Book Review: The House In The Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

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

Hello guys! Before we move on, I wanted to tell you that we have reached 150 followers!! I’ve probably said this before but I want you all to remember that I’m extremely grateful to all of you and and I feel deeply appreciated whenever any one of you leaves behind a like or a comment on my posts. So a big thank you for that, I love you guys🥰

That brings us to what I am here to do today, which is review The House In The Cerulean Sea. This review is going to be completely spoiler free. (Also, quotes from the book will be all over this post, as you might already have noticed. I think I might have a case of book hangover) Without further ado, let’s get started!

Synopsis (via Goodreads)

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

My Rating : ★★★★★ [5 out of 5 stars]
My Review

I have no idea how to begin, so how about this – I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK. Okay, so that was pretty obvious from my rating (when was the last time I gave a book a full 5 stars? hmm, in March I think) but seriously, The House In The Cerulean Sea probably deserves a million stars.

People can present themselves as being one way, and once you’re sure you know them, once you’re sure you’ve found what you’re looking for, they reveal themselves for who they really are.

The beginning was great (so was everything else but we’ll come to that) and the story wasted no time in getting to the point and shipping off Linus (the main character) to the Marsyas orphanage home. So one absolutely cannot complain about a slow beginning here.

Life, Linus Baker knew, came down to what we made from it. It was about the choices, both big and small.

The characters were just perfect. Linus was amazing, right from the beginning and even more so towards the end, and of course I loved each and every one of the children and their quirky personalities. Arthur and Zoe were so well written too. And might I add that Linus’s character development (not that there was anything wrong with him before, but you know) was the best I have EVER seen?

But even if you have bad dreams, you must remember they’re only that: dreams. You will always wake from them. And they will fade, eventually. I’ve found that waking from a bad dream brings a sense of relief unlike anything else in the world.

Among other things, I loved the dry humour which was quite prevalent in the first half of the book. Then of course, there was the found family trope (yes, found family!!) which was executed oh so beautifully, and once again proved my point that found family is the best trope to ever exist and that I’ll never ever get tired of it.

The things we fear the most are often the things we should fear the least. It’s irrational, but it’s what makes us human. And if we are able to conquer these fears, then there is nothing we’re not capable of.

Okay, so I am not even going to go into the regular stuff like the pacing, the writing style etc, because this book is just too good for any of that to be used to judge it. Everything about this book was so adorable and sweet and wholesome and just…beautiful🥺 and it definitely felt like a warm hug that goes right down to your soul. While reading this, I spent half of my time trying to swallow the lump in my throat, the other half smiling through my tears. The children, my precious lovelies, made me cry so many times with their sweet words to Linus. The story tugged at my heartstrings and gave me all the feels.

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.

So basically the whole point of my review is to say this – The House In The Cerulean Sea is a masterpiece. It made me feel all warm and fluffy and happy from the inside, something that no book has made me feel on such a large scale ever before. I have got no more words to describe how exquisite this entire story was.

“Smile and maybe tomorrow,” Arthur whispered in his ear. “You’ll see the sun come shining through for you.”

Found family? Check. Slow burn? Check. The best-est book ever? Check.

Sometimes, he thought to himself in a house in a cerulean sea, you were able to choose the life you wanted. And if you were of the lucky sort, sometimes that life chose you back.

Into The Mist || A short story penned by me

Hey everyone! I am so sorry for not being very active lately, but I do have some interesting posts planned for this week. As for today, I am sharing a little something I wrote 1-2 years back (yeah I was 12 then, hence brace yourself for the babyish writing style). I usually don’t share much of my writing here (and I don’t write much nowadays as well) but if you like this piece, do let me know, I’ll consider sharing some more of my old work.

Into The Mist

It was a foggy winter morning. 13-year-old Michael sat on the steps in front of his house with his brother Peter, who was four years older than him. It was six in the morning and both the boys were wrapped in thick sweaters. Everybody else in their house was sleeping. The brothers had this habit of getting up extremely early and at this time everyday, they would share their problems, crack jokes or just sit in companionable silence.

