Thursday, February 4, 2021

The House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

The House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
Release Date - March 17, 2020
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 398 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**borrowed from the library**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he's given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

The House in the Cerulean Sea was one of those books that seem to come out of nowhere to be one of the most buzzed about books of the year. I kept seeing it everywhere as 2020 progressed and so many readers had it on their best of lists as the year came to a close. That much hype can be hard for a book to live up to but I am so glad to say that this gem of a read does just that.

This is a book that reads like it is written as both an adult fantasy novel and a middle grade one. This could easily be read and enjoyed by anyone because its themes and messages are so universal. It captures that special something that crosses literary boundaries and I could easily see this becoming a favourite for families to read together before bedtime. It has a little something for everyone within its pages and is absolutely made to share with others once you have finished.

Its endearing and loveable cast of characters really are the heart and soul of this novel. You come to care about each of them in different ways so that you both want to protect them and show them the entire world. My particular favourite is a precocious little boy named Lucy who immediately captures the reader's heart. It's a found family story to its core and that resonates because of the characters and how much you grown to love them.

There is also a very sweet, tentative love story at the center of this read that is entirely charming. It's slowly fleshed out and feels inevitable from almost the moment these characters meet. It's languid pace reminds me of lazy summer days. 

There is magic in so many elements of this story. There is the island itself, the magic of music, the magic in accepting others just as they are, and the magic of learning to accept oneself. It's a story that delights in the magic that is created in the bonds people form with each other. The fantasy elements of this story are whimsical and add to its charm but its the mundane, easily recognizable ones that truly make this book shine.

This is exactly the book we need right now. A soft, feel good, soothing book that teaches us about growing, kindness, and the joy that should be found in the little things. It was a breath of fresh air and the perfect read to start this year off with.

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