Hey bookdragons! How are you doing? Are you also dying from the heat like we are here in Montreal! Thankfully, we will always have book to carry us through everything haha!
I’m SURE you have heard about the House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune already, and hopefully, it is already on your radar. If not, no worries, because today, my goal is to make you add it at the top of your TBR :p Yes, it is that amazing!!! And here are 5 reasons why you need it 😉
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.
- Great Summer vibes: isn’t it great to read a book that happens on an island during the Summer? A beautiful and lush island, surrounded by a Cerulean sea, protected by a sprite and close to a small village where you can get ice cream at… definitely a Summer holidays vibe there! And so, even if it’s not the main aspect of the book, it makes it a perfect read for the Summer!
- The world-building: a world that could be our own… almost. Because in this one people can be of different species, and have powers. For example, a gnome or a wyvern can totally exist. But they are “different” and treated as such, persecuted for who they are, separated from “normal” people, and always under suspicion. They have to be registered and under government control all their life. One mistake, and they could be imprisoned forever. And for the children, it is even worse, as they have to often go to “orphanages” till they grow up, and then struggle to find a place to fit in, in a world that doesn’t want them. TJ Klune used this world of fiction brilliantly to address discrimination and prejudices, and the impacts they can have. How ignorance and fear can lead to hate and violence. But there is also hope in this book, hope that people can change and learn and become better!
- The characters: this is where the strength of the story comes from. We have Linus, your typical worker who doesn’t question much and does his job as an orphanage inspector, kind of believing blindly in what it means. Until he goes to M Parnassus orphanage and meets kids that are quite different from what he is expecting. And Arthur Parnassus is a special man too, so open and ready to do everything to defend the ones he loves. And then we have the kids: a gnome, an antichrist or a were-Pomeranian (that sounds like a bar joke right? it’s not haha), a sprite, a wyvern, an undetermined green blob…. and the antichrist! TJ Klune manages to build characters full of innocence and child joy, while also having suffered much. They are some very unique children that you easily grow super attached to, and it’s an adventure to follow them through the pages.
- The casual queerness: coming out books are important, but so are books with queer characters simply living. Being part of the LGBTQIA+ community is not the only thing that defines someone, and so, it feels good to have this aspect of the characters simply being part of the story, and it being accepted and not questioned, simply natural. We have here this very gentle and cute M/M romance, that grow in a slow burn till the very end of the book. Again, not the main part of the story, but an added bonus that makes it even better!
- It is ageless: I would not know where to put this book age-wise: is it adult? is it middle-grade? The truth is, it’s for EVERYONE, children and adults alike. Yup, it is that kind of book and that is rare!
Hope this all convinced you that this book is A MUST READ (cause it is!) and that you’ll come back to tell me how much you loved it haha.
If you’ve read it already, let me know in the comments what you thought of it!
See you for a cup,