Author: T.J. Klune
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Pub. Date: Mar. 2020 (read Aug. 2021)
The House in the Cerulean Sea is definitely a book that came to me very heavily hyped. I feel like this book is all over goodreads and tiktok it’d been on my TBR for a while before I finally picked it up with my book club.
It’s a middle grade read that is highly accessible to an adult audience and features themes that are relatable to any age group. It’s set in a fantasy world similar to ours, but with magical beings. Linus works for the department in Charge of Magical Youth as a case worker for orphaned children. Everything is highly regulated by the government and he checks in on children to make sure they are receiving proper care. Then one day, he is approached to go a highly unusual assignment where he meets some of the department’s most high risk children.
These children all live on an island with their caretaker, Arthur. At first Linus is extremely weary of the children and their abilities, as are the villagers in the mainland town next to the island. However, as Linus gets to know the children, he sees that he may have been unfairly prejudiced against them and recognizes the unfairness of how these children are treated by everyone around them.
It’s very much a feel good novel about belonging. The ways we treat and perceive those who are different than us and how much we stand to gain and can learn from them if we only treat people with respect. It draws so many parallels to our society and the way some people view and treat others who are gay, or immigrants, or a visible minority. There’s nothing groundbreaking in this novel, but it is a heartwarming book if you’re looking for a pick-me-up. I don’t think I liked it quite as much as most people seem to be loving it, but I did think it was a solid 4 star read and the majority of my book club enjoyed it.