Reviews tagging 'Torture'

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

16 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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marleennieke's review

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funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted 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

4.0

Very nice and cosy read about being different. Easy to read.

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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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kimtazo's review

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emotional funny hopeful informative lighthearted mysterious 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? No

5.0


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pastelmeganes's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional funny hopeful inspiring 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? It's complicated

4.75

This book was absolutely delightful. The characters had so much life and made my heart swell with all their different, quirky personalities. The children of the house for the most part had some sort of quality to them that made them stick out. My favorite character by far was definitely Talia. All the children in the house had growth in their own way whether it be in regards to their individualistic dreams/aspirations, cultural connection or self actualization. This book was so light hearted and i felt happy after reading it. There were moments where i actually laughed out loud which was a nice surprise since many books dont get that reaction from me.
Spoiler overall, the story had an important message about not being a product of your birthright but of how you are nurtured and live the life you are given. That anybody has the capacity to do good as easy as they are to do evil. If i had to pick ONE critique, i felt that Phi’s story fell a little short but her connecting with Zoe about their culture was sweet and very healing for her. I would say she was the least memorable child for sure.
Spoiler.

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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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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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lonely_tardigrade's review

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted 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

4.75

this book genuinely felt like a warm hug. it was the first book i’ve finished in probably a year or more. the vibes it gave off (not content) felt like the vibes of watching the owl house. a wholesome story with a bit of danger. and the characters are all so unique and lovable in their own ways.

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chelseylb1988's review

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emotional funny inspiring 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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momijigari__'s review against another edition

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adventurous challenging emotional hopeful inspiring lighthearted reflective sad tense 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

5.0


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