Book Review: The House in the Cerulean Sea

Good Morning, and Happy Friday Eve!

This week is passing by swimmingly, and I couldn’t be happier. Weekends are for wine and reading if you ask me, and I’m excited for more R&R.

Last night I finished reading a new release for 2020 called The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune.


Once I read the blurb for this book, I knew it was for me. There aren’t enough LGBT centered books around, and I simply had to try this one out. Lucky for me, the library across the street from me (I love them so much!) had an ebook copy they let me borrow.

So what did I think about this intriguing novel? Let’s get into the review!


A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.


The Review:



I give this novel four and a half stars!

Beautiful, just friggin’ beautiful. That’s what this book was to me.

I kept seeing my blogger friends reviewing this new 2020 book, so I had to check it out and give it a try. I mean, LGBT characters set in a world with magic? It was a no-brainer.

This book centers on Linus Baker, a social worker of sorts for ‘orphanages’ for magically-gifted youth. Based on his observations and recommendations to DICOMY, these orphanages either continue to run or are closed down.

But when he’s called up to the fifth floor by Extremely Upper Management and given a classified assignment, Linus finds himself in an interesting predicament.  He is sent to an island orphanage with extra gifted children.

I loved this book! Central themes of this book are acceptance and finding your place in the world, and I think due to these times this resonated with me very strongly. 

The characters shined through first and foremost. Now, I will say that this book is a bit more character-driven than I usually care for, but this is an instance where that really worked for me.

Linus was an interesting character. He’s a bit shy and unassertive at first and very beaten down by his working conditions. I mean, these people are TERRIBLE to him, and it made me cringe here and there at how appallingly he was treated. That being said, things begin to change for Linus when he reaches the island. Throughout this novel, he has some serious character progression and begins to question the very rules and regulations his existence is governed by. Also, I have to say that we need more LGBT characters in the world, and this is a great example of how great they can be.

Other characters helped provide all the feels. For me, a special shoutout goes to Lucy and Chauncey. Lucy had his own demons to combat (quite literally), and Chauncey’s blind optimism and hope really struck deep for me. Honestly, all of the characters are pretty great, those two just stuck out for me.

The plot was intriguing from the beginning. I liked the dull, grey world Linus lived in, and the system in place was very interesting. The journey Linus goes on is captivating, and though there isn’t a ton of action all the time, I had to know how things were going to end up with this motley crew of children, each with their own scars. Despite the seriousness of the book, there were these great cozy moments that really made me feel warm all over and grateful for the goodness in people that seems to be so rare these days.

If I had to pick at anything, I would say that the pacing did suffer just a tad for me in the middle when there wasn’t a ton of stuff happening, but that’s more due to personal preference, so I didn’t judge very harshly.

All in all, this book was a great LGBT adventure filled with love, hardship, and the power of the human spirit to persevere. Can’t recommend this one enough!


That’s a Wrap!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!

Have you read this book before? What did you think? Do you have a book recommendation similar to this one? Feel free to share in the comments!

If you’d like to see other reviews of mine, feel free to check out the book review section of my blog or my GoodReads. You can also follow my GoodReads reviews here. There are some great binge-worthy books on there!

Have a great day!


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  1. Aw, Chauncey…the best future bellhop ever! As you already know, I LOVED this story, the settings, the characters, the romance, but this is making me want to read it again. Maybe I’ll try it in audiobook this time around.

    • Yeah, that little blob has a piece of my heart, as do all the others as well. Such a great book!

      Ooo, I bet the audiobook has great narrators. You’ll have to let me know. Definitely buying a paperback for my shelves

    • This was actually my first read by the author, and I was really impressed!

      It is a slower pace if you’re used to more action and fantasy books, but it really is amazing. 🙂

    • Aww, I’m glad I could help bump it up your tbr. I liked it enough to buy a copy for my bookshelf, and I only do that for the good stuff.

      You’re gonna love it, I just know it!

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