We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
A 5⭐️ Book Review
I love family-focused novels. Family relationships are so complicated, and a good writer brings those stories to life. Tracey Lange is one of those authors. We Are the Brennans is an amazing novel. On the surface, it’s a story about one daughter’s return home after a self-imposed exile. But it’s so much more than that. It’s a story about secrets and duty and loyalty, striving for more and living in the roles others have placed on you, and finding your family beyond your bloodlines.
I loved the multiple points of view in this novel, especially how Lange shifts the POV by using dialogue from chapter to chapter. The characters are well-formed and nuanced, and I found myself rooting for all of the Brennan siblings.
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
A 5⭐️ Book
TJ Klune has given us a gift. The House in the Cerulean Sea is a gift of love and color and adventure and magic. It is a book about being comfortable in your own skin, questioning your preconceived notions, and finding where you belong. In short, I believe this is very nearly the most perfect novel ever. Full-stop.
Linus Baker is a caseworker at the Department in Charge of Magical Youth (DICOMY). He lives a grey existence and follows the RULES AND REGULATIONS to the letter as he investigates orphanages housing magical children. He does not sway from his life as an observer.
Until Extremely Upper Management sends him on a month-long Classified Level Four assignment on Marsyas Island. As Linus gets to know – and love – the brood of characters on the island, he shifts from being an observer to an active participant in life.
I loved this story. TJ Klune’s writing is spot-on – both witty and touching, with plenty of bits of wisdom thrown in as we travel through this world. Each character is endearing in a unique way. The cast includes
- Talia: A young (263 years old, to be exact) gnome who loves gardens and threatening to beat people with shovels
- Theodore: A wyvern who hasn’t grown into his wings but will love you forever if you give him a button
- Sal: A quiet, tentative boy with a tragic past and a gift with words, and who happens to be able to shift into a Pomeranian
- Chauncey: A – well, we’re not exactly sure what his physical being is – but we know his lifelong goal is to be a bellhop
- Phee: A tiny sprite with magic in her fingers and wings and a deep understanding of roots and trees (she’ll turn you into one!)
- Lucy: A little devil. Literally, his name is short for Lucifer and his father is Satan. Lucy is a 6-year-old Antichrist,but we don’t use that word on Marsyas Island
- Zoe: An older sprite who owns Marsyas and is a fierce protector of its inhabitants, including Arthur and the children
- Arthur: A gentle man with secrets of his own but who knows how to make each of his children feel special, who teaches them and guides them, and who loves deeply
I hope you’ll choose to read this gorgeous book. It gave me hope and joy, and it touched my soul.