Reviews tagging 'Cultural appropriation'

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

7 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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onyxisalive's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional reflective 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

3.75

On a purely surface level this book was a very enjoyable, cozy and fluffy fantasy read. I enjoyed reading it and the characters are well written and extremely likeable. 
However, there is quite a controversy surrounding this book due to the author using the sixties scoop in Canda as source material. It complicates things quite a lot as it brings up the question of if it was this authors story to tell. 
Although I don’t believe it was the authors intention it can come across like he is comparing indigenous people to magical creatures- which leaves a poor taste in your mouth.
SpoilerLinus being the bridge between the children and the village kind of came across like a white saviour complex, which yet again leaves a poor taste in your mouth

The book was relatively predicatable, but I don’t feel that takes away from it in any sense. 

All in all if you take this book at the surface level as a fluffy fantasy story it is really enjoyable. However don’t take this book at all as a story of the sixties scoop in Canda, or an interpretation- just let it be a surface level queer fantasy love story and leave it at that. 

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rosequarterdrifting's review

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emotional funny hopeful lighthearted 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? No

3.75

idk... relaxing style but the metaphor was very hamfisted 

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saukittome's review

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2.5


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shanbles's review

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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? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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shaunaxx's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful inspiring 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? No

4.5

I wasn’t in the right mood or mindset to read it. So I’ll pick it up later 

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cheesepuppy's review against another edition

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This story is literal cultural appropriation. It wasn’t the author’s story to tell. It’s like he was making light of an awful thing that was done to so many people.

This story and the author are a mess. The author is a white man and he made a cutesy story that he said is based on the 60s scoop. If you don’t know what that is, it was a horribly traumatic thing done to indigenous families. Look it up for more detail.

Here’s a bit more info too: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMdm7tLAt/

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