Klune, TJ. “Who We Are”, Dreamspinner Press, 2012.
The Sequel I Have Been Waiting For!
When I read TJ Klune’s “Bear, Otter and the Kid” last year I immediately gave it a five star review and I thought to myself that this was no easy book to top. I had a feeling that there would be a sequel although I heard nothing about it so I was surprised when it came the other day. However, my critical skills were honed up and I realized that this would be no easy review to write.
The book is set a year after the original and Bear, Otter and the Kid have recognized their true feelings for each other and they are living “happily ever after”. But then things start to happen. They go to their first gay bar, Otter’s parents enter the scene, there is the custody battle for the Kid to be waged, the Kid goes into therapy and life is life. The main thing we learn is that family is not always who is related to one by blood and sometimes families are created and just as real as those we are born into.
TJ Klune is an excellent writer but it is amazing to see how much is writing has matured. The prologue to the book is beautifully written and an amazing read. Bear, at first, seems to be our narrator here and we read what he thinks as he faces his own homosexuality and the book reads as if we are inside his head. However, the book is told from Otter’s point of view. The book picks up where “Bear, Otter and the Kid” left off and it answers some of the unanswered questions that we were left with when it ended. We kind of knew that Bear would get over himself and that he and Otter would eventually get together. While they are the main characters (along with the Kid), when we left them in the previous book, we also left a cast of minor characters. All of this comes together here.
Klune writes to the emotions and I found my eyes filling with tears as well as laughing aloud—sometimes on the same page. There are wonderful moments here and we experience happiness and anger, sadness and joy right along with the characters. The ending is a bit open and I am not sure if that there is going to be another book or whether we have to figure out what happens. I hope there is a sequel but Klune is going to have to work very hard to top this.