So I just read The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune and…
I can safely say this is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I was so excited to write this review just so I could gush about how wonderful it is, the characters are amazingly written and the story is beautiful. And it’s got an LGBTQ+ relationships in it! There’s just so much I love about this book and apparently a lot of people agree, when I got the book the woman in the bookshop said they were struggling to keep it stocked.
The House in the Cerulean Sea is a charming story about an orphanage on an island full of weird and wonderful kids, from a boy that turns into a dog when he’s scared, a gnome girl and even the spawn of satan, all led by a caretaker that has his own secret past. When Linus, a care worked at The Department in Charge Of Magical Youth who prides himself on disappearing into the background and never getting attached to the children in the homes he investigates, is tasked with going to the island by Extremely Upper Management and stay for a month writing weekly reports before finally declaring if the orphanage should be allowed to stay open or if the children will be split up and the home closed. But of course nothing is ever as it seems.
I had heard about this book a little while ago and I had really craved a fantasy comedy book so I knew this was perfect, I made such a good choice. It was so charming, all the main characters have such individual personalities and it’s very character driven but that doesn’t mean the story is lacking. I especially like Linus and Arthur, the case worker and home caretaker, they’re both so interesting and while Linus strives to blend into the background he’s still so full of life and so interesting. Arthur is open to a certain extent but it’s obvious he’s got his own secrets that are hinted at throughout the book but still there’s enough secrecy that when the big secret did come out I had a huge shock moment. I love that ‘it all makes sense now!’ moment when reading and I definitely got that in this book!
But the rest of the characters are just as amazing! Lucy is definitely my favorite, he’s the antichrist but that being said he’s still just a child who has nightmares and fears and spiders in his head. Chauncey is adorable, no one knows what he is but he has a dream of becoming a bellboy. All the children have these sorts of dreams, things they want to achieve in life when it’s obvious most of them won’t be able to achieve them because of how the outside world sees them. That’s definitely the sadist part of this whole book.
All this being said the story is still really strong, it gave me so many things I love. There was domestic fluff, there was gay romance, there was angste. I especially love the part when they go into the village, it’s just so adorable in so many ways. It’s well written, Klune did a good job at making the city where we start the book feel cold and dark while Marsyas Island sounds so lunch and full of life. It’s just so stunning, especially the garden.
When I read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children this is what I wanted, I know that book is a lot more serious but I was just so disappointed in it. The House in the Cerulean Sea 100% scratched that itch and I was so pleased, I can safely say this is in my top 3 books I’ve ever read. I don’t say this often but Klune needs to do a second book.
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