The house in the Cerulean Sea, by TJ Klune
How many times can I post about “one of the best books I’ve read this year” before that phrase starts to lose all meaning? Well, The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I’d venture to say it’ll work its magical way into a future “one of the best books I’ve ever read” list. It’s certainly one of the most whimsically lovely, and the one I’ve shed the most joyful tears over.
Donna Noble is my favourite Doctor Who companion, and one of my very favourite characters from the series, Doctor included. Stay with me here, I know it feels like a tangent. What I love about Donna is that she feels like she’s utterly ordinary and unremarkable, so unimportant that she can’t possibly be special, but she is in fact the whole universe. Linus Baker from The House in the Cerulean Sea reminds me very much of her, and in a book filled with characters of various and wondrous magical abilities, he is the most captivating of them all. Linus is a by-the-book caseworker for the Department in Charge if Magical Youth, and he feels largely invisible in his drab dreary world. A special assignment sees him investigating an orphanage that is home to a special bunch of magical youth, and their equally intriguing House Master. There are secrets to be discovered, but more importantly there are lessons to be learned on the power of the family we choose.
This book is a wonder, a joy, a captivating delight. I don’t know that I would ever have found it if not for some recommendations by a couple of TikTok friends, so I’m grateful to them both for mentioning this one. I’ll be doing the same to anyone who’ll listen – get this book. Read it. It’s powerful and beautiful and I need more people to have read it so I can talk about it with them!