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

The House in the Cerulean Sea written by T.J Klune is a fantasy fiction novel containing warm cottage core vibes and an unbeatable found family trope; among other things. The book showcases the life of Linus Baker, a middle aged man, working as a social worker for orphanages containing magical youth. As a result of his thorough job, he is given an assignment by ‘Extremely Upper Management’ to assess the most bizarre orphanage he has yet to see. He struggles through the conflict of being loyal to his line of work, or doing what he knows is right. The characters in this story are such a treat, and are given a wonderful amount of depth and spectacular personalities. This stands out for me with the character Lucy, who is literally the antichrist, and stays true to this persona while also portrayed, rightfully so, as the loveable child that he is. Like Lucy, all the characters in the book are wonderfully developed and showcased as such. 

Some of my favorite parts are the interactions between the different characters, and because of this the book is filled with ‘laugh out loud’ comedy while never neglects the heart-warming aspects. The book is clearly written and I never failed to connect to the story due to the authors lack of appropriate word choices.The romantic sections of the book are raw and true to the nature of love, this is showcased in a queer relationship between two of the main male characters. The amount of creativity in this book is spectacular, and it is easy to picture the fantasies T.J Klune intended to show. 

Though this was a beautifully written book, there are still some negative sides to the author’s decisions and inspirations. The only people of color in the book are shown as an animal, and a ‘mammy’ which are based on negative tropes and stereotypes. The idea for the book was also taken from the oppression of indigenous people, and is understandably an issue. Though this is arguably one of the best books I’ve ever read, it is important to acknowledge the distasteful wrong-doings of the author. Personally, I would recommend this novel to highschool students who are in need of a bit of magic, or anyone else in need of a spectacular and unforgettable reading experience!