Well this was recommended to me as a smiling book, but honestly, there is way too much crap and angst for it to be a truly "happy" book. You laugh, but it's because so much of the other things make you want to cry. Bear and Kid are amazing. Bear handles things MOST adults do a half-assed job at and it's because he's been the lucky recipient of said pathetic parenting. Kid is a gifted and emotionally invested nine year old that just blows you out of the water. A rare combination and it's due to Bear's unwavering love and support. I spent most of this book wanting to kill their mother and the rest wishing her a LONG AND FUCKIN' MISERABLE LIFE. Some people deserve all the woes in the world before they die and she certainly qualifies. I enjoyed the story and it was a one of strength and beauty in self and relationships, but I had issues with the spinning backwards in time and the repetitive storytelling. Bear took the snowed-in approach to telling this and I would have been happy with the cocktail version--too long and drawn out. Even with all that, the joy of watching Bear succeed and Kid flourish makes this a story worth reading. Favorite quote:“Whether I knew it completely or not,” he tells me, “you were the one I compared everything to. You will always be enough because it’s you I’ve always wanted."