The House in the Cerulean Sea

Book: The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

Date Read: February 16 to 22, 2021

Rating: 5 (of 5) stars

This book was my one planned exception to the rules I made for myself in completing the challenges for the Unread Shelf Project this year. In order to truly focus on my unread shelf, I decided that I could only count books that were already on my unread shelf at the beginning of the year. The one exception being when it came time to read the book most recently added to my shelf. This is one of several books I wanted badly to add to my “to read” list, but was waiting for a paperback release. While I am still excited about the others, I am so thrilled that this was the first to be released.

I feel like everything about this book was set up for me to fall in love with it, and I was not disappointed. We start with a character that hits close to home: a social worker living a life that is just fine, if not completely satisfying. He is pushed out of his comfort zone into a setting that would seem magical all on its own—but has a dash of real magic mixed in for good measure. Enter a wonderfully diverse cast of misfits, some lessons to be learned about understanding others, and just a little bit of awkward romance, written in a style that alternately had me smirking and giggling. For me, this was the perfect combination for a book that I did not want to put down and left me with the warm fuzzies. The story was cute and charming, but still managed to have an edge of seriousness when it came to acceptance and appreciation of those who are different.

It’s a funny thing that I often have a much harder time expressing all of the things that I loved about a particular book; much harder than expressing things that did not fit for me. Out of a strange curiosity, I decided to check out a few of the more critical reviews. (I am not sure why, but I often feel the need to see why others dislike the things that I love.) In this case, it only reinforced why understanding of why this book felt so perfect to me: several of the reviews commented that the story was too much like a fairy tale, and the writing style similar to that of Douglas Adams. As an ardent fan of both fairy tales and Douglas Adams, there is no doubt as to why this one swept me off my feet.

Boris’s Thoughts: “Linus really should have just listened to the cat from the beginning. At least he finally figured things out. 3 paws.”

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