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REVIEW: “The Art of Breathing” by TJ Klune



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.


This book!!!!!!!



GAHHHH…but this book!!!!!!!

It’s long.
It’s manic.
It’s familiar.
It’s emotional.
It’s frustrating.

But it’s HOME.

When I go home for the holidays, I typically face 50+ extended family members speaking in various forms of English, broken English, or Korean. Asking me why I’m not married, aren’t I going to have children, why my hair is so long, if I’ve gained weight, how my job is going, will I ever move back to San Diego…it’s INSANITY. And I go every year, because it’s family. It’s, well, it’s HOME.

I felt that way reading The Art of Breathing…coming back to the characters that I love most of the time, want to strangle some of the time.  I’ve missed them. I will miss them more now that it’s done. They drive me crazy…and I want nothing more than for them to be happy.

There’s still Bear and there’s still Otter (yay!)…

But in the center of it all is Tyson. It’s weird…for having only briefly met TJ Klune but once and only seen bits of him online, it’s eerie how clearly I see and hear and read him in Tyson. It’s hysterical, it’s neurotic (sorry TJ! hee!), it’s endearing, it’s at times a bit much, and other times it’s exactly what I need.. It’s The Kid. And it’s TJ. And I love this guy…and I love that guy.

Tyson has had it rough the past 4 years. (And just typing that last sentence makes me cry). Cause it’s tough to be a ‘little guy’, gifted, traumatized a bit, beyond your years…and then heartbroken. And it’s tough to watch our ‘little guy’ fight to grow up, fight to stand on his own. So yeah, I fucking cried…a lot.

But I laughed a lot too. Out loud. And I rolled my eyes sometimes (as I do). And I smiled big and my heart stretched lots of times.

And then there’s the Tucson Crew, who I’m told are crossover from Klune’s other book “Tell Me It’s Real”. I loved these guys! I want more of their stories (guess I know what I’ll be reading soon!) And I love love love Corey/Kori. This character is SUPER special and I’m hoping gets his/her own book! (*hint* *nudge*…where Tyson & Dominic play prominent roles please… :) (subtle I am not))

And lastly, who I kinda loved best of all in this book? Dominic. Dom grew up to be quite THE MAN. I feel almost guilty lusting over him. But whooo wheee…he’s hot…and perfect. Honestly though…what I like most about him? He loves Tyson. And that deep, deep, forever-you-and-me kinda love…the one refined by fire, trials, separation, growth, and time…damn that’s good love. It’s inevitable. (GAHHHHH…freaking most romantic hook EVER!)

And though most of the intimate moments were glossed over on page or happen off, I found their interactions SO SEXY…(that could also be my HUGE and hugely inappropriate crush on Dom…but we’ve already gone over that…)


*sigh*…*deep sigh*…ok, I can do this…

So…I guess it’s time to say goodbye Bear & Otter, bye Creed & Anna & JJ, bye most of all to Tyson & Dominic. (*bawling*)

But, um…TJ?  That ending? Are you suuuuure we can’t talk you into writing one more?

ETA:  Turns out I was wrong (*gasp* *shock*). This isn’t the last one! WHEEEE! I’ve never been so happy to be wrong! There will be another BOATK book and Corey will show in another “Tell Me It’s Real” book. And…I should have probably read the Author’s Note at the end huh? *smh*


My heart says “ALL THE STARS, AS MANY STARS IN THE SKY AND UNTIL MY * KEY BREAKS ON MY KEYBOARD!”, while I hug my kindle, contemplate reading it again, sob some more, and think inappropriate thoughts about Dom in his police uniform. BUT…the responsible reviewer in me admits the book itself was repetitive at parts and I feel it could have been edited & streamlined to be a cleaner read (and I might have skimmed one (or two) of Tyson’s political rants *ducks*)…so…




20624305Title: The Art of Breathing (Bear, Otter, and the Kid #3)
Author: TJ Klune
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Pages: 350
Release Date: June 16, 2014
Purchase Links: Dreampsinner, Amazon, ARe

2 comments on “REVIEW: “The Art of Breathing” by TJ Klune

  1. Susan
    June 17, 2014

    WHEEEEEEEE! I’m a dorko and I’m happy to be WRONG! TJ just said there was ANOTHER book coming!!!! So happy!


  2. Kim W
    June 18, 2014

    I’m almost half way through this book right now and I’m really loving it. I stayed up way too late reading this last night and I’m bleary eyed. I wish I could call in sick to work to finish it.


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This entry was posted on June 17, 2014 by in Contemporary, Reviewer: Susan and tagged , , , .

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