Book Reviews: Star Wars: Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland

Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland is the second Young Adult novel in The High Republic series. The High republic comes 200 years before Star Wars: A New Hope. This novel is paced so slow with only 3 battles. Reath and Master Cormac are the returning Jedi from the first YA but given background roles in this. The ending of this book saves it from being a 2 star review. There’s is only two things of significance that happen that will effect the adult Star Wars: The High Republic novels. This book was missing humor there’s one recurring event that was funny. What the book is filled with is young adult angst, which reached an annoying level, instead of being poignant. There’s a LGTBQ relationship that was good for inclusion purpose but the relationship wasn’t all that strong. I feel the adult version handled the LGTBQ relationship better. The plot is a huge long con, the pay off is all at the end which saves this novel, but I wanted to see this good writing through out. After reading the 2 adult and 2 YA Star Wars: The High Republic novels Out of the Shadows has been my least favorite.

The Plot: A device that can rip ships from hyperspace is causing havoc. The Jedi are sent to research this. A freight hauler lands in a conspiracy when she finds out her mother she thought dead is rumored to be behind the device. Vern one of the Jedi is called out by a mysterious voice guiding her to something, is the voice friend or foe?

What I Liked: The ending was great, the lead up to it was not. I liked that the character of Nan, who was in Out of the Past and was a frenemy with Reath and part of the Nihil returns to have a bigger role. I did like the running gag of Vern crashing what ever ship she is in, that was the only funny part in the book and it worked. I liked the plot line of Vern and the voice and who it belonged to. I like the attempt at the LGBTQ relationship but it could have been a lot better. I liked the speeder bike fight even if it was super brief.

What I Disliked: The pacing was really bad in this, one of the worst I’ve read in the 20 or so Star Wars novels that I have read. I was not happy about the Jedi plot lines in this story. I needed way more humor in this story. Barely any battles in a 352 page book maybe 30 pages were battles.

Recommendations: If you’re a casual Star Wars reader I would recommend skipping this one there’s two things of significance that involve the Nihil, and I imagine the adult novel catching us up in less than one page of dialogue. If you are a super fan then you are like me and going to read this book anyway. I rated Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland 3 out of 5 stars. This book was almost a 2 star review, but the ending really saved it.

Wrap Up: August 2021 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, August was a crazy month, finally getting settled into my first house.  I read 5 books this month. I read 2 books over 600 pages, 1 graphic novels, and 1 new releases thanks to netgalley. I Read 2 book from a book series the third book of the Sword of Truth series Blood of the Fold and Star Wars: The High Republic series book 2 for adults the Gathering Storm . I read one 5 star book, three 4 star books, and one 2 star book.

Five Star Reviews:

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig is a refreshingly original horror novel that mixes genres with a lot of gore. Chuck Wendig wrote my favorite novels of 2019 with The Wanders which again was totally original horror that mixes genres, so I was very excited when netgalley picked me to give me an advanced readers copy. The Book of Accidents is original but there are two books that I will use to compare to put you in the ballpark Blake Crouch’s Recursion meets Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. If those books had a baby you would have The Book of Accidents. The Plot is crazy the best thing is to not know too much going in, I will be really vague in my plot summary because of this. The marketing for this book makes it feel like a typical haunted house with this book is totally not. Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Rey for giving me an Advanced Reader’s Copy. The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig was published on July 20 2021.

Four Star Reviews:

Star Wars: The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott is the Second novel in the High Republic (which take place 200 years before Star Wars: A New Hope) books for adults. This novel takes place mere months after after the event in Light of the Jedi. All those character that were given brief intros in Light of the Jedi, are finally able to be fully realized character that you can get behind. We follow Stellan Gios, Bell Zettifar, and Elzar Mann as our main Jedi characters the villain is the same except more brutal and powerful, there’s only one new character of note Ty Yorrick a former Jedi that as avoided the order at all cost is confronted by one of the order. This book has a good flow and was quite a page turner. The book has some moments of epicness, but the main plot takes care place at a fair, and I’m sorry there is nothing too epic about that even if the fair is more like the World’s fair. This book has been my favorite of the Star Wars High Republic books so far.

