Title: Every Heart a Doorway
Author: Seanan McGuire
Time taken to read: 1 week
Goodreads synopsis: Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. No Solicitations. No Visitors. No Quests. Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else. But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children. Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world. But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter. No matter the cost.
Okay, so, I thought the characters in this book were going to actually be Alice and Dorothy and stuff, but I was incorrect about that, so that was disappointing. The title and the cover are really cool, so I think I had really high expectations and was rather let down. This book kind of seemed like a Miss Peregrine wanna-be, and I didn’t really like that book either, so that just felt cheap and bad. And the writing in this book is weird. It’s like everything is too straight-forward yet too lyrical at the same time. Like the way Nancy talks about the Lord of the Dead and their dancing and their pomegranates. It sounds scripted and stupid. It doesn’t flow at all, and at some points it was painful to read.
Also, I was irritated by the ending. And by “the ending,” I mean literally the last page. This book was published like a month ago, so I won’t spoil it, but for those of you who have read it, I think you’ll understand what I mean when I say that I wish the exact opposite had happened. I could explain why, but I don’t want to give it away.
Despite all that, I liked the who-dunnit element to the story. I had it figured out right after the whole skeleton thing, but that was decently far into it, so it’s not like it was obvious from the start. At least not for me. I did like Nancy. Whatever was going on with her and the Lord of the Dead was probably really inappropriate and one-sided, but she seemed cool and not extremely annoying, I guess. I thought it was neat how she’s asexual and Kade is trans. I felt like the way it was talked about was a little stiff and unnatural, but, points for trying.
However, I feel as though I’ve been left with a lot of unanswered questions about the different worlds and stuff. Like, what does the “high” in high Logic and high Nonsense mean? Is there a low Logic and a low Nonsense? What does it even mean if a world is Nonsense or Logic? Like, does everyone just do math all day in Logic worlds? And everyone walks on the ceilings in Nonsense worlds? Also, can you, for example, find a door in a Logic world and end up in a Nonsense world? Like, are those other worlds connected in any way, or are they just connected to, like, reality? And why isn’t Nancy actually asking any questions? She keeps saying there’s too much to ask, but I would have to start somewhere, as I have done here.
Mostly while I was reading this, all I could think about was the parents and how no one gives a heck about them. I mean, their children went missing. That’s horrifying. Well, Kade’s parents suck, obviously, but Nancy keeps saying her parents love her but they don’t understand her, and I’m like, listen kid, loving parents, whether they “understand you” or not, can be pretty hard to come by. No need to act like they’re total assholes just because they don’t believe you went to the f*cking Underworld.
Anyway, this book is pretty short, so I think it is worth the read, but just don’t get too excited.