The House on the Cerulean Sea was my first read with The ReadRover book Club over on Instagram and it didn’t disappoint! Lauren, our fearless leader even convinced the author, TJ Klune, to join our Zoom discussion. Talking with TJ brought so much to the conversation and really helped me appreciate the inspiration behind this amazing story!
For our book club Lauren sends the sweetest letters to hype us up, usually a game of some sort to help us win the next months book and a beautiful bookmark with a fun rating template on the back. It has been such a fun way to read with friends.
The House on the Cerulean Sea is a fantasy novel about Linus, a Case Worker at the Department for the Care of Magical Youth. Linus is called to the Upper Management to receive a new assignment to oversee the Marsyas Island Orphanage where 6 of the most magical and therefore outcast children reside, to include the son of the Devil. While there Linus finds himself, although I’m not sure he realized he was missing.
I’ll be honest when I started the book, I was a little iffy because fantasy isn’t typically my favorite genre and by that I mean other than Harry Potter, there haven’t been many books in that genre I like. But when I’m reading for a book club I keep going. I was blown away by the emotions I went through. I was so angry for the children in the house and I was so sad that Linus just seemed to be wondering through life. I’m not sure I would have picked up on some of themes without TJ’s explanations but the main theme and take away for me was that we can’t discount people for what we perceive or what we think we know about them. What if Linus would have shied away from Lucifer and what if Linus wouldn’t have pushed the limit with Upper Management to get what he needed to truly understand the love Arthur was able to posses for the children in his care? Without knowing that love, Linus would have missed out on the love of his life and becoming the man he was supposed to be.
I loved the way Linus named the children he met in the home. As a reader it was helpful in keeping up with the characters as they were not typical children. I also loved that it was a one on one encounter and potentially dangerous situation with Lucifer, the son of the devil, that led to the breakdown of walls between Arthur and Linus leading to their eventual love.
In our conversation with TJ we learned that to him, Linus represented “everyman”, he wasn’t based on anyone in his life, in fact none of the characters were but some of the situations were. TJ has written 25 books and after “meeting” him I can say I will be reading more. He was so genuine and seemed so excited to join in on the convo.
I would recommend this book to anyone that loves a story of acceptance, fantasy, love, and justice. I gave it five stars and would have given more if I had them.