Reviews tagging 'Body shaming'

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

223 reviews

silverhill's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted mysterious 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

Go with the audiobook. I usually prefer print, but the audio was a delight with all the different voices! 

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phvntom's review

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emotional funny medium-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? It's complicated

4.75


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teslis's review against another edition

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adventurous funny hopeful 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? Yes

4.0

This was the fifth book-club book me and my friend's read this year. I think that this book were the first book all four of us really enjoyed. 

This book is both cute and gets your brain thinking. The main character gets an assignment to visit a children's home for magical children. I think that the children are my favorite characters in this book instead of the main character and the adults. 

I liked Klune's writing, it's easy to read and understand, but also lively and vivid. I like when books languages are easy and direct witch made me interested to read a second book by Klune. 

It's over a month since I finished this book so I don't have so much to say right now :(

Quotes I liked:
Spoiler
"A home isn't always the house we live in. It's also the people we choose to surround ourselves with." - Helen, p. 281

"What's the point of living if you only do it how others want you to?" - Zoe, P. 339


Took me 10 hours and 32 minutes to read.

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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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bookbrig's review

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adventurous funny hopeful lighthearted relaxing medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

4.25

So many friends have recommended this to me, and I finally found the time to listen to it. I loved the audiobook reader, and the writing did such a wonderful job of drawing me into the story. It was sweet and cozy, kind of like a big gay hug, as one of my friends put it. It was a lovely choice for a summer read!

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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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polythenesam's review

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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

2.0


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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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maxcooper's review

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful mysterious 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

maybe it’s recency bias but this has to be one of the best books i’ve ever read. i have never cried so much. i devoured this, i could not put it down. pump this shit into my veins

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katievallin's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring 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? Yes

4.0


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