Reviews tagging Panic attacks/disorders

The House in the Cerulean Sea, by TJ Klune

13 reviews

winters_night's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging emotional funny hopeful inspiring sad tense 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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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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oliverreeds's review against another edition

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funny 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? It's complicated
if i could rate this book higher than a five, i would do it. everything about this is incredible. i am crying from happiness. 

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not101bees's review

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring 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? Yes

5.0

This is by far the most adorable thing I’ve ever read in my life. I’m absolutely in love with this book, the story is tells is classic, the magical aspects fit very well within it, and it’s just so fun! I can already tell it’s going to be a comfort book for me from now on. Every character in this book has become dear to me, they’re all so different and funny and wonderful. I don’t know what else to say other than I absolutely loved this book and will be rereading it 100 times.

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stubbornjerk's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful lighthearted reflective 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

3.75

This book reads like a dated children's movie that feels as whimsical as Klaus and tries very hard to be progressive. It's been touted as a YA novel and as difficult as some of these topics might be for more children, marking it for YA while having older white men as protagonists seems like a stretch. At best, it's middle grade.

I appreciate its blunt cartoonish-ness though, it suspends your disbelief for a while. An orphanage for difficult, magical children visited by a dull, old caseworker who does his best to do right by them. His world gets a little less dull when meeting the unorthodox orphanage at Marsyas and its owner (or, master, however weird that sounds on paper). It writes itself like a rom-com, and it kind of is. A really cartoonish, quirky, and charming rom-com with a lot of little kids running around.

I found myself growing to like this book even after the initial chapters. It was slow-going at first, and the turn wasn't as subtle as it was fast. The narration itself wanting both to put us in Linus' head (especially in cases of extreme anxiety) while also keeping us out of it (in this case, when he starts warming up to the children).

A little nitpick of mine while reading this book was that I couldn't place its time period or place. It deems itself to be placed in the South but the speech patterns for some were suggestively British. There are scenes where it suggests that it is set in the present (record stores telling one of the children that they liked old music and the existence of computers), but Linus still has to send correspondences and reports through the post and if it were placed in America, the speech patterns would also suggest that this would technically be a period piece on top of its magical realism.
SpoilerIt all comes to a head during the later chapters, when Arthur and Linus talk about how Arthur is the first magical being to ever have run their own orphanage and that he was silenced and prohibited from revealing it. Holding the suggestion that of all the years these institutions have existed not a single activist group had arisen. Linus talks of magical beings in professional roles but says nothing of activist groups or names any.
 

Again, this is a cartoonish rom-com of a children's-not-YA book banking on the fiction of a fake marginalized group, but so maybe expecting it to be a little less like that would be disingenuous. The criticism exists though.

Here, on the other hand are some very problematic things I found about it:
  • That the concept of children in homes like these were allegorical to the abduction and institutionalization of Indigenous children is a tad concerning, seeing as there is not a single child of color. 
  • There's a lot of rampant fatphobia in this book, coming from the narrative character and the people he used to work with. 
  • There were a lot of Whoopi Epiphany Speeches that kind of feel awkward. 
  • We also have a Black woman who fulfills a caretaker role
    Spoilerand is a being of magic
    , and though the book doesn't treat her badly, one should be mindful of the fallings of tropes like these.

Overall, despite its flaws, it's a cheesy rom-com of a book that reads like a dated children's movie on the vein of Klaus and maybe a bit of The Parent Trap. It is what it is and despite all of that, is kind of stronger than the sum of its parts.

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vkodhai's review

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted reflective relaxing 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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debbie13410's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny inspiring mysterious 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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kelseyland's review against another edition

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hopeful 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

Truly heartwarming found family story that's also about disrupting and dismantling oppressive social structures I mean what's not to love? 

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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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meganelise's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75


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