Blood of the Fold by Terry Goodkind is Sword of the Truth book 3 of 11. Blood of the Fold is pretty epic there is two twist in the story that I was not expecting. The book has a nice opening then starts setting things up for the book to finish in a pretty epic 200 page climax that doesn’t stop. This book will not do any synopsis of the other two books, it will remind you of a few things with some characters but other’s it will leave it up to you to remember. On a couple of character’s I was like have I met them yet; then as I read okay they did this and this in the last one. I do like that both the bad guys were set up in the previous books you might not have known their name but knew they where a threat by people they commanded.

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 7 by Stan Lee is a lot of long form spiderman tales with the most beautiful artwork to date. This volume contains the small first run of The Spectacular Spiderman which only ran 2 issues. One of the book is black and white pencil drawings that are just beautiful with Peter Parker looking closer to what he looks like today. The big issue in this volume is the return of the Green Goblin, which has been building up for sometime, and leads to a big finish with the Green Goblin being the only enemy that knows Peter Parker’s true Identity. The other notable issues are the battle of the two Vultures, and an epic Mysterio which was my favorite two parter issues so far in the series. We get to find out what happened to Peter Parker’s parents, and how they died. Mary Jane gets a perm, and it is not pretty. Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 7 collects issues of The Spectacular Spiderman (1968) 1-2; The Amazing Spider-Man 62-67 and Annual 5.

Two Star Reviews:

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten is not really a retelling of Little Red Riding more of cash in the popularity of retellings. There’s a girl named Red who wears a red cape and a Wolf in the woods sort of, those are the only things in common with the fable. The story was an almost DNF, the beginning is really slow and the world building is hard to understand, but I stuck to it and it did get better. This novel is being set up as a series and was happy to see that in the epilogue the story is heading in the most interesting direction. Neve, Red’s sister, really steals the spotlight ad I thought was the far more interesting character.

Book Review: For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten is not really a retelling of Little Red Riding more of a cash in the popularity of retellings. There’s a girl named Red who wears a red cape and a Wolf in the woods sort of, that is the only things in common with the fable. The story was an almost DNF, the beginning is really slow and the world building is hard to understand, but I stuck to it and it did get better. This novel is being set up as a series and was happy to see that in the epilogue the story is heading in the most interesting direction. Neve Red’s sister really steals the spotlight ad I thought was the far more interesting character. I will list some of my own bias for this story and take this what you will – I don’t like blood magic, let me rephrase I don’t like magic that is released by cutting wrist hands, and this is the only type of magic being released. For me it is a bit of a trigger warning, I said the same thing in my review Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1) Adeyemi, Tomi, I don’t think it effected my review but I just think my reader’s of my review should know. I ended up liking the history of the Wilderwood not at first but how it was explained about midway through. The ending was exciting and well thought out. I did love the bond of sisterhood aspect in the story the most.

The Plot: Red and her twin Neve are on different paths, Neve is the heir to me queen as she was born first and Red being the second sister of twin is to be sacrificed to the forest and the wolf in a chances that the five lost Kings will return. The woods are haunted and only let the Sister with a mark through. Red is still haunted by the one time she was in there before. Neve fights with her mother the queen not wanting Red to go, but the queen will not listen and send Red to the forest as Neve plots to retrieve her sister and will go to extremes to get her back. Red finds an old house the the forest led her to then closes up once she there then finds the wolf (who is not a wolf at all or someone that can even turn into a wolf that tells her to leave, red after the big ordeal is stubborn and says she’s staying. Red finds out the forest is indeed haunted with shadow people who possess trees and that Red’s blood is special and the forest wants it, where the Wolf’s blood keeps the shadows away.

What I Liked: The bond of sisterhood is a theme through out and I love it. I really liked Neve’s storyline and the sacrifice she’s willing to make to save Red. The legend of the Wilderwood was really good when fully explained. The ending was both exciting and emotional, I enjoyed the lead up to it as well.

What I Disliked: Blood magic cutting your self for one spell is okay but cutting yourself and fling blood multiple times, not for me. The action, the magic, and the exposition scenes were really hard to follow especially at the beginning. It did try to throw in elements of Little Red Riding Hood it could have easily thrown in something, but no attempts.

Recommendations: This book starts off as a dud then gets a lot better at the end, not enough to give it a recommendation to read. This book already has a sequel called For the Thrown I think the book is heading in the right direction, I might be interested in trying the sequel sometime. I rated For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten 2 out of 5 stars it was close to two and a half stars.

