As promised, below is an advanced review for my debut novel Bear, Otter, and the Kid. D.W. Marchell, a fellow Dreamspinner author, was kind enough to read my story and wrote a very nice review (my first!). I know that not all reviews will be as great as this, but I'm glad that I had this one as my first. I'll release the final sneak peak tomorrow right here and Bear, Otter, and the Kid will be released 8.12.11.
When you read “Bear, Otter and the Kid”, you will have the great honor and privilege of meeting Derrick McKenna - you can call him “Bear” - and his younger brother Tyson - you can call him “Kid”. But be forewarned! This is a story full of betrayal, lost dreams, confusion and sacrifice. But it is also a story about friendship, commitment, selflessness, being true to oneself and ultimately, a story full of love.
Anyone who knows me will understand why stories featuring family make it to the top of my very long TBR list. And this touching story was no exception. From the very first page, I was hooked. Bear is seventeen, a few days away from graduating high school and looking forward to venturing out, on his own, into the world, away from home for the first time. Life has not been terribly kind to Bear, but it has blessed him with a precocious little brother, Ty, who adores his older brother.
It is this dynamic that helps them survive when their mother - the only parent they have ever known - makes a decision that will see all of their lives changed forever. Bear will have to sacrifice his own desires, Ty will learn that trust is a very fragile thing indeed and both brothers will forge an indestructible bond that will leave you positively breathless with its sincerity and beauty.
But Bear and the Kid are not completely alone. With the help of a colorful and eclectic group of friends, Bear and Ty find themselves surrounded by love, friendship and a family of their own making. There is Anne, Bear’s on-and-off-again girlfriend, Creed, Bear’s best friend since second grade, Mrs. Paquinn, the wonderfully warmhearted and insightful elderly neighbor who babysits the Kid, and - last but not least - there is also Oliver - you can call him “Otter” - who is Creed’s older brother. Each of them has a story to tell, and you will find yourself falling in love with all of them as they try to make the perilous journey to becoming a family.
Of course, I’m not going to tell you what happens, but please believe me while I explain that you simply must read this story. It will disarm you, infuriate you, beguile you and leave you utterly speechless. There are moments of such tenderness that you will want to make sure to have a Kleenex or a shirt sleeve handy. There are moments of such injustice that you will want to curse me for telling you to read this story. And there are moments of such good-natured hilarity that you will wonder, while you are laughing out loud, why you ever cursed me in the first place.
“Bear, Otter and the Kid” is the debut novel for T.J. Klune and I know I will not be alone when I sing his praises for creating an unforgettable cast of characters who learn what it means to be part of a family. I invite you all to join them as they discover that a family is not only made through blood, but also through laughter, through sweat and through tears.
D.W. Marchwell is the author of "An Earlier Heaven", "Good to Know", "Sins of the Father", "Falling" and it's upcoming sequel "When Memory Fails" to be released from Dreamspinner Press on 8.5.11.