This is another unique, beautiful, sad and heartwarming story by T.J. Klune! I absolutely loved The House in the Cerulean Sea and am so grateful for the opportunity to read the wonderful Under the Whispering Door already as an ARC. (Thank you so much Macmillan-Tor/Forge and NetGalley! All opinions are completely my own though and I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.)
The main character in this contemporary story full of magic and fascinating beings is the mean, selfish and obnoxious workaholic lawyer Wallace Price, who has ruined all relationships he’s ever had and is living solely for his work. Until he suddenly dies of a heart attack and finds himself at his own funeral. From there a wonderful, magical and empowering tale evolves, with Wallace meeting the mysterious Mei, who brings him with her to the tea shop Charon’s Crossing and its owner the ferryman Hugo, and his dead granddad Nelson and dog Apollo. Together they try to help Wallace come to terms with his faith and help him cross over to the afterlife, all the while Wallace also slowly starts to reevaluate his whole life and realize the bad choices he’d made while living.
I have to admit that I struggled a bit with this story compared to The House in the Cerulean Sea, which stole my heart from the very first sentence. Mostly due to the fact that the main character was so dislikeable, bitter and mean for a long time. He does undergo a remarkable character development, and in the end, I absolutely loved him, but it took a bit too long for that to happen. The story also dragged quite a lot in the middle.
But after that, it was all back to the best kind of T.J. Klune magic again! The last part of the book was absolutely amazing! It was just pure perfection and so full of emotions, and I loved the romance so, so much. It must be one of the best endings ever! It both broke my heart and put it back together. Even though it was so sad and gripping it was also so full of love and hope, healings and new beginnings.
“Because life is senseless, and on the off chance we find something that does make sense, we hold onto it as tightly as we can. I found myself because of you.”
I also loved the whole concept of the story, and all the humor and the characters’ banter that is typical for a T.J. Klune book.
All in all, this was a beautiful, poignant and unique story about finding yourself and your purpose, and a homage to living your life to the fullest and the power of love and found families, no matter if they are alive or dead or somewhere in between.
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All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Adib Khorram Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed Aislinn Brophy AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alex Beltran Alexene Farol Follmuth Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Ali Hazelwood Alison Cochrun Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton Amanda Ferreira A. Meredith Walters Amy Aislin Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster Amy Spalding André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Ashlyn Kane Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg B.L. Maxwell Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.F. White C.G. Drews Charli Meadows Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colette Davison Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Debbie Schrack Deborah Harkness Delia Owens Deonn Tracy D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elisa A. Bonnin Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Arroyo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Evan J. Corbin Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett H.E. Edgmon Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jenna Evans Welch Jenn Burke Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray Jesse H. Reign Joelle Lynne John Green Jonny Garza Villa Julianne Donaldson Julian Winters Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé KD Casey Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Pavlov Laura Silverman Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Henry Lisa Williamson Lisa Wingate Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Lynn Michaels Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Magdalena Di Sotru Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot Morgan James M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Starr Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Owen Lach Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Renée Dahlia Rhiannon Wilde Riley Hart River Braun Roan Parrish Robin Gow Roseanne A. Brown Rowan MacKemsley Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sally Rooney Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Sasha Laurens Saundra Mitchell Saxon James Serena Bell Shannon O’Connor Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophia Soames Sophie Gonzales S.R. Lane Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Steven Salvatore Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Tal Bauer Tamara Girardi Teagan Hunter Terry J. Benton-Walker Tiffany D. Jackson Timothy Janovsky T.J. Klune T.L. Bradford Tobly McSmith Tomasz Jedrowski Tomi Adeyemi Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard V.L. Stuart Wesley Chu Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez