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10 Reasons to Read ‘The House in the Cerulean Sea’

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I recently read The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune. It’s such a beautiful, heartwarming, feel good book. I really wonder why I didn’t pick it up earlier. The title is quite intriguing and I find the book cover gorgeous but it wasn’t until I started seeing positive reviews of the book all over that I finally decided to read it.

The House in the Cerulean Sea is a charming story about kids in an isolated orphanage for magical creatures. Linus baker is lonely case worker who works for DICOMY (Department in Charge of Magical Youth). DICOMY manages orphaned kids who are magical beings. As a case worker, Linus has been to many such orphanages and has interacted with hundreds of magical children but he has learnt never to let his personal feelings get in the way of his work.

One day he is called by the Extreme Upper Management and given a secret assignment. He is sent for a month to assess a special orphanage on the island of Marsyas. The master of the orphanages is a man named Arthur Parnassus, who has secrets of his own. There are six unique magical children living in the orphanage. When Linus reaches there, he discovers that one of the children is Lucy, short for Lucifer, who just happens to be the Antichrist.

This secret assignment turns out to be a life changer for Linus. Despite his initial reservations, as Linus's days pass in Marsyas, he finds himself warming up to the children. In this tranquil setting among a group of magical children, Linus comes across his chance at a little romance, an unlikely family and possibly a place which is home in the true sense.

This lovely book transported me to a world of magic and unconditional love. During these gloomy days of pandemic, we all yearn for an escape- an escape from the harsh realities of life to an enchanting world full of love. This book offers exactly that.

If you’ve not read this beautiful book yet, here are 10 reasons why you must read it asap:

1. The Idyllic setting & great Summer vibes make for the perfect escape.

Won’t it be lovely to read a book that happens on a scenic island during the Summer? An old house located on a beautiful and lush island, surrounded by the Cerulean Sea which is protected by a Sprite and inhabited by magical children… definitely a Summer holidays vibe there! Waves crash the shore beneath the cliff that holds the house. Seagulls screech above. A dense garden surrounds the house which has the most beautiful flowers. There’s a gazebo with lanterns hanging from the roof in front of the house. A few windows open into the ocean, allowing you to take in the salty smell. The scenic beauty of the place just pulls you in. Isn’t it the kind of a beautiful and cozy home we all dreamt of as a child?

We should always make time for the things we like. If we don't, we might forget how to be happy.

— T.J. Klune, The House in the Cerulean Sea

2. The Magical Children Charm you with their Innocence.

There are six mischievous and endearing children in the story. The children in this story are so adorable & funny and you'll fall in love with them all. All of them are magical creatures with a history, magical powers, and a fascinating personality of their own. You will be fascinated by their powers, charmed by their innocence and laugh out loud at their adorable mischiefs.

Talia has an obsession with graveyards and would love the opportunity to bury someone. And she keeps hoping that Linus would be her first. Chauncey dreams of being a bellhop and is just so pure and innocent. And then we have Lucy who keeps threatening Linus with bringing the world to the end. He leaves no opportunity to scare Linus and you can’t help smiling at the antics of this little boy.

3. The casual queerness in an imaginary ‘not so ideal world’.

Most of the books about LGBTQ+ community talk about coming out which is important but so are the books with queer characters living their lives just as any other person would. It’s refreshing to see a story where gay characters are simply a part of the narrative. They are accepted like the rest and are not questioned for their choices.

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4. It Reassures You That It’s Okay to Be Different.

If I have to describe this book’s characters in a nutshell then I would say ‘different and unique’.

All the six children in the orphanage are unique and different with rare magical abilities. The main protagonists Linus and Arthur are gay. The story revolves around protecting magical children who are different from the rest.

At its heart, this is a story about acceptance and seeing someone for who they are on the inside. Through this enchanting story, the author advocates accepting people for who they are. The book teaches us that it’s okay to be different. It inspires us to embrace our uniqueness.

Change often starts with the smallest of whispers. Like-minded people building it up to a roar.

