Breaking the Rules

First, I need to share a personal note. Since I am switching to high school in the new school year, my summer reading plan will include as much high school material as possible. Considering how much I plan on reading, I am going to keep my entries as brief as possible.


The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune is my first high school read of the summer. It was recommended by my peers and is a 2023 Nutmeg nominee.

This story is the ultimate fantasy. Linus is given a classified mission to investigate a top secret orphanage which houses the most extreme in magical, unusual children. There is a female gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an octopus-like boy, a shape shifter, and the devil’s son. Linus’s extremely predictable and rule-abiding existence is put to the test as he spends a month getting to know the children and care takers (both having their own secrets) of the remote island. His reports will determine if the orphanage is operating according to the rules and if it should stay open or not.

There are many beautiful moments and clear symbolism in this story which is about acceptance, friendship, change and love.