That day, Peter was helping Michael with math sums. “It is easy, believe me”, said Peter. “Just concentrate and you will get it right.” “That is for you to say”, grumbled Michael. However, with some difficulty, and of course thanks to the gentle persuading by Peter, Michael soon finished his homework. “So, tell me,” began Peter “what’s new? Anything interesting at school?” “Nah”, said Michael, “just the usual stuff. Sticking chewing gum on Mr. Williams’ chair, singing out all our doubts in the music class, filling Mrs. Brown’s cupboard with ping-pong balls and well, you know.” “I bet the last one got you a week’s detention”, said Peter, laughing heartily. Michael joined in. Soon, both of them were rolling about with laughter, without any reason, unable to stop. Michael loved such mornings, when everything seemed perfect.

“Mike! You coming?” This was Michael’s classmate and neighbour, John. They walked together to school every morning. “Yeah”, replied Michael. “just give me a minute”. He was just saying goodbye to Peter, when John said, “What is taking you so long? And… whom are you talking to?” Michael was puzzled. “I was talking to Peter. What is wrong with you, John?”, he said.

John’s expression softened. He said, “Mike, you better accept this now. Peter passed away in that car accident last year. He is dead.”

Michael’s world shattered. He said furiously, “How dare you say that?! He is beside me, we were talking, he was helping me with math…” Michael stopped, because Peter was no longer there beside him. Still wanting to prove himself right, he said, “He is around here somewhere, playing one of his pranks. Pete, come out, will you? Show John that you are not dead. Pete…Pete, where are you?” Michael had begun to sound more and more desperate, because he knew that John was right, that Peter was never coming back. Michael finally sat down on the grass, his head in hands, tears beginning to well up in his eyes. “It is as if he has disappeared into the mist”, he finally managed, between sobs.

“Yeah, he has”, whispered John softly, kneeling beside Michael. “Forever.”

First Line Friday | Three Line Tales

Hallo bookworms! Its Friday, which means it is time to do another First Line Friday post. Today, I am going to be doing another weekly tag called Three Line Tales which I am super excited about.

First Line Friday

So this is a weekly tag hosted by Hoarding Books . All we have to do is pick any book, it can either be our current read, or a book on our TBR, or just something random, and open it to the first page, and share a snippet from there.

Today’s first line is

There was a ship, in space, lost.

Very vague, I know. But what a intriguing first line it is, right? Anyways the book is

Orion Lost by Alastair Chisholm

After a catastrophic Unknown Event leaves the colony ship Orion stranded deep in space, it’s up to thirteen-year-old Beth and her friends to navigate through treacherous and uncharted territory and reach safety.

But a heavily damaged ship, a mysterious alien species, space pirates, and an Artificial Intelligence which Beth suspects may be lying to her mean that getting home has never been so difficult.

Hugely gripping, with incredible twists and a fast-paced, action-packed story, this is an unputdownable science fiction adventure – perfect for fans of Mortal Engines and Star Wars.

This book is on my January TBR. Actually, now that I come to think of it, I really need your help with something. I have to choose between Orion Lost by Alastair Chisholm and Tin by Padraig Kenny, to read in January. If anyone has read either of these, please let me know what you thought of it, and if you have read both, well, your views will be really really helpful.

Three Line Tales (Week 255)

Today I found this, and it looked really interesting because I love writing stories, especially short ones. And word or picture prompts for the story make writing one even more enjoyable.

This has been created by Sonya @Only 100 Words and here’s some basic rules-

  • Write three lines inspired by the photo prompt (& give them a title if possible).
  • Link back to this post (& check the link shows up under the weekly post).
  • Tag your post with 3LineTales (so everyone can find you in the Reader).
  • Read and comment on other TLT participants’ lines.
  • Have fun.

For more details, visit Sonya’s blog!

Today’s photo

three line tales, week 255: a girl in front of an empty canvas getting ready to paint
photo by Ashley Byrd via Unsplash

The white blank canvas sat on the easel, and waited.

The magician in front waved her wand, she let her imagination run wild, she painted.

And the canvas was filled with colours of joy, as everything came to life.

How did you like my three-line story? What comes in your mind when you look at the picture? Let me know in the comments!!