Sequel to Who We Are
Tyson Thompson graduated high school at 16 and left the town of Seafare, Oregon, bound for what he assumed would be bigger and better things. He soon found out the real world has teeth, and he returns to the coast with four years of failure, addiction, and a diagnosis of panic disorder trailing behind him. His brother, Bear, and his brother's husband, Otter, believe coming home is exactly what Tyson needs to find himself again. Surrounded by family in the Green Monstrosity, Tyson attempts to put the pieces of his broken life back together.
But shortly after he arrives home, Tyson comes face to face with inevitability in the form of his childhood friend and first love, Dominic Miller, who he hasn't seen since the day he left Seafare. As their paths cross, old wounds reopen, new secrets are revealed, and Tyson discovers there is more to his own story than he was told all those years ago.
In a sea of familiar faces, new friends, and the memories of a mother's devastating choice, Tyson will learn that in order to have any hope for a future, he must fight the ghosts of his past.
©2014 T J Klune (P)2014 Dreamspinner Press
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"Bear, Otter and the Kid"'s third instalment should suffer from believability - what are the chances Ty and Dom are also gay and in love? Suspend your disbelief for a bit and dive into another masterpiece from TJ Klune. I'm pretty sure TJ wrote three instalments over a number of years, or at least it feels like it. "Bear, Otter and the Kid" is irreverent and optimistic. "The Art of Breathing" is darker and more real. He's kept his irreverent style I loved in the first book, but by this third book, he's story telling is real and relatable. He wraps up "Bear, Otter and the Kid"'s story with such elegance. With a throw back to the beginning, he ends Ty's book with an "off the rails" rant from Bear. Just perfect!
There aren't enough stars to rate this book - buy it, live it and love it like I did. The best series of books bar none! If you love this book, you have to check out "Into This River I Drown".
"Not what I was expecting"
Here’s a brief run-down of the story:
Ty has fallen for Dom, Dom ends up getting married and having a baby. Ty gets freaked the eff out and runs away to school where he gets addicted to anti-anxiety drugs. Ty makes a friend/boyfriend but it’s not “all that”. Ty gets off drugs. Ty goes on a trip to the Southwest. Ty reconnects with Dom. Crazy stuff happens in the last few pages showing us what will likely show up in the next installment.
It took me forever to write this review – so long in fact, the audiobook came out! So…I decided to combine the two, save everyone some time.
I think the main reason it took so long to write this is my ambivalence towards the book.
Things that I loved: It was great seeing everyone again. I love these characters. They make me laugh and cry and howl. They are so very entertaining. I had longed to see Ty and Dom together and was so satisfied when they finally do hook up. TJ is a hysterical writer and I am always entertained by his writing. The forward movement of the story looks fantastic and I can’t wait to see Bear and Otter as parents again! Hopefully we will get to see more of Ty and Dom as an established couple in the next book.
What I didn’t love: So much of the story was NOT about Ty and Dom together. The story felt fractured into these widely divergent pieces. There was the “remember when”, “the reunion”, “the trip to meet Sandy”, “lots of lots of Ty angst” and only a teeny tiny smidge of “Ty and Dom the couple”. I wanted that, the couple part. I yearned for it. And they were almost never together on page.
What I both loved and hated:
Bear’s ramblings: He’s funny and I love where his mind goes, but sometimes he took the light away from Ty and Dom.
Dom: He changed. I really felt like the sweet, never going to leave Ty-guy, did. He left Ty. That was really hard to swallow. And I don’t know that I felt like that change was ever really fully justified. On the other hand, new-Dom was a more complex character and I really appreciated that he actually seems like a grown-up with grown-up concerns and priorities in a land of perpetual “Young Adults” like Bear and Creed.
The Cross Over: I both loved and hated the cross over with “Tell Me It’s Real”. It felt superfluous. Sure, I LOVED that book and thought all the interactions between the characters were funny. But necessary? No. Not really.
Kori/Core: As the best friend cum boyfriend s/he did fulfill an important roll, but again, sometimes I felt like this was more about Ty and Kori than Dom. Kori got more pages (it felt) than Dom.
I think that, at this point, some of the ramblings and meanderings that have become sort of the hallmark to TJ’s writing could really use a more forceful editing. He clearly has talent, creativity and an amazing sense of humor, but I wish that this book could have been more focused and more tightly drawn to show Dom and Ty more and the others, less. (Even though they’re funny, they took away from the story. IMHO)
So, though I hate to do it, I’d give this a 3 of 5 stars. I liked it (at times I loved it) but when I look back at what I wish the story was and what I got, I’m disappointed. It won’t stop me from being a fan and from devouring the next book, but I am hopeful there will be some positive changes.
