Monday, July 31, 2017

Every Heart a Doorway - Seanan McGuire

Title: Every Heart A Doorway
Author: Seanan McGuire
Format: Hardcover
Rating 3.5
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.

Every Heart a Doorway is based on the idea that children can, at the right times in their lives, find a doorway to a world that is perfectly suited to each particular child.  Nancy, for example, spent time in an underworld where she spent time being perfectly still because that's what she needed and liked at the time her door opened. 

The downside to children entering these worlds is that they can be sent out at any time.  Children who are sent out from their worlds and want to go back find themselves staying at Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children.  

This novel was amazing and delightful and horrifying all at once.  When Nancy arrives at the Home for Wayward Children, she is greeted by Eleanor and sent to room with Sumi.  Sumi came from a world with lots of candy and colors and Eleanor thinks they will work well as roommates.  All goes well until a kid turns up dead.  

Before I go giving too much away, let me tell you: 

Things I liked About This Book:

* Sumi.  Just her character was so fun and wonderful!
* The fact that this book addresses what it's like to be a transgender teen.  Kade was assigned female, but he's a guy, and he talks about it and speculates that his parents were disappointed when he comes out as trans.  The book also has some transphobia in the form of a character who flat out tells Kade that he is disgusting.  (Just so you know: I support trans men and women, so I think what this other character says to Kade is deplorable.  If you have an issue with trans people, you likely won't enjoy reading my blog or this book.  However, I think everyone should just get over it.)
* The idea that characters can travel to other worlds.  It's been done before and it's always awesome.
*The writing.  While I do feel that it was a bit obvious who the killer was, I do feel that the actual writing is very good, even if the story itself felt a bit obvious.
*Nancy is asexual and the author approaches that with such normalcy.  I love that.  I think it's important for people to understand that some people are just asexual, and that that's okay!

Things I Didn't Really Like About This Book:

*Kids are getting killed at this school, and Eleanor doesn't even think about sending them home and closing the school.  She just tells them to walk around with other people, because everyone knows THAT WILL STOP YOU FROM BEING KILLED.  
*The story felt like it could have been fleshed out some more.  Even when someone had just been killed, it still felt like nothing was happening. Like, Hey, that kid just died, but let's sit here and drink some hot chocolate and talk about how good the whipped cream is.
*It was clear from the get-go who was responsible.  We didn't even need some dead person's bones to tell us.

This is a quick read, and something worth checking out if you like easy to solve murder/horror stories.


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