Review: The House in the Cerulean Sea

In a time when magical children exist, they are put into “orphanages” to “protect” them from the populace. Those orphanages are overseen by a governmental entity (natch), and Linus is a caseworker within that system who gets sent to those orphanages to make sure they are following all the rules. After 17 years, he is sent to one that has six “problematic” magical children, a top secret journey that he is ENTIRELY unprepared for.

I read a fair amount – not as much as some, but typically in the close-to-200-books-a-year range. I can generally find *something* about most books to speak positively about (and I do my best not to be overly negative or cruel anyway). But every once in a while, I get my hands on a book that just blows me away. It’s one that I tell all my friends about, that I would have chosen as a Staff Pick as a bookseller, and one that I find myself thinking about long after I’ve actually finished it. Those are rare, but they do happen. THIS is one of those books.

Now, if you’re one of those readers looking for a pandemic “they survived and so will I” sort of title – read no further. This *definitely* isn’t it. What this IS, however, is a book that is sweet, sweet comfort. It’s about finding family where you least expect it, and maybe even redefining WHAT family is. It’s about “us vs. them”, and what happens when people fail to question. It’s about realizing that sometimes – too often, in fact – the “dangerous” ones are those in charge. And, ultimately – it’s about love. Love for self, for others, for friends, and for partners…whoever they may be.

I started this book in the late afternoon, figuring I’d read a little bit and see what I thought. Thankfully, my daughter was making dinner, because I just…never stopped reading. I simply did not want to put the book down, and so I finished a little after 1am. I laughed, and I cried, and I just did not want it to end. When it did, I felt like I’d been wrapped in a cozy quilt made by my favorite person. I also felt very tired, because it was WAY past my bedtime – but I can say with all honesty, I would have done it even if I had a job to wake up for this morning. It would have been *absolutely* worth it. But, don’t just listen to me…here are a few notable mentions:

An Indie Next Pick!
One of Publishers Weekly‘s “Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2020”
One of Book Riot’s “20 Must-Read Feel-Good Fantasies”

I’m going to say that this book will end up being a Top 10 – and possibly even a Top 5 – title for me this year. I really *is* just that good. So, if this is intriguing to you, even just the smallest bit, The House in the Cerulean Sea is available now for ordering! Again, if you can – please support indie bookstores, because they’ve been hit pretty hard during this pandemic. As a bookseller who was laid off from one, I can vouch for that. If you don’t have a local indie, here’s the link to Indiebound, since many of them will ship!

https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781250217288