I love Sean Crisden. I think he does a terrific job and I really liked his Dom voice. He also did great work with Sandy and though I wouldn’t have thought of Vince as a kind of stoner, it worked. Ty was appropriately whiny and Otter rumbly. I think I enjoyed listening to this more than reading it because Sean gives the characters even more color and charm. Of course it’s sooooo long, 15 hours, so pace yourself, but it’s worth it! 4.5 of 5 stars.
Overall 4 of 5 stars.
This series is one out of Two competing for first place in my m/m series self - i simply love the characters in the books and the amazing Way klune makes Them come Alive. You really get to know Them all Well though this series. I still Think Bear is my favorite and because of that i liked the first books better. But still loved the story of dom and ty. Klune should really quit his dayjob if there is more stories like theese in his head so that he had more time to share Them with the rest of us. Narrator is good but i Think i liked the narrator of Who we are better.
"Just as amazing as the other books in the series"
Bear. He is a complete oblivious and adorable idiot, but he has a heart of gold.
Yes, I both laughed and cried, I also felt truly angry at parts.
"I love and hate TJKLUNE"
Can you call an author a rat bastard affectionately in a book review? Well I am. so there is that. A thing that happened. This is my second reading of the Art of Breathing. I convinced my mother to take on this series as well as all his the works, so I was already practically re-listening to it anyway, but it is always this one that hurts my heart the most and makes me smile and makes me kick and scream. I love to hate it and can't wait for the final story.
It was great to have a third installment it has made this series something that gives me the shakes because it is so good, and I love the narration also always brings stories to life in a great way.
How to describe this book...wonderful, frustrating, beautiful, irritating, moving.
I love every one of the characters in this world that TJ has created (except for Julie). Bear is my absolute favorite and I found myself laughing during every one of Bear's scenes. Ty just drove me completely batty and I was kind of disappointed in the lack of the relationship development between Ty and Dom. I loved visiting Sandy and Paul in Tucson. And I just absolutely loved the epilogue. TJ cannot write BOATK4 fast enough for me!
I loved Sean Crisden's narration. Every voice was distinctive and memorable. Highly recommended!
"Almost as lovely as BO&TK"
Yes, Sean Crisden brings them to life - amazingly.
Can't say enough of his narration of all of these characters...He Makes Ty, Bear, Dom, everyone literally stand before you.
I liked that everything was not immediately happy, on the other hand we certainly didn't get enough of Dom & Ty being a bit more settled and together.
I have listened to Sean many many times. I listened to him in the Driven Series and as I said before, he literally brings people to life - makes me laugh and feel the pain. Excellent translation of every story he reads. I noted some stilted performances when he began his narration career - but everything I've listened to within the last 2 years that he has been involved in has literally been amazing.
For me, Dom. I know we were supposed to be living Ty's angst, but so much of it mirrored Bears (and it makes sense that it would). But it is a little wearing. I can't wait to hear a little more happiness (Bear & Otter's children and Izzy as well as Ty, Dom and Ben settled down and flourishing - winning despite it all!!!). Thanks TJ Klune.
As always, I appreciate the normalization of M/M relationships as demonstrated by authors like TJ - NR Walker, etc. This series got a little out there a few times - but probably was restrained for the Gay world I as a heterosexual would not have a clue about. (It's still hard for me to understand the more flamboyant personalities of some characters - but then on the other hand, I'm not crazy about real flamboyant heterosexuals either. Anyway, great story, looking for more obviously and THANK YOU FOR BRINGING BACK SEAN!!!!!
I'm speechless after finishing reading this book. you will be laughing and crying. I did so much crying. TJ does such an amazing job with The Art of Breathing and if you've haven't read the other books before this then you won't understand how crazy and wonderful this whole family and story is. I won't give anything away but tell you that this is just incredible. All the love and heartache all the laughter and friendship is just amazing. and yes this is just a story but what an incredible and amazing and heart wrenching story of when it comes down to it...it's a story about the life of two brothers and the people who they love and all the friendships that are formed. I am devasted that I have to wait...ugh Wait...for the next story to come. five amazingly BRIGHT stars for this book.
Keeps your interest going with excellent storyline and real in depth characters that one can identify with. The book is a gay novel, but very tastefully written and very enjoyable to read. I look forward to the next in the series.
"Another brilliant instalment"
This book lived entirely up to expectation. I can't wait for the next (and final, sadly) instalment.
This quirky family is, once met, never to be forgotten. Why someone hasn't optioned the film rights and started a series is beyond belief!!
"In the moment"
No matter what I was doing when listing to the book, I would stop and become surrounded by the story line which was unfolding. There were moments of pure breath taking emotion which would make me catch my breath and scrunch my face up to try and stop the tears.
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