This is another book I kept putting off reading and when I finally got into it, had to kick myself for waiting so long. I really enjoyed it. It was well written, with Bear sort of narrating the story which gave it a different, rather refreshing feel.
There were a number of wonderful characters to sink your teeth into. Bear, even though whiney and somewhat annoying at times, has to undertake a huge responsibility, and he does it with flying colors. There were times throughout this story that things just seemed to take forever (i.e. telling the Kid about the mom leaving, Bear and his feelings for Otter and about maybe being gay), but I kept reminding myself that Bear has to overthink/overanalyze everything, so why should this be any different.
The Kid was very sweet and hilarious at times, but I had a hard time remembering how old he was supposed to be. It was very difficult to picture a 9 year old speaking the way he does through most of this story.
Otter is awesome. Despite what Bear had to go through, I think I felt the worst for Otter. He tortures himself and suffers for doing what he thinks is best for Bear. Bear continually knocks him down and pushes him away, but he knows what he wants is dangling in front of him like a pinata that, if he just gets one more hit, he can get to the candy.
I also loved Creed and Anna, and even Mrs. Pacquinn. I found it a little strange that Creed and Otter's parents were no where to be seen at any point. They really only come into the picture when they are needed for something. There was a strange deal with Bear and Kid's mom near the end that left me with a bunch of questions, but they didn't seem that relevant to the overall story so weren't too distracting.
All in all, this was a great story about kids being thrown into a potentially bad situation, but triumphing with the help and support of friends who become the true family and a love that didn't seem possible.