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  • ★★★-3.5

Review: The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune (Spoiler-Free)

3.5 stars.

Ah, here we are. I was scared I would be in this position. Everyone and their mother adores this book, and I went in with such high expectations, I was bound to be disappointed.

That being said, I did enjoy a lot of this book. It's charming, cute, and very hopeful. I'm just not a very charming and cute person. While I found lots of the individual scenes to be heartwarming, I never really felt anything that made me need to keep reading. Nothing was driving me to flip pages besides the fact that I wanted to finish.

Maybe this story didn't strike me the same way it did everyone else because I don't have a fondness for children, or maybe it's because I don't find stories that are strictly happy to be engaging. I'm not saying that this didn't have some dark moments, because it did, but that wasn't a driving part of the story—because there wasn't a driving part of the story. I'm not saying there should have been—that's not the type of book this is—but I personally have a hard time staying engaged through something like this.

I did really enjoy the commentary this book provided, though I do wish it was a bit less heavy-handed. It kind of took me out of the story when characters would go on verbose monologues explicitly describing the moral of the chapter we just read.

So, while this book wasn't exactly my cup of tea (I don't particularly enjoy tea, but I'll drink it), I can see why people who like tea love it.


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