Book Review: Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray

Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray is an adventure filled Star Wars novel where the best character is a rock, no I’m not kidding the rock steals so many scenes and keeps the humor up. I liked the mix of humor and adventure. Into the Dark takes place at the same time as the first High Republic novel Light of the Jedi. This book covers 4 new Jedi that were not mentioned in Light of the Jedi, the timeframe is at the same time but these Jedi are dealing wit a different crisis. I liked the main character Reath Silas and enjoyed his adventure best. the other Jedi were hard to connect with for some reason. I enjoyed the story overall but I did feel disconnected to some of the characters. The story does a good overall arc and nails the theme of teamwork. Into the Dark is written for young adult audience of 12 and up, i thought this dealt with more adult themes than Light of the Jedi, it has drug use and a couple times does a character ask about having sex. I have heard good things about Claudia Gray’s writing especially Lost Stars which I have never read but friends and other bloggers are obsessed with, I love the overall arc and theme but was not blown away by it. I felt the ending was satisfactory and well plotted out with a lot of action. The High Republic takes place 200 years before The Phantom Menace.

The Plot Reath Silas is a 17 year old Padawan who loves the research aspect of being a jedi and living at the Jedi Temple, when his master takes a position on the outer rim, the frontier for the Jedi. Reath can think of a million reasons not to go. He reluctantly takes the journey to meet his master when his voyage is cut short by a disaster that blocks all the hyper space lines of travel. They find a space station that is off the map, and assist other stranded ships. But what the Jedi finds is a space station with the dark side of the force lurking in the dark. Can Reath and the other stranded Jedi’s stop this force before it starts effecting others?

What I Liked: I didn’t know where this story was heading, it kind of has two parts, and a twist in the middle. Liked the ending a lot great rising action with some twist thrown in and nailed the climax which got intense. Geode the rock and navigator of the Vessel is awesome the strong and silent type. Geode is the butt of a lot of the jokes and darn it if I didn’t chuckle every time. Reath Silas is almost a Bilbo Baggins type character that is so against adventure until he’s in it and wants to go back in it. I liked the whole Vessel crew they were all fun characters.

What I Disliked: The Obvious jokes about Spice in Star Wars being compared to marijuana, It was too obvious and took me right out. The flashbacks are pointless until the end it could have been summed up in a story instead of breaking it into 5 boring parts (the first part was exciting then they grew boring) I could only connect to one out of 4 Jedi’s.

Recommendations: I will recommend Into the Dark on story alone. The story is really go it does add a whole lot to the Jedi lore but it is just a good unpredictable story. The good out weighed the bad in this story. I rated Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray 3 out of 5 stars. I was between 3 and 4 but ultimately thought is was closer to a 3. I will check out more of Claudia Gray’s writing which was good but still felt detached from far too many characters.

Book Review: Girl in the Walls by A. J. Gnuse

Girl in the Walls by A.J. Gnuse is both haunting and full of heart. This is not a ghost story but a story of a girl who literally lives in the walls of her former home after tragedy strikes. She lives life trying to go unnoticed by the new family that lives there. The best part of this book is the descriptions, since the girl remains hidden she has to describes sound and only get glimpse, she paints a picture with descriptions. The novel goes in some interesting places, it does take a while to find it’s direction, but in the I was satisfied by the end. The climax is exciting and the villain is scary in a interesting way. I wanted more interaction between the girl and the family, and we don’t get enough flashbacks of the girls family. I thought the story was rather unique, but my emotional connection was lacking at times, where the girl is so guarded we rarely see what is in her head, other than being unnoticed and surviving. I did enjoy the theme of home is where the heart is, it’s the safe place. Thanks to Netgalley and Ecco publishing. The Girl in the Walls is published on May 11 2021.

The Plot: Elise lives in a house that is not hers, anymore. The Mason’s own the home she lives in. The Mason’s don’t know she live there, because she lives in the walls. She lives like a mouse scurrying around eating what she can and reading what she can. The house is here when they go to work and school. She does not leave the house. Eddie the youngest Mason can feel her presence, he doesn’t know if she’s real or a ghost, he just wants her gone, and to stop taking his stuff. The trouble starts when the older brother starts noticing, and is more proactive about it.