— T.J. Klune, The House in the Cerulean Sea

5. The Old School Romance is the icing on the cake.

The children’s pure innocence blows you away and so does the sizzling chemistry between the book’s protagonists, Linus and Arthur. Linus visits the island as a caseworker to investigate the children’s well-being. But whenever he is around Arthur, he loses his focus. Arthur too is caught looking tenderly at Linus at the most unexpected times.

These two steal glances at each other when they are surrounded by children. Their slow burn chemistry makes you root for this unlikely couple. Slow dancing to music, long conversations under the stars, cherishing a fleeting touch from the beloved and more…this is the kind of old school romance one yearns for in these difficult times.

6. The ‘not so perfect’ imaginary world reminds you of the real world challenges

The story is set in a fictional world- a world that could be our own. Just like the real world, here also different people can exist but they are treated as different. They are persecuted for who they are, separated from ‘normal’ people, and are always under suspicion.

Magical beings have to be registered and under government control all their life. For the children, it is even worse, as they have to often go to orphanages till they grow up, and then struggle to fit in a world that doesn’t want them.

The author uses this fictional world brilliantly to address discrimination and prejudices, and the devastating impact it can have. But the author not only talks about fear and ignorance but also of hope, hope that the world can change and it’s the ordinary people that can bring an extra ordinary change.

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7. Its feel good tone makes you Joyous.

This sweet, whimsical, quirky, funny, and magical story will make you smile. It makes you so, so happy, from the first page to the last. It’s entertaining and unrelenting fun. This book is so gentle in its language and soft in its tone. It is perhaps the kindest, gentlest, most loving story I have ever read. Heartwarming, uplifting, magical content….this is just the kind of feel good book we need to read in these depressing times.

A home isn’t always the house we live in. It’s also the people we choose to surround ourselves with. You may not live on the island, but you can’t tell me it’s not your home. Your bubble, Mr. Baker. It’s been popped. Why would you allow it to grow around you again?”

— T.J. Klune, The House in the Cerulean Sea

8. It makes you realize what Home truly is.

A home isn’t always the house we live in. It’s also the people we choose to surround ourselves with. This is what Linus learnt during his month long stay at the island. All his life, Linus has lived a lonely life with just his cat to keep him company. It’s Arthur and the children who made him realize that what a home truly means. This book reminds you fondly of such beautiful people in your life who feel like home to you.

9. It is ageless.

This is a YA fantasy novel. But the truth is that this book is for everyone, for readers of all ages, children and adults alike. Yes, it is that kind of book which is loved and cherished by all… and that is rare!

10. This magical adventure comes with a message.

The book not only narrates an enchanting story about magical creatures but is also worth a read for its gently powerful messages. It’s a novel about compassion. It’s about the extraordinary power of a gift as simple as kindness. It’s about prejudice and how its roots burrow in fear and misunderstanding. It’s about encouraging people to be who they are and accepting and loving them for it. It’s about the freedom to love whomever you want to love, wholeheartedly and freely.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Shaloo Walia

Comments

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on July 16, 2021:

Yeah...many priceless life lessons through this magical story!

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on July 16, 2021:

I am sure you will like it.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on July 16, 2021:

This is a beautiful book. a must read!

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on July 16, 2021:

Oh yes... I have also heard that there are some similarities. However this book is not dark at all. It's just so heartwarming.

manatita44 from london on July 10, 2021:

Reads well and sounds like a very motivational piece. I suspect the author is using children to teach life-lessons in accommodation and acceptance; as well as tolerance, leading to a more harmonious vision for all. Beautiful!!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 09, 2021:

Maybe I will read it, thanks to your review. Thank you for the recommendation. I love feel good books.

Lady Dazy from UK on July 09, 2021:

Good review, this sounds like an interesting story. I had not heard of this book before.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on July 09, 2021:

This sounds like a delightful story, Shaloo. I had not heard of it before but it sounds a little like another story I read a couple of years ago and saw a movie of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.” Though that one, I am sure, is a little darker.

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