Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Review: The Art of Breathing by TJ Klune

Reviewed by Whuppsy
The Art of Breathing (Bear, Otter, and Kid #3) by TJ Klune
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 350 pgs
5 Pants Off

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.

So, I’m such a fan of Tj’s books.  He can make you feel so much with his words.  He draws you in his stories and you fall into them and you can’t get out until the very end.  Even then, it’s never fully over for you, trust me. When I heard that the Kid’s story was coming out, I KNEW I had to read this book.  I knew that I was going to cry because I cry in ALL of his books.  Especially his Bear, Otter and the Kid Chronicles.  So, are you ready?  Well, let’s get into itThis is the Kid’s (Ty’s) story. It’s a story BOATK fan has been waiting for.  But, I really don’t think that we were expecting the level of gut-wrenching that we got. But, I will say that it was worth it and Tj stayed in the realm that he has created so well.

Ty’s life isn’t going as well as he thought it would. He’s coming back to Seafare after being put on academic probation because of the problems that he’s faced over the last couple of years.  Ty was diagnosed with Panic Disorder and those attacks take so much from him. He got addicted to drugs and had to battle his way back.  Ty has so much fear in his life that he just can’t see a way out.  But he’s trying to get his life in order.  I love the resilience that Ty shows in trying to figure out his life. 

Ty has been in love with Dominic since he was young.  He at first though it was just friendship, but it wasn’t until he got older that he realized that it was love.  Dom has always been just his.  Dom helped to keep things from being too scary.  He was Ty’s heart and that kept him beating along. 

Ty says it perfectly:” Bear may be my rock, but Dom is the force that moves me.”

 Their way to happiness isn’t going to easy, but this is Tj Klune, so we know that there will be bumps and bruises along the way.  It was a slow build to their HEA.  Tj is known for making his characters deal with the issues that plague them.  Ty had so much to work on.  Dealing with the abandonment of his mother when he was five.  Dealing with the fractured relationship that he has with Dom.  Trying to deal with his own feelings of insecurities.  

Ty’s voice was so different from Bear’s voice.  Ty is neurotic thoughts are the same and yet so different from Bear’s. Ty is a vegetarian, hippish, ecoterrorist that will make your heart hurt and yet, you just want the very best for him.  Ty is dealing with so much and yet, his love for his family, the family that has been created during our tenure of BOATK’s chronicles is unmatched.  I love to see how he deals with all of the crazy that is his family.  The love that they all share is beyond beautiful to see.

Dom is Ty’s other half.  Dom realized that Ty was his as well.  Even though he’s so much older than Ty and he wants him to stay, he lets Ty go.  To allow Ty to realize his dreams.  It’s wonderful to see Dom again and he’s such a wonderful man.  I always liked Dom.  He was so strong and silent and yet, he’s always shown such consideration for Ty.  How gentle and kind he was with Ty.  I just fell for this guy.  He’s all that and so much more in this story.  So much more.  I fell more in love with his character in this book.

The secondary characters in this book, WOW!!  I loved them so much!!  Creed, Anna and JJ, their son had me in stitches!!  Creed is ALWAYS great for a laugh.  He’s still the same after so many years.  I love that about him.  Corey/Kori, I truly loved this character.  I learned about bigenderism and it was something that is so real and really needs to be explored more. Sandy, Paul, Vince and Darren made appearances in this story and can I just say…I WANT WAY MORE OF THEM!!  I can’t wait for Sandy and Darren’s story!!  Vince was his truly adorkable self and I still just wanted to kiss his cheek and listen to his sweetness. Paul…what can you say about Paul?  Paul just had me rolling. I was laughing out loud

reading him.  If you’ve not read Tell Me It’s Real, you’re missing so much and you must RUN to read that book.  You’ll totally laugh and cry your way through that book. Otter, is still the protective Father/Brother for Ty.  He’s Bear’s other half.  His sane half.  I love that Otter is still the rock that he’s always been.  Bear…I’ve saved Bear for last.  I love his protectiveness.  His love for Ty is unparalleled. To see Bear and watch him Freak Out is quite possibly the best part of these books.  Bear is just a hoot to read about.  You’ll enjoy his crazy as much as ever, possibly even more.  I know that I did. 

I have to say that this book spanned more years than the previous books, but the way Tj did it and the reason why..it was perfect.  This book was perfect.  There were times when I thought my heart would fall out of my chest with the sadness and sorrow that I felt.  Yet, there was times that I laughed out loud and snorted.  Tj has ALWAYS given you wonderful books that draw you in and you go on the journey with the characters.  He hasn’t lost that touch in the least.  In fact, he keeps getting better with every book that he does.  He did with this book.  Know that you are about to go on Ty’s journey with him and feel everything that he does. You will cheer his triumphs and hurt for him in his sadness. 

So, sit down and grab some tissues and be prepared to go on an emotional ride and never want to get off.

5 Pants Off

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