Triage of a Novel: The House in the Cerulean Sea
Across the Room: This book felt like reading a warm hug. It is snowman approved! I loved the whimsey, and while I don't generally enjoy this type of fantasy, I fell in love with it after the first two chapters. It was a much-needed read for the time I read it (I picked up the book in early January of 2021. Very needed)
Read the Assessment below:
Temperature: High temperature. Very whimsical. While normally, this type of temperature would be seen as unhealthy, this is no fever. There are small moments that can be perceived as potentially dark, but this is a very whimsical, warm book.
Heart Rate: Normal rate and rhythm, until the end. I loved the pacing of this book. It was just so so perfect. I think Linus is a bit of an idiot, but it's hard to break free from a 17-year habit. The ending, however, felt a bit rushed. Personally, there was a moment that I felt should have been expanded upon. I think it would have made an excellent sequel/follow-up novella to end it when (spoiler ahead!) Linus returns to his DICOMY office and starts doing his thing. Once he leaves the island, the pacing picks up to a point of *too* fast.
Blood Pressure: normotensive. This was a very easy read, as far as the plot is concerned. While the ending felt *rushed*, it was still very easy to follow.
Respirations: Normal rate and rhythm. I loved these characters. Each one was so unique, and so well-balanced. I just loved them.
Oxygenation: slightly hyper-oxygenated. A little bit of info-dumping after the first chapter slowed me down for about a day. However, once I got through the 3rd chapter, I read the rest of it in about 36 hours.
Work of Breathing: no difficulty staying immersed in this story.
Family: Fantasy: Urban; Romantic subplot
Medical: I didn't find any *major* issues, except that the phrase "swallowed thickly" has become my biggest pet-peeve. (They gulped. Okay? They freaking gulped). Personal opinion, of course. A couple of typos and missing words here and there, but overall, nothing major.
Psychiatric: I love the relationships between the children and Arthur. And I love how Linus interacts with them. I don't think I've ever read a more wholesome "found family" story in my life.
Socio-economic: I'm actually *not* quite sure what the target audience is, as far as age-group. There are a couple of little hints of adult content, but nothing on-page. It seems like it's a great family-friendly book for all ages.
Head to Toe Assessment:
Head and face: The cover is whimsical. Considering how cartoon-ish the cover is, I would've had to be in the right mood to pick it up in the bookstore. However, I have seen nothing but praise coming from it, so I probably would have picked it up anyway. The blurb got me hooked.
Neck: The intro scenes were quite intriguing, especially with Linus' opening visit to the "orphanage". It definitely made me want to read on.
Chest: After the introduction, however, the rest of it sort of slogged on. I wasn't really interested in the horrible bosses, or the lacklustre job that Linus held. To be honest, it felt really cliche, and it was a struggle for me to get through until he got to the island.
Abdomen and Flanks: Once Linus got to the island, my interest was piqued again. This is when the warm hug-like sensations started.
Perineum: I think Linus's "breaking point" wasn't very high-stakes for my taste. There weren't any real consequences to him losing his job over this issue, and the story as a whole was very predictable. By this point in the story, I had a really hard time with connecting with Linus.
Extremities: I think, due to my difficulty with connecting with the MC, I felt the climax was also a bit lacklustre. The "big reveal" was also quite predictable, as the foreshadowing was sort of beat over my head throughout the book. I wasn't surprised at all.
Backside: This is when the pacing speeds up to a really high heart rate. Honestly, I think the book as a whole could have gone on and slowed down for another few hundred pages. I also think that Linus's "duty calls" attitude didn't fit well. It would have made more sense to me if he left the island with an attitude of "I'm going to fix this" rather than "Well, bye y'all".
Prognosis: Overall, I give this book a Good prognosis (4 stars). It was fun, easy read, and I greatly enjoyed the warm-hug-like feeling that dominated through most of the story. However, with the typos, missing words, and predictable/rushed ending, I am hesitant to give it an Excellent prognosis. I do, however, recommend this book to any and all, especially after the horrible year 2020 was.
Again, here is my formula of the "Triage" review process, for those who are unfamiliar:
Stay safe. Stay sane. Keep healthy. Keep smiling. Much love!