I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Published by Tor.com on April 5, 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Urban
Buy on Amazon
Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
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.
Yes, yes, yes! Every Heart a Doorway is a powerhouse of a book, stuck into a novella. It had everything I look for in a story; interesting characters, diversity, a surprisingly compelling storyline and all the feels. The premise is very interesting, children who have tumbled into different lands and come back changed. Nancy traveled to the Land of the Dead and wants nothing more than to return to her Lord. Her parents do not know what to do with her so they bring her to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. There, Nancy realizes that she is not alone, all of the children there have traveled to their own unique world and all miss them. Her roommate longs to return to her candy corn farmer love, the twins in the basement to their vampire master, and the others to their specific doorways. Each person has had the chance to be in their perfect place and no longer know how to fully function in the world they are now stuck in. Add in a bit of murder and the story is complete.
The plot of Every Heart a Doorway is super unique. It blends fantasy, gothic and teen angst in such a different way that somehow works perfectly together. The writing of Seanan McGuire is great. She was able to spin such depth and range into only 174 pages, I was left wanting much more. The pacing was spot on, rapid and never stopping, it packed everything needed in. The world created was a bit confusing at first. The story dropped you right in and because of that I had to figure out the multiple dimensions on the fly. But, really that is the only slightly negative thing I can say about Every Heart a Doorway (other than that I need more, it was too short). Oh, the emotions; I felt, I cried, I hoped and sometimes all three within the same chapter. The characters were where the story shone, full of diversity, heart and angst, I loved them all.
When one story can meld an asexual main character, a bestie with gender dysphoria, beautiful high gothic imagery and all the feels, I want to run up to people and shout “READ THIS BOOK”. So this is my virtual shout, Every Heart a Doorway is a special read and I suggest you experience it. I have not head of Seanan McGuire before this, but now must go stalk her a bit and find out what else she has written. I really hope she returns to this world at some point, as I did not get nearly enough.
Favorite lines – “Because hope is a knife that can cut through the foundations of the world,” said Sumi. Her voice was suddenly crystalline and clear, with none of her prior whimsy. She looked at Nancy with calm, steady eyes. “Hope hurts. That’s what you need to learn, and fast, if you don’t want it to cut you open from the inside out. Hope is bad. Hope means you keep on holding to things that won’t ever be so again, and so you bleed an inch at a time until there’s nothing left. Ely-Eleanor is always saying ‘don’t use this word’ and ‘don’t use that word,’ but she never bans the ones that are really bad. She never bans hope.”
Biggest cliché – Nope, I’ve got nothing.
Have you read Every Heart a Doorway, or added it to your TBR?
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2016 Diverse Books Reading Challenge
- 2016 New Release Challenge
- Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
- The Goodreads Challenge