Reviews tagging 'Death'

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

41 reviews

lilacs_book_bower's review against another edition

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emotional funny lighthearted reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

On the surface this is a sweet book.  A bureaucrat named Linus goes to an orphanage to see how things are going with the magical children and their mysterious headmaster, for lack of a better term.  The kids are sweet and he comes to love them and Arthur, the headmaster (who deeply loves and cares for the children).  I was very fond of Arthur and the children, and was passingly fond of Linus.  We are told he is by the book and seems unflappable, which is why he was chosen for this review by the government agency he works for.  But he sort of dithers around and seems very surprised and shocked by the kids.  We are constantly told how wonderful he is, but I don't quite see it?  Because he is open-minded and not a jerk to the kids?  I also think the book is a smidge too long.  I found it to be a soothing book about giving people chances and not judging them for being different, and that everyone deserves a place to call home with people who love them.  

HOWEVER, there are some controversies about this book, as Klune was at least partially inspired by residential schools, where Indigenous children were taken from their families and placed in to orphanages, treated brutally (some even killed) to try to assimilate them into white society and culture.  There are also some excellent points to be made about trauma and children in foster care systems, and whether or not that is accurately reflected here in the book.  As I have no experience with the foster care system, and I am not an Indigenous Person, or even a person of color, I do not want to make a judgement call on this, nor do I feel able to.  I have seen comments on both sides about these issues.  What is clear is that Klune is using the magical children as an allegory to show the oppression of a marginalized group by society, culture, and the government.  I think we can all appreciate the attempt. But how people feel going from there is really going to be up to each person and their individual lives and experiences.  The story and the characters are sweet and soothing, but there is still a lot I feel uncertain about.  I did not want to ignore the issues that many other readers have addressed much better than I have.  

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tippettreads's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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readwithkel's review against another edition

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adventurous hopeful fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

This book was just perfect. 

I don’t typically read much fantasy, but this was so wonderful. The characters were endearing, the story was well-written, and the ending was better than I could have hoped for. 

The only downsides: some of the dialogue felt a little forced and the plot was a bit predictable. 

Highly recommend.

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fanboyriot's review against another edition

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dark slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No
Read For:
Fantasy
Slow Burn
Found Family
Idiots in Love
Happy Ending

Think Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children vibes but kinda queer.  I just felt kinda neutral about it.  The humor was okay, the characters were okay, and the setting was kinda meh.  I just felt like I had to force myself to keep reading and if I didn’t already own the book I would have stopped.  Also, I thought there would be more queer rep to be honest so that was kinda disappointing.  Not to mention the fatphobia.

I wasn’t going to read this given the reviews I’ve been seeing recently, however, I already own the first two books so I figured I’d see if it was as bad as some of the reviews were saying.  And honestly, I just didn’t understand the hype about it.  Even not knowing what the book was based on it was barely a 3-star rating for me, it just fell flat to me.

However, learning that this was based on the Sixties Scoop and how the author decided to turn what was a cruel and tragic piece of history he read about on Wikipedia about how the Canadian government removed a bunch of indigenous children from their literal homes and away from their family only to be adopted to white, middle-class families and he then took that information and basically turned it into a happy little fantasy where the kids live not in an “orphanage” but a “home” like, dude, why?

This kind of thing is still something native people are dealing with and as a white person, it should not be something you’re involved in like this.  In America the Supreme Court literally is going to be voting soon on overturning ICWA so states can regain control to remove Native children from their homes and families, this isn’t just some fantasy.  This story could have been written way better and in a way that did romanticize trauma and make light of a literal genocide.

I just wouldn’t recommend this one.  There are some links on where I got my information from if you’re interested along with two reviews I think do a better job of explaining this than I did.

Links:


Source: https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A617930246/ITBC?u=uvictoria&sid=bookmark-ITBC&xid=0efbabda

Wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixties_Scoop

Helpful Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4032060130

Another Helpful Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3601407534


Rep: Achillean, Queer MC

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abookwormspov's review against another edition

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lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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baearles's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0


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marsspider42's review against another edition

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adventurous hopeful inspiring fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

The House in the Cerulean Sea is full of pure joy. It is so easy to love, and I would recommend it to everyone.

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analea_lucille's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional hopeful inspiring mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

The audiobook was fantastic!! I especially loved the different voices for the children! 

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jbpalumbo's review

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adventurous dark emotional hopeful inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.75

A solid queer romance in a magical world. It felt like someone put Alyssa Cole books in a blender with Harry Potter. Satisfying but I would have preferred more of the joy in the epilogue unleashed earlier in the book and milder threats from Lucy.

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madelynfrank's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

I think at this point I’ll give any book that makes me cry 5 stars. 
Truly funny, heartwarming, interesting world building, great imagery, cool characters. Felt very idealistic/wish fulfillment- which I absolutely loved. Do you want to go to a perfect island and have supportive dads that will stand up for u. 

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