The Art of Breathing

T. J. Klune
The Art of Breathing
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Release Date
June 2014
Book 3 of Bear, Otter, and the Kid
Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ

Tyson Thompson graduated high school at sixteen 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.

Book Review by Pat Henshaw (author,reviewer)
Jul 29, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
265 people found the following review helpful
The saga of Bear, Otter, and the Kid continues with laughter and tears, this time from the Kid's viewpoint as he grows into manhood and the people around him change.

The Kid, Tyson Thompson, who lives with his brother Bear and Bear's husband Otter in Seafare, Oregon, is ready to graduate from high school at age 15 and is dithering about going off to Dartmouth in New Hampshire for college.

At his graduation party, Tyson, after coming out as gay in his valedictorian speech, spies his best friend Dominic, the love of his life, kissing a woman in a secluded corner. Heartbroken, Tyson goes off to college and refuses to see or speak with Dom during that time.

When he returns from Dartmouth, having been suspended from school and having been diagnosed with panic disorder and having broken free of the addictive drugs he was taking for it, Tyson is stunned to find Dominic divorced and the father of an autistic son.

But Tyson can't dwell on Dom's life for the past four years because he's still trying to get himself together and figure out who he really is. He needs to reconcile his panic disorder, his relationship with his family--including his neglectful mother and younger sister--and his homosexuality.

He's had a short near-relationship with his best friend, bisexual Kori/Corey, with whom he goes to Tucson to meet Kori/Corey's friends. But for the most part, this book is the Kid's coming of age and finding himself in the weird, wacky world of TJ Klune's Seafare.

Like the other two books, this one is massively repetitive and over-written with some of the digressions being absolutely hysterical while others are easy to skip through. The angst is dialed way past 10 on the emotion meter, and tissues are a necessity to read from page to page.

Tyson, while likeable in his own way, is at times incredibly annoying, and readers will feel the urge to slap him upside the head and yell, "Get a grip!" But then this is nothing new to the series since Bear, his older brother, was just the same way in previous books.

Fortunately, Otter is around to bring them both down to nearly reasonable status.

The surprise in the book is Dom's marriage to Stacey and their subsequent parenthood. Not only does Tyson feel betrayed, but readers will too. Dom has been a solid presence in Tyson's family since the first book, so his abrupt and seemingly clandestine relationship with Stacey seems out of character.

Also, the addition of Dom's autistic son without anyone mentioning him to Tyson for three years is totally alien from the open character of the family and especially Bear. This is an extended family which yells its problems and frustrations at each other and doesn't keep secrets, especially about a close family member.

Those who've read the books over the years will find this one disappointing after the high quality of the others. But TJ Klune says he has another one in the works surrounding the brilliant but broken little sister of Tyson and Bear. I, for one, hope that number four will be better than this one was.
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