Reviews tagging 'Emotional abuse'

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

154 reviews

birdeynamnam's review against another edition

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adventurous hopeful lighthearted 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? It's complicated

4.75


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julierambaeck's review against another edition

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

4.5

I wanted to cry in every chapter because of the wholesomeness! Probably the cutest book I have ever read! Loved it loved it loved it!!!!

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lwprice1209's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring reflective relaxing 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

5.0

Such a sweet book! Highly recommend!

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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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minervacerridwen's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional lighthearted reflective relaxing fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

After hearing so many good things about The House in the Cerulean Sea, I finally got around to reading it! (Thanks to my Secret Santa, Matty. <3)
The book definitely is hard to put down, so it was a fast read, and all the scenes with the children on the island were absolutely adorable. I loved their magical forest, and how much the main character sometimes reminded me of Aziraphale from Good Omens, who is one of my absolute favourites.
Still, I feel like this story didn't quite meet my (very high) expectations. It took about 150 pages before I finally had the feeling that it had really started, and while it makes sense that the reader needed to be given a lot of information about this world, I really felt this could have been tightened up with some thorough editing.
My biggest issue was that I didn't quite "feel" the romance.
SpoilerTo me, it felt a bit as if Linus at first fell for Arthur simply because he was the first handsome man who gave him as little as a friendly smile, but I generally prefer if romance stories give me, as the reader, some sense of "why that one?". By the time the story made me feel that a little more, even Linus had already realised he had fallen for him.

Looking back at my review for Under the Whispering Door, I'll have to conclude that TJ Klune's writing style is just a little bit too zoomed out for me. Seeing everything at a distance can be useful to maintain the sense of comfort that his books all have, but for me personally it makes it harder to really be as invested in the characters' emotions. Then again, I doubt I'd call The House in the Cerulean Sea a "comfort read" for myself, considering the underlying themes that made this world so unsafe for children that are "other", and I wasn't entirely satisfied with how Linus' internalised fatphobia was handled.
I'm definitely happy that many readers got to know this book and the cosy fantasy genre in general thanks to the marketing behind it, but for me personally, it didn't quite hit the spot I'd hoped it would.

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katiej's review

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adventurous emotional funny lighthearted 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? It's complicated

5.0

What an absolute joy of a book! This has has completely overtaken every book this year by a million miles! All of the characters were a joy to go on an adventure with. Talia was by far my favourite, her wicked sense of humour and her gnomish ways.
Arthur and Linus were a gorgeous pairing who deserve all the happiness in the world. 
A huge cup of coffee and a warm blanket of a book!

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mags_'s review

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adventurous challenging funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted 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

3.5

I enjoyed this book, but found the dialogue rather stilted and preachy.

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maresuju's review against another edition

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adventurous 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


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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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cecilie26's review

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted reflective relaxing 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 really liked this book. I don’t usually read this genre, but when i found this so captivating. The dark but lighthearted humor was sooo good. The characters were excellent written. If you want to read a book that is heartwarming, playfull and funny this is the one.

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