Feel-good fantasy is something that I am constantly searching for, especially in books. I just want something magical to hug me and spread all that soft warmness that the story and characters may bring. Books that feel like friends, that make me feel like I’m coming home after a long day. If you’re looking for the same, you’ll want books like The House in the Cerulean Sea.
The House in the Cerulean Sea left me speechless. I wish I could tell you how much I love it, but there are no words. This book is about Linus Baker, a caseworker who goes to government-sanctioned orphanages to oversee the well-being of the children. His life isn’t that exciting, so when the big bosses assign him a classified job, he takes that chance to see the world.
These books like The House in the Cerulean Sea share similar themes:
The Lightning-Struck Heart by TJ Klune
I have to mention a TJ Klune book first because if you are looking for a book with a similar vibe, this one is definitely it. Humor, magic, romance, and creatures are what await you when you open the pages of The Lightning-Struck Heart.
A young, lonely boy named Sam turns a group of teenage boys into stone by accident, but with that happening, he is caught and sent to be an apprentice to the King’s Wizard, Morgan of Shadows.
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Howl’s Moving Castle is one of my all-time favorite films that always brings me warmth and softness. If you have not yet read the book—the source of the Studio Ghibli adaptation—I recommend you change that.
Sophie Hatter gets the unwelcome attention of the Witch of the Waste and is put under a spell. The only one who can break such a curse is a wizard, and everyone has been talking about Howl and his magical, moving castle, so she decides to go and search for him. What she finds is a world full of magic, imagination, family, and friends.
The Second Mango by Shira Glassman
Shulamit just became queen at a very young age. With the help from her new bodyguard, she is going to travel the kingdom in search of other women who might want to be her royal girlfriend.
But this mission turns into a rescue mission very quickly, because the two protagonists discover a temple full of women turned to stone by an evil sorcerer! Will they be able to rescue them?
The Black Veins by Ashia Monet
We know The House in the Cerulean Sea has the most wholesome found family. I cried way too much about it, so it seems fitting to give you another book that also features an amazing found family.
The Black Veins is the magical road trip adventure you need in your life. Meet Blythe, one of seven Guardians—magicians powerful enough to bring on the apocalypse. When magician anarchists come to her coffee shop and kidnap her family, she embarks on a road trip to enlist the help of the other six Guardians, to retrieve her family.
My Heart Is Ready by Chace Verity
This sweet novella starts off a series called The Absolutes, which features a soft and sweet fantasy world where adventures and romance are constants.
If you want a lighter, fluffier feel to your fantasy books, My Heart is Ready will bring that to the table. Corsine wants to impress her girlfriend so she decides to break into a vault and steal some rare seeds. Meanwhile, Lester, a self-proclaimed harpy king, is suspicious about his best friend and wants to uncover the truth.
Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee
Superheroes, assemble! Sky High meets One Punch Man in this fun, romantic superhero story.
High school nobody Jessica Tran comes from a heroic line of superheroes. But she has no power of her own. Instead, she wants to focus on getting an internship, and when she stumbles upon the perfect one, she thinks her luck is changing. But then she finds out this internship is to be for the town’s most heinous supervillain. Oh well! She has the opportunity to spend time with her long-time crush, so she takes it as a win.
The Shop Before Life by Neil Hughes
Funny and appealing, The Shop Before Life asks a question: What happens before life?
Faythe lives in the prelife and she is quite bored with herself. But then she is approached with a once-in-a-prelifetime opportunity to become an Apprentice at a magical shop where she would be able to help people before they are born. Faythe has always been curious so she starts to wonder about all the little mysteries happening around her and at the shop.
Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch by Julie Abe
For fans of Little Witch Academia and Kiki’s Delivery Service, this middle grade novel will grab your soul as soon as you start it!
Eva Evergreen is determined to earn the rank of Novice Witch before she turns 13 years old. If she doesn’t, she will lose her magic forever! To do it, it’s simple—she has to help her town, do good, and fly home by broomstick. But the thing is, she has only a pinch of magic and whenever she overuses it, she falls asleep.
Sourdough by Robin Sloan
Lois Clary’s life is a cycle—coding all day, collapsing at night. She is feeling the pressure! She isn’t eating very well either, but everything changes when she orders from this new place where they deliver a secret, extra-spicy soup that makes her sleep better.
Then the little shop closes and the owners leave her with the starter for their mouthwatering sourdough bread. They tell her she has to feed it! Soon she is baking every single day while also discovering a secret part of the market where they aim to fuse technology and food together.
Help Wanted by J. Emery
A gender and sexuality questioning M/F romance, this cute book needs to be in your life. Plus it’s a novella, so you can read it very quickly before you start your day!
Em is confused about a lot of things: who she is, how she is going to pass Alchemy, and what she wants. But she does know she wants to buy her best friend a pretty present, so she needs to earn some money. Luckily the local magic shop is hiring.
I really think all of these feel-good books fit some way or another with The House in the Cerulean Sea. Be it for the found family, the queer romance, the wholesome, and soft content, you will be able to find little elements from the fantasy book in these other options. Want more made-for-you options or other books like The House in the Cerulean Sea? Try Tailored Book Recommendations for personalized and curated recommendations!