What I Liked: The uniqueness of the story, it blends the line of is she a ghost or not for the first couple of pages. It was a beautiful story of a house and it’s meaning, but it’s also a creepy story for a home owner, it made me think of the horror movie the People Under the Stairs. I liked the brother Eddie, it didn’t say he was exactly autistic but definitely in the spectrum, he senses the girl and protects her as well as puts an ode to her in his legos. The descriptions at the beginning when Eddie has a piano lesson was so good. The villain is terrifying as he fights his childhood fears that there was someone in his house, and he’s determined to find what goes bump in the night. I liked the stuff about Odin, Thor and Loki.

What I Disliked: The ending initial ending was good, then we get two more that were unnecessary because they didn’t provide any information, if you show the girl when she was older, but don’t tell anything about her past life or current really. I was left with more questions than answers with the first I was satisfied. We don’t see enough into Elise’s mind, we don’t get her thoughts on much I had a hard time connecting to her. I could feel for her circumstance but not for her as a person.

Recommendation: I will barely recommend this for the young adult audience it was made for, but as an adult I respected the unique story line but not the character development. I found some parts beautiful, but so of it just pain boring as nothing happened and developed. I rated Girl in the Walls by A. J. Gnuse 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Goosebumps-Monster Blood II by R. L. Stine

Monster Blood II by R. L. Stine is Goosebumbs book number 18. Monster blood is back with Evan and Andy who found the original Monster Blood in a vintage toy shop. After reading 18 Goosebumps books Monster Blood the original ranks second to last in my ranking from best to worst, I was hoping this one would be better and it was. This book is all charm with mischief and humor. This book is rarely that scary, the nightmares provide some horror and Stine has fun with them. The bully Conan is pretty terrifying and shows how chicken he really is. The ending to the climax could have been better it has a lame twist, but he leaves the final twist at the very end that was pretty great.

The Plot: Evan is at a new school in Atlanta and is already the weird kid as he talks about Monster Blood and it’s effects. When Evan gets the news of Andy his friend from summer trip is now living here. She’s the one person that can prove what he said about Monster Blood is true. She can do one better she can show them it’s real a prank creates the most unlikely monster that can not be stopped.

What I Liked: The nightmares were really fun and pretty terrifying. The Andy and Evan friendship how they are mischievous but there for one another. Conan the bad guy is a good foil to the small Evan. The handshake gag didn’t get old, I laughed every time. The breaking into Conan’s house was pretty tension filled. Cuddles transformation.

What I Disliked: The end to the Climax was really disappointing, right when the action was starting, It just stopped, with a lame excuse.

Recommendations: This story was way better than the first Monster Blood. It a good introduction to Goosebumps because it is light on the scares, but still a lot of fun. I rated Monster Blood II by R. L. Stine 4 out of 5 stars. Here’s my full ranking of the 18 Goosebumps books that I have read in order to my favorite to least favorite:Stay Out of the Basement, Piano Lessons Can Be Murder, The Haunted Mask, One Day At Horrorland, Night of the Living Dummy, Welcome to Camp Nightmare, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Say Cheese and Die, Let’s Get Invisible, Welcome to Dead House, Monster Blood II, The Girl who Cried Monster, The Ghost Next Door, Be Careful What You Wish For… ,Why I’m Afraid of Bees, The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, Monster Blood, And You Can’t Scare Me!.

Book Review: Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas is a prequel to The Hate U Give. This story follows a lot of storylines that were backstory in The Hate U Give and the Carter family, like how Star got her middle name, and the tricky parenting of Seven. I feel you did not have to read The Hate U give to enjoy this but you will enjoy The Hate U give even more. Where the hate you give was more about race relations and the Black Lives Movement, this novel is more about responsibility and self ownership. I think this is an important story about teen pregnancy, stepping up and being a man, the gang culture, and LGBTQ acceptance. This book is at times corny, hard hitting, raw, and emotional, it will leave you with hope an moral story for working hard does pay off. The story doesn’t pull away from tough talks, like telling parents your going to be a teenage father, again. The novel does manage to tie in to Angie Thomas other novel On the Come Up as well.

The Plot: Maverick or Mav Carter 17 is a low level drug dealer in the King Lords gang, his father is a member that is currently locked up. He joined the gang on his father’s advice that some one would take Mav out to get his father. Mav is not a typical gangster he has a heart and will do the right thing. He is going to get a paternity test, for a baby already named after his best friend King. Mav had a one night stand with his best friend’s off and on again girlfriend. He is the father and the mom runs out of the hospital leaving him with a car seat and some formula. Mav does his best he stops dealing and gets a real job at a small market. He has to now tell his current girlfriend Lisa, not only that he slept with a girl when they briefly broke up but that he got her pregnant.

