It’s my first book review on the new blog! I’m really excited to be doing reviews again and look forward to doing many more! Now let’s get to the review shall we…
Before I get into my thoughts, here is a little info on the book:
Title: Every Heart A Doorway
Author: Seanan McGuire
Genre: YA, Fantasy, LGBT, Mystery
Release Date: April, 2016
Page Count: 170
My Rating: 3 1/2 out 5
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.
This book was a wonderful library surprise for me. On my way to pick up a different book at the library, I happened to see Every Heart a Doorway displayed on the new arrival table. Seeing it was a short read and intrigued by the picture of a doorway in the forest, I decided to check the book out without even reading the description. (The whole rule about not judging a book by it’s cover doesn’t really work for me. Oops)
Later that night I curled up on the couch and decided I would give this mysterious book a start. Surely I could get through a few pages before I decided to needed to go to bed. I finally read the description on the back and was extremely excited to get started!
A little over three hours later I had finished this enchanting tale. The book grabbed my attention in the first few words, and kept my attention all the way through! I have never read a book by this author before, but this story has helped me find a new series I would like to start! If you are looking for an enjoyable and quick read, this is a book you should definitely check out.
I want to delve a little bit more into a few points I liked and a few that I didn’t. I don’t plan to talk about anything that would spoil the story, but if you want to go in not knowing too much, this is a good place to stop.
What I Liked:
The Characters: Every Heart A Doorway is one of those books that has a long cast of characters. There are a couple that get a little more page time than others, but each individual had a personality that helped separate each one from the other. Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children is not a typical home or school, and the backgrounds and personality of the characters is what really helped show this.
Unique Idea: I have read many stories that deal with a character finding a way into a magical world. The character goes off and has grand adventures and sometimes they stay, while others find their way back to their normal life. This is the first book I have ever came across that deals with the children that come back from a different world. I loved seeing that there were children that came home, by either being forced or accidentally returning, but wanted to go back to these mystical worlds. The fact that there were more than just one type of world also fascinated me.
Close to Home: Personally I love when stories take place in the real world. I enjoyed the fact that the home for wayward children was not in a mystical place, or really all that magical. Other than the occupants of the home, the place is pretty normal. The fantasy elements of this story comes from the children and their experiences in different places.
Although I really enjoyed this story, there were a few things I didn’t quite love.
What I Didn’t Like:
The Pacing: One of the reasons I picked this book up in the first place was because of the shortness. I wanted something quick to read, and this was for sure a quick read. However, I feel like it could have been a little bit longer. While the plot was a decent read, I feel like the last half of the book sort of rushed everything to wrap it up. I don’t think it had to be a 400 page book, but it would have been nice for a little more time with the characters.
Little Info on Other Worlds: Kids going through an enchanted portal to a mysterious world and find their way back to the normal world they left is the idea behind this book. The reader is told about the worlds some of the characters went to, but only a quick mention and title. The world the character traveled to is what helped shape who they became. Yet, we barely get any information about them. I enjoyed hearing about these fantastic worlds, but I would have enjoyed a bit more time spent on explaining these worlds. The words used to describe places, mainly to help sort the children into groups, could get a little confusing. The confusion was mainly because we really don’t know much about the worlds and why they are listed as what they are. The world Nancy went to is the one we hear the most about.
Overall, I really enjoyed this read. There were a few things I didn’t quite love, but nothing that kept me from really enjoying my time between the pages of this story. If this book was a stand alone I probably would complain a lot more about the length, but if anything this makes me want to read the others books in the series so much more. Getting to read a bit more about the colorful characters in this story more in future works really makes me happy.
Have you read this book? If so, what did you think about it? If you haven’t, is this a book you would like to read in the future?
If you are looking for stories similar to this one, you might can try these:
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children ( Both books has an older lady keeping special children in a world that doesn’t understand them. Miss P’s book is more in the way of X-men in that the children themselves has special abilities. Every Heart’s children do not exactly have abilities, but the worlds they travel to are fantastical and changed each child a little.)
Narnia Series ( If the plot point of children finding a hidden doorway and ending up in a fantasy world is what you like, Narnia is the first that comes to mind. Narnia explores more of what happens in the fantasy world, while Heart is more focused on what happens when the children come back home.)
I hope you enjoyed this review, and I look forward to talking with you again soon!