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

Note: This ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review.

He grew up. He stumbled, sure. We all did. But he grew up, and he’s found his way home again. The road may have been long and winding, but he’s here. We all are.
We survived her.
We would survive this.
I breathe and breathe and breathe.
Otter’s there, because of course he is.

During the weekend, I read three novels, each one the final addition to series that I have fallen in love with over time. However, among the three, I confess that there was one that had me in tears, more so as I got to the last few pages on my tablet. Reaching the end, with the author's closing remarks, was bittersweet. I was saying goodbye--to a guy named Bear whose life was all about his brother, the Kid, and who found love and the best version of himself with his best friend's older brother, Otter. The chronicles of Bear, Otter, and the Kid spanned over four of the most heartwarming and gut-wrenching reads I've ever had the honor and privilege of reading, easily making this series one of my favorites in all my years. Falling in love with Derrick, Oliver, and Tyson Thompson was simply...inevitable.

First things first: You will need to read the novels in order. There's a core cast of characters and they're in all four of the books. The series is a journey that the three main characters, Derrick (aka Bear), Oliver (aka Otter), and Tyson (aka the Kid), are on, and in order for you to get that full-on BOATK experience, I'm begging that you read them from the first to the fourth (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, Who We Are, The Art of Breathing, and The Long and Winding Road). They're all fairly lengthy reads, but I promise, you won't regret the time you put into them. I read the first three one after the other over three days almost three years ago and it's been that long of a wait for TJ Klune to write the conclusion that I had the highest of hopes for. The result? Hopes surpassed and heart perfectly satisfied.

The Long and Winding Road is told in three parts: the past, the present, and the future. The past takes place between the first and second parts of The Art of Breathing, while the present and future after the events of the same novel. If you've read the first three books, then you'll know how quirky of a read each one of these tend to be. From Bear's rants to Otter's dad jokes, I soaked up every single bit of humor Klune inserted in this story, just as I basked in all the love, empathized with all the hurt, and teared up when it came to both the heartrending and heart-tugging moments. I swear, there were countless moments where I would be all weepy and then Bear would say something seemingly nonsensical and I would be laughing like an idiot. Thank God I read this alone in my room.

From the traffic cone rant to Bear informing Otter his desire to impregnate (!) him, these two men had done a lot of evolving as a couple while somehow still remaining true to who they've always been at the heart of their love. Cheesy, I know, but that's how these two were. They were corny and cheesy but also hearty and horny and everything in between. They'd have cringe-worthy conversations with other people (Anna informing Bear and Otter about the joys of childbirth), but they would also share more meaningful ones (Creed sharing words of wisdom with Bear during their bro-time and Bear's heart to heart with Izzie about Otter loving them for life because THEY were his life) with those who've always meant the most to all of them. By the way, I think these guys should have invested in tissues and paper towels with all of that beverage-spewing that was going on. Just saying.

The whole book was like a highlight reel of everything that's happened to the Thompson family from the beginning till (gulp) the end. It's a family that started with Derrick and Tyson McKenna, two brothers abandoned by their mother, and it's one that's grown to include their touchstone, Oliver Thompson, and their extended family. They've had to say goodbye (sniffle Mrs. Paquinn sniffle) but they've also welcomed new members over time (Dom, Izzie, Lily, and Noah, just to name a few). One thing I want to mention though: Bear and Paul Auster (of the At First Sight series) DO meet (in the most anticlimactically hilarious way possible). That alone made this book worth five-plus stars. The Jose Rizal quote? Double the five-plus stars because that stirred my nationalistic spirit. But it was all four books and every single character who made the long and winding road that was BOATK absolutely priceless. There aren't enough stars for any of the books. Just read them and fall in love the way I did with Bear, Otter, and the Kid. ♥


Read my reviews for the Bear, Otter, and the Kid Chronicles:

 Bear, Otter, and the Kid (book one) - five-plus stars - My Review
Who We Are (book two) - five-plus stars - My Review
The Art of Breathing (book three) - five-plus stars - My Review
The Long and Winding Road (book four) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)


Release Date: 11 August 2017 09 August 2017 (limited early release)

Date Read: 05 August 2017

Learn more about TJ Klune.

Purchase The Long and Winding Road on Dreamspinner Press

Pre-order The Long and Winding Road on Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo.


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