Book #88: Who We Are (2012)

WhoWeAreAUD-MEDAuthor: T.J. Klune
Language: English
Length: 762 minutes (12 hours 42 minutes)
Finished listening on: 8 July 2015

This book is the second in the series that began with “Bear, Otter and the Kid” – a book that I really liked despite its obvious flaws. So I was keen to keep the series going and try the next one too.

This book picks up pretty soon after the end of the last book. The three main characters that make up their unconventional family have just moved into a house together that they call the “green monstrosity” after the gaudy colour of the outside, as depicted on the cover illustration. After the closeted happenings of the main character Bear at the of the last book, this book feels more free to explore the dynamic of the two characters in a more open situation. To that end, it features some other sources of conflict than the internalized homophobia that dominated the first book – such as a hot young student hitting on the main character, and a trip to a gay bar.

In many ways, this book was much of the same that the first one had been. It doesn’t feature a whole lot of character development: on the contrary, they frequently risk becoming caricatures of themselves. Bear gets angry a lot and the Kid is a know-it-all, for example. But it was nice to see the Kid’s character coming out of his “shell” a bit more in this book, and he manages to make a friend.

Among its many flaws is the ending – it’s hasty and the (spoiler!) hospital visit that happens in the final act feels tacked on. It features an effective sequel hook in the form of a jump to the future, when the Kid is now a teenager. It convinced me enough to want to hear the next book too!

Oh – and before I forget, I should mention that I was very confused when listening to this audiobook, because the person reading it changed, and the second guy read Bear in a deeper voice than his partner Otter, the opposite to the way that the other guy had read it. I actually did a double take a few times when I realised which character was speaking! They should have coordinated it a bit better!

I liked the book. I think the author has a certain amount of skill to make me care and worry about the characters, even though the stream-of-consciousness style is still a bit grating, and the plot left something to be desired, and a lot of the problems of the first book have not been corrected. He’s very much a character author. I’m aware that this perhaps is more indicative of the dearth of LGBT fiction out there, than it is that this book is legitimately good, but I would still recommend it. I found it a worthy emotional investment!


One Response to Book #88: Who We Are (2012)

  1. Pingback: Book #107: Tell Me It’s Real (2013) | reuoq

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