune…you have a new fan.

Rating on Audio book version-5+ stars. I enjoyed this even more than the e-book.

5 Fabulous Stars!! With out a doubt, one of the BEST books I have ever read!!!

I would have never even considered this book if Steffi had not recommended it. It exceeded my expectations. Fantastic dialogue, amazing first-person narrative, humorous, emotional, thought-provoking, SUPERB writing. I'm not able to put my thoughts into words and will write a longer review someday. Right now I'm floating...
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I want to start off by saying this book is:
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When I was done my heart felt ready to burst.

This is a story about love, strength, family, and friendship. Bear, Otter, and the Kid is the story about a young man raising his younger brother and the strong group of people who are there for him and his brother. It's also a beautiful love story between two men.

I've seen this book around for over two years and never picked it because of the cover. Not because I didn't like it but because it looked too inn
This book has got to be one of the best I've read this year and I've read a lot:-) Ugh this is the time I wish I was a writer because I know I won't do this review any justice. This book touched me in so many ways, it made me laugh, cry, get oh so angry that I wanted to hit something or at least throw my new Kindle(so wasn't going to happen but I thought about it, lol)It was so so good and once I started reading I couldn't stop, I hated having to sleep but as soon as I got up I started reading a ...more
I have to think about the rating.

I did like it. Very sad, and good, I was laughing and crying. I think it was a very unusual first person account. I liked the style, and other times I was frustrated by it. While I liked the story, I found I could "predict" things and I am not so fond of that. I don't want to know what happens next which is why I never read the end or skip while reading it. I like surprise. So when I can predict it, I get annoyed.

I was very moved by the Earthquake stuff. The KID
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When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn't think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gott ...more
More about T.J. Klune...

Other Books in the Series

Bear, Otter, and the Kid (3 books)
  • Who We Are (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, #2)
  • The Art of Breathing (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, #3)
Who We Are (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, #2) Tell Me It's Real The Art of Breathing (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, #3) Into This River I Drown Burn (Elementally Evolved, #1)

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“You want to know what it feels like to be castrated? Try having your nine-year-old brother protect you from your ex-girlfriend after you've told her you're in love with a man.” 87 likes
“There's nothing like being admonished by a nine-year-old ecoterrorist in training.” 64 likes
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