Reviews tagging 'Panic attacks/disorders'

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

36 reviews

hales_1243's review

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emotional funny hopeful 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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merenguita's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful sad 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? Yes

5.0

Perfect, absolutley perfect
I laughed and cried with and for the characters
It's a sweet and beautiful story about found family and though their world is very different than ours it speaks to so many human and specially queer experiences. 
Can't wait to read more from this author

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thedulcineaeffect's review

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted fast-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? It's complicated
I'm extremely conflicted on how I feel about this book so I don't feel I can give it a rating. 

One of the other reviews did mention this was inspired by a real life and very dark, traumatising event for many children, and it feels a bit icky to appropriate off of that specific event and make it more lighthearted than it is. I think this could have been resolved by just basing it off of the foster care system in general rather than a very real struggle that people still bear the scars of if Klune wanted to show how children who are minorities are sadly often still treated.

The story itself has a bit of tonal dissonance: on one hand it wants to be a feel-good, "save the orphanage!" story that often had me mentally drawing comparisons to the French film Les Choristes (if you loved this book, I highly recommend you watch that film). I certainly did feel good and there were times I teared up, but overall it was a touch on the saccharine side. I also found myself skimming towards the end because the final chapters really did try to delay the inevitable.

On the other hand, we have a story about an isolated institution consisting of marginalised magical children (an obvious stand in for minorities) that neighbours a town paid to keep quiet with hush money. Residents of said town often engage in prejudiced behaviour towards the orphanage, and while certainly bad and a reminder that not all bigotry is overt, it felt like it was trying to have its cake and eat it; it was something that was necessary for the circumstances of the plot, but if Klune intended it to be a critique on how society treats minorities, it didn't go far enough in my opinion... but then any further explicit incidents would have not meshed with the feel-good narrative the book was going for. By the end of it, said subplot felt very easily wrapped up and resolved, and made me wonder
Spoilerwhy the mayor character didn't get involved sooner.


Also I do agree that the morals of the book are very on the nose and would be more in line with a children's book, rather than the audience it was trying to court - particularly if you are a minority (especially an LGBTQ+ individual, as I found it came across as preaching to the choir).

I know a lot of people didn't like his attitude but I think Linus was one of the strongest characters in the book. He's a very good example of how a capitalist, bureaucratic society strips people of their individual qualities and indoctrinates them into how the system is absolute and nothing exists outside it... only to find that he is incompatible with said system, but he has yet to find a way to actualise himself outside it. People like him after often so bullheaded simply because it's not safe to take the plunge, and even if they have the support, they may struggle to realise it. Also I like the fact that
Spoilerwe didn't need to have a sex scene between him and Arthur to prove that they were in love and their relationship was the real deal, even if them getting together did feel a bit rushed.

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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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natroze's review

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

3.5


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lorenag5's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional hopeful inspiring lighthearted 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

4.25


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sirkeili's review

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adventurous challenging emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted mysterious tense 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

I am absolutely floored by how much I love this book. From Linus' introduction, to his growth throughout the novel, to his final arc where he shines the brightest had me hooked.

Linus is both incredibly oblivious, and incredibly endearing. He reminds me a lot of Aziraphale; trying to do his job perfectly, but ultimately failing due to his endless compassion, empathy and boundless love.  The amount of times I was screaming both "Linus, for the love of god, LOOK" followed by me nearly crying at how soft he was is numerable.

The kids?  Arthur?  Zoe?  All of them were so endearing, and I loved them all so much. Theo and Lucy both are top contenders for my favourite kid, mostly due to their antics, but all of them are hilarious gremlins and their meddling is priceless.

Spoiler I was not surprised Arthur was magical, as the hints were there, but the fact he was a FUCKING PHEONIX did actually.  The scene where Linus protects Helen from the rock, and you see how absolutely lethal Arthur can be in his form was absolutely cinematic.  The fact they have to have Zoe babysit the kids so they can bone each other in piece was absolutely hilarious as well, the poor things can't catch a break.  They're adorable dads, and the fact they are trying to save more children to give them a safe home, made me so damn emotional.


Overall, this feel-good story about found family and overcoming our own self-made limitations is a phenomenal novel.  I hope to see more of Linus and his family soon, I do miss them so! ❤️

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surelyorange's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful lighthearted reflective sad 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? It's complicated

4.0

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 

”You’re made of strong stuff on the inside, and it’s what’s on the inside the counts.”

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dragon_lord's review against another edition

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hopeful reflective 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? It's complicated

4.5


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sockandkey's review

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adventurous emotional hopeful informative inspiring lighthearted reflective sad tense fast-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

4.0

Devoured this in less than a week. Extremely disappointed when I realized the (white) author was inspired to make a lighthearted fantasy by the 60s scoop (yikes), which was handled poorly, in retrospect

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