Reviews tagging Eating disorder

The House in the Cerulean Sea, by TJ Klune

10 reviews

womxyn's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional hopeful medium-paced

4.0

This is mostly a really cute and wholesome read. Overall I really liked it and I was really invested in the story and the characters from the start, it's 95% comforting and lovely and funny.

Unfortunately I felt a wee bit uncomfortable reading the (mildly-ish) fatphobic way Linus' body is described in the book. It's a body acceptance arc that is cute, but the tone feels clumsy at times. Possibly because it felt a bit out of synch with the rest of the book. So it's a minor let-down, not enough to stop me finishing the book.

Anyway here's a moderately spoilery outline of the  weird-to-read body stuff:

 
Spoiler
 In the first 50 pages, there's some fairly unpleasant negative self talk from Linus, cruel comments from colleagues and examples of (probably) disordered eating. Later, he has an adorable conversation with a child who is also fat and she celebrates her round body and encourages him to celebrate his. The arc then seems to kind of taper off a bit, until, towards the end of the book, he notices that his clothes are looser than they have been and he "found himself not caring at all" and shortly after he's described as "comfortable in his own skin for the first time in his life... life was so much more than worrying about a spare tire..." which is something, but given that most of the loose ends are tied up at the end of the novel in such a cosy way, I'd have liked to see Linus celebrating his body more, rather than choosing not to worry about it's size, and not caring if he bumped into desks
 



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jesper_fahey's review against another edition

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adventurous 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

4.5


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prettycloud's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted reflective 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? Yes

5.0


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anna_elizabeth's review against another edition

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inspiring lighthearted slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes

2.5


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voyager3's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful lighthearted relaxing medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75

Truly is like being wrapped up in a big gay blanket. Curl up with a cup of tea and dissolve into warmth. It's a little cheesy at times and I wish Linus and Arthur's relationship had a little more development (it falls into 'love interest inexplicably entranced by protagonist from the first moment despite having no reason to be' romance trope) but overall it's a sweet book.

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gracreads's review against another edition

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emotional funny lighthearted 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

4.5


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emthom's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional hopeful 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? Yes

5.0

I loved this book so much! The characters are incredibly endearing and I found myself attached to all of the children that were at the orphanage. The romance is sweet, and all in all, I couldn't recommend it enough. Fantastic LGBTQ+ romance with lovely magical realism, and I'd LOVE a sequel. 

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itsellie's review against another edition

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hopeful lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

1.75



****My whole review is filled  with spoilers****


 Don't get the hype. I did not like this book, it was such a disappointment. I was so ready to fall in love with this one. Right off the bat I loved Linus...for like 3 pages. I honestly really enjoyed his rule following, office job, taking himself too seriously persona. Ironically I would have liked it if he had stayed that way but not quite so prejudiced. Like how cute would a hardworking little office worker who finds himself in odd situations due to his job be. 

But back to the actual story, right off the bat I did not like the style of narration. The book is written in first person limited and while I don't necessarily always dislike that choice, I did not like it in this book. My biggest problem is that I did not like being in Linus's head. I found him more and more annoying throughout the book. Not to mention he is a major hypocrite, while yes he does grow throughout the story he never does apologize for the way he treats certain characters because of his prejudices. I also was not a big fan of the humor. I did not find it funny, it was to cheesy for me. 

Linus is a social worker and as such he writes reports on the children that he observes. He prides himself in his professionalism and detachment. His reports are written unprofessionally. I know this is a nitpick but it is a significant part of the book and as I have office experience, it was very jarring to read his reports which did not fall into line with the way he describes himself. 

Linus also struggles with his body, specifically he mentions not liking his weight. This book tried to send the message to basically 'love yourself no matter your size" but ultimately I do not think that it was handled well. I actually believe that this book may be triggering to some people with eating disorders. Linus decided that he wants to lose weight and decided he will eat nothing but salads. Linus does not find the salads filling, he restricts eating heavily and comments frequently comments negatively on his own appearance. Linus is uncomfortable with people talking about his weight and yet certain characters bring it up unprompted with no consequences. Even though the characters are pointing it out in efforts to make Linus feel better about himself they do not take his feelings, or his visible discomfort at the topic into account and no one corrects them for it. At the end Linus gives up on losing weight with the mentality of 'I have tried but I can't do it, so I guess I'll just stay this way.' This is not Linus accepting himself, this is Linus giving up because he has failed. It is presented as acceptance and that is harmful because this does not take into account any negative feelings he may still have about his body. It sound less like 'love yourself the way you are' and more like 'just accept that you are flawed,' 

When we meet the children I was pretty thrown off. They were really a bit much with the way they acted towards Linus. The children all knew that Linus was there to make big decisions on their home. The children do not want to lose their home and yet they constantly threaten Linus. I am aware that they are joking and they find this funny, but they can clearly see that Linus takes these seriously and they find enjoyment in his fear. This was really bothersome right off the bat and made me dislike Lucy and Thalia. I find that the children were written to be very one dimensional and did not feel like real children to me. They basically all had one or two traits that were repeated over and over and those traits were the whole of their personality. Because of this I did not feel attached to them. I spend a lot of time with children and again it was very jarring because the characters did not feel fleshed out. I do like aspect of how these children's stories were handled such as:
 
Lucy: I hated Lucy in the beginning. Kind of harsh I know but I just found him so melodramatic and annoying. However I vehemently defended him out of spite when Linus kept being so prejudiced against him. I grew to appreciate him as a character even though he was still a little annoying. 

Sal: I liked Sal the whole way through I think his trauma was well handled even though I do wish that we went deeper with that plotline of the schools being abusive towards the kids. 

Theodore: My favorite character. Because we don't speak his language and he has the personality of a puppy his character did not feel lacking. 

To continue on the topic of Lucy I really liked his relationship with Arthur. Arthur did a really good job mentoring Lucy. He worked great with all of the children and called out Linus's bullshit. Arthur was my favorite character until the end. He really disappointed me when he felt so entitled to an apology from Linus just because Linus had to go back to his literal home. As a side not I also really liked Zoe because she also called Linus out on his bullshit. 

Overall I think that my expectations really ruined the reading experience for me. This book was so hyped, it was marketed as being a sweet, wholesome story that was like middle grade but for adults. It did not deliver for me. The only part that felt 'adult' was that Linus was an office worker. Not to mention that the sweet and wholesome felt so forced. It seeps through the writing that the author wants you to love this story. The book touches on a lot of heavy subjects but never explores them completely, which is fine but sometimes that made for unsatisfying and unrealistic conclusions. Often times the story makes commentary on the themes by just preaching at the reader for pages and pages. The book wraps up way too easily for the topics it opened and I know that is what people find refreshing. The lightheartedness of the story. Personally the plot was way too predictable, combined with writing I don't favor and characters I didn't latch onto, just made for a boring story. 

Written: July 8, 2021
Age: 18

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ladev12's review against another edition

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adventurous 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? Yes

5.0


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j75's review against another edition

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funny lighthearted reflective medium-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

This was a really nice read! I loved seeing Linus stick up for himself more and more, and him creating a life for himself where he was truly happy. 





BLM
https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/

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