The House in the Cerulean Sea

The House in the Cerulean Sea
Title:The House in the Cerulean Sea
Format Type:Kindle Edition
Number of Pages:393

Read online The House in the Cerulean Sea.pdf PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC The House in the Cerulean Sea This is a birthday cake of a book. Perhaps a birthday cake dressed up in scary themes, but ultimately, a heart-warming, delicious concoction of a story that just skirts being teeth-tinglingly sweet. Thankfully, the children in the story are monsters enough to cut the sugar with a little milk.I enjoyed Cerulean Sea, especially once our milquetoast hero, Linus, makes his way to the orphanage and meets the very special children The Department In Charge of Magical Youth wants examined. Until then, the build is slow going, as Linus lives in the black and white version of the world. It reminded me, perhaps unsurprisingly, of all the horrible conformity scenes in all the children's books I've ever read, particularly Doris Umbridge shouting over Potter, and those creepy synchronized children in the land controlled by It in A Wrinkle in Time. So: boring, creepy, overt. Let's get to Oz, shall we?"Lucy puffed out his chest. 'I'm brave! And since I'm the leader, my brave order will be that Arthur goes first to make sure it's safe while the rest of us wait right here.'Everyone nodded.Including Linus.Arthur arched an eyebrow at him.'He has a point,' Linus said. 'Bravery is a virtue and all that.''Arthur's lips twitched. 'If I must.''You must,' Lucy told him. 'And if there are cannibals, yell back at us when they start to eat you so we know to run away.''What if they eat my mouth first?'"Oz is where the magic happens, and where Linus suddenly connects with people, or at least, the children who live in the isolated orphanage. There's Chauncey, the nightmare who dreams of being a bellhop; Talia, the bearded gnome; Phee the forest sprite; Theodore the wyvern; Sid, who has a contagious form of the were virus; and Lucy. Talia has an obsession with graveyards and would love the opportunity to bury someone. When she first meets Linus, she rather hopes he would be her first.“'You've gone awfully pale,' Talia said as she squinted up at him. 'And you're swaying. Are you ill? If you are, I think we should go back to the garden so you can die there. I don't want to have to drag you all the way back. You look really heavy.' She reached up and poked his stomach. 'So soft.'I’m not ill,” he snapped at her. “I’m just processing.” “Oh. That’s too bad. If your left upper arm starts to hurt, would you let me know?” “Why would I – that’s a sign of a heart attack, isn’t it?”So, of course Linus' heart grows three sizes, and he has to learn to stop being such a rule-follower and start actually standing up for a principle. All's well and good, isn't it?Well, mostly. There's a few problems. Linus' internal voice is mostly observational, spending most of it's time observing his own feelings at that, and not particularly introspective or analytical. From the first scene, this is pointed out to him by a witch at an orphanage he's assessing, and while it presumably hits home, he doesn't analyze it much. So the reader has to interpret Linus' journey. Did he make it out of personal growth? Were the children a catalyst? Was it happening anyway? Or was this about L-U-V? There is telling, and there is showing, but there is also processing and how did we get there? Because it's one thing to have a Grinch have his heart grow three sizes; it's quite another to take a forty-year-old and make them willing to upend their life (and their career of seventeen years). I'm not saying I don't believe, because, honestly, who wouldn't want to hang out with a button-hunting wyvern and create awesome gardens with a gnome? but well, maybe I kinda am. Because I want to know how it's done.But yes, those are the grown-up details that only occur after you finish reading it, or when you have to go back to real life and pay the insurance bill or something like that. The story itself is eminently charming and while it is very clear with its message of tolerance, it's a message that really deserves to be heard. And apparently some people do deserve hitting over the head. And if a garden gnome wants to take them and bury them in the garden, who am I to complain? At least fertilizer is useful.So, read if you like birthday cake--the good kind, not the sickly sweet, teeth-itching kind--and want a change from the dark and dismal. by T.J. Klune

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