Reviews tagging Mental illness

The House in the Cerulean Sea, by TJ Klune

11 reviews

artemis_rose_reads's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful 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? It's complicated

4.0

Read this if: 
You are looking for something heartwarming about found family, celebrating bodily differences, with a gay  romance between middle age men. It also shows that a mediocre person with privilege has the power and a responsibility to stand up for those harmed by institutions and racism.

Don’t read this if: 
You are looking for a story that completely and satisfactorily addresses the many ways that the Sixties Scoop harmed indigenous peoples, look elsewhere. It does put the responsibilities of fixing the problems onto the privileged, however they are made into a hero because their efforts are sadly rare.

With that it mind:
If you can understand that this book is unsatisfactory when it comes to properly addressing the many horrors of stealing and institutionalizing peoples because the people in power have decided that their birth families cannot care properly for their children. However it does a fairly decent job in showing the long term emotional and mental damage that this clauses in the children, but also the adults who have also had to live through this situation. 
Does it solve everything and puts all the appropriate blame on the system and then fixes the problem? Nope, not even close. This is basically a love letter to the average person who does what is in their personal power to improve and protect the happiness of those who have been hurt by government and biases against the “other”.

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rai's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional 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

4.5


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jude7's review against another edition

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

5.0

This was a fantastic book! The first maybe 10% or so before he went to the island was really slow, but I kept going because I knew I would enjoy the rest. I switched to the audiobook partway through as it was available at my library, and I really enjoyed it. Although the narrator bits sounded a bit robotic/stilted, the reading of all the characters different voices was really good!

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carisamarie's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful 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? No

4.0


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kelly_e'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

Title: The House in the Cerulean Sea
Author: T.J. Klune
Genre: Fantasy
Rating:
Pub Date: March 16 2020

T H R E E • W O R D S

Whimsical • Feel-good • Comforting

📖 S Y N O P S I S

When case worker, Linus Baker is given a special assignment at the mysterious island orphanage, home to the most dangerous magical children, his entire world is turned upside down. Linus, a by-the-book rule follower is tasked with ensuring the children are safe, and finds his own assumptions challenged when he meets the kids and the man who runs the orphanage. A powerful story of love and family, and finding a place to call home.

💭 T H O U G H T S

I'd recently heard T.J. Klune talk during an author event I attended, and instantly knew I wanted to read some of his work. I decided to start with The House in the Cerulean Sea, which I'd seen so many glowing reviews for. I'd like to start out by saying that fantasy books are not typically my cup of tea, and I tend to avoid them. Additionally, I'm often disappointed my books that are loved by so many, but this was a delightful surprise.

This was such an enjoyable and much needed reading experience for me. I loved the cast of unique and endearing characters, as each one brought something different to the table. I won't soon forget all of the positive and inspirational messages put forth in this phenomenal book. The writing was immersive and it just made me have hope in humanity when so many terrible things seem to be going on. The unconventional love story was a breath of fresh air, the tackling of contemporary issues such as homophobia and cultural bias were handled well, and the theme of what a family and home is added depth. I am always satisfied when a book takes me on an emotional journey, and this one did just that.

This is a special kind of book that doesn't come around everyday, a comforting embrace in the form of a book! Compassion, empathy and acceptance are something we could all use a little more of. I highly recommend it to readers of all ages, and it's perfect for any mood. Eventually, I could see it becoming part of the school curriculum. I cannot wait to read his forth coming novel!

📚 R E C O M M E N D • T O
• anyone whose ever felt like they don't belong
• readers looking for a literary hug
• Harry Potter fans

🔖 F A V O U R I T E • Q U O T E S

"'They fear what they don't understand. And that fear turns to hate for reasons I'm sure even they can't begin to comprehend. And since they don't understand the children, since they fear them, they hate them. This can't be the first time you've heard of this. It happens everywhere.'"

"'Home is where you feel like yourself.'"

"'Just because you don't experience prejudice in your everyday doesn't stop it from existingf0r the rest of us.'"

"The world likes to see things in black and white, in moral and immoral. But there is gray in between. And just because a person is capable of wickedness, doesn't mean they will act upon it. And then there is the notion of perceived immorality. I highly doubt Chauncey would even consider laying a tentacle on another person in violence, even if it meant protecting himself. And yet people see him and decide based upon his appearance that he is something monstrous.'"

"...home isn't always the house we live in. It's also the people we choose to surround ourselves with." 

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keen's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional hopeful inspiring lighthearted 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

5.0

I came into this book immensely hesitant. I'm not a fan of romance. I find most stories to be either be too quick with the development, or so slow I forget it was even a part of the book. And overall, it's just not my thing. Additionally, I'm a fan of horror and thriller stories. So, aside from the urban fantasy and found family aspects, I thought I wouldn't get much from a "lighthearted" and "romance" book. This was not helped by me finding the main character, Linus, to be a very different protagonist than I expected: A 40-something year old child service worker with a stuffy, distant attitude.

I teared up three times, and by the epilogue, my eyes were so wet I had to wipe them with a paper towel to be able to see the words on the screen.

I very rarely cry from any story. When I do, I know it has ensnared me. I also very rarely think about books in terms of "Boy, I really wish people would write fanfiction about this." So imagine my surprise when I read nearly seven chapters straight.

The romance isn't the main aspect of this story. The main love story is Linus taking on a fatherly role towards the children in the 'orphanage' and how those kids grow to love him. The way each character developed was so subtle I barely noticed how much had changed until the end.

One complaint I had while reading this story was, "How is this described as lighthearted and middle-school reading?" The story almost feels dystopian at first. A society blatantly prejudiced against the supernatural, going as far as to harm children in its hatred. I'm a black, trans-masc person, so some parts of this story took me by such surprise that I was actually uncomfortable.

But that's not an actually a complaint. By the end of the story, I understood. It's a story about overcoming your own bigotry, learning from people you never expected to interact with (much less care for), and taking the first steps in changing society. Parts of this story gets dark, but I would happily hand this book to a pre-teen.

This story literally made me feel brighter. It made me more confident about choosing the best path in my life, no matter what society says it should be.

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kammitrout's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted medium-paced
  • 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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jehansflowers's review against another edition

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funny lighthearted slow-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

this book was really cute. it had a major whimsical vibe, and i absolutely ADORED all of the kids. i was a bit disappointed by linus & arthurs' characters though. i just kinda found linus annoying and arthur bland.  

edit: going back and changing my rating from 4 stars to 3.5 bc this book just really didn’t leave an impression

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bookishnatalia's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • 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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rini's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted sad medium-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

CW: talk of weight, fat-shaming, and dieting (with pushback against it!)




I don't remember the last time I cried this many happy tears while reading a book!

And sad tears!

And laughed!!

This book has ALL the feels and all the delightful feel-good lovely unexpected characters and yes, they're queer, and no, it's not a big deal in the story, it just is, and yes there's talk of weight, fat-shaming, and dieting, but it's pushed back against throughout the book (except for right at the very start when Linus hasn't yet met the characters who push back against it, but that's hardly any of the book at all).

I don't even have a favourite character, I just love them all!

SpoilerThough, my one little disappointment was that Zoe, Helen, Arthur, and Linus couldn't all adopt all the kids together...

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