Book Review: Every Heart A Doorway

Posted August 21st, 2016 by in book review / 0 comments

Title: Every Heart a Doorway
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publisher: Macmillan
Publication Date: 2016-04-05
Pages: 176
Source: Other
Genres: Contemporary, fantasy, fiction, paranormal, urban fantasy, young adult
View Book At Goodreads
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 things. No matter the cost.

I need to preface this review with the statement that I am still basking in the glow of Every Heart’s A Doorway. It was already on my non-Goodreads TBR list when a trusted friend of mine recommended it to me on Goodreads. It’s just one of those books that, if it is meant to, will sing to your heart.

There is a wickedly dark sense of humour to this novella that is reminiscent of Roald Dahl himself. There is also that wonderful sense of what-if that I got as a child from my many readings of The Faraway Tree and indeed it’s also very Alice in Wonderland-esque. But don’t let those comparisons make you complacent because this is a very different book to any of those.

It’s a dark, weird, macabre, absolutely epic, twisted murder-mystery of a fairy-tale that is beautifully written and will definitely surprise you. A wonderful read for teens who don’t fit the boxes we often try so hard to put them in, as none of the characters in this fit those boxes. It’s a book that I would love for every queer teen, no matter how they identify, to read simply so they know that they are not alone in this world.

There are children who left their mundane lives in our world to go through doorways that a only opened by their need for the worlds behind the door. Sometimes these children are kicked out or given a chance to come back and say their final goodbyes, but can’t find their doorways again. Eleanor West runs a private school for those children. Or at least those who want to go back to their worlds. This school is the setting for this macabre, fascinating and special story.

It’s hard to comment on a lot of the actual story because it would ruin it, but there are a numbers of deaths that our main character is ‘blamed’ for by some of the other students at this academy. Of course, Nancy was just as surprised to find the dead students as any body else so she definitely didn’t do it. But who did? Nancy and those few students who have taken to her or just don’t care that her journey down the rabbit hole was somewhat creepy, are determined to find out, if only to stop the killing.

Every one of the characters has a different ‘adventure’ and a different way of accessing their worlds. Some can go back, their worlds are simply waiting for them to find them again, but others were thrown out and not allowed to go back. These adventures have strengthened certain characteristics – physical or otherwise about each.

In all, this is a story about finding your way in a world that is not kind to those who don’t fit the mold, and finding yourself amongst all the turmoil we find ourselves in in our lives.

 

5 Stars

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