Reviews tagging 'Religious bigotry'

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

76 reviews

merlioras's review against another edition

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

3.5

A nice story with a warm feel to it. The message was at points quite heavy handed and more text than subtext. I didn't care for the fatphobia against the protagonist that was brought up unnecessarily again and again by both him and the narrative voice. 
I listened to the book. At first I had to get used  to the voice actor but having finished the book I think he's a good fit for the protagonist and also has distinct voices for the cast of characters. He did a good job. What sometimes threw me off was how he pronounced certain words. I don't know if that is some kind of accent but I never had heard them pronounced that way. It made it appear as if he has never encountered these words before and didn't bother to check the pronunciation. 

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daysofcalm's review

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring relaxing 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

I love this book. So cosy and cute, but still with it's legs well anchored in reality

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ravenpuff's review

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adventurous emotional hopeful inspiring reflective 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


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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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stellaperlic's review

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adventurous hopeful lighthearted slow-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

3.5


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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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mitchelljohnson's review

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emotional funny hopeful lighthearted slow-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

Not as much plot as I typically prefer, but it was such a good story. TJ Klune is a wonderful storyteller. I cried multiple times reading this, and not just at the ending. Just wait 'til Pixar gets their hands on this.

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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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lonelylooper's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring mysterious 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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gillianengelbrecht's review against another edition

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hopeful lighthearted relaxing slow-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

4.5


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