Why I Stopped Reading The House in the Cerulean Sea {TJ Klune}…But You Shouldn’t!

Why I Stopped Reading The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune…But You Shouldn’t!

Hiiii! I’m so sorry I went a bit MIA last week. It was my daughter’s Spring Break and while I had every intention of still blogging, spending that extra time with my kids just felt so good. I usually blog each morning while my son takes an online class but last week I traded that in for daily breakfast in bed with my daughter while we snuggled up to watch iCarly. It was my favorite part of the whole week and I’m missing it today 😦

I had promised you my thoughts on The House in the Cerulean Sea last week…here they are today!

**This is book #1 of the reading challenge that I set up for myself. For more on this challenge and why I’m forcing myself to do it, read THIS POST**

Goodreads Synopsis of The House in the Cerulean Sea {TJ Klune}:

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.

My Review of The House in the Cerulean Sea {TJ Klune}:

So the book begins with a girl levitating blocks above her head. That’s page 1. Already I wasn’t into it but I decided to keep reading.

And then the main character meets a sprite. I googled the defination of sprite and here’s what Marriam- Webster had to say: An elf or a fairy.

By this point, I was reaaaaaaaally struggling to continue reading but forged through in hopes of expanding my literary genre comfort zone.

And then around page 70ish there was a statue. That moved. On it’s own.

Aaaaaaand I was DONE.

The writing itself was good! The fact that I read 70 pages is proof of that!

I just absolutely hate this type of fantasy. SO. MUCH.

I hate books in this genre, I hate television shows in this genre, I HATE movies in this genre. The whole “alternate universe where things aren’t what they seem” is NOT something I enjoy.

Now, I must say that I’m disappointed that I just couldn’t do it. I’ve heard such BEAUTIFUL things about this book! Yes I went in with a nervous energy but I really don’t think that hindered my acceptance of any of it. Nervous energy or not, moving statues are just not for me.

I am 100 percent positive that this book gives a beautiful message but unfortunately I just couldn’t get past all of the fantastical elements to find it. People say that this book is WONDERFUL! If you love (can tolorate?) fantasy, this sounds like a truly fantastic read. I stopped reading..but you shouldn’t!

This book reminds me of Harry Potter in so many ways. If you are a Harry Potter fan, you will probably love this book! I read the first 2 Harry Potter books and just couldn’t read any more.

Now what does this mean for the other 2 fantasy books that I will be (forcing myself?) to read? Well, 2 things actually:

#1 I wasn’t excited to read them before but now I’m REALLY not exited to read them….but I will! At least I’ll TRY.

#2 I think I actually might feel differently about them that I do about this book because although they are clearly fantasy, I do think they are a different TYPE of fantasy. From what I’m gathering, they are about real people who do fantastical things. No made up worlds, no moving statues, no levitating blocks, etc. Am I wrong? Please tell me (warn me?) if I’m wrong. The Time Traveler’s Wife is an example of a book like this and that book is most definitely fantasy! BUT it’s about real people who do fantastical things. Does that make sense? All of the statues in that book aren’t able to move. As it should be. I LOVED The Time Traveler’s Wife (read my thoughts HERE).

Reading challenge or not, I will forever stand by the fact that there are too many good books out there to continue reading one that you aren’t enjoying. And I reaaaaaaally wasn’t enjoying this one. So I stopped reading. Just like I always tell all of you to do!

Moving on…

Bottom Line:

This type of fantasy is just not for me no matter how hard I try.

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!



This book clearly isn’t for me but you might love it!  Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link. When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

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16 thoughts on “Why I Stopped Reading The House in the Cerulean Sea {TJ Klune}…But You Shouldn’t!

  1. Sorry it wasn’t your thing. Harry Potter isn’t my thing, but I still enjoyed this book. It was really well-written and heartfelt. Also easier to follow than some other fantasy books I’ve read. I hope you’ll like the other two. I have Midnight Library in my kindle queue!


    1. Liked the review. But, man, would it be worth encouraging you to give THITCS another try? I share your distaste for fantasy novels, and, for that reason, also considered stopping at the 70-page mark. But I prevailed, and am now at the halfway mark. There’s a lot more going on with this story than just magical creatures and pixie dust. In fact, it’s a brilliant piece an of social commentary that insightfully tackles how ‘otherness’ shows up in the so-called ‘civilized’ world.

      Anyway, just through I’d offer another perspective.

      Btw, I also really enjoyed Midnight Library. I loved how the author cleverly wove quantum physics into the story. It’s a fantastical story but one that has its feet—somewhat—rooted in reality, compared to THITCS.


  2. I just finished this book, and I loved it! Granted, I am an avid fantasy reader… but I would recommend it to anyone! If you can get past the weirdness, it’s such a cute story of found family and love.


  3. I loved this book and could not put it down. A great story on so many levels and so right for the time that we are living in. Pick it back up and please finish it!


    1. So true. very right for the times. I wish there were pictures of the 7 “creatures”. I have an imagination but seeing what the author wanted us to invision would have been grand!!!


  4. Just for the record, it wasn’t actually a moving statue. It was a little gnome girl named Talia that he mistook for a lawn ornament.

    Not that that makes it any less fantastical. But there aren’t any moving statues in this book. Promise. 🙂


  5. I don’t always like the fantasy type either. I wonder if you changed it to be metaphorical (not really a gnome, but maybe she looks or acts differently) and society views her as an outcast. The girl isn’t levitating anything, it’s a metaphor for a hobby or belief that society doesn’t approve of, or something she would get made fun of. Maybe she has old school beliefs. Maybe one of them doesn’t like fantasy books and everyone else does lol. I wonder if that could make the story more tolerable for you?


  6. This book is amazing and delightful. It is nothing like Harry Potter. I am not a fantasy genre reader either and read it for a challenge. I’m so happy I did!!!!

    The message is strong and the subtle character nuances make it very fresh and important for our time. I teach high school emotional support. The kids in the books house are the outcasts and people try to hide them and forget them. Kids with emotional needs are treated the same way.

    Love wins in this book. Kindness beats all evil!! A message we need.


  7. While I do love fantasy as a genre, that’s not why I loved The House on the Cerulean Sea. This is a story about being brave, showing up as your true self, and seeing others for who they truly are. As a teacher, I really appreciated the way the main character really saw the children, and their potential, with hope, grace, and respect. There are so many messages in this beautifully written story. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in quite awhile.


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