What I Liked: The story was good even though I new the end results I was very entertained. The LGTBQ I did not remember from The Hate U Give but I really enjoyed it and saw a well established love story. There’s a lot of joking and clowning around that really works, and are used well when relieving tension in scenes. The character of Dre worked really well, and make you feel from him. I loved the talk of being a real man is showing emotions, but not driven by them. The Mr. Wyatt and Mav conversations were always truthful and very real. I like that Mr Wyatt becomes Mav’s surrogate father. I like the name explanation for Seven and Maverick. I love the subtle link to On the Come Up

What I Disliked: I took me a while to get used to all the characters, there’s a lot names we’re thrown into. This book is good but there are some times where a couple corny lines ruin the seriousness. Unfortunately we did talk like that that in the ate 90’s so maybe art of it is a slight embarrassment at my own syntax.

Recommendations: Concrete Rose is good novel that follows Angie Thomas’s great novel The Hate U Give. If you like the Hate U Give and On the Come Up this novel will live up to the those. I recommend you check the Concrete Rose, it is a little lighter on the swear words and there is some adult situations but it is handled with care that won’t be an overload for 13+ young adult audience. I rated The Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas 5 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Goosebumps – Why I’m Afraid of Bees by R. L. Stine

Why I’m Afraid of Bees by R. L. Stine is Goosebumps book number 17 in the original order. This book is filled with bees the first sentence warns. The story is a take on The Fly meets It’s a Wonderful Life where two people try to switch bodies but a bee gets in the mix. This story is the most twilight zone like, and the only Goosebumps book with a truly happy ending. The story is pretty focused the jump scares are rare and not too bad when happen. The story sometimes felt a bit too informational, and not enough about the scares. This story has a little elements of horror, but more science fiction than horror.

The Plot: Gary Lutz is tired of being “Lutz the Klutz”. He wants a change. everybody picks on him, his younger sister, her mean cat, the neighbor next door who’s a beekeeper, Bees in general, and neighborhood kids. Gary gets the opportunity of a life time, the chance to switch bodies with a cooler kid in the same grade Dirk Davis. The experiment was going perfect until a bee got in the way, the Dirk Davis becomes Gary, Gary becomes a bee, and the bee is in the mind of Dirk Davis. Gary want the experiment over, but Dirk doesn’t want to switch . What’s Gary to do become a bee the rest of his life,? Or do something drastic to his own body?

What I Liked: This book flows pretty well, not to many boring parts. The bee puns are bad but funny bad. I like the only way Gary can speak mostly through microphones. I love the character who runs Person to Person, body switching store. The ending was happy, yet still pretty perfect for this story. I loved the way the Bee acted in Dirk’s body.

What I Disliked: When Gary is a Bee amongst the hive, it wasn’t scary, it felt like an old animal documentary that is really corny and not all that interesting.

Recommendations: There’s some okay moments but the story overall I can not recommend. It is not the worst but far from the best. I’m not afraid of bees and maybe people who are would enjoy this story a more. I rated Why I’m Afraid of Bees by R. L. Stine 3 out of 5 stars.Here’s my full ranking of the 17 Goosebumps books that I have read in order to my favorite to least favorite:Stay Out of the Basement, Piano Lessons Can Be Murder, The Haunted Mask, One Day At Horrorland, Night of the Living Dummy, Welcome to Camp Nightmare, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Say Cheese and Die, Let’s Get Invisible, Welcome to Dead House, The Girl who Cried Monster, The Ghost Next Door, Be Careful What You Wish For… ,Why I’m Afraid of Bees, The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, Monster Blood And You Can’t Scare Me!.

Book Review: Goosebumps – One Day At Horrorland by R. L. Stine

One Day at Horrorland by R. L. Stine is one of the scariest Goosebumps stories but ends with weak ending. One Day at Horrorland is the 16th book in the Goosebumps series original order. The scares check a lot of boxes, fear of the unknown, fear of abandonment, fear of the dark, fear of being trapped, fear of confined spaces, and fear of spiders, bats, and wolves. This one drives the nostalgia as major plot point is finding a phone, and having kids not be on the phone for a long car ride with nothing but scenery to look at. Stine has fun coming up with horror filled rides and amusements, I wish they would ridden more rides, they only ride 3, one of the rides they go on twice. I really enjoyed myself and felt my pulse go up as I read. 9o% of this book is great, but man is that last 10% weak, I was thinking this could be my top Goosebump book, to finally rival Stay Out of the Basement but the ending ruined it.

