The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
While there are many similarities to, say, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series, this new book may be, in some rather startling ways, superior to both.
Sure, some magic is better with Riggs and some of the worldbuilding in McGuire is better, but when it comes down to the bare-bones core of a story, it lives, breathes, and dies on the voice, the changes, and the sheer charm of its text.
This one is simply charming. Charming in a way that made me break down in tears.
The romance aspect is sweet. Don't get me wrong. But the majority of the story wasn't about a romance.
It was about children -- bitter, damaged, but healing children -- but who are, above all, still children.
Linus, a grey and almost lifeless cog in the greater orphanage machine, is chosen, for those very qualities, to observe and make recommendations as to whether a very special orphanage is to be shut down. The colorful characters there suffer at the hands of prejudice, of course, and getting to know them is the core of this novel.
Of course, it's the WRITING that makes this particular tale. Linus has always had a particularly open outlook on life despite the greyness of his world before, and it was like he had always been waiting for the right set of circumstances to make him come alive. This is, after all, a novel of transformation, and it works in both directions. :)
I cried. Honestly. The book brought me to tears.
I can't give it higher praise than that it evoked honest tears of love and joy. :)
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