Friday, August 4, 2017

ARC Review: The Long and Winding Road (Bear, Otter & the Kid 4) by TJ Klune

The Long and Winding Road (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, #4)Blurb:
Family is not always defined by blood. It’s defined by those who make us whole—those who make us who we are.

And here, at the end, Bear and Otter will be tested like they’ve never been before.

There’s a knock at the door from a little girl who has nowhere else to go.

There’s a phone ringing, bringing news they do not expect.

There’s a brother returning home after learning how to stand on his own.

As these moments converge, all of their lives will change forever.

Beginning in Bear, Otter, and the Kid, and continuing in Who We Are and The Art of Breathing, TJ Klune has told a saga of family and brotherhood, of love and sacrifice. In this final chapter, the events of the past pave the long and winding road toward a future no one could have imagined.

Todd's rating:

Well, I was not quite expecting that, but thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless.

During the previous "Bear, Otter and the Kid" books, TJ put the readers through the wringer over and over and over again. Then one more time, just for shits and giggles.

But in this final book in the series, we're taken on a nostalgic trip where all of our beloved characters were allowed to quietly, sometimes irreverently, say their final goodbyes. And all with a minimum of (genuine) angst, but Bear was still just an itty bit 'dramatical', so well, you know... ;- )

During the first third of the book, TJ gave us a retelling of events that happened in Tyson's book, but from Bear's perspective, while they were living in New Hampshire, dealing with Ty's addiction, returning to Seafare, Ty returning to school alone, then Ty finally returning home for good to start a life with Dom.

Then for the remainder of the story, we got to witness the events leading up to and beyond the birth of Bear and Otter's children, then their family growing even larger, instead of simply adding their twins into the mix.

One thing that I loved about this story, aside from all of the humor, was that, for once, it wasn't just about Otter supporting Bear and Ty. Here, Bear finally realized that things can't always be about himself and Ty, which gave him the courage to give Otter something he'd always wanted. An actual family of his own, with Bear.

Basically, our beloved characters have all grow up, finally becoming the people they'd hoped they could someday to be. The family they were always meant to be. Together. Happy. Whole.

God, for this story to have basically been a happy one, despite the expected freak-outs, I finished it with an extremely heavy heart, since this was "The Last One" that I'd ever get for my beloved Bear, Otter and a Kid named Tyson.

(I also finished it calling TJ a fucker for teasing me with the possibility of a really entertaining YA story that I'll likely never get to read. Ugh, why in God's name would he do that??? My angst over that is freaking tangible, people, let me tell you!)

As if there was ever any real doubt, this final BOATK story was yet another 5-star read for me, as I sadly, reluctantly close the book, but not my heart, on all of these amazing characters. Although, I suppose, like many things, it was inevitable.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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