The Plot: the Morris Family is heading to a Zoo amusement park, that sounds like Busch Gardens. Only the family has left the map on the table and is lost in a desert, they turn around and finally start to see trees, and a billboard to Horrorland. Because of the kids begging the family desided to check it out. When they arrive the car blows up. The monsters who the family assume are in costumes ask about a phone or assistance. The Monsters they will help, but say you’re not going to ever want to leave. The family soon begins to figure out what Horrorland is all about, but will they live to tell it.

What I Liked: The scares are good, and some effected me especially the halls of mirrors scene. I loved the Luke and Lizzie dynamic as brother and sister. I liked the friend who was terrified acting like he wasn’t sacred so Luke thought he was cool. I loved Luke deny it was real until the end. The rides a and there horror punned names.

What I Disliked: The ending was so weak, it could have went so many ways, but the choice made was so horrible I knocked off a whole star. It is not as bad as The Girl Who Cried Monster twist which was out of nowhere, there is at least some set up to it.

Recommendations: If you are looking at the books just for the scares, then this book will deliver. If you’re looking for a good Goosebump twist this book will let you down hard. I rated One Day At Horrorland by R. L. Stine 4 out of 5 stars. Here’s my full ranking of the 16 Goosebumps books that I have read in order to my favorite to least favorite:Stay Out of the Basement, Piano Lessons Can Be Murder, The Haunted Mask, One Day At Horrorland, Night of the Living Dummy, Welcome to Camp Nightmare, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Say Cheese and Die, Let’s Get Invisible, Welcome to Dead House, The Girl who Cried Monster, The Ghost Next Door, Be Careful What You Wish For… , The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, Monster Blood And You Can’t Scare Me!.

Book Review: The House on the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune is a heartwarming Young Adult novel about intolerance in magical creatures the world misunderstands. This story is the themes of intolerance in the X-men comics by Stan Lee and Chris Claremont meets the odd yet lovable characters from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Rasom Riggs. This book is mainly Young Adult, but it brought up some adult themes that were refreshing, body image, LGTBQ issues, and Christianity. the LGBTQ characters are handled with care and love like I haven’t seen before, being gay is not a huge revelation and the book gets that gay people are actually all shapes and sizes. The themes of intolerance are layered though out wither it be sex, religion, and race. See something say something is a common phrase in the book posted on billboards and repeated through out. This book has been blowing up the blogsphere and I’m happy to say it lived up to the hype.

The Plot: Linus Baker is a by the book official whose job is a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he visits orphanages and checks too make sure the orphanage and child is safe. He is quiet in his observations and never invoking feelings into the cases. He lives a quiet sheltered life with his cat the only exciting thing about Linus is he’s gay, but he never seems to put himself out or dates. He dreams of the ocean, but has never been, then finally he gets a chance as Linus gets an ultra sensitive case with an orphanage on the Cerulean sea. He gets this case because it requires no emotions and he is so unbiased. He reads the first file and passes out at what the first child is and can be, and there is 7 of them. This will be the hardest case of his life to have no judgement.

What I Liked: The heart of the story is full and beating, I couldn’t help but get emotional, as Mr. Baker grew to the person he was supposed to be. Lucy and the record store owner was my favorite scene, the dialogue was hilarious. Chauncey was my absolute favorite character, he has all the heart, all he wants is to be a Bellhop, just let that kid be a Bellhop. Runner-up character is Sam, I love what his character becomes. The Gay relationship was done with such tenderness and affection. I liked the twist when Linus gets the full file. The overall story really works, sure the reader knows where the story is going but it was still beautiful being there with Mr. Baker when he figures it all out.

What I Disliked: I wanted to see the change in Sam, it is only talked about I would have loved to see his voice change. I would have love to see the stoner guy do a counter protest when the town turns. I didn’t like the Zoe relationship thrown in at the end, since we rarely ever saw those characters say two words with one another.

Recommendations: I recommend this heartwarming story of intolerance for the young adult audience. There’s some adult themes but it it brought up both playful but taken seriously. I think this book will open some eyes on intolerance, which is always a good thing. I rated The House on the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune 5 out of 5. It was a wonderful story that made me feel things and like a character that I did not at the beginning.